Abu Dhabi has saved billion-dirham savings on its infrastructure projects through the use of “sustainability standards”.
The Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM) saved approximately $288m (AED1.1bn) through the implementation of value engineering and sustainability standards during the initial design stages of its projects.
Notable among ADM’s initiatives is the uptake of geosynthetic plastic networks in road projects to cement road layer pavements. The move is part of its efforts to reduce consumption and project costs through the use of sustainability.
In a statement, ADM said: “The use of geosynthetics as part of road construction layers has yielded several benefits and positive results, including the provision of effective solutions to weak soil cases and high water level, increasing the time span for servicing road layers, and reducing the thickness of pavements with the same life span.
“Benefits also include reducing cracks, grooves and so on, saving about 10-20% of the cost [associated with] traditional paving, and shortening the time taken to carry out pavement work. Positive results also include reducing the risks related to the quality of paving, saving raw materials and energy, reducing carbon footprint, and preserving the natural environment and public health”
The Municipality has used geosynthetics networks in the design of asphalt pavements of road and development projects, which has helped to increase the design life span of paved roads from 20 years to 30 years, as well as reduce the thickness of asphalt pavements by 20-30%, and the cost of asphalt construction by 10-20%.
ADM revealed it plans to use this technology on other projects as well, especially since it helps to shorten pavement work duration by 15%, and reduce their carbon footprint by 10-20%.
Additionally, ADM is reusing road layers for maintenance by recycling cold asphalt at the project site, which helps to mitigate the “hassles of using and transporting new materials to the site”. This approach, ADM said, has “proved effective from technological and financial perspectives”. Asphalt reuse and recycling has also helped to expedite maintenance durations by 75%, cut maintenance costs by 25%, and save 80% 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”, ADM continued in its statement.
ADM said it rolled out its ongoing drive for green standards on road, park, and infrastructural projects in the UAE capital in 2011. In conjunction with Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), sustainability requirements were also incorporated within design manuals and specifications for road, park, and recreational project construction.
The Municipal Infrastructure and Assets Sector within ADM is conducting studies and applied research for pilot projects, as well as carrying out joint case studies with universities, to further the use of new technologies.