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

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

Current research engineers

Matthew O'Leary


Enabling long-term resource efficiency in infrastructure projects


High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd


Dr Mohamed Osmani
Dr Chris Goodier

Andrea Charlson
Andrew Pestana
Ruth McKeown

Director of Research:
Dr Steven Yeomans

Research Period

2018 - 2022

Ruth McKeown

Enabling long-term resource efficiency in infrastructure projects

Current state-of-the-art:

“HS2 needs to be built better, faster and cheaper than any other railway. We’re going to have to innovate. It’s the only way.” CEO, HS2 Ltd

To support the successful delivery and operation of the HS2 rail network it is acknowledged that innovation will be essential. Working under an umbrella theme of “Innovation for whole life value”, there are several key initiatives that HS2 would like to work with Loughborough University to help optimise the build and operation of the HS2 railway.    

HS2 has identified that embedding principles of resource efficient development (cased on the concept of a circular economy) into the programme could deliver production efficiencies, economic, environmental and social benefits related to our strategic goals and objectives. The principles being promoted are to:

  • keep resources in use for as long as possible;
  • recover and regenerate resources at the end of each use; and
  • keep resources at their highest quality and value at all times

The overarching aim will be to deliver a range of outputs that will help inform design, specification and build, and promote the delivery of longer term whole life benefits during operations. HS2 has conducted an initial review of how its existing requirements and processes already enable long term resource efficiency and what more we could be doing to realise the benefits. This review has identified a number of opportunities for research to enhance the long-term resource efficiency of our project. These include:

  • The development of objectives in relation to durability, adaptability and ease of maintenance, so that performance in these areas can be considered within decision reviews and our appraisal of whole life value’
  • Further exploration and integration of design for deconstruction information, materials passport and the concept of Buildings as Materials Banks into the BIM process and requirements.
  • The development of circular economy metrics to incorporate into the collaboration and innovation strategies
  • Exploring how we can design to be adaptable, enabling us to incorporate emerging and unforeseen technological advancements and improve operational performance throughout the life of the project. 


Aims and Objectives:

The aim of the EngD project is to develop and validate an approach for enabling whole-life resource efficiency (circular economy) in the HS2  programme. The project objectives are:

  • Carry out a critical review of current circular economy and whole-life resource efficiency best practice and innovation in infrastructure, with a particular focus on railway projects.
    Examine and assess economy requirements and processes currently being applied in HS2 Phase 1 programme.
  • Identify and categorise HS2 assets, materials or processes in relation to their potential for whole-life resource efficiency performance optimisation.
  • Identify approaches that could enable this optimisation.
  • Develop one of these approaches for implementation in the HS2programme.
  • Devise a targeting, prioritising and selection approach for HS2 Phase 1 case studies to validate the approach.
  • Validate the approach using the selected case studies.
  • Evaluate the impacts of the validation findings on potential enhancements of the approach.



Contact us

+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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