Posted on January 31, 2020

The Gulf Organisation for Research & Development has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Qatar Oryx Chapter to foster sustainable development through joint initiatives.

The MoU was signed at GORD headquarters located in Qatar Science & Technology Park. Broadly, the agreement outlines four areas of cooperation whereby the partnering organizations will work towards capacity building through joint training and educational programs; driving technological dissemination through industry events; embarking on research projects of mutual interest and developing technical publications and standards to speed up sustainable development.

Signing the memorandum were GORD’s Founding Chairman, Dr. Yousef Alhorr and ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter’s President, Engineer Kinan Fahs. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Dr. Alhorr said, “For years, GORD has been spearheading sustainability endeavours in MENA and beyond. In the same vein, ASHRAE has become a point of reference for HVAC industry across the world with its standards and guidelines. Our partnership with ASHRAE today will be a coming together of knowledge and expertise that will undoubtedly benefit Qatar and the wider region.”

Engineer Kinan Fahs, President of ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter and Deputy Director of Mechanical Department at MZP Architectural & Engineering Consultancy, said, “Together, we can establish better guidelines and eventually more sustainable buildings.” Giving out details about the upcoming projects resulting from the partnership, Mr. Fahs mentioned collaboration of GORD and ASHRAE in establishing standards and guidelines for sustainable outdoor cooling in MENA’s hot climate. Similarly, he mentioned that sustainability experts from GORD will be invited to present their research and findings at ASHRAE’s future industry events within Qatar. 

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ASHRAE is a pioneering engineering body founded in 1894. In Qatar, it has been active since 2007. Providing a history of GORD-ASHRAE relationship, Engineer Hassan Sultan, Advisory Committee Chair of ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter and Director of Mechanical Department at MZP Architectural & Engineering Consultancy said that the two organizations have been collaborating on mutually beneficial projects since 2007. With shared objectives of the partnering entities, the MoU is aimed at facilitating better cooperation and assistance of the HVAC community in the region. “We are going to see many technical workshops and conferences,” said Engineer Sultan, adding, “We are honored to be here and sign the MoU. We appreciate what GORD has done so far. It is providing technical support for contractors and consultants in order to rate their buildings to be better. Creating GSAS rating system is a very big achievement, it is 100% applicable and suits our environment, history and country as well as the GCC countries.”

Following the MoU, ASHRAE will closely work with GORD Institute, that is engaged in continuous long-term applied research projects on various themes including carbon and climate change, eco materials, energy efficiency, sustainable HVAC solutions, environmental sciences and renewable energy.  In addition, the partnering companies have plans to hold training sessions focused on sustainable built environment.

ASHRAE is a global engineering body working towards “building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry” with 57,000 members representing more than 132 countries. Within MENA, GORD has been leading the sustainability landscape with its centers of excellence focused of R&D, capacity building and green building certifications. Whilst the two organizations have collaborated in the past, the MoU will formalize their relationship to bolster collective efforts towards a shared goal of promoting sustainable development.