Posted on February 26, 2017

Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG) yesterday launched the Second International Conference on Energy and Indoor Environment for Hot Climates at Intercontinental Doha - The City Hotel.

The 2-day conference (February 26 – 27) is organized in collaboration with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter, and under the sponsorship of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy. It aims to address energy and indoor air quality (IAQ) issues in humid and arid hot climates. The event attracted over 150 experts and researchers to exchange their ideas and expertise and discuss the latest research and development in the field of indoor environmental quality in high ambient temperature climates.

Keynote speakers were ASHRAE President Mr Bjarne Olesen, University College of London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) Deputy Director and Research Leader Prof Dejan Mumovic, Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning Associations (REHVA) Vice President Prof Jarek Kurnitski, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Group Leader and Senior Research Staff Dr Omar Abdelaziz. They presented on “Can International Standards for Indoor Environmental Quality Be Applied in Hot Climates?”, “The Impact of Temperature, Ventilation Rates and Indoor Air Quality on Student Health and Performance”, “Nearly Zero Energy (nZEB) Regulation Progress in Europe”, and “Alternative Refrigerants for Air Conditioning in Hot Climates”.

The opening ceremony was attended by QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham, ASHRAE President Mr Bjarne Olesen, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Competition Venues Deputy Executive Director Eng Yousif Al Musleh, CENG Dean Dr Khalifa Al-Khalifa, and Organizing Committee Chair Mr Hassan Sultan as well as CENG faculty and staff. The event’s program featured 8 sessions entitled “Energy Efficiency in Architectural Design”,  “Indoor Air Quality and Energy Efficiency”, “Refrigerants and System Performance”, “Thermal Comfort”, “Energy Efficiency in Buildings” , “Improvement of Cooling Systems”,  “Outdoor Cooling” , and “Workshop Session: The New ASHRAE Hot Climate Design Guide”.

It also included presentations delivered by speakers from Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, KSA, Kuwait, Oregon, Qatar, The Netherlands, UAE, the UK, and the US. They presented on a wide range of issues such as “Roof Gardens Application in Hot, Humid Climate (Jubail Industrial City Case Study)”, “Understanding Building Compactness Metrology, Originating Compact Architectural Forms”, “Energy Efficient Perspective to Typology of Summer Cooling Shading Structures”, “Indoor Air Quality and Health in the Eastern Mediterranean Region”, “Using Air Cleaning with Reduced Ventilation Rates for Achieving Energy Savings and IAQ in Commercial Buildings Located in a Hot Climate”, “Coupling Multi-Zone and CFD Models for Investigating Indoor Air Quality”, “Experimental Analysis of Ventilation Effectiveness and Tracer Gas Dispersion in a Boeing-737 Mockup Cabin”, and many more.

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “I am pleased that this conference found its way for the second time to the beautiful city of Doha, where research is growing at the fastest rate in the region. Qatar has become a hub for many events, conferences and activities, and the conference today represents a major milestone for supporting research in the area of indoor environmental quality in high ambient temperature climates. This conference comes on the sidelines of the Qatar National Environment Day, which is celebrated annually on the 26th of February to highlight the ongoing efforts of the Qatari government to protect and preserve the environment. This is in support of the State of Qatar’s vision and the development strategies, under its Environmental Development pillar, to "direct Qatar towards a balance between developmental needs and the protection of its natural environment, whether land, sea or air"”.

He added: “Qatar University, the country’s preeminent national higher education institution, is well-placed as a key partner in driving forward the national goals. In this regard, we place emphasis on promoting research on the atmospheric science and human health, the marine environment, carbon dioxide sequestration, energy efficient systems and smart buildings, and Qatar solar map, to name a few. Qatar University is also committed to providing sustainable solutions that reflect community and industry needs. In this regard, the University continues to promote collaboration with local and international institutions. These collaborations serve to advance science and technology in Qatar through research and development. They also serve to enhance academic and research excellence through strategic investment in human capital, ground-breaking technology, and state-of-the-art facilities.”

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Mr Bjarne Olesen said: “ASHRAE standards are developed to be utilized in the design, construction and operation of building systems and equipment all around the world. But variations between countries’ cultural and climatic conditions and building practices can sometimes prove challenging when adopting or adapting standards. No matter what area of the world, ASHRAE is committed to ensuring good design, construction and operation across the board.”

He added: “ASHRAE also is working to update its existing District Cooling Guide, published in 2013. Plans also call for development of a guide related to building owners and consultants to help in quantifying the savings and to present and compile lots of lesson learned from the district cooling applications. As incoming president for 2017-18, my call is for ASHRAE to extend our global community, our technological horizons and our value to members. Through our outreach, we can continue to add to a worldwide best practices databank of innovative and successful technologies that can serve the built environment community. We do that best by collaboration. We need to learn from each other and bring the global world for building technology closer together.”

Mr Hassan Sultan said: “The ASHRAE is a worldwide society founded in 1894. This society has more than 50,000 members all working for the sake of human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. Qatar Chapter is held by more than 300 members who focus on the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote sustainability. Qatar Chapter is committed to provide a wide range of services to the HVAC and refrigeration industry in the Gulf region and in Qatar specifically. This continuous thrive by the State of Qatar and ASHRAE Oryx Chapter towards a better and sustainable environment cannot but include indoor air quality for our hot climates. Therefore, the natural and inevitable step was to co-establish and host the first international conference on energy and indoor environment for the hot climates and today host the second one.”

Eng Yousif Al Musleh said: “The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is proud to be the main sponsor of this event, hosted for the first time in the Middle East, bringing together the local, regional and international experts on cooling technology and sustainable environment. With eight stadiums in different phases of design and construction for the proposed 2022 FIFA World Cup, the summit will cover great discussions on the delivery of these projects with the promised cooling technology that will benefit the community long after 2022.”