Study of sustainability opportunities during construction

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Date

2014-05

Authors

Torres, Neftali

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Abstract

Construction Sustainability involves the processes, decisions, and actions during the construction phase of capital projects that enhance current and future environmental, social, and economic needs while considering project safety, quality, cost, and schedule. Most of the currently available published literature and advances in project level sustainability practices have focused on the early Concept Planning and Design phases of capital projects. Knowledge of sustainability practices during the Construction phase of capital projects is still in the early development stages and is highly fragmented; information regarding the selection, assessment, and implementation of construction sustainability solutions has remained largely unavailable or underdeveloped. Moreover, capital project owners and constructors increasingly seek practical guidance and resources to better integrate and evaluate sustainability decisions and actions within project construction services. The dearth of research on effective sustainability practices during the construction phase suggests that higher levels of sustainability attention and effort are needed in this area, in addition to the creation of support guidance and tools.

To fill this gap in knowledge, this research has identified 54 unique actions that project teams can apply during construction to enhance the overall sustainability of their project. These construction phase sustainability actions (CPSAs) have been cataloged, characterized, and evaluated to facilitate their consideration and implementation by project teams. To further support the selection process and implementation of these actions, the research team developed a high-level strategic work process, a spreadsheet-based CPSA Screening Tool, and additional in-depth guidance for three CPSAs. In addition, both input- and output-oriented construction sustainability metrics have been developed and identified. Equipped with the findings from this study, owners and construction contractors will be better prepared to implement sustainability actions during the construction phase of capital projects.

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