By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
The sixth edition of Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS), to be released by 2018, is expected to set global standards in the field to be a reference for hot and humid regions.
This was revealed on Sunday by Dr Mohamed bin Saif al-Kuwari, assistant undersecretary for laboratories and standardisation at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).
"Qatar has been pioneer to adopt such specifications in the region, and its efforts were followed by some other GCC countries, who opted to implement QSC," he pointed out.
The fifth edition of QCS, released in 2014, became mandatory for all construction projects in Qatar, the official recalled while addressing the third conference on Qatar Construction Specifications, conducted under the patronage of HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi.
"Such specifications are meant to ensure the quality and durability of both state and private projects, whether regarding construction or road works, laying special focus on the quality and suitability of the materials used."
Dr al-Kuwari pointed out that QCS 2014 was prepared by more than 120 consultants and specialists in the filed based on more than 1,200 regional and international references and took into consideration the American, European, Asian and Australian standards in reference to the nature of the local environment.
"QCS has become binding for all contractors and consultant engineers in Qatar, of both private or public projects. We want to raise the quality of buildings and construction projects in the country. Besides, the specifications give special focus on the necessary conditions of safety and security at work sites," he said, noting that since its implementation, the quality of construction has considerably increased.
Even individuals' awareness about the quality of materials to be used in building their houses has increased, prompting them to improve the durability of their property.
Dr al-Kuwari also stressed the need for more focus on the training of those working in the various sectors in the construction field to help them implement the required specifications properly.
Conference strategic partner Qatar Primary Materials Company (QPMC) CEO Eissa al-Hammadi, said that the company supplies around 60% of the needs of the construction projects in the country.
The company has considerable strategic stock of such materials that would guarantee the stability of their prices at the local market and a smooth implementation of the scheduled projects.
Further, the company is keen to import and supply high quality materials in accordance with QSC 2014.
QPMC is also keen to diversify its sources of supply.
Later, on the sidelines of the event, Dr al-Kuwari said that the mandatory energy-efficiency star rating system for air conditioners will come into force in July, which will be applicable for both the machines on display for sale and those at the storehouses of suppliers and retailers.
The minimum rating allowed will be three stars, aiming to reach a minimum rating of six stars by 2020.
Dr al-Kuwari said the ACs without rating are no longer permitted to be imported into the country. However, still some suppliers and retailers are pleading for more grace period to sell their old stock, which is not part of the jurisdiction of MME.
"If we compare the difference in the price of energy saving units, which may be up 10% than ordinary machines, and the amount of electricity savings which is 30%, buying an energy saving machine would be more economical in the long run," he pointed out.
The official expected that the enforcement of AC energy star system would save the country millions of riyals in energy consumption. Besides, within a few years all the old ACs would be phased out in a normal replacement process, he added.