Edinburgh Research Explorer

Reducing Construction Carbon Emissions in Logistics (ReCCEL)

Project: Funded ProjectResearch

Total award£44,989.00
Funding organisationUK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities
Funder project reference55202 - 418137
Period1/10/1530/09/16

Description

We analyse the feasibility of low-carbon delivery of major infrastructure projects whilst ensuring compliance to schedule/budget and resilience to operational disruptions. The UK National Infrastructure Plan comprises a pipeline of public investment in infrastructure worth over £100 billion to 2020 and has clear aspirations for low-carbon solutions. The fragmented nature of construction logistics represents a challenge to these aspirations. We will introduce ‘Intelligent Construction Transportation Assets’ (ICTAs) to enable better informed, and more integrated, collaborative management decisions. ICTAs will integrate state-of-the-art technologies from a number of disciplinary areas: procurement (low carbon fleets); maintenance, routing and refuelling (e.g. Intelligent Assets), operations research and Internet of Things. Focusing on a portfolio of Costain’s major infrastructure projects we will: map current construction processes and elicit the current barriers to the fully integrated, low-carbon construction supply chain; roadmap scenarios based on our blend of solutions and related enabling business models; and provide and disseminate return on investment recommendations. 

Key findings

The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of implementing low carbon solutions in construction sites.

A first focus area for our solutions was into the use of telematics and automated reasoning systems to enhance on-site operations efficiency. As a prototype case-study, an asset routing and refuelling model was created to decide the most efficient path for the fuel bowser (responsible for refuelling plant). This analysis showed a substantial reduction of distance covered by the fuel bowser (up to 80%) and of asset fuel shortages (up to 46%).

A second focus area was into low carbon alternatives to vehicles used on site and on key barriers faced by managers in the deployments of these alternatives. To tackle this challenge, we developed a trial methodology to identify what activities can be executed by relying on low carbon alternatives without excessively compromising on cost and performances.

A number of workshops were run as part of this project. These workshops represented key milestones leading to our final deliverables. Our workshops attracted players from all level of the construction supply chains, including major firms such as JCB, CAT, Volvo, A-Plant and other key players in the construction sector. This has helped to raise awareness about the work that Costain is doing around low carbon initiatives and to increase awareness across different organisations of the low carbon alternatives that are currently available.

Plain English Description

This project will analyse the feasibility of low-carbon delivery of major infrastructure projects whilst ensuring compliance to schedule/budget and resilience to operational disruptions. To achieve this, we aim to introduce ‘Intelligent Construction Transportation Assets’ (ICTAs) to enable better informed, and more integrated, collaborative management decisions. ICTAs will integrate state-of-the-art technologies from a number of disciplinary areas: procurement, maintenance, routing and refuelling, operations research, and information and communication technologies. Our consortium brings together Costain, one of the UK's leading construction engineering solutions providers; Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies; and the University of Edinburgh, a global leader in big data science. By focusing on a portfolio of Costain’s major infrastructure projects we aim to map current construction processes and elicit the current barriers to the fully integrated, low-carbon construction supply chain; roadmap scenarios based on our blend of solutions; and provide and disseminate return on investment recommendations.