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Different Roads to the Same Destination?

Description

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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2017-05

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Development of the project definition rating index (PDRI) for small industrial projects

Description

Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry survey administered by the author showed that small projects make

Project teams expend substantial effort to develop scope definition during the front end planning phase of large, complex projects, but oftentimes neglect to sufficiently plan for small projects. An industry survey administered by the author showed that small projects make up 70-90 percent (by count) of all projects in the industrial construction sector, the planning of these project varies greatly, and that a consistent definition of “small industrial project” did not exist. This dissertation summarizes the motivations and efforts to develop a non-proprietary front end planning tool specifically for small industrial projects, namely the Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for Small Industrial Projects. The author was a member of Construction Industry Institute (CII) Research Team 314, who was tasked with developing the tool in May of 2013. The author, together with the research team, reviewed, scrutinized and adapted an existing industrial-focused FEP tool, the PDRI for Industrial Projects, and other resources to develop a set of 41 specific elements relevant to the planning of small industrial projects. The author supported the facilitation of five separate industry workshops where 65 industry professionals evaluated the element descriptions, and provided element prioritization data that was statistically analyzed and used to develop a weighted score sheet that corresponds to the element descriptions. The tool was tested on 54 completed and in-progress projects, the author’s analysis of which showed that small industrial projects with greater scope definition (based on the tool’s scoring scheme) outperformed projects with lesser scope definition regarding cost performance, schedule performance, change performance, financial performance, and customer satisfaction. Moreover, the author found that users of the tool on in-progress projects overwhelmingly agreed that the tool added value to their projects in a timeframe and manner consistent with their needs, and that they would continue using the tool in the future. The author also developed an index-based selection guide to aid PDRI users in choosing the appropriate tool for use on an industrial project based on distinguishing project size with indicators of project complexity. The final results of the author’s research provide several contributions to the front end planning, small projects, and project complexity bodies of knowledge.

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Date Created
2015

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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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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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Created

Date Created
2019