DUBAI, UAE, April 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As GCC countries approach their stiflingly hot summer months, the matter of cooling people, places and businesses will be at the forefront of everybody's mind. New technologies to keep cool come and go, but one in particular has become increasingly popular within mixed-use developments within this region.

District cooling requires a network of water, pipes, cooling plants and innovative technology to pump air conditioning into buildings, developments and even metro networks.

The question usually asked is why choose district cooling over your usual run of the mill air conditioner when it costs more to implement initially?

Head of the District Energy Program for the Engineering College of Aarhus in Denmark, Jens Brusgaard Vestergaard, says that as cooling technology progresses, "taking advantage of these technological improvements is much easier within district cooling networks. With district cooling, you only have to implement new technology within the central cooling plants, whereas retrofitting an entire building's air conditioning network will cost much more and will cause disruption for those using the services."

His opinions are backed up by one of the key figures in the adoption of district cooling in Saudi Arabia, Dr. George Abou Fadel, Director of Proposals and Engineering with MEP contractor Arabian Bemco. Often regarded as the 'King of district cooling in Saudi Arabia', Dr. Abou Fadel contends that "district cooling plants bring efficiency, optimisation and diversity benefits compared to traditional cooling systems". The most important criterion to consider when determining what kind of system should be adopted are "load profiles and diversity factors", which are typically determined by how many people will use the system and during which times of the day.

And the big S word, sustainability, is a prominent feature of district cooling as the networks typically increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption among the energy guzzling populations of the GCC countries. "Sustainability is essential when choosing district cooling systems considering the critical negative impact to customers and developers in the case of repeated failures of traditional cooling networks" claims Dr. Abou Fadel. While environmental aspects are important, improved energy consumption also translates into long term savings and improved rates of return for developers and building owners who incorporate it in their plans.

Want to know more? From the 10 - 13 April the 2nd Annual District Cooling Saudi Arabia Summit will be taking place in Jeddah and will feature the region's leading experts in the district cooling industry. Further details can be obtained at