Overview of construction sustainability research products O’Connor, James T.; Torres, Neftali; Woo, Jeyoung
Much research has been conducted on capital project sustainability in the last two decades, but most of the findings only provide guidelines for its implementation during facility planning or design. This nearly exclusive focus on early project phases has left the industry with the need for more detailed guidance on implementing construction sustainability practices during jobsite execution. With this need in mind, the Construction Industry Institute (CII) chartered Research Team (RT) 304, "Sustainability Practices and Metrics for the Construction Phase of Capital Projects", to develop this missing practical guidance. This paper overviews the findings and products of the research team. The team developed a catalog of 54 Construction Phase Sustainability Actions (CPSAs) for onsite implementation during the construction phase to increase overall project sustainability. Each CPSA is characterized in terms of corresponding construction functions, potential sustainability impact, influence on project performance (i.e., cost, schedule, quality, and safety), ease of implementation, barriers to implementation, conditions that leverage benefits, and output metrics. The research team also developed two spreadsheet-based tools—the CPSA Screening Tool and the CPSA Implementation Index—to facilitate CPSA implementation during construction. The screening tool enables users to prioritize the 54 CPSAs according to project characteristics, while the index tool assesses CPSA implementation levels. Through its validation efforts, the team determined that the current level of CPSA implementation across the industry is at approximately 60 percent, and that this rate should increase with the regular use of the CPSA catalog, screening tool, and implementation index.
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