With an aim to promote sustainable construction practices on sites, a knowledge sharing session was organised under the auspices of Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (Gord).
The event was part of Ashghal’s efforts to incorporate sustainability in its mass transit expansion plan, whereby a network of bus stations will be developed across Qatar to promote the use of public transport and resultantly cut down carbon emissions linked with private vehicles.
Held on the site of Al Sudan bus station, the recent knowledge sharing session gathered service providers from Ashghal’s 12 ongoing construction sites for bus stations and depots. Comprising of four bus depot sites and eight bus stations, all bus station sites of Ashghal are targeting Class B for construction management under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS).
Al Sudan bus station was chosen as the showcase project considering that it is the most advanced site in terms of meeting the sustainability standards required by the GSAS. Coinciding with the knowledge sharing session was Al Sudan’s second of four sustainability audits mandatory to achieve GSAS Construction Management (GSAS-CM) certification.
Dr Yousef Alhorr, founding chairman, Gord, said, “ It is reassuring to see that Ashghal is not only committed to deliver a robust bus network but is also ensuring sustainable development of the necessary infrastructure. If we look at the initiatives led by Ashghal over the last few years, it is evident that the organisation has a clear vision to mitigate climate change guided by its corporate strategy.”
Abdulhakim Ahmed al-Hashemi, head, Public Projects Section at Ashghal's Buildings Projects Department, said, “Ashghal has officially launched its Corporate Strategy 2018-2022, as part of the Authority's new vision. Accordingly, 'excellence in delivering and managing efficient sustainable infrastructure’ is regarded as a step forward to transform the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 into a tangible reality. In line with the Strategy 2018-2022, GSAS-CM has been adopted to promote sustainability and recycling, and to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030’s sustainable development goals.”
During the presentation and discussion at the event, representatives of the project team and Gord’s sustainability experts shared insights on sustainability best practices that can reduce the site’s carbon footprint.
Using GSAS-CM as the guiding framework, discussions during the session revolved around criteria to optimise construction management which includes efficient traffic management within and around the site; energy conservation through energy efficient fixtures and equipment and submetering systems; dust control by water sprays and avoiding uncovered long-term stockpiles, noise and vibration control to minimise the nuisance caused to on-site occupants and occupants of neighbouring buildings; mechanisms to ensure land preservation by implementing a proper erosion control plan and protecting the soil and ground water contamination; waste segregation and final disposal; water conservation through separate meters for domestic and non-domestic water use; recycling and reuse of materials; light and visual impact control, construction site’s health and safety measures, and providing favourable conditions at workers facilities such as mass halls, rest areas, site offices and accommodation as needed.
Leading the presentation at the event was Naveen Raj Rajendran, sustainability consultant at Alpin Global Limited, who said that the site’s first GSAS-CM audit helped the team improve on many fronts following the recommendations from Gord’s sustainability experts.
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