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The initiative marks a new partnership that will involve establishing academic cooperation in areas related to sustainability for the Middle East region with a focus on green buildings, green engineering, and sustainable practices.
Dar, a leading, privately-owned professional services firm dedicated to supporting sustainable practices and designs, and the American University of Beirut (AUB) set forth the general framework for cooperation to deliver on their shared vision and objectives.
The objective of the new initiative is to explore and identify opportunities in sustainability and management for trainees; promote the offering of e-training courses including the courses developed for the online professional diploma in green technologies; organize joint events; support and sponsor the biennial AUB ASHRAE conference dedicated to establishing best practices in building design, systems, and practices; create venues for students to engage and compete in projects related to sustainability; develop collaborative projects through theses or final year projects; and seek partnerships and grants to deploy best practices in sustainable buildings and systems.
AUB Provost Mohamed Harajli stated that this collaboration can be instrumental in supporting AUB's initiatives in developing innovative approaches to address the energy challenges faced in the Middle East region, supporting the energy education, research, and development to prepare students for employability in the energy sector. It also empowers centers and institutes to play a noteworthy outreach role.
Nesreen Ghaddar, director of the Munib and Angela Masri Institute, stated that “the signing of the agreement is aligned with the Masri Institute's strategy for impactful partnership in Lebanon and the region and with the industry that has successfully shaped the sustainable building practices in Lebanon and the region. The continued support and endorsement of the Dar Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners) of our featured ASHRAE Efficient Building Design Conference is a strong statement on commitment to sustainability. We hope that the implementation will expand this impact to penetrate education and also for AUB to influence building sustainable practices through its research and development in this field."
Naji Edde, Director of Mechanical Engineering and Industry at Dar Al-Handasah (Shair & Partners), stated that “this cooperation would pave the way in merging research and development with technical validation to properly address and overcome major sustainability challenges, promote innovative sustainable knowledge and expertise and lead the professional and academic fields towards developing environmentally responsible resilient communities. Our vision prioritizes fostering sustainable design practices and awareness across the Middle East to revolutionize the way buildings and communities are designed, for an enhanced quality of life."
Marwan Kobrosly, the Director of Dar's Operations in Lebanon, positioned the initiative as a new chapter in the significant historical partnership between Dar and AUB, a relationship that originated in 1956 with Dr. Kamal Shair and his three partners who founded Dar while they were AUB professors. This relationship has been strengthened since then by the generations of AUB alumni who worked and continue to work at Dar and by the projects the two entities have conducted together. The new initiative marks a significant alignment of knowledge, capabilities, and expertise towards meeting the contemporary challenges facing the industry and the world today.