Posted on March 20, 2019

The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ participates in Qatar’s First International Environmental Exhibition ‘EnviroteQ Qatar’ organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment from 19 to 22 March 2019, to highlight its key eco-friendly projects and initiatives.

Ashghal is keen to present a number of initiatives aiming at achieving sustainability of projects and environment preservation, through the implementation of green buildings, recycling of demolition, drilling and tyres waste, and their use in the implementation of road projects, in addition to presenting the use of sewage treatment for irrigation, beautification and agriculture. Ashghal also highlights its awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness on dealing with sewage water.

These initiatives include:

Sewage treatment

In this context, the Public Works Authority works through 6 main plants and 17 small plants for sewage treatment, using advanced treatment and sterilizing techniques to provide clear water that is used for irrigation and landscaping.

The Doha North Treatment plant is one of Ashghal’s most important sewage plants and is considered the largest wastewater treatment facility in the region, and the first facility developed with a thermal drying plant. The plant is designed to produce 245,000 m3 of treated water /day, and is surrounded by more than 90,000 trees, 50 picnic areas and bird watching ponds. In 2017, the DNSTW received the MEED Quality Award for Sustainability, and was awarded with the Water Project of the year for its contribution to Qatar, beyond its functional role in wastewater treatment.

Ashghal’s Doha North STW uses thermal drying to produce USA EPA Grade A pellets, which are then recycled and beneficially used as fertilizers in landscaping. This process significantly reduces the amount of Biosolids going to the landfill. In order to reduce the usage of drinking water for irrigation purposes, which is a long-term sustainable challenge for Qatar, Ashghal provides this service for customers where there are opportunities to re-use high quality treated wastewater for other purposes, such as cooling, landscape irrigation, fodder agriculture, road beautification, cleaning sand used in construction and many road projects. Clients currently using this service include: Qatar Cool, Qatar Foundation, public farms, Baladiya, and others.

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Construction materials recycling

In order to achieve sustainability in projects and reduce the cost, Ashghal implements the most recent practices in road construction and pavement, and has launched a number of initiatives including the usage of recycled construction materials in its projects, such as asphalt waste, crumb rubber, steel slag and demolition and drilling waste.

Ashghal seeks to use these recycled materials as a new economical and highly efficient construction mix, aiming at changing the concept of road construction through reusing valuable resources and reduce the import rates of gravel and bitumen while reducing the cost of projects. The use of recycled construction materials contributes to reducing the cost of materials used in projects by 15%, while achieving the highest quality. Ashghal started to collect excavation and demolition waste 5 years ago and prepared a recycling plan to eliminate construction waste. It succeeded in using approximately 60 million tons of demolition waste and using it in sand layer for some road projects.

Ashghal also set conditions for project contractors in some areas to use certain percentage of recycled construction materials with varying rates ranging from 15% in asphalt layers to 100% for some layers of soil fill and layers under utility lines. The authority continues to urge contractors to adopt this initiative in accordance with the best practices and latest equipment and machinery.

Crumb rubber recycling

With the amount of waste tyre, increasing to around 1.9 million tyre frames disposed every two to four years, the continuous increase in waste tyre poses an immense problem contributing to environmental pollution in Qatar. Ashghal Road Project Department started this initiative to reduce the magnitude of this issue by grinding up waste tyres from cars, trucks, or buses and process them into crumb rubber. It is then incorporated as a modifier into asphalt concrete mixes for use in road construction projects, parking lots, and other areas.

The benefits of Crumb Rubber Modified Asphalt Pavement are increased resistance to rutting, reduction of pavement fatigue cracking (reflective cracking), reduction of pavement noise (Quiet Pavement) and increased flexibility and durability. The initiative contributes in eliminating the accumulation of waste tyres debris placed into landfills thereby eliminating the otherwise environmental nuisance and lowering overall life-cycle cost.

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Environmental sustainability in building projects

Ashghal designs the new health center buildings according to the highest standards of quality and safety and all the criteria set by Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) since operational and architectural considerations were taken to accomplish a 3-star environmental level in terms of energy saving and environment preservation. These include, using solar energy for the purpose of in-house water heating, using natural sunlight through panoramic roof windows, allowing sun light in to save electricity which is used in lights and to disinfect the place.  As well as a rational consumption of water inside and outside the building, growing green areas and landscapes around the facility and preserving the environment around during the implementation of the project.

The Public Works Authority has been granted two Sustainability Awards (2016) in health and education facilities by the Gulf Organization for Research and Development “GORD”, the first performance-based system in the MENA region. Over the past year, GORD examined the designs of building projects –educational and health buildings - and conducted site visits to Ashghal’s projects to verify that the projects match GSAS standards.

Air quality laboratory activation  

During the exhibition, Ashghal activated the Mobile Unit for Air Quality Control and Air Emission Monitoring. The unit is a mobile integrated unit designed to assess air quality within the scope of the authority's projects and to monitor any emissions in order to reduce them and their negative impact on the environment that may affect the health of workers. The unit includes measuring all types of emissions, measuring odors, oxygen content in the air, noise rate and percentage of chlorine gas in the atmosphere, in order to maintain the health of workers at project sites and reduce air pollution.