GORD's Newly Launched SEER Tool Well Received by Industry Experts
Being Middle East's first performance-based sustainability assessment system for green buildings and infrastructures, GSAS addresses specific issues faced by the region and water and energy are two of the most critical of these issues.
GORD is constantly developing new tools to support implementation of innovative solutions and technology for energy efficient cooling and recently, a new “GSAS SEER TOOL" was introduced that has been developed to calculate Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and generate compliance report which can be submitted to GSAS Trust to support GSAS Energy Category assessment.
SEER is the ratio of the total amount of cooling energy provided, divided by the total energy input to the cooling plant summed over the year. The SEER calculations should be conducted in accordance with the local climate and operating conditions for the specific cooling load profile of the project.
On 20 April 2017, GORD conducted a workshop on the SEER tool for 70 delegates working as GSAS Certified Green Professionals in different capacities at various projects in Qatar. The working logic of SEER tool was explained in detail along with its requirements and load calculation methods. This helped clear any doubts raised by the audience in regards to the tool's application in various scenarios.
The workshop participants, consisting mainly of sustainability experts working on mega projects in Qatar, applauded the SEER tool and termed it to be a big guiding force and a game changer for the district cooling industry as previously Qatar had been using conventional cooling systems that is now being replaced by district cooling and recently Kahramaa issued a guideline on it for regulating the industry. Hence the launch of SEER tool is seen timely by industry professionals as it will set goals for the efficiency of the plant itself whereas so far the focus has been on the chiller efficiency.
The participants also appreciated the comprehensive presentation that included information on design of various district cooling elements (Chillers, Cooling towers, pumps and thermal energy storage tanks), and said that the presentation will be helpful in future design considerations for Energy centers.
Here are some of the comments from the participants of the workshop:
Shyam Sundar Rajaram, Project Manager for Designs at QDC
“GORD has a very innovative and inclusive approach. When launching a new tool, they work with industry professionals to see its practical implications and so the solution is very practical and useful. This new SEER tool is incredible. We were proudly involved during its development and testing and now it will be accessible to the industry. It has been designed for a specific purpose considering this region's requirements which I have not seen before so I would say it's going to be a trend setting practice not just in Qatar but in the Middle East. It is also significant because Lusail has the biggest district cooling plant in the whole world producing mega district cooling. So the timing to launch this tool is just right."
Sheikh Saud Khalifa Al-Thani, Sustainability Manager ASTAD Project Management
“It is interesting to see how the energy calculations are being developed in Qatar. We started with simple steps and now this working has been upgraded to a more advanced platform explaining how energy calculations need to be done in an environment like Qatar and how each area needs to have its own customized system. We must acknowledge the fact that GORD has made great contributions towards creating awareness of sustainability in the built environment. This involved convincing the government sector to opt for sustainability measures which is not an easy task and involves great efforts."
Eman Awad Farag, MD Qatar Green Leaders
“Today's workshop on SEER tool was very important for me because I am an architect but I have to deal with all the disciplines including architecture, mechanical, electrical, etc. I feel this workshop was necessary for me to have an understanding of the concept behind the numbers that we are putting in for calculation of energy. Not only we got this understanding but I feel this tool will provide better guidance to the design teams so I would recommend all my peers and colleagues to attend whenever it happens next as this will help in enhancing your score in GSAS."
Wenura Thushan Yapa Amarasekara, Lead Quantity Surveyor DG Jones & Partners (ME)
“I feel GSAS is the best fit for this region as it is supported by a lot of research done here specially with regards to water and energy which are the most pressing issues for us. One of the initiatives is this SEER tool we are learning about today to have better energy efficiency. I feel these sustainability measures are well implemented at our level with efforts in research, systems, trainings and legislation, etc. What is now required is the role of the community to have awareness and responsible behavior to further control the water and electricity wastage as they are eventually the end users. I believe initiatives like Green Expo from GORD is a good idea for this purpose because society can learn more about the green living concepts through them."