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ASHRAE, IAPMO to co-publish water efficiency document

ATLANTA, Georgia, 18 March 2021: ASHRAE and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAMPO) have announced an agreement to co-publish a document to address water efficiency in buildings.

The document will combine ASHRAE 191P,  Standard for the Efficient Use of Water in Building Mechanical Systems, along with WE-Stand™, IAPMO’s Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard, to offer complementary water efficiency guidance and references in one publication, ASHRAE said. ASHRAE 191P provides minimum requirements for the design of building mechanical systems that limit the volume of water required to operate HVAC systems, ASHRAE said. WE-Stand™ focuses on achieving safe and efficient water use in both residential and non-residential buildings, ASHRAE added.

“Water efficiency and energy conservation are major considerations in the design and operation of HVAC systems in high performance buildings,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III, P.E. “Escalating costs and concerns regarding availability have brought much needed attention to the issue of water use in the built environment. We are pleased to collaborate with IAPMO to provide a balanced resource to the water-energy nexus as the demand for sustainable strategies grow.”

Dan Cole, Senior Director of Technical Services and WE-Stand™ Secretariat, said: “We’re excited to coordinate our development efforts on WE-Stand™ with ASHRAE’s 191P Committee. With the development cycle for 2020 now finalized, we will look forward to ensuring that both standards eliminate any conflicts toward achieving high levels of water efficiency for both mechanical and premise plumbing systems.”

According to ASHRAE, the co-published document will be available upon the conclusion of the 2023 WE-Stand™ development process, which is on a three-year cycle.

Rubber World Industry launches AED 90mn HVAC production unit

DUBAI, UAE, 21 March 2021: Rubber World Industry, which manufactures and supplies HVAC and MEP products and accessories in the UAE, has launched ‘United Air-Conditioning’, a specialised company with an investment of AED 90 million (approximately USD 25 million), which includes a production plant in Al Jurf industrial area, Ajman, to meet what it described as a growing demand for its environmentally friendly products. Rubber World made the announcement through a Press release.

The new manufacturing unit, spanning over 10,000 square metres, is part of the company’s expansion plans backed by the rising demand for the company’s cooling, heating and now coronavirus-related products, Rubber World said through the Press release. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it saw a sharp increase in health and environment-related products, such as disinfectant chambers, HVAC filters, air cleaners, optimised HVAC products, and configured rubber insulation and ducts to limit the spread of the virus.

Muzammil Shaikhani, Managing Director, Rubber World Industry, while attributing the new milestone to the company’s customers, said: “I am grateful to our local and international buyers, who have put a strong trust in us, which kept our growth not only intact but rising. In addition, during the pandemic, Rubber World thrived rather than survived and launched United Air Conditioning to cater to the increasing needs of its customers. Our R&D quickly responded to the new demand for health-related products that people and businesses need to maintain health [and] safety and [to] contain the spread of coronavirus and its variants, and started manufacturing this line, which helped doubled our growth and created the need for a specialized production line.”

The new entity, United Air Conditioning will complement Rubber World in manufacturing heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, cooling, mechanical, electrical and plumbing products, parts and accessories for commercial and residential use in the UAE, Rubber World said. United Air Conditioning will focus on health and environment-related products, modified HVAC and MEP parts, such as rubber insulation and ducting lines, which have become essential in the current environment, Rubber World said. It will help in reducing emissions, improve energy efficiency and contribute to the climate change agenda, it added. Rubber World has two units in the UAE and one in Sri Lanka. The company said it plans to set up six new production facilities in South Asia and the Middle East in the next three years to cater to the needs of its growing customer base.

Rubber World said that United Air-Conditioning has helped it increase its range of products, such as cooler tubes and sheets, which are CFC-free and are designed for exposed pipe area, as commonly seen in supermarkets, hospitals and schools. Another key area of demand for United Air-Conditioning’s products is all types of flexible ducts and ducting accessories with a broad range of adhesive tapes, Rubber World said. Rubber World said it currently serves several customers, including Leminar Air Conditioning Company, Century Mechanical Systems Factory, Gulf-O-Flex AC Spare Parts Trading, Gmark Middle East FZC and Al Emadi Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment.

