YORK ensures 100% fresh air inside Grand Mosque

YORK has equipped Makkah’s Grand Mosque with a specialized and tailor-made HVAC system, which takes into account the crowded nature of the location.
Short Url
Updated 24 May 2020

YORK ensures 100% fresh air inside Grand Mosque

The Kingdom has implemented several precautionary measures at Al-Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah in the wake of COVID-19, with a temporary hold on prayers and Umrah inside the Grand Mosque to ensure the safety of worshippers.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque had initially closed Al-Haram for 48 hours in order to sanitize the premises.

Al-Salem Johnson Controls (YORK), a provider of integrated solutions that incorporate HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment, fire and security systems, building management systems and controls, has played a significant role in this 48-hour sanitization procedure, the company said.

All YORK chillers and air handling units (AHUs) inside the Grand Mosque were shut down for 48 hours, in order to raise the temperature inside the premises to around 30-32 degrees Celsius, which was required for the sanitization exercise. Simultaneously, the AHUs were inspected, and the filters, ducts, drain pans and cooling coils were cleaned and disinfected, to ensure the supply of high quality air throughout the Grand Mosque.

After the sanitization, and due to the reduced load inside the Grand Mosque these days, only 10 percent of the total cooling capacity was turned back on — sufficient to maintain a comfort zone for the few people inside Al-Haram and enough to achieve the right moisture level.

The total cooling capacity of the HVAC system at the Great Mosque in normal days is 159,000 TR (equivalent to the cooling of 15,000 medium-sized apartments). This is provided through an integrated HVAC system, which consists of two chiller plants located in Al-Shamiyah and Ajyad, connected to the AHUs inside the Grand Mosque.

The chiller plant at Al-Shamiyah is considered to be the second largest in the world, housing specially designed YORK OM chillers, with motors the size of a regular car. 

YORK has allocated 135 service technicians for the Grand Mosque’s HVAC system, who are working around-the-clock at the Al-Shamiyah and Ajyad cooling plants.

YORK’s maintenance for chillers that are in a non-operating mode includes frequent checkups, monitoring of refrigerant and water pressure inside the chillers to preserve the outer body of the equipment from moisture attacks and corrosion, monitoring of motor rotations and oiling, as well as the alignment of the chiller’s motor and compressor.

The YORK AHUs supply 100 percent fresh air, by containing contaminated air and exhausting it to the outdoors, and then replacing it with well-treated fresh air, which re-enters the space after a rigorous filtration process. The AHUs are equipped with filters that do not allow the passage of big particles to the air-conditioned environment, through multiple stages of filtration that can achieve up to 95 percent filtration efficiency.

According to YORK, long before the COVID-19 outbreak, the company had equipped the Two Holy Mosques with a specialized and tailor-made HVAC system, which takes into account the crowded nature of both locations, particularly in peak seasons such as Hajj and Umrah, as well as during prayer times.

Dr. Mohanad Al-Shaikh, CEO of Al-Salem Johnson Controls, expressed appreciation for the great efforts made by the Kingdom in the development of the Two Holy Mosques. He also lauded the precautionary measures taken by the government amid COVID-19, to ensure the safety of the guests of Allah, as well as that of the citizens and residents of the Kingdom.


Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

Updated 27 May 2020

Clinical trials to accelerate adoption of new drug treatments in Saudi Arabia

  • Trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug
  • Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic

RIYADH: Clinical trials in Saudi Arabia could speed up the adoption of new drugs locally, a pharmaceutical executive has told Arab News.

“Clinical trials have two very big benefits for the Kingdom. Firstly, they provide data in the long run with respect to safety and efficacy, catered specifically to the Saudi population. Secondly, they impact local investment and build healthcare capabilities,” Managing Director of Eli Lilly Dimitri Livadas said..

Lividas further explained that the clinical trial phase of any new treatment is crucial as it represents the stage between the adoption or rejection of a drug. Working with the Ministry of Health and with a presence in the Kingdom for 42 years, the pharmaceutical company began research trials in the country in 2016, consisting of five pre-marketing activities and three monitoring studies for post-marketing.

Lividas added that the trials are being led locally as an essential means to verify the safety and effectiveness of a new drug before it is put to the market and introduced to patients. The majority of these are focused on diabetes, oncology, immunology, and osteoporosis.

“We genuinely believe that our future is here in Saudi Arabia. We continue to make great progress in having a commercial organization in the Kingdom that is fully staffed by Saudi nationals,” said Lividas.

As a biopharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly has a major role to play during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It recently announced partnership with AbCellera to develop a treatment for the virus and aims to enter into clinical trials this year.

“I salute the Saudi authorities for their strong measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. I think it is an example to the world on how to do this. I would like to also express my gratitude toward all healthcare professionals who are currently on the frontlines, risking their own health to help others," Lividas said.