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First ASET-ME Conference for the Middle East takes place

The UAE government wants to ensure sustainable development, while preserving the environment and achieving the perfect balance between social and economic development, says Vice Chair, EmiratesGBC

| | Jan 29, 2019 | 10:38 am
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Dubai, UAE, 29 January 2019: The Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA) hosted the Air System Engineering and Technology Middle East Conference (ASET-ME) on January 27, at the H Hotel in Dubai. Michael Ivanovich, Senior Director, Global Affairs, AMCA International, reaffirmed AMCA’s mission and commitment to education, while addressing the participants. He said, “We have a strong role in educating the market, while having courses formulated for engineers.” The conference, he said, was started last year and will be hosted annually. Elaborating on AMCA’s role and commitment to developing tests and standards, he said, “As a global association, and as more than half our members are outside America, we have an investment of USD six billion dedicated to developing tests and standards.” He further said the process of certification is rigorous, engineering intensive and not simple. “We encourage engineers to specify certified products, as it increases the reliability of ratings,” Ivanovich added.

Delegates at the ASET-ME Conference

The keynote address was delivered by Habiba Al Marashi, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the Emirates Green Building Council (EmiratesGBC). With a special focus on EmiratesGBC’s contribution to leading transformation in the Green Building Industry, she said: “EmiratesGBC is a non-for profit established in the year 2006 and is a membership-based organisation. We do not work in isolation, instead we work in collaboration. Though the journey is young, the numbers are promising.” Al Marashi highlighted that there is a clear strategy of diversifying energy with regard to retrofits. “Today, we are talking about the business case and while we are very responsible, the customer is educated and respects the developer to be doing his work in a responsible manner,” she said. “The UAE government wants to ensure sustainable development, while preserving the environment and achieving the perfect balance between social and economic development,” she added.

Jeff Boldt, Managing Principal, IMEG Corporation, delivered a session on high-performance air systems in new and existing buildings. He said, “One of the topics we need to talk about is keeping fan horsepower for systems down at a level that complies with the code.” Big buildings like hospitals and laboratories, he said, can have trouble with this and it includes all the fans running at peak. In addition, another thing to think about is belts, as they use energy, in addition to small fans that tend to consume a lot of power, which is a big deal, Boldt added. Pointing to a crucial aspect, he said, it is important to begin by selecting efficient fans. “You can probably create static pressure and the supply fans will be more efficient than the others,” he added. Elaborating, he also pointed to air-handling units and said that in terms of energy, they must not consume more than 40% of the total supply fan allowance. “House supply fans,” he said, “should be oriented to the velocity pressure and there should not be more than four to five fittings or turns before the air reaches the VAV box.”

Hernando Miranda, Sole Proprietor, Soltierra Consulting, provided insight on specification practice for Green Buildings. He said, “We need to be sensitive, while working with contractors, as today there is a need for building it right.” Today, he added, it’s all about getting what the engineer and the owner wants. Pointing to an issue, he said, “There is a disconnect among the designer, the engineer and the contractor, as they are not on the same page.” This, he said, can lead to confusion, making it difficult to interpret the intent of the design. The solution is to learn by first-hand experience, Miranda asserted and, as an engineer and designer, there is a need to follow through. He said, “Green Building standards in the United Arab Emirates are progressive,” and expressed surprise to see that the rating system is based on these standards.


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