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Sustainability Pulse Volume 2 Issue 2

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Ashghal mandates sustainability on sites for MOTC public bus transport program project

Apr 26,2021

Ashghal mandates sustainability on sites for MOTC public bus transport program project

With an aim to promote sustainable construction practices on sites, a knowledge sharing session was organized under the auspices of Qatar’s Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD). The event came as a 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 4 bus depot sites and 8 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.

Lauding Ashghal’s proactive stance on sustainability, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD, said, “In order to meet the transportation needs of Qatar's growing population, it is imperative to enhance our bus network. In the absence of a practical mass transit system, building new roads alone will be inevitably outstripped by more private vehicles. That 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 organization has a clear vision to mitigate climate change guided by its corporate strategy.”

Explaining the rationale behind the implementation of GSAS standards on bus stations, Engineer Abdulhakim Ahmed Al-Hashemi, Head of 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.” While Engineer Al Hashemi acknowledged that the implementation of GSAS-CM is a challenging task with multiple projects executed by various contractors, he appreciated the efforts of stakeholders and GSAS Trust in providing necessary guidance to the contractors throughout the certification process.

Ashghal mandates sustainability on sites for MOTC public bus transport program project
Ashghal mandates sustainability on sites for MOTC public bus transport program project

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 optimize 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 minimize the nuisance caused to on-site occupants and occupants of neighboring 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 favorable 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. “With GSAS guidelines, procedures and requirements are clear and simple. From manuals and GSAS calculators, it is very easy for us to implement the sustainability standards on site,” he said.

Following the presentation was a tour of the site, which was led by the GSAS Trust and Mr. Dennis Arpon, AECOM’s GSAS specialist, to provide the participants with first-hand knowledge on implementing sustainability measures. Joining the tour was Moiz Maroof, Environmental and Sustainability Engineer at Redco Construction, who is working on GSAS-CM implementation on three construction bus depot sites. Sharing his experience, Maroof said, “It was a very beneficial trip. When we visited this site here with the project team, we observed things that we can implement on our site. I also met many engineers working on similar projects. Now we will be in touch to share knowledge and improve performance.”

Emmanuel Arebanmhen, Environmental and Sustainability Manager with Al Siraya, is currently a part of the project team at Msheireb Bus Station. Having attended a previous knowledge sharing meeting at Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Arebanmhen stressed on the importance of holding such events more frequently to optimize the performance of project teams. “Attending this session has really opened me to implement new ideas to save cost. At the same time, meeting with contractors and GORD team here helped me explain my own ideas and get their feedback, which encourages me to do more.”


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