Posted on March 08, 2020

The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ won the "Government Sustainability Initiative" Award presented by the Qatar Green Building Council, a member of the Qatar Foundation, during the Annual Qatar Sustainability Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday 4 March 2020. Ashghal won the award for applying best environmental practices in projects implementation works.

H.E. Eng. Issa bin Mohammad Al Mohannadi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Green Building Council, handed over the award to the Public Works Authority, in the presence of representatives of a large group of governmental and private institutions, non-profit organisations, universities, schools and other participants of whom are interested in the field of sustainability and environment. The award was received by Eng. Salem Al Shawi, Assistant Manager of the Roads Projects Department at Ashghal. The award comes in the context of the department's efforts in the field of sustainability.

The Qatar Sustainability Awards, launched by the Qatar Green Building Council, aims to honor the contributions of individuals and institutions in supporting sustainable development and their commitment to implementing initiatives that enhance sustainability and protect the environment inside and outside of Qatar.

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On this occasion, Eng. Salem Al Shawi, Assistant Manager of the Roads Projects Department at Ashghal, said: “Promoting sustainability and recycling is an essential goal within Ashghal’s Corporate Strategy 2018-2022, which is in line with the efforts of various institutions and in various fields towards a better future for next generations and to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030 sustainable development goals aimed at achieving a balance between economic growth and environment preservation, especially in light of the growing environmental challenges around the world.”

Eng. Salem Al Shawi said: "We appreciate the efforts of the Qatar Green Building Council to shed light on government initiatives in Qatar, as this has an important impact in educating the community and encouraging more entities to engage in activities related to sustainability and intensify cooperation in this field."

He added: "We are proud of this award which reflects the commitment of the authority to the environmental side during the implementation of its projects and not only the construction side. It also reflects our keenness to implement ongoing programmes and initiatives aimed at engaging all stakeholders from consulting companies, contractors, suppliers, workers and others, and encouraging them to adopt positive environmental practices, create solutions and new methods, and apply them during the stages of project implementation.”

The “Government Sustainability Initiative” Award comes in recognition of Ashghal’s efforts in the field of environmental sustainability, and in the context of several initiatives by the authority within the roads and infrastructure projects implemented by the Roads Projects Department. Through these projects, asphalt is recycled and used in the asphalt foundation layer of roads under construction, with a percentage of not less than 15% of this layer, which contributes to reducing the waste of implementation works and reducing emissions resulting from the transfer of old asphalt to landfills.

The department also uses old tyres’ crumb rubber in the asphalt surface layer, to produce modified bitumen and use it in asphalt mixtures, which reduces the carbon footprint of the asphalt, increases its flexibility and increases the life of the road. Another advantage of this initiative is reducing friction with vehicles’ tyres, and reducing the possibility of cracking or grooving of the road surface. This method also saves costs and eliminates the need to dump tyres in landfills and the associated negative impacts on the environment.

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In partnership with Ashghal’s Quality and Safety Department, the Road Projects Department engages consulting firms and local contracting companies operating in their projects in achieving sustainability, and urges them to do so through the “Green Award Programme” that was launched in 2018. The programme aims to assess the effectiveness of sustainability management across projects under implementation, and reward companies with outstanding and continuous performance. The initiative also aims to identify distinguished sustainability practices on site, and share innovations and practical solutions with others for adoption on a wider scale.

The selection process for the Green Award winners is carried out through the Review Committee comprising Environmental Specialists from the Quality and Safety Department and the Roads Projects Department at Ashghal. The committee evaluates the applications submitted by contractor companies according to specific criteria, including environmental and economic benefit, innovation in construction, possible adoption of Innovations/Initiatives by others, material recycling, carbon footprint reduction, and cost saving.

During 2018 and 2019, the Green Award Programme contributed to innovating several initiatives aimed at recycling all recyclable items. Currently, most construction waste is recycled and used. Examples include:

  • Wood Waste: Fabricated into toolboxes, cabinets, tables, chairs, signboards, etc.
  • Wood Waste and Excess/Rejected Concrete: Wood is fabricated into moulds for benches or base tiling/flooring. When excess wet concrete is available, it is cast into these prefabricated moulds and recycled into the projects temporary works rather than disposal.
  • Demolition and Dry Concrete: Instead of being dumped to landfills, they are crushed and the aggregate is recovered and recycled into other construction works.
  • Steel reinforcement bars: Recovered from crushed concrete and bent back into shape with a steel bending machine, then recycled into the project for signage, temporary support structures, etc.
  • Groundwater from Excavation Works: Small lagoons are constructed to collect groundwater resulting from excavation works, to be used in construction activities, reducing wastage and disposal cost of groundwater and saving the replacement cost and carbon emissions of importing TSE water.
  • Some contractors provide tyres to kindergartens and junior schools to serve educational planting and vegetable growing programmes.

It is worth mentioning that the Public Works Authority had received two awards in Urban Sustainability in 2016 from the Gulf Organization for Research and Development “GORD”, in the categories of health and educational buildings. It had also received a Certificate of Sustainability in Design and Construction at a three-star level by the Global Sustainability Assessment System “GSAS”.