ROADS FROM RUB­BLE

Dis­pos­ing of con­struc­tion waste is a ma­jor con­cern for any coun­try. Qatar has taken a step to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly roads by ini­ti­at­ing a novel project to lay new roads from de­bris.

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - By V L Srini­vasan

Dis­pos­ing of con­struc­tion waste is a ma­jor con­cern for any coun­try. Qatar has taken a step to­wards en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly roads by ini­ti­at­ing a novel project to lay new roads from de­bris.

When the Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, HE Ahmed Amer Mo­hamed Al Hu­maidi , is­sued Qatar Con­struc­tion Spec­i­fi­ca­tions (QCS) 2014 two months ago, one of its core ob­jec­tives was to re­use the huge de­bris, a fall­out of the rapid growth of Qatar's con­struc­tion sec­tor, which has been con­tribut­ing sig­nif­i­cantly to waste gen­er­a­tion with an ad­verse im­pact on en­vi­ron­ment and hu­man health.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Devel­op­ment Plan­ning and Statis­tics, more than 77% of the 12,163 MTs of the solid waste gen­er­ated in Qatar in 2013 was from the con­struc­tion sec­tor which not only posed health haz­ards but also oc­cu­pied huge amount of space.

In a novel ini­tia­tive, a project en­ti­tled “In­no­va­tive use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate in con­struc­tion” was taken up by the TRL (UK Trans­port Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory) to­gether with Qatar Stan­dards in the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, Qatar Uni­ver­sity, and the Public Works Author­ity (Ashghal).

The project was funded by Qatar Na­tional Re­search Foun­da­tion (QNRF) and the TRL's role was to bring the gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try to work in part­ner­ship for the use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gates as well as de­velop na­tional re­cy­cling spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

As part of the project, Boom Con­struc­tion laid a one km-long stretch of road cost­ing around QR1.2 mil­lion and made use of 210,000 tons of re­claimed rub­ble in Oc­to­ber 2014. The road sec­tion is an ac­cess road to the land­fill at Raw­dat Rashid near Salwa road and is used by about 1,500 trucks and other ve­hi­cles ev­ery day at present.

The suc­cess of the project in­fused more con­fi­dence among the au­thor­i­ties in the use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate in the coun­try and QNRF awarded an­other project to TRL for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als in var­i­ous con­struc­tion ap­pli­ca­tions.

“In the sec­ond project, we will col­lab­o­rate with Qatar Stan­dards and Ashghal to im­ple­ment the use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gates ( gran­u­lar ma­te­ri­als) in se­lected gov­ern­ment projects and mon­i­tor per­for­mance in prac­tice. This project is again in col­lab­o­ra­tion with in­dus­try and will make rec­om­men­da­tion on the wider im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate in Qatar and the re­gion,” Dr Khaled Has­san, Re­gional Manager of TRL and Lead Prin­ci­pal In­ves­ti­ga­tor of the project, says.

Benefits

The benefits of us­ing re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate are many. They in­clude low car­bon diox­ide emis­sions, re­duced trans­port dis­tances, pre­vent­ing ad­verse im­pacts on the en­vi­ron­ment due to dump­ing of ma­te­rial, and also sav­ing money as im­port­ing ag­gre­gate is costly. Be­sides, this will also meet the given tar­get for re­cy­cled ag­gre­gates as part of the Qatar Na­tional Devel­op­ment Strat­egy.

Pro­fes­sor and Chair of the Depart­ment of Civil En­gi­neer­ing in Qatar Uni­ver­sity, Dr Ramzi Abd Taha, says that Qatar has a se­vere ag­gre­gate short­age and most of it is im­ported from the neigh­bour­ing UAE. The ca­pac­ity of the port in Me­saieed is limited in terms of re­ceiv­ing and stock­pil­ing all the ag­gre­gate needed for build­ing and road con­struc­tion projects. Thus the ad­van­tage of us­ing al­ter­na­tive ma­te­ri­als such as con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion de­bris will gen­er­ate eco­nomic benefits, speed

“The great­est ben­e­fit of re­cy­cling is pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment by re­duc­ing the amount of con­struc­tion waste ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in land­fill sites as well as re­duc­ing re­liance on im­ported ag­gre­gate, and there­fore the high car­bon emis­sion as­so­ci­ated with ex­tract­ing and trans­port­ing vir­gin ag­gre­gate from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.”

