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Kuwait’s Fahaheel Service Center receives GSAS plaque for sustainable operations

The project has achieved Platinum rating for GSAS Operations Certification

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Sustainability Pulse Volume 2 Issue 3

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Qatar’s organizations unite efforts to promote sustainability with GSAS implementation

Oct 06,2021

Qatar’s leading organizations unite efforts to promote sustainability with GSAS implementation on construction sites

 

In a bid to share best sustainability on-site practices during construction, a knowledge sharing session was held at the construction site of Lusail Stadium – the largest venue proposed to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Attending the event were sustainability professionals and contractors working on the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ (MOTC) ongoing project aimed at expanding Qatar’s bus network under the supervision of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). MOTC projects under the expansion plan are intended to reduce their environmental footprint by implementing the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) in design and construction stages.

The attendees of the event received a technical presentation by Lusail Stadium’s project team followed by a tour of the site to witness the sustainability practices implemented in line with the GSAS framework. Guiding the participants during the tour and addressing their queries specific to GSAS Construction Management best practices, were representatives of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) which hosted the event, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) – the organization responsible for the development and administration of GSAS. In line with FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Sustainability Strategy, SC has voluntarily implemented GSAS Construction Management to reduce environmental impact during construction on all stadium sites, with most stadiums targeting the highest Class A* rating. Planned to be the most sustainable stadium of the tournament, Lusail Stadium’s site was chosen as a benchmark to be followed by other project sites such as those of Ashghal’s MOTC project. In this context, a similar knowledge sharing session was earlier hosted by SC at the site of Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, located on the shores of the Gulf and planned to be dismantled after the tournament.

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Founding Chairman of GORD, Dr. Yousef Alhorr said, “Knowledge sharing sessions like these foster a culture of collaboration, enabling all stakeholders to move forward together. When it comes to sustainable site management, projects like Lusail Stadium are awe-inspiring. The stadium’s site offers countless learning opportunities for engineers applying GSAS Construction Management principles on Ashghal’s sites. That said, to really harness the benefits of such knowledge sharing events, we need the contractors seriously on board to meet their contractual obligations towards implementing GSAS.”

Qatar’s leading organizations unite efforts to promote sustainability with GSAS implementation on construction sites
Qatar’s leading organizations unite efforts to promote sustainability with GSAS implementation on construction sites

Comprising approximately 15 sites including bus stations and depots, the MOTC bus network expansion project is the first Ashghal project to implement GSAS Construction Management (GSAS-CM) certification targeting Class B in addition of GSAS Design & Build Certification. To assist its various project teams in achieving the targeted rating, Ashghal has been organizing knowledge sharing sessions since December 2020 in collaboration with GORD. “The reason behind these knowledge sharing events is to let the contractors learn all the practices that are being implemented in the stadiums, and we expect these to be the benchmark for our projects,” said Hiba Ibrahim El-Ghaoui, Design Manager at Ashghal, who is currently in charge of the MOTC project. Also attending the tour was Meeza Talebaoui, Project Coordinator at AECOM, which is the Design and Construction Supervision Consultant for all sites under MOTC project. Expressing the need for experiential technical visits, Talebaoui said, “We are here to observe everything being done on-site hands-on. Seeing the facilities available and the practices implemented is vital for us to learn how we can improve our work on Ashghal’s MOTC project sites.”

During the tour, attendees received first-hand knowledge by witnessing sustainability practices at many of the 99 facilities on site that included workers’ mess hall, chemical storage area and façade assembly yard workshop, etc. Participating in Ashghal’s knowledge sharing session for the first time was Hamdi Mohammed Juma, Sustainability & Environmental Specialist at Petroltecnica Environmental Services. Sharing his thoughts on sustainability practices at Lusail Stadium site, he said, “GSAS has much higher standards which actually enables the contractors to comply with the MME requirements easily.” Stressing on the advantage of having a performance based green building system, he added, “In terms of Construction Management, GSAS is superior to other environment standards. Because it’s a performance-based system, it makes sure that it audits the actual site throughout the construction period, which makes project ready to receive the auditors anytime.”

GSAS is MENA’s first performance-based green building system that takes a lifecycle approach to project sustainability by encompassing design, construction and operations phases. In this context, GSAS Construction Management certification aims to reduce the negative environmental impacts of construction site activities by implementing sustainable methods and measures such as dust suppression, noise control, energy & water conservation on site, enhanced site safety, improvement in working conditions for labour and efficient waste management practices, etc. These are based on 25 criteria within 8 GSAS categories that include urban considerations, site, energy, water, materials, outdoor environment, socio-cultural dimensions and management & operations.

Rohitashya Banerjee is Senior Sustainability and Environmental Specialist from KMZ, who is currently working on the Industrial Area Bus Station Project. Comparing GSAS workshops with a site visit, Banerjee said that while the workshops focus on technicalities of implementing GSAS through various tools, the recent session provided experiential knowledge and helped address queries specific to candidates’ projects. “I’ve picked up a lot of innovative ideas which I’m definitely going to try implementing,” he added.

The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium will be one of the largest stadiums in MENA. With a site of this scale, a number of unique construction measures have been implemented to reduce its carbon footprint during construction phase. Pointing out some of these features Venkatesh S, Strategist, Operations at Conserve Solutions WLL mentioned onsite Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) plant, concrete batching plant and precast factory. Speaking about the broader role of the recent session, Venkatesh – who is currently managing GSAS implementation on Lusail Stadium site – said, “This knowledge sharing is quite unique because at the end of the day, all contractors who participated in the session are competitors in the construction market and only the client can bring them together to share and adopt sustainability best practices. With this session between SC, Ashghal and GORD, now the clients are coming together. Collaborations like these will go a long way.”


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