The latest research and state-of-the-art technologies in efficient building design were presented during Lebanon’s first international conference by ASHRAE, a leading global society on sustainable building technology, held at AUB on October 2-3.
Organized by the AUB Department of Mechanical Engineering, ASHRAE, and the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources, the international conference attracted more than 150 participants from 15 countries who presented 40 presentations and technical papers on alternative energy use in buildings, indoor air quality, solar energy in building systems, and other energy conservation strategies, including the findings of six research studies by AUB faculty.
“Energy and sustainability issues have increasingly come to the forefront with growing energy demand and consumption, coupled with dwindling fossil fuel resources,” said AUB President Peter Dorman, in his opening remarks on October 2, 2014 at West Hall’s Bathish Auditorium. “And with climate change becoming a stark and drastic reality, finding solutions to these challenges has become extremely complex.”
“It is very important for us to establish a global network to ensure collaboration, sharing and mentoring to ensure that the required needs are met,” said Walid Chakroun, ASHRAE Society Representative. “Our focus is on performance and our existing standards and guidelines are being renewed, and new ones are being produced, for a better future.”
“We want to be judged on our performance and not on our promises,” he emphasized.
ASHRAE, formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers founded in 1894, is a leading building technology society with over 54,000 members worldwide, focusing on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. ASHRAE publishes a well-recognized series of standards and guidelines related to HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) which are often referenced in building codes and are commonly accepted as standards by industry architects and engineers.
“The building sector has a vital role to play in reducing energy consumption, reducing CO2 levels, and innovating building materials,” said Omar Masri of the Masri Institute Advisory Council. “These concepts are still underdeveloped in our region and we can press forward their advance by bringing together the leading practitioners and academics in this field for the best results.”
The Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources, established in June 2007 by AUB trustee Munib Masri with a $5 million endowment, provides a vehicle for promoting research and advanced study in petroleum, water, and energy disciplines, as well as a focal point for collaborative research among scientists, engineers and professionals in Lebanon and the region. It serves as an interfaculty coordinating unit in AUB and a catalyst for advanced research for the management and conservation of natural resources.
“The ministry has invested lots of efforts and supports all innovations in this sector based on solid technical grounds,” said Arthur Nazarian, Energy and Water Resources Minister. “Our national policies aim for efficient measures with the potential for energy-saving and better quality of life.”
Keynote speakers and topics included: Ronald Jarnagin (ASHRAE) who presented on the development and evaluation of ASHRAE standards; Didier Coulomb of the International Institute of Refrigeration who overviewed the challenges of phasing out HCFCs without increasing greenhouse gases’ emissions; Ayman Eltalouny (UN) who spoke of alternative refrigerants in hot countries, and Kamel Ghali (AUB) who detailed personalized and localized cooling and ventilation devices and systems.
The conference hosted a number of industrial presentations on new concepts and advances in HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) industry. Selective best ideas in building efficiency by major HVAC industry companies took part in an exclusive exhibition held on October 2 and 3, 2014, at West Hall Common Room.
Conference sponsors and exhibition contributors included: AWAL Gulf Manufacturing Co.; Dar Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners); UNIC Air Conditioning & Refrigeration; Majdalani Engineering and Trading & CLIMAVENETA Sustainable Comfort; Acrefine Engineering, Khatib and Alami; N. Hermes & Co.; and Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation.