Qatar is paving way for green-construction in the region with its innovative eco and economy friendly alternatives for construction materials. Construction firms in Qatar are planning to use recycled ‘steel slag’, wadi gravel, and used cooking oil in construction. Steel slag is obtained as a by product from steel manufacturing while gravel is a by product of washed sand.
Experts are also trying to have energy efficient roads, which uses less energy during construction and also those which can produce energy.
“We are looking at more innovation into construction industry, this includes low energy roads. Roads will be constructed with much lower energy consumption compared to the current usage. Also, we are looking at ways to utilise roads to generate energy as well, as roads occupy a huge area of our infrastructure,” Dr Khaled Hassan, Country Director and Head of Middle-East Infrastructure, TRL – Qatar, told The Peninsula at the sidelines of Future Concrete 2017 conference.
“Qatar is the first country to have a recycling specification in the region and Qatar recycling standard was adopted as GCC standard in 2015. Qatar is relying on imported materials for construction and promoting recycled materials is both environment friendly and economy friendly,” said Dr Mohammad bin Saif Al Kuwari, Head of the Environmental and Municipal Studies Institute, at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment.
Vegeblock is composed of used vegetable oil
“The likely costs of local recycled aggregates in Qatar would be less compared to imported aggregates. In addition, the use of local recycled aggregate reduced the carbon footprint. In terms of the quality, our tests have shown that recycled materials have similar performance as compared to the conventional ones,” he told The Peninsula.
Researches in Qatar have found wadi gravel and steel slag as a replacement for aggregates. Also researchers have successfully found a replacement for cement in used cooking oil.
“Qatar is importing lots of raw materials for construction. We can now rely on local resources for construction materials which can be cost saving and environment protection. Since these material will be locally produced, we can have a control on the quality and price of the product,” Dr Hassan said.
Wadi gravel, which has been accumulating for over 50 years was considered as rejected material and used as just landfills. On the other hand the country already has 1.6million tonne stockpiled steel slag and more are produced each year.
“Wadi gravel has been already introduced into the Qatar and GCC construction specification and we expect steel slag to be included in the specifications when it is updated,” he said.
“Recently the MME had banned the use of dune sand in construction, which is having a huge impact on the sector. We have found an alternative in steel slag. Also we expect these materials to replace gabro in asphalt and concrete, soon.”
Meanwhile, vegeblock is composed entirely of recycled aggregates and used vegetable oil, and is manufactured in a similar way to conventional concrete blocks, though it uses only one third the energy for production.
Future Concrete 2017 conference is organised by Advanced Construction Technology Services (ACTS) in collaboration with ACI (American Concrete Institute) Qatar Chapter. The event brought in some of the biggest names in the local and international construction scene to discuss the latest technology.