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Polymer mesh to be used in new roads in capital.

Summary: Use of grids in road construction results in Dh120m cost savings over 20-year life cycle

By Samihah Zaman, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: The use of a strong polymer-based mesh in newly constructed roads across the capital will lead to Dh120 million in savings over their 20-year life cycle, senior municipal representatives said in the capital on Monday.

The mesh, known as a geogrid, adds an extra, durable layer to the asphalt and also allows for less asphalt to be used during building. Therefore, raw material costs are reduced by up to 20 per cent per project, and the built road requires less maintenance, explained Dr Ahmad Al Ali, design consultant at the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.

"About 40 kilometres of new roads in Bani Yas suburb, Khalifa City, Mohammad Bin Zayed City and Khalifa Industrial Zone already use these geogrids, and about 30 per cent of all future projects will include them," he told Gulf News.

Dr Al Ali was speaking on the sidelines of the Geosynthetics Middle East 2015, a two-day conference in the capital that will see construction industry professionals and government officials discuss the latest advances in the sector. The event is being supported by the Municipality of Abu Dhabi City.

Geogrids have been used in road construction in the capital during the last few years, but they are not yet popular with developers and contractors. About 50 different road construction projects in Abu Dhabi have opted to use the geogrids so far, but there are only 10 suppliers of these polymer substances.

"We hope to encourage greater supply and use of these materials. They not only increase the service life of roads but also lower carbon emissions during construction because much fewer raw materials need to be transported to the site. This means that 25 per cent of the energy consumed during conventional construction can be saved," Dr Ali said.

Construction time is also reduced by about 20 per cent, added Eman Al Kubaisi, design team leader at the municipality. In one road that runs through a residential area, the thickness of asphalt was reduced by three centimetres by inserting geogrids.

The municipality has been focusing on sustainable construction methods over the last few years. In addition to cost-saving methods that also make roads durable, it has also implemented the use of recycled concrete waste to build and repair pavements.

As reported by Gulf News last year, this strategy reduces energy consumption by 20 per cent.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 16, 2015
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