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

Description

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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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 incentives on cost and schedule performance of construction projects in United States

Description

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance,

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance, and they are starting to become adopted in the construction projects. Most of the previous research done in this area was purely qualitative, with a few quantitative studies. This study aims to quantify the performance of incentives in construction by collecting the data from more than 30 projects in United States through a questionnaire survey. First, literature review addresses the previous research work related to incentive types, incentives in construction industry, incentives in other industry and benefits of incentives. Second, the collected data is analyzed with statistical methods to test the significance of observed changes between two data sets i.e. incentive projects and non-incentive projects. Finally, the analysis results provide evidence for the significant impact of having incentives; reduced the cost and schedule growth in construction projects in United States.

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Date Created
2015

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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