Hira Industries launches thermal insulation solution

DUBAI, UAE, 15 February 2021: Hira Industries launched the Aerofoam NBR Lap Seal Tube, which the company described through a Press release as an effective and efficient thermal insulation solution that can be installed in various residential and commercial complexes to provide corrosion protection, whilst improving safety, efficiency and durability of the building.

Launched for the first time in the UAE market, the product is a pre-slit, closed-cell elastomeric thermal insulation tube, which is manufactured with a pre-installed adhesive that helps in reducing the use of additional adhesive by 90%, the company said. The overlap seals are particularly developed for mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) contractors for a secure sealing and for reinsulating old and damaged pipes.

“At Hira Industries, our aim is to launch several new products and technologies in this year,” said Umesh Unni, General Manager, Hira Industries. “The focus will be to establish good customer relations and deliver cost-effective solutions to them. The launch of the Lap Seal Tubes is a reflection of our vision to expand our product base and cater to the ever-growing requirements of the insulation business.”

The Lap Seal Tube is much easier to install due to the pre-slit feature and the pressure-sensitive adhesive, reducing the installation time by more than 50%, the company claimed. Along with this, the company said, the aim of introducing the Lap Seal Tube is to provide a long-lasting insulation solution at a much lower cost in terms of the time and accessories used to install the product and the maintenance costs, as it does not require frequent maintenance and replacement. This feature of Tube makes it a unique proposition in the industry, setting it apart from existing products, the company asserted.

The fact that the product is manufactured in-house, the company said, facilitates quick bulk delivery and expert support for the HVAC&R industry, the company said. The Lap Seal Tube come with the guarantee of being able to last for more than a decade, as compared to the conventional insulation solutions that require frequent maintenance and replacement, making it the right solution for all insulation requirements at a much lower price, the company claimed. It is the perfect solution for a diverse range of insulation requirements, as the tube’s size can be customised to fit the pipes perfectly, while the pressure-sensitive adhesive overlay helps in an easy and quick adhesion, as compared to the other insulation solutions in the industry, the company said.

Unni said: “The tubes are made of high-grade-quality material and have an integrated structure, yet are economically priced, which makes them an attractive solution for all requirements. That is not all – keeping the environment in mind, we have used fume-free and clean materials to produce the Lap Seal Tubes. As a result, extra precautions are not required after installing the solution, which is extremely efficient in cooling systems, as they do not form condensation. We are committed to helping buildings increase LEED points, and the insulation of Lap Seal Tubes fulfills all LEED requirements to maintain a sustainable and green earth.”

ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force releases updated Building Readiness Guide

ATLANTA, Georgia, 02 February 2021: With the performance of many HVAC systems in buildings still being evaluated, the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force has updated its reopening guidance for HVAC systems to help mitigate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, ASHRAE said through a Press release.

“The Building Readiness Guide includes additional information and clarifications to assist designers and commissioning providers in performing pre- or post-occupancy flush calculations to reduce the time and energy to clear spaces of contaminants between occupancy periods,” said Wade Conlan, Lead, ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force Building Readiness team. “New information includes the theory behind the use of equivalent outdoor air supply, method for calculating the performance of filters and air cleaners in series, and filter droplet nuclei efficiency that help evaluate the systems’ ability to flush the building.”

According to ASHRAE, major updates to the building readiness guidance include the following:

