Experts are also trying to have energy efficient roads, which uses less energy during construction and also those which can produce energy.
“We are looking at more innovation within the construction industry and roads occupy a huge area of our infrastructure. Roads will be constructed with much lower energy consumption compared to the current usage. Also, we are looking at ways to utilise roads to generate energy,” Dr Khaled Hassan, Country Director and Head of Middle-East Infrastructure, TRL – Qatar, told The Peninsula.
Researches in Qatar have found wadi gravel and steel slag as a replacement for aggregates. Steel slag is obtained as a by-product from steel manufacturing while gravel is a by-product of washed sand. Meanwhile, experts have found that cooking oil is a successful replacement for cement.
“The likely costs of local recycled aggregates in Qatar would be less compared to imported aggregates and the use of local recycled aggregate reduces the carbon footprint. In terms of the quality, our tests have shown that recycled materials have similar performance as compared to the conventional ones,” the report quoted Dr Hassan, who added, “Since these materials will be locally produced, we can have a control on the quality and price of the product.”
Wadi gravel, which has been accumulating for over 50 years, was considered as rejected material and used as just landfills. Also, the country already has 1.6 million tonne stockpiled steel slag and more are produced each year.
The Qatar Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) recently imposed a ban on the use of dune sand in construction, which has a huge impact on the construction sector. An alternative to this is steel stag, which can also be used to replace materials like gabro in asphalt and concrete.
Meanwhile, vegeblock is composed entirely of recycled aggregates and used vegetable oil. It is manufactured in a similar way to conventional concrete blocks, although it uses only a third of the energy for production.
Wadi gravel has been already introduced into the Qatar and GCC construction specification and we expect steel slag to be included in the specifications when it is updated, confirmed Dr Hassan.