Further Academic Research

In document Developing a sustainability assessment framework for ready-mixed concrete (Page 94-200)

This EngD research programme has identified some further research questions that could be answered by specific research projects or doctoral level studies. The areas of further research fall into three key areas:

1. Is an equal view of social, environmental and economic issues relevant for construction? The often quoted triple bottom line is used as an approximation for sustainable development (indeed this EngD has done the same) but is such an approach valid for the UK construction sector? There is a growing appreciation of sustainable procurement in the construction sector which could benefit from further research.

2. Can EPDs link to Responsible Sourcing and Product Stewardship principles?

This research has identified the potential proliferation of EPDs over the next few years. How could this be linked to the parallel concept of responsible sourcing and product stewardship? Are there any synergies for the construction product sector in doing so? What benefit could this have to other groups in the construction sector e.g.

architects and contractors using the information in different ways.

3. How can traditional heavy side construction materials (like concrete) be incorporated into sustainable construction systems commercially? This EngD has focused on a particular product group (ready-mixed concrete). An extension would be the use of concrete in a system that would have in-use benefits in terms of energy efficiency. There are often one-off projects that are innovative but the commercialisation and scale up of such sustainable concrete systems would be a valuable piece of research.

Aggregate Industries intends to support the third research area with the establishment of another Engineering Doctorate at Loughborough University.


This chapter has presented the findings and implications of the EngD research. The impacts on the two industrial sponsors and the wider construction products industry has been acknowledged. In particular the launch of the Life brand of products represents the tangible impact this research has had on Aggregate Industries. The research has been critically evaluated and concluded that the assessment framework has more value to Aggregate Industries if aspects of it are integrated into the existing standards and procedures for the business. A series of recommendations are made for Aggregate Industries, BRE and the wider construction products sector including the need for Aggregate Industries to better understand the in-use aspects of construction products and broader economic issues in product assessment. This EngD has highlighted the need for further specific research in particular the need to focus on sustainable construction systems as an extension to the focus on sustainable products. The findings collectively will form part of the future sustainability strategy for Aggregate Industries.


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Sustainability Assessment Framework for Ready-mixed Concrete

DRG 7001: 2012

This assessment framework is the product of the Engineering Doctorate at Loughborough University which is a collaborative work

between Aggregate Industries and BRE supported by funding

through the EPSRC

Issue 0.1 Framework Standard for the Sustainability Assessment of Ready-mixed Concrete

DRG 7001

March 2012 Page 2 of 19


1 Participating Organisations ...87

2 Foreword ...88

3 Scope ...88

4 Methodology ...89

5 Definitions ...89

6 Product Assessment ...90

7 Manufacture Assessment ...94

8 Use Assessment ... 101

Issue 0.1 Framework Standard for the Sustainability Assessment of Ready-mixed Concrete

DRG 7001

March 2012 Page 3 of 19



Loughborough University is a leading Higher Education establishment in the UK. Loughborough is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the country with particular strengths in sports and engineering. The School of Civil and Building Engineering is home to the Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE) through which the four-year Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme is managed. CICE has over 13 years of experience of working with industry to produce high quality academic work with direct industrial benefit. The EngD is supported by funding through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).


Aggregate Industries UK Ltd is a construction and building materials company which has innovation in sustainable products at the core of its strategy. Aggregate Industries exhibits leadership behaviour through the development and launch of products tackling a wide range of global and local

Aggregate Industries UK Ltd is a construction and building materials company which has innovation in sustainable products at the core of its strategy. Aggregate Industries exhibits leadership behaviour through the development and launch of products tackling a wide range of global and local

In document Developing a sustainability assessment framework for ready-mixed concrete (Page 94-200)