BE2C2 Report — A solar-cooling hardhat developed in Qatar could revolutionize the construction sector in MENA as well as worldwide.
The first batch of the innovative safety hat will be distributed this summer to workers at construction sites for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The US has already used this type of body-based cooling technology in hot states for sports and training, but this is the first time the concept has been adapted for the construction sector.
Designed to reduce a construction worker’s body temperature by up to ten degree centigrade, the solar powered cooling helmet has been developed by Qatar University, in association with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Aspire Zone.
The “cooled” hardhat is also drawing global interest, with companies in South Korea, Spain and Mexico eager to try them out. According to industry studies, labor productivity on outdoor construction sites in hot summer regions, reduces anywhere between 30 to 40 percent.
Dr Saud Abdul¬Aziz Abdul¬Ghani, Professor at the College of Engineering at Qatar University said demand has driven the need for this type of technology: “There is a global demand, because there is a worldwide need for workers safety related technology.”
The safety of workers in hot climates is something that is a priority in countries across the world, and “it is very rewarding to see that the research we have conducted here in Qatar can fulfill a global need,” Dr. AbdulGhani told Construction Week Online.
He added that a Spanish company that specialized in kit for the protection of workers has also shown interest, including a company from Holland.
“We’ve seen that locally a lot of companies have approached us, as well as regionally, with interest from the UAE in the oil and gas sector, where they were looking to combat heat stress for workers and wanted to make them work in safer conditions,” he said.
A construction company from South Korea wants to try out the helmet, the professor added, while contact has also been made from companies in Egypt and India also, he said.
“I believe this could revolutionize the industry globally, and change the way construction work in hot climates is conducted. This is already proving to be a legacy of 2022, because the impulse of the football tournament is helping to drive innovation forward in the region,” he said.