American University of Beirut

ASHRAE 4th International Virtual Conference on Efficient Building Design—Materials and HVAC Equipment Technologies


The virtual conference, organized by ASHRAE, the ASHRAE Lebanese Chapter, the Munib and Angela Masri Institute of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the American University of Beirut, took place on November 5-6, 2020.

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be a global issue, the conference organizing committee transitioned the conference to a virtual event as the safety of participants is of utmost importance.

The objective of the virtual conference presented advanced research on the topics of advanced building and bioclimatic designs for attaining occupant comfort and good environmental quality addressing systems and technologies adapted to the Arab region at moderate and hot humid climates.

The focus of the 4th ASHRAE Beirut Conference was on novel building technologies that enhance environmental quality in buildings and the impact of energy reforms on both the demand and the environmental quality with the goal of saving costs while providing the needed thermal and air quality environment for better performance and improved health. Concepts for improved efficiency and interventions that are adaptive to climate were sought including building fabric technologies, natural, mixed and mechanical ventilation practices/systems, and the manipulation of ventilation rates through operable windows to maintain thermally comfortable environment while relying on renewable energy as applicable. Other related concepts were also sought for smart building systems design and for integrating technologies that are passive, personalized/modular and energy efficient and tackling the human behavior in adopting these technologies and understanding their impact in reducing energy consumption and reducing carbon footprint of buildings. In addition, the virtual conference highlighted some pertinent topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Conference included 10 sessions with more than 35 pre-recorded presentations by local and international speakers over two days. It featured ​four live keynote presentations from experts and professionals in the field. 

To view the live sessions programclick here​.

To view the conference guideclick here​​​​​.​

To view the pre-recorded presentations, click here.

To view the news article, click here​.

1. The Opening ceremony was hosted by:

Zaher Dawy, Interim Provost – American University of Beirut

Sami Dimassi, UNEP West Asia Regional Director & Representative

Alan Shihadeh, Dean of the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture - American University of Beirut 

Omar M. Masri, Group Managing Director of Edgo (representing Trustee Munib R. Masri - American University of Beirut) 

Nesreen Ghaddar, Conference Chair, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering- American University of Beirut 

 Wassim Abdallah, President, Lebanese ASHRAE Chapter 

2. Four live keynote talks:​

3. Education panel:​

In addition, a live panel on "Reform in Sustainable Energy and HVAC Education and Training" integrated in universities' specialized master programs as well as the experience related to professional training through the ASHRAE Learning Institute and the impact of these endeavors on progress in this field, was hosted.

To view the Education Live Panel details, click here.

4. UNEP live session:​​

The conference will also hosted a UNEP live session titled "Policies and Codes to Enable Compliance with t​he Montreal Protocol" which shed light on key codes and policies which are recommended for the efficient implementation of the Montreal Protocol with focus on the elements and components that are most relevant to the Building Sectors.

To view the UNEP Live Session details, click here​​.

5. Training courses:​​

In parallel to the conference, the following two courses were facilitated and offered virtually by the ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) for credit for participants to register and perform training and certification exams.​

6. Special Session:​​​

The conference also featured a special session themed “Rebuilding Beirut​" dedicated to the reconstruction of Beirut as an efficient, safe, and resilient city with the participation of international associations and support from the UN Environment.  A virtual booth was available for sponsors to exhibit novel and bioclimatic building technologies and designs that enhance environmental quality in buildings while addressing systems and technologies adapted to the region.

  1. Mr. Hassan Sultan, Director of Mechanical Department at MZ & Partners and Former President of ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter presenting “Beirut Will Continue to Fulfill Its Mission”
  2. Mr. Charbel Sayegh, Senior Operation Engineer, 22 Degrees presenting “Rebuilding Beirut: an Opportunity to Accelerate Energy Efficient and Healthy Solutions with Low Environment Impact”
  3. Mr. James Walters, Vice President, International Affairs, Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) presenting “How to Choose the Correct Refrigerant? Carefully!”
  4. Mr. Greg Picker, Executive Director, Refrigerants Australia presenting “Lessons from Australia’s Management of HCFCs and HFCs”
  5. Dr. Atilla Biyikoglu, ASHRAE RAL Historian, and Dr. Birol Kilkis, Chair of Energy Engineering Graduate Program at Baskent University, Ankara and Fellow ASHRAE, on behalf of Turkish HVAC&R Exporters Association (ISIB), presenting “Green Building Design from a Second Law Perspective”
  6. Ms. Maria Sadek, Technical & Specifications Manager, Sekisui Foam International- Maker of all Thermobreak Brand Insulation Material, FTC Qatar W.L.L. presenting “Selecting Insulation in a Rapidly Changing Environment - Increasing Energy Saving and Safety”
  7. Mr. Tetsuji Okada, President of Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning , Industry Association (JRAIA), and member of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (RTOC) of the United Nations presenting “Japan’s Policy and Legislation on Life Cycle Management of Refrigerant”
  8. Dr. Alaa Olama, Member of the Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heat Pumps Technical Options Committee (RTOC) of the United Nations presenting “Not-In-Kind Cooling Technologies for Reconstruction of Beirut”
  9. Dr. Samir Traboulsi, American University of Beirut and ASHRAE Global Training Center presenting “Reversible Impacts of COVID-19 on Green Buildings and Their Ratings”
  10. Dr. Danielle A. Vieira, Executive Analyst in Metrology and Quality, The National Institute of Metrology, Quality, and Technology (INMETRO) presenting “The Brazilian Labeling Program and The Case of Air Conditioners and Refrigerators ”​​



The Executive Organizing Committee:

  • Ghaddar, Nesreen (Conference Chair, AUB)
  • Abdallah, Wassim (Lebanese ASHRAE Chapter)
  • Bitar, Ahmed (former President, Lebanese ASHRAE Chapter)
  • Boudani, Nohad (ASHRAE)
  • Chakroun, Walid, (Kuwait University)
  • Ghali, Kamel (AUB)
  • Giometti, Tony (ASHRAE)
  • Moukalled, Fadl (AUB)
  • Said, Ayah (ASHRAE)
  • Traboulsi, Samir (AUB, MSFEA Alumni Chapter)
  • Elassaad, Bassam (ASHRAE)​

Contact Us

For various questions, please try contacting us via social media first!
read more

Privacy Statement

We take data privacy seriously and adhere to all applicable data privacy laws and regulations.
read more

Copyright and Disclaimer

Written permission is needed to copy or disseminate all or part of the materials on the AUB website.
read more

Title IX, Non-Discrimination, and Anti-Discriminatory Harassment

AUB is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment to all members of its community.
read more