The Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADCM) has saved up to Dh1.05 billion by applying sustainability standards in various infrastructure projects.
Since 2011, the municipality had implemented sustainability standards to its many roads, parks and infrastructure projects in the city. The implementation of sustainability requirements in projects is being verified by ensuring that projects have sustainable engineering designs.
The municipal infrastructure and assets sector aims to implement the latest technologies. The concerned personnel are conducting pioneering studies and applied research, pilot projects and joint case studies with universities to review and assess the new initiatives and technologies.
Among the successful implementation of sustainability standards is the use of geosynthetics (plastic networks) in the design of asphalt pavements of road and development projects. Such use of innovative materials helps to reduce consumption and project costs.
The use of geosynthetics has several benefits including the provision of effective solutions to weak soil cases, high water level, increasing the time span for servicing road layers, and reducing the thickness of pavements with the same lifespan. Benefits also include reducing cracks, grooves etc saving about 10 to 20 per cent of the cost of the traditional paving, and shortening the time taken to carry out pavement work. It reduces the risks related to the quality of paving, saving raw materials and energy, reducing carbon footprint and preserving the natural environment and public health.
Geosynthetics increases the design lifespan of paved roads service from 20 to 30 years, reduces the thickness of asphalt pavements by 20 to 30 per cent and reduce the cost of asphalt construction by 10 to 20 per cent.
The municipality is considering applying this method to other projects. Other benefits of using plastic networks include shortening the pavement works time by 15 per cent, saving raw materials and energy, and reducing the carbon footprint by between 10 to 20 per cent.
The municipality has also started its project aimed at reusing various road layers in maintenance through recycling cold asphalt at the project site, thus eliminating the hassles of using and transporting new materials to the site.
The reuse and recycling of asphalt also have many other positives such as the reuse of road materials by 100 per cent, expediting the projects maintenance completion period by 75 per cent compared to the conventional methods, reducing maintenance cost by 25 per cent, decreasing the carbon footprint by 80 per cent and saving about 80 per cent of raw materials. It also reduces the trips of heavy trucks lifting stones from quarries to the project site and decreases the traffic loads and volumes on roads.
The sustainability requirements had been inculcated in the design manuals and specifications of road construction, infrastructure, parks and recreational facilities across Abu Dhabi in conjunction with Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council.
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