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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

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Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little

Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are both frameworks for considering the way we interact with the world's resources. Different organizations and institutions across the world have adopted one philosophy or the other. To some, there seems to be little overlap of the two, and to others, they are perceived as being interchangeable. This paper evaluates Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) and Circular Economy (CE) individually and in comparison to see how truly different these frameworks are from one another. This comparison is then extended into a theoretical walk-through of an SMM treatment of concrete pavement in contrast with a CE treatment. With concrete being a ubiquitous in the world's buildings and roads, as well as being a major constituent of Construction & Demolition waste generated, its analysis is applicable to a significant portion of the world's material flow. The ultimate test of differentiation between SMM and CE would ask: 1) If SMM principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with CE principles? and conversely 2) If CE principles guided action, would the outcomes be aligned with or at odds with SMM principles? Using concrete pavement as an example, this paper seeks to determine whether or not Sustainable Materials Management and Circular Economy are simply different roads leading to the same destination.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Instantaneous project controls: current status, state of the art, benefits, and strategies

Description

Despite advancements in construction and construction-related technology, capital project performance deviations, typically overruns, remain endemic within the capital projects industry. Currently, management is generally unaware of the current status of their projects, and thus monitoring and control of projects

Despite advancements in construction and construction-related technology, capital project performance deviations, typically overruns, remain endemic within the capital projects industry. Currently, management is generally unaware of the current status of their projects, and thus monitoring and control of projects are not achieved effectively. In an ever-increasing competitive industry landscape, the need to deliver projects within technical, budgetary, and schedule requirements becomes imperative to sustain a healthy return on investment for the project stakeholders. The fact that information lags within the capital projects industry has motivated this research to find practices and solutions that facilitate Instantaneous Project Controls (IPC).

The author hypothesized that there are specific practices that, if properly implemented, can lead to instantaneous controls of capital projects. It is also hypothesized that instantaneous project controls pose benefits to project performance. This research aims to find practices and identify benefits and barriers to achieving a real-time mode of control. To achieve these objectives, several lines of inquiry had to be pursued. A panel of 13 industry professionals and three academics collaborated on this research project. Two surveys were completed to map the current state of project control practices and to identify state-of-the-art or ideal processes. Ten case studies were conducted within and outside of the capital projects industry to identify practices for achieving real-time project controls. Also, statistical analyses were completed on retrospective data for completed capital projects in order to quantify the benefits of IPC. In conclusion, this research presents a framework for implementing IPC across the capital projects industry. The ultimate output from this research is procedures and recommendations that improve project controls processes.

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Date Created
2016

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Developing a decision-making framework for market entry in the sheet metal construction industry

Description

Entering a new market in the construction industry is a complex task. Although many contractors have experienced the benefits of expanding their market offerings, many more have had unsuccessful experiences causing hardship for the entire organization. Standardized decision-making

Entering a new market in the construction industry is a complex task. Although many contractors have experienced the benefits of expanding their market offerings, many more have had unsuccessful experiences causing hardship for the entire organization. Standardized decision-making processes can help to increase the likelihood of success, but few specialty contractors have taken the time to develop a formal procedure. According to this research, only 6 percent of survey respondents and 7 percent of case study participants from the sheet metal industry have a formal decision process. Five sources of data (existing literature, industry survey, semi-structured interviews, factor prioritization workshops, and expert panel discussions) are consulted to understand the current market entry decision-making practices and needs of the sheet metal industry. The data help to accomplish three study objectives: (1) determine the current processes and best practices used for market entry decision-making in the sheet metal industry, (2) identify motivations leading to market entry by sheet metal contractors, and (3) develop a standardized decision process that improves market entry decision outcomes. Grounded in a firm understanding of industry practices, a three-phased decision-making framework is created to provide a structured approach to guide contractors to an informed decision. Four industry leaders with over 175 years of experience in construction reviewed and applied every step of the framework to ensure it is practical and easy to use for contractors.

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Date Created
2016

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Quantifying the Impact of Circular Economy Applied to the Built Environment: A Study of Construction and Demolition Waste to Identify Leverage Points

Description

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs

billions of dollars. New business models that reduce this waste may prove to be financially

beneficial and generally more

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation.

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs

billions of dollars. New business models that reduce this waste may prove to be financially

beneficial and generally more sustainable. One such model is referred to as the “Circular

Economy” (CE), which promotes the efficient use of materials to minimize waste

generation and raw material consumption. CE is achieved by maximizing the life of

materials and components and by reclaiming the typically wasted value at the end of their

life. This thesis identifies the potential opportunities for using CE in the built environment.

It first calculates the magnitude of C&D waste and its main streams, highlights the top

C&D materials based on weight and value using data from various regions, identifies the

top C&D materials’ current recycling and reuse rates, and finally estimates a potential

financial benefit of $3.7 billion from redirecting C&D waste using the CE concept in the

United States.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019