Heriot-Watt Dubai students claim second place at Architectural Engineering digital poster competition



Five Dubai campus students of BEng (Hons) Architectural Engineering were recently announced as the first-runners up at the ‘SHARE-with-ASHRAE’ poster competition organised by the Falcon (UAE) Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The competition challenged university students across the country to submit a virtual poster on improving Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems.  

Khushbu Mankani, Mohammed Irshaad, Sarath Baburajan, Shravan Venkatachalapathy, and Suvarna Sanal Kumar joined forces to create a poster titled ‘Innovation and Latest Trends in HVAC&R through a Digital Ceiling.’ Their poster showcases how the implementation of digital ceilings can lower the HVAC&R’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, thereby making the built environment more sustainable.

Commercial and residential buildings contribute up to 40 percent of the global energy consumption, of which 60 percent is directly attributed to HVAC&R. All energy consumed by HVAC&R systems considerably increase the carbon footprint, further contributing to the adverse effects of climate change.

The group emphasised sustainability and cost-effectiveness as the key advantages of digital ceilings. Energy-efficient HVAC&R systems can reduce energy wastage by 40-50 percent. The poster also features a framework and recommendations for implementing a digital ceiling based on industry insights and learnings.

The main goal of the competition is to challenge students' imaginative thinking and creative engineering approach to the building and its HVAC&R systems. By initiating such student-led competitions, ASHRAE also hopes to encourage those who are considering a career in the HVAC&R industry to design energy-efficient systems. 

Formed by the 1959 merger of the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the American Society of Refrigerating Engineers, ASHRAE is a global organisation dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world.

With more than 57,000 members from over 132 nations, the Society focuses on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.