Posted on February 09, 2017

A new building block, VegeBlock, composed entirely of recycled aggregates and used vegetable oil, was launched yesterday to help increase sustainability across Qatar’s construction segment. VegeBlock, also described as ‘Smart Block,’ is a joint initiative of TRL, the global centre for innovation in transport and mobility, and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME).

Present at the launch were Dr Mohamed bin Saif al-Kuwari, (head of the Environmental and Municipal Studies Institute — MME) and Dr Khaled Hassan (TRL country director and head of Middle-East Infrastructure), along with key stakeholders in the construction industry.

The launch of VegeBlock represents the latest stage in an ongoing programme of collaborative work between the MME and TRL to improve the sustainability and adoption of green construction in Qatar and the rest of the region. Previous projects have focused on the use of locally available recycled and secondary aggregates in place of imported primary aggregate. The project was funded under the National Priorities Research Programme of the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) at the Qatar Foundation. The project enabled the VegeBlock concept to be adapted to the specific conditions and materials available in Qatar — particularly to maximise the use of recycled and waste materials.

The initiative falls in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 objective of balancing economic development with the protection of the environment. Durability tests indicated that VegeBlock was resistant to damage from water, salts and fuel. A trial wall of full size VegeBlocks was constructed outdoors at the Qatar Standards offices in April 2016 with a wall of conventional concrete blocks for comparison. The condition of the wall has been monitored through the heat of summer and heavy rains in winter. It is still intact after 10 months in service. Monitoring and testing of the trial wall will continue to provide more confidence in use.

source: Gulf Times