Dr Khaled Has­san Re­gional Manager TRL (UK Trans­port Re­search Lab­o­ra­tory)

“The long-term field per­for­mance of such ma­te­ri­als has to be mon­i­tored un­der ac­tual en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions such as tem­per­a­ture, rain, traf­fic, etc. This takes time. But lab­o­ra­tory re­sults are en­cour­ag­ing. It is im­por­tant to do re­search to es­tab­lish the fi­nal ac­cept­abil­ity of us­ing such ma­te­ri­als in road con­struc­tion and else­where.”

Dr Ramzi Abd Taha Pro­fes­sor and Chair, Depart­ment of Civil En­gi­neer­ing Qatar Uni­ver­sity

up con­struc­tion and con­serve good lime­stone ag­gre­gate sources in Qatar for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, he says.

Though Prof. Taha is un­sure of the cost data, he says the eco­nomic benefits are im­mense, con­sid­er­ing that most of the ag­gre­gate used in Qatar is im­ported from out­side. “The long-term field per­for­mance of such ma­te­ri­als has to be mon­i­tored un­der ac­tual en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions such as tem­per­a­ture, rain, traf­fic, etc. This takes time. But lab­o­ra­tory re­sults are en­cour­ag­ing. It is im­por­tant to do re­search to es­tab­lish the fi­nal ac­cept­abil­ity of us­ing such ma­te­ri­als in road con­struc­tion and else­where,” he says.

The cost of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als is al­ways less than the con­ven­tional, par­tic­u­larly in low-ly­ing coun­tries such as Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain with a short­age of lo­cal ag­gre­gate, Dr Has­san says. “The sav­ing is re­lated to the al­lo­ca­tion of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate whether it's re­plac­ing im­ported or lo­cal ag­gre­gate. How­ever, the great­est ben­e­fit will be in pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” he says.

Ex­ten­sive lab­o­ra­tory and site tri­als have in­di­cated that the ap­pro­pri­ate use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate can pro­vide at least sim­i­lar per­for­mance and dura­bil­ity to vir­gin ag­gre­gate in var­i­ous con­struc­tion ap­pli­ca­tions, Dr Has­san says.

“The great­est ben­e­fit of re­cy­cling is re­lated to pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment by re­duc­ing the amount of con­struc­tion waste ac­cu­mu­lat­ing in land­fill sites as well as re­duc­ing re­liance on im­ported ag­gre­gate, and there­fore the high car­bon emis­sion as­so­ci­ated with ex­tract­ing and trans­port­ing vir­gin ag­gre­gate from neigh­bour­ing coun­tries,” Dr Has­san points out.

First in GCC

Dr Has­san says Qatar is the first coun­try in the GCC to de­velop re­cy­cling spec­i­fi­ca­tions at a na­tional level with close col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try on im­ple­men­ta­tion, and the gov­ern­ment has made a com­mit­ment to the Qatar Na­tional Vi­sion that eco­nomic growth will be bal­anced with pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment. Mov­ing to­wards a uni­fied GCC Build­ing Code, it is ex­pected that re­cy­cling spec­i­fi­ca­tions will be spread and im­ple­mented across GCC coun­tries, he adds.

How­ever, Prof. Taha points out that re­use of con­struc­tion de­bris has been go­ing on in the re­gion as Abu Dhabi, in part­ner­ship with an Aus­tralian firm, started screen­ing and pro­cess­ing con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste for road con­struc­tion a few years ago.

“Kuwait also ex­per­i­mented with lab­o­ra­tory testing of con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste for use in road con­struc­tion,” Prof. Taha adds.

Con­cerns re­main

One of the main con­cerns about the use of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gates is the qual­ity and con­sis­tency of the ma­te­ri­als. The devel­op­ment of the re­cy­cling con­struc­tion spec­i­fi­ca­tion was as­so­ci­ated with the devel­op­ment of a qual­ity man­age­ment sys­tem to en­sure the qual­ity of re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate.

“The sys­tem is au­dited by Qatar Stan­dards, the gov­ern­ment author­ity for cer­ti­fy­ing all con­struc­tion prod­ucts, and it is an­tic­i­pated that the re­cy­cled ag­gre­gate will be in­cluded in the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme in the near fu­ture. This will give fur­ther con­fi­dence that the ma­te­ri­als are fit for pur­pose,” Dr Has­san says and adds that a sus­tain­able sup­ply of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als to­gether with proper qual­ity pro­duc­tion and mon­i­tor­ing can en­able wider up­take in high-value ap­pli­ca­tions

Newly con­structed ac­cess road to the land­fill at Raw­dat Rashid near Salwa road, made

with re­cy­cled de­bris

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