Matching Items (3)
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
The construction industry generates tremendous amounts of data every day. Data can inform practitioners to increase their project performance as well as the quality of the resulting built environment. The data gathered from each stage has unique characteristics, and processing them to the appropriate information is critical. However, it is often difficult to measure the impact of the research across project phases (i.e., planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and end-of-life). The goal of this dissertation is to present how industry data can be used to make an impact on construction practices and test a suite of methods to measure the impact of construction research across project phases. The dissertation provides examples of impactful research studies for each project phase to demonstrate the collection and utilization of data generated from each stage and to assess the potential tangible impact on construction industry practices. The completed studies presented both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The first study focuses on the planning phase and provides a practice to improve frond end planning (FEP) implementation by developing the project definition rating index (PDRI) maturity and accuracy total rating system (MATRS). The second study uses earned value management system (EVMS) information from the design and construction phases to support reliable project control and management. The dissertation then provides a third study, this time focusing on the operations phase and comparing the impact of project delivery methods using the international roughness index (IRI). Lastly, the end-of-life or decommissioning phase is tackled through a study that gauges the monetary impact of the circular economy concept applied to reuse construction and demolition (C&D) waste. This dissertation measures the impact of the research according to the knowledge mobilization (KMb) theory, which illustrates the value of the work to the public and to practitioners.
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.