March 4, 2013

Verdun Heights is a new residential development under construction in Beirut, Lebanon. The exclusive high-rise property sits on two adjacent blocks (A and B) occupying 2,648 square meters on the Main Verdun Street in an upscale section of Beirut overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The building features 17 floors and six basement levels. There are 249 spacious apartment units (three per floor) ranging in sizes of 260 square meters, 300 square meters and 360 square meters. Retail shops, cafes and boutiques will occupy the street level spaces.

Verdun Heights’ residents will be treated to the highest standards for international security and safety while enjoying the most elegant amenities.

Verdun Street is in the heart of Beirut’s elegant, upscale shopping district. Verdun is Lebanon’s Answer to “Fifth Avenue” occupying a distinct place in the Lebanese Shopping and Entertainment Scene. You can find top names like Massimo Dutti, Armani, Christian Dior, Springfield Timberland, Oysho, Mango, and Zara. Shops and boutiques are distributed among several shopping centers and along the street’s sidewalks forming a retail haven for all shopping-addicts. The most famous of these is the Verdun 732 Center and Dunes Mall.

Verdun Heights is one of many construction projects in the Middle East that is designed with the intention of being LEED certified. Green building design and construction has become one of the top priorities throughout the region. In 2007, the Pacific Controls Headquarters in Techno Park, Dubai gained the honor as the first LEED Platinum rated building in the Middle East and the 16th in the World.

The United States Green Building Council, (USGBC) developed the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The non-profit organization that oversees the implementation of LEED certification, lists 1,188 lead certified projects in the Middle East. Verdun Heights is one of 24 projects in Lebanon.

Using the LEED rating system, a project can become certified by earning points for green building processes, systems and materials. The four levels of LEED certification are General, Silver, Gold and Platinum (the highest level).

The Project Checklist is made up of several sections with a number of Prerequisites and Credits within each section. For Verdun Heights to achieve LEED certification all sections of LEED must be met and LEED certified projects are required to provide annual energy consumption data to maintain their LEED status.

Verdun Heights owner, MEDProperties, a real estate management and development company in Beirut, worked with G, a full-service carbon consulting and carbon offsetting non-governmental organization located in Beirut that provides services throughout the Middle East.

G is the only Lebanese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is a member of the USGBC and works closely with the Minister of Environment Municipality in Beirut on increasing the number of LEED compatible construction projects among other green initiatives.

The contractor chose Energy International to supply PennBarry fans for the building’s HVAC system. EIC works with manufacturers like PennBarry who understand the importance of developing products and processes that help builders receive LEED Certification.

PennBarry, headquartered in Plano, TX, USA, is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and is committed to green building and the environment on every level of the company. The company currently has one LEED AP and 3 LEED Green Associates on staff with several more preparing for the exam.

“PennBarry has a thorough understanding of the LEED rating system and green buildings,” said Paul Christiansen, Vice President Pennbarry. “At PennBarry, we are part of a corporate community that cares for our environment. All PennBarry employees have taken personal and corporate responsibility for our individual and collective levels of energy consumption and waste production.”

“As a fan manufacturer, it is our responsibility to provide energy savings solutions to the market,” said Christiansen. “Capitalizing on our knowledge of the HVAC industry, LEAN manufacturing, and product value analysis, PennBarry will continue to lead the industry in improving the efficiency of fan systems in new and existing buildings.”

Fans are key components of a building’s HVAC system, and major contributors to energy use in the building. PennBarry is working with the industry to improve the efficiency of fans and reduce their energy consumption meeting the industry’s goal of net-zero by 2013.

Proper fan selection is a key factor in earning LEED certification. LEED is a system based on synergies. While a specific fan model can’t automatically achieve a LEED point, fans provide the supply and exhaust air that contributes to many LEED credits. Proper fan application helps to meet a number of ASHRAE standards for indoor air quality – standards required to receive LEED Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) credits.

LEED certification credits can also be earned through energy savings through the LEED Minimum Energy Performance and Optimized Energy Performance credits.

The HVAC system can account for nearly 40 percent of energy use in a structure and the fans can contribute to nearly 40 percent of that. Proper selection of the HVAC system, and fans for that system, are critical for achieving multiple points for the Optimized Energy Performance credit.

EIC’s technical engineering staff is well versed in the proper selection of fans for each project. The Verdun Heights project called for 32 units. A combination of Dynamo, Fumex and SX InLiner fans were selected to meet the specifications set by the contractor and HVAC design engineer while taking into consideration all aspects of the system including efficiency, airflow, pressure, noise, and system effects, helping the Verdun Heights project qualify for its LEED certification.

The units will be manufactured at PennBarry’s facilities in Lebanon, Indiana and El Paso, Texas and shipped to the job site in Lebanon.