  • Pre- or post-flushing strategy methodology: The strategy has been updated to include the use of filter droplet nuclei efficiency, which is the overall efficiency of filter, based on viable virus particle sizes in the air, to assist in determining the impact of the filter on the recirculated air on the equivalent outdoor air. This allows the filter efficiency as a function of particle size, using ASHRAE Standard 52.2 test results, to be estimated based on the expected size distribution of virus-containing particles in the air. This calculation is currently based on Influenza A data and will be updated as peer-reviewed research becomes available for the distribution of particle sizes that contain a viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. Additionally, a chart has been added to help determine the time to achieve 90%, 95% or 99% contaminant reduction, if the equivalent outdoor air changes per hour is known.
  • Flushing time calculator: There is now a link to a view-only Google Sheet that can be downloaded for use, to help determine the available equivalent outdoor air changes and time to perform the flush. This sheet is based on a typical mixed AHU with filters, cooling coil, with potential for in-AHU air cleaner (UVC is noted in the example), and in-room air cleaning devices. Provided efficiencies of MERV-rated filters are based on the performance of over 200 actual filters from MERV 4 through 16, but the tool also allows users to enter custom characteristics for specific filters.
  • The sheet also calculates the filter droplet nuclei efficiency, based on the cited research but allows a user to adjust the anticipated distribution of virus, as desired. It also allows specification of the zone (room) air distribution effectiveness from ASHRAE Standard 62.1 to account for the impact of the HVAC system air delivery method on the degree of mixing. Default calculations assume perfect mixing. Finally, the tool allows for the target air changes to be adjusted if an owner wants to achieve a different per cent removal in lieu of the recommended 95%. 
  • Heating season guidance: The guide now includes data to consider for heating of outdoor air and the potential impact on pre-heat coils in systems.
  • Adjustments to align with Core Recommendations: The Core Recommendations were released in January 2021, and this guidance document needed to be updated to ensure that the information provided aligned with the intent of those recommendations. This included minimum outdoor air supply and filter efficiency requirements and their role in an equivalent outdoor air supply-based risk mitigation strategy.

According to ASHRAE, the guidance still addresses the tactical commissioning and systems analysis needed to develop a Building Readiness Plan, increased filtration, air cleaning strategies, domestic and plumbing water systems, and overall improvements to a system’s ability to mitigate virus transmission.

Empower reveals AED 901 million net profit in 2020

According to Empower, performance in a nutshell

  • Total cooling capacity crossed 1,640,000 RT, maintaining the position of the largest district cooling provider in the world
  • Over 140,000 customers
  • Total energy saving AED 3.4 billion in 2020
  • A total of 350.474 kilometres of district cooling networks

DUBAI, UAE, 20 January 2020: Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) reported a net profit of AED 901 million, with a total revenue of AED 2.26 billion in 2020. Making the announcement through a Press release, Empower said its revenues grew by three per cent, with a net profit increase of 3.4% year-over-year (YoY). Empower added that the performance has been commendable, given the difficult economic conditions resulting from the global pandemic.

Commenting on Empower’s financial results at the annual press conference, Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower, said: “2020 has been another successful year for Empower, with growth in its financial as well as operational performance, which is clearly evident from increase in revenues and net profit, additions in the number of district cooling plants, expansion of district cooling pipeline network, increase in customer base and the number of buildings connected with our district cooling services.”

According to Empower, the number of buildings it provides with its district cooling services exceeded 1,252, and the customer base has reached more than 140,000. The total cooling capacity has reached 1,640,000 Refrigeration Tons (RT) during 2020 that covered various projects, such as Deira Waterfront, Blue Waters, Jumeirah Group, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Business Bay, Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Design District and International Media Production Zone, amongst others, the utility said.

“Empower has also saved a total of 1,312 MW of electricity worth AED 3.4 billion, as of the end of 2020,” Bin Shafar said.

On the sidelines of the press conference, Bin Shafar also said: “We are proud of our achievements in terms of increased number of district cooling plants that has reached 84 plants across Dubai, including the world’s first unmanned district cooling plant in Jumeirah Village Circle project, along with having the largest district cooling network.

“Empower is committed towards efficient utilization of energy resources and supporting its customers and real estate developers, by providing high-quality and eco-friendly district cooling services.”

Bin Shafar also stated that Empower had reduced its fuel surcharge rates by approximately 25%, effective December 1, 2020, in line with the initiative of the Dubai’s Supreme Council of Energy. 

He added: “We will continue our endeavors in 2021 to increase the number of district cooling plants and expand our district cooling network across Dubai.”

AESG in global expansion drive with 45% growth target for 2021

Saeed Al Abbar

Dubai, UAE, 06 January 2021: Consultancy, engineering and advisory firm, AESG announced the appointment of global directors for each of its lines of business, as well as the expansion of the role of the company co-founder, Saeed Al Abbar, to group-wide CEO. Making the announcement through a Press release, the firm said the move follows the establishment of offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, and successful delivery of large-scale projects across the Middle East, Europe and Asia. The consolidation of service teams under unified global divisions, AESG said, will enable it to deploy the best skills and resources from all its international offices on projects worldwide.

