With more than 114 countries having ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement, mitigating climate change is now a global priority with everyone, including industries and business leaders having a crucial role to play in the race for a cleaner, greener earth.
George Berbari, CEO of UAE-based Engineering Consultancy firm DC PRO Engineering and a prominent sustainability activist, delivered a keynote address at this week’s The Big 5, the region’s largest construction event, in which he told industry leaders that the construction and engineering sectors must embrace more efficient Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems to reduce industry CO2 emission levels and play their part in reversing climate change.
Berbari, author of ‘The Energy Budget’ in which he outlines his vision for reduced energy consumption and accountability of all involved in municipal energy consumption, also told delegates at The Big 5 conference how DC PRO has successful designed a ‘zero-energy’ villa with minimal solar panel areas.
During the ‘Special HVAC Day’ at the industry-leading event, which brought together thousands of construction professionals at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Berbari addressed delegates and stressed the need for more energy-efficient construction and systems.
Better construction of homes, including improved walls and roof insulations, minimal Glass to wall ratio of less than 25 per cent,combined with motorised and insulated rolling shutters, will all boost energy efficiency.
“Better and more efficient systems that can make a difference include Geothermal water cooled chillers, independent Radiant cooling with Phase-changing energy storage material, independent fresh air dehumidification chilled water systems with double heat recovery, swimming pool heating and cooling systems using waste heat recovery and a geothermal/cooling tower combined with industrial controls and home automations,” Berbari told the conference. “Grey water recycling, food waste composting and other integrated technologies can also help produce the most efficient house in the region that would consume less than 50 kwh/m2/Year.”
“Geothermal air-conditioning comprises water-cooled chillers, condenser pump and condenser piping, and a heat intake and rejection wells to dissipate the heat in the ground,” along with gypsum based panels with engrooved chilled water piping for walls and ceiling as well as under tiles piping Berbari added.
“The technologies are well known on their own, but few people have dared to put the effort in to integrate them and push the envelope way beyond their comfort zone of old, tested and frequent used technologies.
“We are blessed in the Gulf region, as well as in the Red Sea coastal areas, with high water tables that are a few meters deep (2 to 7m). This in itself a key enabler for geothermal air conditioning.
“It’s imperative that the industry invests time in studying hydro-geological research data and thermal testing data to ensure energy efficiency becomes as a priority.”
Berbari also told The Big 5 delegates how zero-energy designs have an important role to play in the future of construction. A zero-energy building produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy in the construction sector.
“Zero-energy buildings have already been implemented and have proved to be huge a success,” Berbari told the conference.. “Take a typical 38,000 m² school where the cooling is 1,500 TR and power consumption is 6,270,000 KWh/Yr or 165 KWh/m2/Yr. By adopting zero-energy techniques and initiatives, such as solar panels, this approach will lead to a total cooling load of just 700 TR of chillers and 2,000 Ton-Hr of thermal storage tank and power consumption of 3,300,000 KWh/Yr or 87 KWh/m2/Yr.”
Berbari ended his keynote by revealing DC PRO successfully designed Zero-Energy Villa. He highlighted how a typical villa of approximately 500 m² consumes about 150 W/m² - a total demand of approximately 75 KW. The DC PRO-designed villa, incorporating efficient HVAC and solar panels, consumes less than 40 kWh/m²/Yr with a total demand load of less than 50 W/m² .
News Source: dotemirates.com