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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment


Design future-proofing, carbon implications, climate uncertainties, demographic change.

Theme 5: Sustainability and Urbanisation Research Projects

Project Title

Modelling construction equipment CO2 waste

Primary Theme

Sustainability and Urbanisation

Secondary Themes

Construction design and technology

Project Summary

Discussion started in Europe on regulating the emissions of agricultural and construction equipment. The case for such equipment is substantially different to cars, as equipment often do not need to move much from a stationary position while operating (think of an excavator). Hence, while the metric for car CO2 emissions is linked to miles or kilometres travelled, the metric for equipment CO2 emissions must be related to its productivity instead. This is why contractors and farmers argue that emission control is implicitly built in project management; regulation is unnecessary because of the natural incentive to save on fuel costs and keep their equipment at the peak of their productivity. In practice, equipment is rarely used at peak efficiency due to poor project management.  The objective of this project is to investigate the above argument in depth. The student will monitor the usage of heavy equipment at local construction sites, instrument equipment with sensors that measure CO2 emissions and actual power exerted by the engine, and generate correlation curves that link emissions with power in a variety of tasks, both during active and idle time. The student will then link the results to the causes of good or bad efficiency, and provide an initial correlation between emissions and project management tasks. The project will deliver a PhD dissertation describing the need, the state of the art, the research methodology and the results.