Outlining how this strategy bolsters the company’s ambitious plans for the upcoming year, Al Abbar said: “2021 is set to be a significant growth year for AESG, as we build on the momentum we have established. While the Middle East will remain a focal market for us, we are also seeing steady growth in our business in the UK and Europe, as well as a surge in opportunities in Asia. Our reorganization perfectly positions us to capitalize on these opportunities, as we draw on the brightest and most qualified talent from each market to drive our success across the vast geography of our operations.”

Phillipa Grant

AESG said that under the direction of its newly appointed global directors it is looking to further grow its teams. The company said it has budgeted for a 45% increase in headcount, with the objective of scaling to 140 professionals through 2021. The company also revealed its intention to replicate in Asia the strategy that has proven highly successful in the Middle East and Europe by establishing a regional headquarters in Singapore. 

AESG said its newly appointed global directors will be tasked with leading teams, driving the growth of their service lines and ensuring best practices are implemented across regions. Two AESG Global Directors have been promoted from within the company, with Phillipa Grant and Nivine Issa now taking on the roles of Global Director of Sustainability and Global Director of Environment, respectively. Grant and Issa have also taken up equity partnership in the firm, demonstrating their long-term commitment to AESG and highlighting the company’s leadership in gender equality in the field.

Nivine Issa

With its appointment of Peter Downer to the position of Global Director of Fire and Life Safety, AESG said it is also looking to draw from the experience and expertise of a business leader who has worked with large multinational construction consultancy firms. An industry veteran of over 35 years – 15 of which have been in senior leadership positions – Downer has worked extensively on projects across the Middle East, Asia and Australia, AESG said. Prior to joining AESG, he served as the Senior VP at Jensen Hughes, where he led the Asia region, which included offices in China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau.

Peter Downer

Al Abbar said: “AESG has successfully navigated the challenges of 2020, and as developers look to enhance and optimize the efficiency, sustainability, safety and manageability of their investments, our comprehensive portfolio of specialist services is now more relevant than ever. We maintain a highly optimistic outlook with confidence that our commitment to maintaining service excellence through our ongoing expansion will further validate our position as a leading global consultancy firm.”

Lexzander, Emitech enter into a JV

DUBAI, UAE, 01 December 2020: Lexzander and Emitech have formed a joint venture (JV) in a bid to give

V Sekhar Reddy

end-to-end solutions for MEP works, with the former saying it is coming forward with construction management and engineering capabilities and the latter saying it is bringing logistics and project execution expertise to the enterprise. Speaking to Climate Control Middle East magazine, V Sekhar Reddy, Managing Director, Lexzander, said the JV, established on November 16, aims to synergise the experience and expertise of the two companies in delivering right solutions at the right time.

The JV’s immediate target is the AED 25-30 million market segment, where it wants to offer a shorter conversion time and optimised resources. Rahul Duragkar, Managing Director, Emitech Group, spoke of a fair shortage of good electromechanical end-to-end solutions.

Rahul Duragkar

The JV, he said, aims to give clients more satisfaction than what they are paying for and that it includes offering specialised expertise in engineering and project management. Reddy added: “This association is to add value to the products that need to be delivered, with an emphasis on techno-commercial solutions. We are looking at projects that definitely need personalised attention and, as an outcome, are well-engineered.

The JV aims to work directly with clients on design-build solutions, instead of taking a main contractor approach. Broadly speaking, the scope of work includes mid-size MEP projects, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and good indoor air quality (IAQ), all executed at a low cost per ton. Additionally, the JV aims to serve energy auditing solutions to the market  and, further, renewable energy solutions, such as solar heating and associated solar sub devices, including solar PV.

“We come with a combined experience of 62 years and want to address questions arising out of a dearth of qualified MEP contractors,” Reddy said. “I will not hesitate to say that most people are doers, not thinkers. Irrespective of the value of the job, it needs due attention, and for various challenges, companies are not willing to invest in the AED 40 million segment, which takes a good portion of the market and, in the coming years, will form a substantial presence in market development and growth.”

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