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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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2017-05

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Analysis of the state of practice and best practices for alternative project delivery methods in the transportation design and construction industry

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Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDMs), namely Design Build (DB) and Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), grew out of the need to find a more efficient project delivery approach than the traditional Design Bid Build (DBB) form of delivery. After decades

Alternative Project Delivery Methods (APDMs), namely Design Build (DB) and Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), grew out of the need to find a more efficient project delivery approach than the traditional Design Bid Build (DBB) form of delivery. After decades of extensive APDM use, there have been many studies focused on the use of APDMs and project outcomes. Few of these studies have reached a level of statistical significance to make conclusive observations about APDMs. This research effort completes a comprehensive study for use in the horizontal transportation construction market, providing a better basis for decisions on project delivery method selection, improving understanding of best practices for APDM use, and reporting outcomes from the largest collection of APDM project data to date. The study is the result of an online survey of project owners and design teams from 17 states representing 83 projects nationally. Project data collected represents almost six billion US dollars. The study performs an analysis of the transportation APDM market and answers questions dealing with national APDM usage, motivators for APDM selection, the relation of APDM to pre-construction services, and the use of industry best practices. Top motivators for delivery method selection: the project schedule or the urgency of the project, the ability to predict and control cost, and finding the best method to allocate risk, as well as other factors were identified and analyzed. Analysis of project data was used to compare to commonly held assumptions about the project delivery methods, confirming some assumptions and refuting others. Project data showed that APDM projects had the lowest overall cost growth. DB projects had higher schedule growth. CMAR projects had low design schedule growth but high construction schedule growth. DBB showed very little schedule growth and the highest cost growth of the delivery methods studied. Best practices in project delivery were studied: team alignment, front end planning, and risk assessment were identified as practices most critical to project success. The study contributes and improves on existing research on APDM project selection and outcomes and fills many of the gaps in research identified by previous research efforts and industry leaders.

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Date Created
2014

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Contract Administration Functions and Tools for Design-Build and Construction Manager/General Contractor Project Delivery in U.S. Highway Construction

Description

The demand for new highway infrastructure, the need to repair aging infrastructure, and the drive to optimize public expenditures on infrastructure have led transportation agencies toward alternative contracting methods (ACMs) such as design-build (DB) and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC). U.S.

The demand for new highway infrastructure, the need to repair aging infrastructure, and the drive to optimize public expenditures on infrastructure have led transportation agencies toward alternative contracting methods (ACMs) such as design-build (DB) and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC). U.S. transportation agencies have substantial experience with traditional design-bid-build delivery. To promote ACMs, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCRHP) have published ACM guidance documents. However, the published material and research tend to focus on pre-award activities. The need for guidance on ACM post-award activities is confirmed in NCHRP’s request for a guidebook focusing on ACM contract administration (NCHRP 2016).

This dissertation fills the crucial knowledge gap in contract administration functions and tools for DB and CM/GC highway project delivery. First, this research identifies and models contract administration functions in DBB, CM/GC, and DB using integrated definition modeling (IDEF0). Second, this research identifies and analyzes DB and CM/GC tools for contract administration by conducting 30 ACM project case studies involving over 90 ACM practitioners. Recommendations on appropriate use regarding project phase, complexity, and size were gathered from 16 ACM practitioners. Third, the alternative technical concepts tool was studied. Data from 30 DB projects was analyzed to explore the timing of DB procurement and DB initial award performance in relation to the project influence curve. Types of innovations derived from ATCs are discussed. Considerable industry input at multiple stages grounds this research in professional practice.

Results indicate that the involvement of the contractor during the design phase for both DB and CM/GC delivery creates unique contract administration functions that need unique tools. Thirty-six DB and CM/GC tools for contract administration are identified with recommendations for effective implementation. While strong initial award performance is achievable in DB projects, initial award performance in this sample of projects is only loosely tied to the level of percent base design at procurement. Cost savings typically come from multiple ATCs, and innovations tend to be incremental rather than systemic, disruptive, or radical. Opportunity for innovation on DB highway projects is influenced by project characteristics and engaging the DB entity after pre-project planning.

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Date Created
2019

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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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Date Created
2019