Belgium House

Address Tokyo

Project description

Make the Belgian House at the Olympics in Tokyo 2020 more sustainable. The aim was twofold: showcase the Belgian knowledge on sustainable buildings and reduce the environmental impact on the Belgian House.

Budget Confidential

Project period 2019 – 2020

Delivery phase Project was not completed

Final client BOIC/COIB

The aim of the temporary expo structure

Be adaptable to the site layout (sun, wind, …) and local weather conditions (rain, temperature, disasters such as hurricanes, …)

Be a circular product: infinitely re-usable, dismountable, …

Re-use water, …

Prioritize local products to reduce carbon emissions of transport

Reduce the overall energy use and carbon emissions; toward an autarkic product

Use products with the lowest overall carbon emissions

Implement passive design strategies (plants, shading, natural ventilation, …) and correct technical dimensioning based on needs (no oversizing)

On top of that, the temporary structure and solutions can also be used for educational purposes: visual storytelling of sustainable solutions to create awareness. 

Some solutions are discussed below:

1.  Adaptability to the site layout:

SuReal performed an irradiation study of the site and the pavilion layout to identify the areas with the most sun exposure (more “blocking” of the sun needed). For these areas we can provide shading through:

A second tent structure permitting natural ventilation (and possibly spray humidifiers) between both structures to cool the surface down.

Flexible green façade systems that can be easily attached to the tent structure.

Reflectance factor of the structure.

Placing a Tree or another shading element next to the structure.

2. Providing good indoor thermal comfort without increasing the energy demand:

SuReal performed a dynamic simulation for the different weeks that the structure would be used. As Tokyo during that time of the year is quite hot (during day and night), a combination between building optimization that was also investigated was the effect of making the bar and the tent out of phase-changing materials.

3. Use natural energy sources to provide the needed energy:

Together with the team in Tokyo and Brussels, SuReal searched for dismountable temporary solutions for natural energy sources.

BIPV (Building Integrated Photovolaics) on the flexible structure (a membrane)
BIPV on an extra structure outside (ex. Canopy for the enterance)
A small hydrogen unit (Hydrogen Genset, ex. CMB)
A solar tree

SuReal’s role

SuReal was selected for the project and worked closely with the team in Brussels and Tokyo to obtain these goals. Due to the pandemic and the new restrictions of the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, the project could not be completed.

However, the knowledge and solutions obtained by this study can still be used as an example for future temporary functions such as expos, seminars, …