Dust control is one of the main activities audited by the sustainability experts at the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (Gord). Based on a project’s performance in 25 criteria within eight categories that cover aspects from environmental conservation and pollution mitigation to workers’ welfare and safety on site, GSAS-CM auditors witness on-site construction practices to decide the sustainability fulfillment at the stadiums.
“As Qatar continues its urban built development, we are seeing a range of environmental issues arising from the construction phase that need to be tackled. To address these problems, Gord has developed GSAS Construction Management (GSAS-CM) certification, which looks into the onsite construction process and practices carried out by contractors and builders. These have been implemented in the construction of stadiums and at many other construction sites all over Qatar,” said Dr Yousef Alhorr, founding chairman, Gord.
With dust management being an integral part of the stadiums’ environmental performance, all eight venues for Qatar 2022 are targeting the highest sustainability certifications under the GSAS framework.
Bodour al-Meer, Sustainability & Environment senior manager at the SC, said: “Stadiums are the heart of any football tournament. These are the places where cherished memories for players, spectators and organisers are created. We have built our stadiums for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar with long-term sustainability and environmental management as core concepts. To ensure tangible and credible sustainability outcomes, we have implemented the GSAS certification system.
“Everyone involved in stadium construction understands the value of sustainability and protecting the environment. By working together, we have created a genuine learning legacy of environmental protection and sustainable development in the design and construction sector.”
All the projects have taken care to mitigate dust from stockpiles through the use of green plastic nets to cover stockpiles of soil and excavated materials. Similarly, trucks and other vehicles carrying construction materials are covered with nets to prevent the dispersion of dust and particulate matter during transportation. For long-term stockpiles, some stadium sites have utilised more durable and thicker layers of tarpaulin, which is both low maintenance and more effective at protecting the materials from extremely hot summers.
Similarly, road sweepers are commonly used on paved hauling roads on site and adjacent public roads to take care of the dust from vehicles on site. These machines help remove soil and mud from the road surfaces, thereby preventing dispersion of dust from the movement of heavy vehicles. Qatar 2022 stadiums have gone one step further by installing vehicle washouts at the construction sites’ gates. Similarly, decreasing the commute of vehicles carrying soil and other materials is another dust control technique adopted by decreasing the distance between stockpiles and backfilling areas.
Some construction activities generate more dust than others, and barriers are used around those areas. Installing barriers around cutters and crushers can significantly reduce the amount of dust in the air. As the crushers are utilised at some stadium sites in Qatar, the material to be crushed is watered in order to reduce dust dispersion. Similarly, these crushers are covered with nets, while water sprays are used to suppress the dust.
Dust blown away during loading and unloading of soil and aggregates can be mitigated by spraying water over these building materials. At some stadiums, cannons are used to spray water. As opposed to commonly used hoses, these cannons create enough pressure so that not only are the materials made wet but any dissipated dust in the air is also drawn down.
Due to the closed nature of indoor spaces, dust can also have adverse effects on human health. Therefore, de-dusting systems have been introduced to filter pollutants from indoor air along with ample ventilation to mitigate any toll on the health and safety of workers inside a facility.
Monitoring project sites for concentrations of particulate matters of different sizes is another method that assists the formulation of effective strategies to control dust. In addition to standard monitoring practices performed through different periods of the construction, some stadium sites in Qatar went the extra mile with the use of state-of-the-art equipment that helps constant monitoring, thereby creating detailed ’24/7/365′ data for improved strategies.
Dr Yousef Alhorr
As a part of its sustainability strategy, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has committed to implement an exclusive green certification – titled GSAS Construction Management (GSAS-CM) – specifically to improve projects’ environmental performance during construction.
A fundamental part of GSAS-CM certification is dust control, which has been exercised by all eight venues and permanent offices of the SC. In fact, most of these venues have managed to be awarded with the highest recognition for dust control under GSAS-CM.