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Keynote Speakers

The Fifth International Conference on Efficient Building Design

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Meet The Fifth International Conference on Efficient Building Design Keynote Speakers

>> Sylvie Lorente | Moncef Krarti Marco Simonetti | Ginger Scoggins 

 October 20, 2022, 10:15 - 11:15 am (Beirut time)
Abstract: In the context of the energy transition, new construction materials are being developed, with the concern of being more eco-friendly all along their life cycle. This includes bio-based materials like hemp concrete. Using such materials in the building envelope corresponds not only to the objective of leaving a lower carbon footprint, but also to the purpose of using less air-conditioning by taking advantage of the hygric and thermal properties that these material possess inherently.

Here, we review our recent work on a hemp-based hygroscopic material under various temperature and moisture dynamic conditions. The wall was made of precast hemp concrete (HC) blocks with air cavities. It was tested within a bi-climatic chamber and monitored thanks to hygrothermal sensors in the wall and in the chambers. A numerical model predicting heat and moisture transfer through hemp concrete was developed. Based on scale analysis, it allows to go further into the description by identifying the dominant driving forces both for moisture and heat transfer, for different classes of relative humidity. The results indicate how the heat and moisture transport phenomena within the wall are coupled, particularly how a temperature difference can be a sufficient driving force for the release of moisture. The work points out the impact of moisture adsorption on heat release and on the temperature changes within the wall.

Bio: Sylvie Lorente is the Associate Dean for Research & Innovation in the College of Engineering at Villanova University, PA, USA. She is the College of Engineering Chair Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Villanova, and Professor (Exceptional Class) at the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), University of Toulouse, France. She is also Hung Hing-Ying Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Science and Technology at Hong Kong University (Hong Kong), Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), and Adjunct Professor at Duke University (USA). She is a member of the Academy of Europe.

Sylvie has a passion for flow architectures, and works on thermal design, energy storage, vascularized structures, porous media, biological flow networks, urban design and organizations, among other things. She is the author of 7 books, 10 book chapters and 200+ peer-reviewed international journal papers. She is listed among the 2% most cited scientists worldwide.

 October 20, 2022, 3:00 - 4:00 pm (Beirut time)
Abstract: The presentation overviews new concepts and specific technologies suitable to design and operate buildings to be adaptive to the outdoor environment as well as response to the electrical grid. Concepts of grid-interactive efficient buildings are introduced with several examples of technologies suitable for designing, retrofitting, and operating the built environment to be energy efficient, resilient, and sustainable. In particular, the energy performance of a wide range of smart and automated controlled technologies are presented including dynamic building envelope, electrified heating and cooling equipment, on-site power generation systems, and smart controls. The applications of these smart technologies to individual buildings, communities, and urban centers are outlined throughout the presentation with some guidelines on their energy and non-energy benefits for various climates and countries.

Bio: Moncef Krarti, Professor and Coordinator, Building Systems Program, Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering Department at the University of Colorado. He is also the director for the Building Energy Smart Technologies (BEST) center that fosters research collaborations between industry representatives and university researchers to advance the knowledge in smart buildings, cities, and grids. He is the co-founder and the editor of Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities (JESBC). Prof. Krarti has a vast experience in designing, testing, and assessing innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies applied to buildings. Prof. Krarti has published over 300 technical journals and handbook chapters in various fields related to energy efficiency, distribution generation, and demand side management for the built environment. Moreover, he has published several books on building energy efficient systems. Due to his dedication to disseminate knowledge, Prof. Krarti is a Fellow member to the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the largest international professional society. Prof. Krarti has an extensive experience in promoting building energy technologies and policies overseas, including the establishment of energy research centers, the development of building energy codes, and the delivery of energy training programs in several countries.

 October 21, 2022, 9:00 - 10:00 am (Beirut time)
Abstract: Buildings in our cities are connected to roughly one third of the global CO2 emissions.  Cities is also where the epidemics mostly spreads. COVID 19 outbreaks and “super-spreading” events have been reported in poorly ventilated buildings. Even in buildings where ventilation has been correctly implemented, we understood that current international ventilation standards are insufficient to mitigate airborne contagion in long-occupancy area.  A 2x, up to 6x, increase is necessary. This requirement implies enormous consequences on the current standards, in terms of design, construction and management costs. Moreover, it put into risks what the motto “keep it tight, ventilate right” summarizes, the tradeoff between energy savings and indoor air quality we have been following since the “sick building syndrome” and “energy crises” (the original) era, and we are nowadays pushing further to reduce emissions and mitigate the global warming.

On a strategic level, there is a huge urbanization trend in the global south that must be targeted to avoid a strong increase of emissions. What IEA calls the “cooling crunch”, the foreseen ramp-up of air conditioning in response to global warming, enabled by wealthier economic status and that feedbacks the warming itself, is adding further difficulties.

In this presentation we will recall some fundamental knowledge about airborne infection and new findings from the pandemics, we will share some experiences taken from buildings project reviewing for UN agencies related to COVID, and we will try to highlight possible paths to solve the conundrum of pursuing infection control and reduction of global emissions.

Bio: Marco Simonetti is a PhD engineer, associate professor of Building Physics and Thermodynamics at the Politecnico di Torino (Italy), with >20 years of experience as an academic and as a HVAC project engineer and construction supervisor. His research and teaching activities have been focused on innovative and sustainable design of buildings, through the study of human comfort, the application of low-exergy technologies and the exploitation of renewable energy sources. MS co-authored more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals and conferences, and co-invented 6 patents (4 granted and 2 pending). He is the cofounder of 3 start-ups and academic spin-off companies.

He had been involved in several international projects and activities, including EU projects and IEA Annexes.

Recently, in the framework of a collaboration agreement between Politecnico di Torino and WHO (World Health Organization)-Technè, MS team is studying, testing, and delivering innovative design of natural/hybrid ventilation of building, optimized for the control of air vector of COVID and other airborne diseases in hospitals, tertiary and residential buildings. He is a member of the WHO SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infection) Technical Working group in charge of updating WHO SARI manual.

He also collaborates with UNOPS agency, reviewing projects often related to COVID response programs.

He visits regularly and collaborate with colleagues at the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment at Princeton University, US.

 October 21, 2022, 3:00 - 4:00 pm (Beirut time)
Abstract: The focus of this keynote presentation will be to inform attendees on the importance of decarbonizing the built environment in order to address the effects of climate change across the globe, the role our industry plays in this effort, and the steps that ASHRAE is taking to provide resources to our members to understand how to design, build and operate energy-efficient and low-to-zero carbon facilities. An example of the low-carbon, net-zero design project for the new ASHRAE headquarters will be given.

Bio: Prior to her 2021-22 term as Treasurer, Scoggins served two terms on ASHRAE’s board of directors as vice president. She also served as chair of the Building Headquarters Ad Hoc Committee, chair of the AIA Liaison Committee, vice chair of the technology council and Region IV director and regional chair.

In addition to her contributions to ASHRAE, she is the president of Engineered Designs, Inc. in Cary, N.C. – a full-service consulting engineering firm providing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering services, commissioning and construction administration. Scoggins co-founded Engineered Designs in 1997.

Scoggins has focused her career on providing state-of-the-art mechanical systems design that focus on pushing the envelope on energy conservation, addressing and exceeding the requirements of the current energy standards.

For her dedication to ASHRAE, Scoggins is a recipient of the Exceptional Service Award and Distinguished Service Award.
Scoggins earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1986 from Tennessee Technological University.