22 October 2015
Doha: The quality standards used in Qatar's construction sector is set to get a boost with globally reputed ASTM International further bolstering its partnership with the Ministry of Environment.
ASTM will launch the Qatar Construction Specifications 2014 (QCS 2014) in ASTM Compass next month. QCS 2014 is a mandatory Qatari technical regulation to be followed in the construction sector. "We are about to launch the new product to the country which will enable QCS 2014 and all the referenced ASTM standards to be accessible from a singleonline platform. The original agreement was signed in June 2015 and we have been building the product by working closely with Qatari entities like the Ministry of Environment and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). We will launch the product at the second conference on QCS 2014 which is being held at The Torch Doha on November 16," Nick Ecart (pictured), Director, Middle East, and Africa, ASTM International said in an interview.
ASTM International is a not-for-profit globally recognised leader in the development and delivery of international standards. Today, some 13,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade and build consumer confidence. The Ministry of Environment believes the inclusion of QCS 2014 in ASTM Compass will enhance the quality and efficiency of construction projects including buildings, roads and infrastructure all over the State.
According to Nick, "ASTM standards have been using in the GCC region for a very long time with most foreign and national companies working in Qatar following ASTM standards for many years. Now, through ASTM Compass, ASTM is working together with the Qatar government to expand the availability of ASTM standards and make access much easier. The idea is to make our standards available to more end users and support Qatar in its attempt to enhance the quality standards of the country's construction sector."
ASTM's standards are developed by ASTM members; 30,000 of the world's top technical experts and business professionals representing 140 countries.The main reason organisations in Qatar (and the GCC) use ASTM's test methods, specifications, classifications, guides and practices is to enhance quality, to minimise risk and to enhance compliance with the latest quality standards to improve the safety, reliability and quality of the construction sector, Nick said.
Roll back to three years ago, ASTM reached a unique ongoing agreement with the Qatar National Library, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, to enable access to ASTM Compass through the National Library. This centralised agreement allows anybody in the country to access the online ASTM database of standards, books, journals, engineering research and much more. "Thatis a unique agreement, very forward thinking of Qatar National Library, something we hadn't done before, but it's been an outstanding success for Qatar" he said.
© The Peninsula 2015