meet the project manager behind the solar trees and the 17 pavilions of the Expo


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The grove of 18 energy trees surrounding Terra – the Sustainability Pavilion rotates almost imperceptibly every second to catch every glimmer of the sun.

The electricity they produce, added to the energy created by the pavilion’s solar panels, powers the entire building, and on some days it even contributes to the grid.

Expo is such a beautiful experience for the people who come here to see the beauty of architecture, the beauty of innovation, the beauty of technology

Elisa Ruggeri, Mati Ltd

The mechanism and software were designed by an Italian company and delivered by a United Arab Emirates-based company called Mati Ltd, which worked on 17 of the pavilions at Expo 2020.

The company supplied the building materials, landscaping and technology to the Expo, including the computers controlling the large blinds above the aisles and the machines operating the water cooler in the DP World pavilion.

“I am very proud of the energy trees. They are really innovative. We designed the mechanical part and the software that allow the precise movement of the panels to capture and maximize sunlight, ”said Elisa Ruggeri, Founder and Managing Director of Mati Ltd.

“They are 100% sustainable and an example of how things could be done in the future. “

Solar technology isn’t the only sustainable product Ms Ruggeri and her company brought to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mati Ltd was involved in the creation of the Netherlands Pavilion vertical farm and the construction of several other pavilions using wood as an environmentally friendly alternative to steel and cement.

The material is durable because all felled trees are then replanted.

“Mati was a pioneer in the promotion of mass timber and engineered lumber [created using layers of wood stacked crosswise] in the United Arab Emirates, and Expo was the perfect place to showcase these materials, ”said Ms. Ruggeri.

“We delivered the wooden elements of the Azerbaijan pavilion, the Belgian pavilion, the Oman pavilion and the beautiful British pavilion, of which I am very proud.

“There are so many advantages to wood: it reduces carbon emissions and it is the future of our buildings all over the world.

“Wood can change color with age, but will never crumble. Think of Venice, which was built hundreds of years ago out of wood, over water, and did not collapse.

After many years of working behind the scenes at Expo 2020 Dubai to bring her plans to fruition, Ms. Ruggeri was delighted to see the World Expo finally populated with guests.

“I am extremely satisfied with Expo. It’s such a great experience for the people who come here to see the beauty of architecture, the beauty of innovation, the beauty of technology, ”Ms. Ruggeri said.

“Also the beauty of sustainability, which must be our driving force throughout this century, because we must change our approach to construction and the way we live. “

Updated: November 18, 2021, 9:28 a.m.

About Byron G. Fazio

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