For the first time, Qatar has constructed a road using reclaimed and recycled stones from a construction site and landfill as part of a research initiative by the Ministry of the Environment and other partners.
The 1km-long stretch of road cost QR1.2 million and made use of 210,000 tons of reclaimed rubble. The initiative is a joint pilot project between the MOE and Qatar’s public works authority Ashghal, Qatar Tribune reports.
The Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology (Qatar Standards), which falls under the MOE, ran the initiative as part of its overall environmental protection drive, encouraging the public and private sector to reuse and recycle construction materials where possible.
Recycling and reusing materials is of increasing importance in Qatar’s construction industry, as the numerous building and infrastructure projects underway are putting significant pressure on the nation’s limited natural resources and port facilities.
Ashghal alone has plans to start 14 new expressway projects next year, in addition to the 11 already underway.
The use of recycled aggregates (granular materials) in construction and infrastructure projects is common in many other parts of the world.
Recycled glass, where the pieces of glass are ground down to ensure there are no sharp edges, can often be used instead of pea gravel or crushed rock as pipe bedding or as foundations for concrete floors in construction projects.
The UK has a WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Program) Aggregates Program to encourage the construction industry to make better use of recycled materials.
While Qatar is some way behind many of its international peers in recycling, it appears to be taking steps to catch up.
Earlier this year, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), which specializes in research and technology development in infrastructure, won a grant from Qatar Foundation’s National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) to encourage wider use of recycled aggregates in construction in Qatar.
In partnership with Qatar University, Qatar Standards and Ashghal, the three-year project began this fall and includes a team monitoring the performance of recycled aggregates in a range of real construction projects.
The consortium will also attempt to raise awareness in the public and private sector of the types of materials that can be reused, as well as and the best ways of incorporating them in projects.
They will also work with government departments and industry to improve the management of construction waste and reduce the amount disposed of to landfill, TRL said in a statement issued in May this year when it announced it had won the NPRP grant.
The latest project builds on initial research by TRL which looked at potential uses of recycled aggregates in Qatar’s construction industry.
It appears that authorities are listening. Following the organization’s recommendation, Qatar’s construction specifications were amended in September to allow contractors to use recycled aggregates in their projects, according to TRL.
Note: This story was updated with additional information on the project and photographs from TRL.