Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

2012


Dr Shamir Ghumra

Thesis

Developing a sustainability assessment framework for ready-mixed concrete

Project Title

Development of Life Cycle Assessment for Infrastructure Projects

Company

Aggregate Industries and BRE

Supervisors

Academic:
Professor Jacqui Glass
Dr Matt Frost

Industrial:
Dr Miles Watkins
Dr Paul Phillips

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2008 - 2012

Development of Life Cycle Assessment for Infrastructure Projects

Background

The use of LCA in the selection of building materials is becoming more widespread in the vertical construction markets owing to the growing popularity of the BRE building assessment tools, both in their own right and through integration into policy frameworks such as the Code for Sustainable Homes. Such developments in the horizontal built environment have been slower in their up take, particularly in the road maintenance and building sector where Journey Time Reliability is the key indicator. Some work has been commenced on carbon modelling however the full environmental LCA technology has not been effectively applied to the sectors, particularly in the context of BREEAM tools.

Aggregate Industries UK Ltd is a construction and building materials company which has innovation in sustainable products at the core of its strategy. It exhibits leadership behaviour through the development and launch of leading products tackling a wide range of global and local environmental issues such as resource consumption, water management and climate change. An early adopter of BRE Environmental Profiling and a Founding Member of the UK Green Building Council, the company is keen to lead the infrastructure sector in the internalisation of sustainability criteria in material selection.

Aim of the research

This new EngD position will be based at the BRE offices in Watford, working with the BREEAM team to establish the methodology for infrastructure projects. Drawing upon the technical understanding of the Aggregate Industries Research and Development Department, the successful candidate will evaluate the existing methodology in the context of road, rail and utility activity and identify modifications that would be required. The candidate and the company would champion and then ultimately deliver the changes required to allow BREEAM to be used in this new context.

Therefore, the aim of this post is to undertake close-to-industry research to move the infrastructure sector from its current position of polarised performance assessment to successful delivery of LCA tool for material selection. There is an immediate need for this research and development to take place.

Methodology and deliverables

The full details of the role and responsibilities for the RE will develop over the coming months, but in essence, and in addition to the academic requirements, this project is likely to involve the following activities:

• Understanding for the need for this project
• Understanding of LCA and its use in the building materials context
• Assessment of the suitability of BREEAM tools for infrastructure projects
• Making recommendations for and actual developments to BREEAM for use in the infrastructure sector
• Drafting reports and other documents for industry
• Liaising/interacting with industry experts and trade associations
• Communicating with stakeholders and other associated organisations
• Maintaining and development company understanding on sustainability issues
• Assisting in the development of new tools

 

Ghumra, S., Watkins, M., Glass, J., Frost, M.W. and Anderson, J. (2010) Stakeholder Views of Materials Selection for Road Pavements. Transportation Professional. *Submitted July 2010*.

Ghumra, S., Watkins, M., Glass, J., Frost, M.W. and Mundy, J. (2010) Materials and Energy Assessment in Ceequal Transport Projects. ICE - Proceedings Transport Special Edition. *Submitted August 2010*.

Ghumra, S., Watkins, M., Glass, J., Frost, M.W. and Mundy, J. (2010) Sustainability Guidance and Materials Management. IEMA - Knowledge Exchange. *Abstract submitted September 2010*.

'Materials and Energy assessment in Ceequal Transport Projects',  Shamir Ghumra, Jacqui Glass, Matthew Frost, Miles Watkins, Jo Mundy, Proceedings of the ICE - Transport, Volume 164, Issue 3, pages 153 –164

Ghumra, S., Watkins, M., Phillips, P., Glass, J., Frost, M.W. and Anderson, J. (2009) Developing a LCA-based tool for infrastructure projects. In: Dainty, A. (Ed) Procs 25th Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2009, Nottingham, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 1003-10.

'Developing an LCA based tool for Infrastructure Projects', Shamir Ghumra, Jacqui Glass, Matthew Frost, Miles Watkins, Paul Phillips, Jane Anderson, Dainty, A.R.J. (ed.). Proceedings of 25th Annual Conference of Association of Researchers in Construction Management ARCOM, 7-9 September 2009, Nottingham, UK, pp.1003-10.

'Stakeholder views on LCA in Road Pavement construction', Shamir Ghumra, Jacqui Glass, Matthew Frost, Miles Watkins, Jo Mundy,Hong Kong Polytechnic 3rd International Conference on Infrastructure, 11-12 July 2011

'Validating a set of empirically weighted sustainability indicators for construction products in a manufacturing organisation', Shamir Ghumra, Jacqui Glass, Matthew Frost, Miles Watkins, Jo Mundy, Egbu, C. (ed.). Proceedings of 27th Annual Conference of Association of Researchers in Construction Management ARCOM, 5-7 September 2011, Bristol UK

'Sustainability Assessment for Construction Products', Shamir Ghumra, Jacqui Glass, Matthew Frost, Miles Watkins, Jo Mundy, SB11 Conference during World Sustainable Building Conference; 18-22 October, Helsinki

 

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Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

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