The “prevailing focus” of the construction industry is to first reduce the amount of waste produced, an official of Qatar Project Management (QPM) has said.
In a presentation delivered at the recently-concluded “6th Waste Management and Recycling Summit” in Doha, Dr Mark Evans, who is also with Qatar Rail’s PMC Major Stations Department as Environmental & Sustainability manager, said: “There is a need to reinforce the role of resource efficiency in construction and related training, which is a relatively new addition to courses.”
He added: “The industry, overall, has a lot of gaps to bridge. Some waste is unavoidable, but there are plenty of opportunities for reuse and recycling.”
Evans said Qatar Rail is taking the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” concept “to a higher level.”
“In what they are calling a methodology to ‘Design Out Waste’, the project managers are implementing a seven-point ‘avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, treat, and dispose responsibly’ plan,” he explained.
Evans stressed that “no amount of wishful thinking” will replace consistency in repeating the principles of the seven-point methodology.
“Toolbox sessions define the operational, health, safety, and environmental policies that workers need to understand and learn from. People will inevitably make mistakes. But they can learn to avoid repeating them,” he noted.
He said Qatar Rail utilises all materials it can reuse at its projects and also segregates unusable waste for proper disposal or dispatch to recycling facilities. This also includes water usage, which is monitored closely and used only as necessary, while also ensuring that any runoff does not contaminate groundwater reserves.
Evans said reused materials, acquired from excavation and demolition and as surplus during the build, are inspected to ensure project integrity in adherence to the latest Qatar Construction Standards (QCS) code.
“Prevention of waste will lead to the best improvements in terms of environmental impact as well as cost savings across materials, labour and transportation, which all add to the bottom line. When you study the impact of a well-defined waste management plan, the benefits soon add up and can be a much more powerful motivator for developers than legislation alone,” he said.
Evans also praised the efforts of the Qatar Green Building Council and its members, who represent many of the country’s biggest projects and companies for fighting for higher standards, while sharing new insights from all around the world that can be implemented locally.
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