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Increasing construction productivity during summer

Construction companies in Qatar are turning to evaporative cooling to increase productivity during the long summer months where temperatures reach as high as 50°C

Construction companies in Qatar turn to evaporative cooling to increase productivity during the summer months.
Construction companies in Qatar turn to evaporative cooling to increase productivity during the summer months.

With higher average temperatures and a greater number of hot days ahead for the Gulf region, demand for energy efficient evaporative coolers is increasing

Texas-based global leader in evaporative cooling solutions Portacool is forecasting double digit growth in the sale of its evaporative cooling solutions as temperatures in the GCC soar as high as 50°C.

According to a new study, higher average temperatures and a greater number of hot days are ahead for the region as it enters the hottest time of the year.

Simultaneously, in line with the region’s governments increasingly promoting sustainability, the HVAC industry is impelled play a more active role to keep up with developing markets in the GCC, which are demanding more effective and economic cooling methods.

During recent years, the rate of health, safety and environment (HSE) investments has increased on the back of government and private sector participation.

With a specific focus in the construction sector to prevent heat stress by educating labourers, Portacool has been working with companies across the Middle East and in Qatar to help employers recognise the symptoms of heat illness and to reduce the risk of accidents.

“The Qatar construction pipeline remains robust leading to more labourers coming to the region to provide the necessary manpower to help build these high-rises, roads and mega-construction projects,” said Bob Mangiaforte, vice president of sales, Portacool.

“And despite efforts to incorporate elements of natural cooling into buildings and architecture, the prevalent cooling trends remain firmly within the HVAC sphere. The implications on safety, productivity, man hours lost and costs all play a role,” he said.

According to Mangiaforte, studies have shown that “when excessive perspiration occurs, body fluids are lost and worker productivity can suffer by up to 12% with as little as 1% body fluid loss.

“This can be damning for both the individuals and companies”, he said.

Companies that offer evaporative cooling solutions can help keep working environments cool, keep workers more hydrated and in turn help businesses run more efficiently. More so, on sites where traditional cooling is cost prohibitive or inefficient. 

This was the case during the construction of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) project which presented many challenges for all involved.

The undertaking was immense, with 60% of the site on reclaimed land and involved the moving and desalination of 6.5 million cubic meters of waste material for landfill. This made it the largest environmental project the region has ever seen.

Combined with the Gulf’s extreme weather posed an even greater challenge with the potential risk to workers’ health and, so too, productivity caused a major concern. To overcome the challenges, Nehmeh, recognised as the partner of choice for industrial solutions in Qatar and the region, teamed up with Portacool to provide cooling solutions for thousands of workers on the project.

“We were able to contribute to the successful construction of the New Doha International Airport project, now Hamad International Airport, by working with contractors to provide comfortable environments for laborers,” said Simon A Nehme, chief business development officer, Nehmeh.

“We were able to deliver more than 130 Portacool portable evaporative coolers to support our valued customer to succeed in achieving their milestones – in this case the contractors at the airport.”

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