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

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

2016


Dr Philip Davies

Thesis

Assessing initial embodied energy in UK non-domestic construction projects

Project Title

An investigation into the UK non-domestic sector: opportunities and challenges for increased embodied energy efficiency.

Company

VINCI Construction UK Limited

Supervisors

Academic
Professor Stephen Emmitt
Dr Steven Firth

Industrial
Dr David Kerr

Director of Research
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2010 - 2014

An investigation into the UK non-domestic sector: opportunities and challenges for increased embodied energy efficiency.

Project Aims

The aim of the research is to investigate the key challenges and opportunities for achieving increased embodied energy efficiency within the UK non-domestic sector from a contractor’s perspective.

The objectives are: review the key drivers for achieving increased embodied energy efficiency within the UK non-domestic sector; identify the context and current environmental performance of the UK non-domestic sector; examine current practices intended to assess embodied energy levels within the UK non-domestic sector; develop a new framework and evaluate its performance towards assessing embodied energy levels within UK non-domestic sector projects; explore the practical opportunities and challenges facing the contractor to increase embodied energy efficiency within UK non-domestic sector projects; investigate the relationship between construction, transportation and material related energy consumptions and their influence on total embodied energy levels within UK non-domestic sector projects; explore the connection and impact of embodied energy towards future operational energy levels within UK non-domestic sector projects; produce recommendations to the contractor to add value to the opportunities and to address the challenges facing increased embodied energy efficiency levels within future UK non-domestic sector projects.

Justification for Research

Improving VINCI’s awareness of embodied energy can stimulate the following advantages: enhance industry reputation and improve Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); aid client and supply chains to re-engineer environmental targets and project performance; develop embodied energy benchmarks (sub-contractor, package, element performance etc.) to advance future project performance; create a embodied energy dataset for potential use within BIM related projects; stimulate low-energy best practice to reduce overall project environmental impact; decrease project Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) tax impact (currently £12 per tonne of CO2 produced); increase competitiveness within tender submissions via predicting project energy consumption; improve understanding of relationship between manufacture, transportation and on-site energy consumption; provide industry with innovative data suitable to intensify the ‘zero-carbon definition’ debate; potential to become more competitive in future ‘embodied energy’ markets.

Research Methods

An exploratory methodological approach will be adopted for this research consisting of multiple in-depth case studies encompassing a range of research techniques such as desk studies, interviews and questionnaires. Case study research would provide a detailed investigation of existing practices affiliated to capturing, assessing and managing embodied energy performance in addition to highlighting the outstanding challenges and potential opportunities for improved embodied energy consideration within future projects.   

Data Sources

Information and data extracted from industry journals, conference papers and government publications will portray the current trends surrounding embodied energy consideration and performance within the UK non-domestic sector. Previous and forthcoming non-domestic sector projects which VINCI are affiliated to will provide the basis of the case study research approach. Active VINCI employees, process and procedures will form the key data sources intended to help capture and idealise the research findings on both quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

 

 

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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
CICE
Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

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