Wednesday 25, May 2016

Doha – MENA Herald: Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), a leading transport consultancy and research firm, has expressed its support for the initiatives implemented by the Qatari government towards green buildings and their achievements in sustainable development. The announcement follows the recent release of the book, ‘Recycled Aggregate in Construction – Qatar Experience,’ which is being positioned as a key example of a research-driven Qatari success story. TRL is looking to increase awareness of the book and its key findings in order to help construction companies in Qatar to comply with newly released and implemented construction standards and guidelines. TRL and Qatar Standards will also continue their support to the recycling industry through the certification of recycled materials to verify compliance of recycled aggregate with the approved standards.

The new guide is a collaborative project between TRL, Qatar Standards, Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatar University, and key stakeholders in the construction industry, with funding coming from the Qatar National Research Fund at Qatar Foundation. The 225-page book includes comprehensive data on the construction industry in Qatar and the potential of recycling initiatives–supported by a set of statistical tables and charts, photographs and case studies. It also showcases a range of studies that have been conducted in Doha and the UK between 2010 and 2015, focusing on the development of codes of practice and supporting mechanisms to convert the vast quantities of construction wastes into high-value construction products.

In line with the findings of the research, Qatar Standards has already updated the Qatar Construction Specification to permit the use of recycled aggregates in a range of applications, including structural concrete, non-structural concrete, concrete blocks, asphalt pavements, road sub-base materials and fill applications. However, it does not force clients and contractors to use recycled aggregates, so the uptake will be determined largely by the cost.

“The findings mentioned in this book show that recycled aggregates are significantly cheaper than imported ones – and raising awareness about this and promoting the wider use of recycled aggregates is very critical,” said Dr Khaled Hassan, Country Director, TRL. “TRL is committed to both increasing awareness of this new development and helping local companies in their move to the production of recycled aggregates that comply with new standards and guidelines. To help those companies looking to make the move, we will be offering independent audits to check the quality of the materials before Qatar Standards certification.”

The main outcome of the project is to make a change in the construction industry by maximizing the use of local resources, including recycled aggregate, and reducing reliance on imported materials. This was achieved through working in partnership during this project on the use of applied research to provide local evidence and solve current problems. To help drive more success and awareness, Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality and Environment published the findings and outcomes of the project in a book titled, ‘Recycling in Construction – Qatar Experience.’ The project has already received positive response and awards, including two national and regional awards–the most innovative project of the year category of the Qatar Contractors Award (2013) and the Best Green innovation project in MENA category of the Green Mind Awards (2014).