Symposium at Masdar Institute Supports Partnerships for German Efficient Building Technologies

Saturday 23 April 2016

Abu Dhabi - MENA Herald: The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy, and sustainable technologies, today announced it hosted a symposium titled “Energy Efficiency and Renewables: Building Technology – Made in Germany.”

The event, held at Masdar Institute on 20 April, was part of a series of symposiums in Dubai and Abu Dhabi organized by the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK), under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. Presentations at the event covered building codes, energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. The event also provided German companies with an opportunity to learn about the local market and establish new business relationships with local companies.

Delivering the opening remarks, Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President for Research and Interim Associate Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “Hosting this event at Masdar Institute demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovation in clean energy technology with key UAE partner countries such as Germany. This event will provide an important exchange of knowledge about renewable energy and energy efficiency practices and technologies with the aim of facilitating further collaboration and business partnerships between Germany and the UAE..”

In her remarks, Dr. Dalia Abu Samra Rohte, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director - Abu Dhabi Office, Regional Coordinator Business Development, AHK, highlighted her group’s cooperation with Masdar Institute. She also positioned the symposium into the context of the German export initiative, energy efficiency and renewables sectors, and pointed out the potential for German-Emirati cooperation in these areas.

Dr. Rohte commended Abu Dhabi for the Masdar Initiative which includes Masdar City, designed to be the world's most sustainable eco-city and the Masdar Institute, a research-oriented university focused on alternative energy and sustainability.

Dr. Afshin Afshari, Professor of Practice, Department of Engineering Systems and Management, Masdar Institute, presented an overview of the Institute’s pilot projects titled “Urban Heat Island” and “Energy Efficiency of Cooling Plants.”

Dr. Afshari said: “Our three-year collaborative research project with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) indicates that, in Abu Dhabi, the average annual intensity of the urban heat island (which is a measure of the difference between urban and rural air temperatures) stands at about 2-3 degrees Celsius, with peaks of 8-10 degrees Celsius. We estimate that the rise in buildings’ cooling demand, due specifically to this phenomenon, is about 15%. Because the urban heat island and the building cooling processes are closely coupled and mutually reinforcing, any intervention on one will also impact the other.”

Enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings and cooling plants should proceed alongside an equivalent effort to reduce the heat island effect, Dr. Afshari said. Buildings in Abu Dhabi can be rendered more energy efficient through retrofitting and better maintenance of cooling plants, he advised. Additionally, the urban heat island effect can be mitigated through use of highly reflective surfaces, urban vegetation and shading, and traffic regulation, he remarked.

A model-based decision support tool resulting from the current research project is expected to help energy policy makers on the life-cycle cost/energy impact of different interventions aimed at improving the current situation. The tool can also be used by urban planners in order to identify the best urban design strategies: urban canyon design, street orientation, and distributed versus central (district) cooling, Dr. Afshari added.

A presentation on ‘Sustainable, Flexible and Comprehensive Building: Planning and Implementation Processes’ was delivered by Tobias Poschmann, Chief Executive Officer of a5 Planung, a German company that provides a comprehensive range of planning and implementation processes to ensure a completely finished building.

Abdulazeez Maddi, Professional, Estidama Assessments & Compliance, Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, provided a talk on ‘Estidama and the Urban Development of Abu Dhabi.’.

Improving the Quality and Energy Efficiency of Sustainable Products, Personnel and Systems was presented by Salem Al Qassimi, Product Conformity Director, Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC).

Speaking about ‘Energy-Efficient Innovative Coating Concepts,’ Waldemar Walczok, Cheif Executive Officer of Superior Innovative Coating Concepts (SICC), said that the UAE is an interesting market for his company’s coatings, which incorporate energy-saving properties. Additionally, the products are suitable because of the special climatic conditions, the high level of awareness about green products, and wide use of environmentally friendly technologies, he added.

Explaining the relevance of his company’s products under the presentation titled “Thermal Solar Technology,” Thomas Schmidt, Sales Manager International, KBB Kollektorbau, pointed out that the company's solar absorbers and collectors target original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers. The company exports 70% of its products to Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as North and South America.

Deliberating on ‘International Know How Transfer in the Field of Energy Efficiency,’ Vollrad Kuhn, Managing Director of Energy Consulting, said his company is currently implementing projects with Etihad Energy Services Company (ESCO) and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority in Dubai.

Holger Herbst, Business Development MENA, Avancis GmbH, highlighted the importance of ‘Photovoltaic Solutions in the Desert,’ while Panos Biazzos, Business Development and Relationships Manager, MENA, IBC Solar AG, spoke about ‘Comprehensive Solutions for Solar Generated Power.’

According to the UAE Ministry of Economy statistics, trade between the two countries stood at AED45 billion (US$12.25 billion) in 2014. Around 1,000 German companies are doing business in the UAE, while more than 12,000 German nationals are resident in the UAE.

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