Internet of Things Garage

Digital Economy Sustainable Digital Society

Scalable Circular Supply Chain For the Built Environment

This project will demonstrate how one of the largest industries in the UK can utilise a digital platform to harness the benefits of a sustainable circular supply chain, so as to reduce waste, increase safety, and promote greater fiscal responsibility. The Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) sector plays a crucial role in the UK economy by employing over 2 million people to deliver civil engineering projects that underpin our economic growth. One of the biggest contributors to GDP, the ACE sector represents commercial activity spanning individual contractors through to multi-national corporations collaborating through complex asset distribution networks that account for over £10 billion of trade.

This network of activity consumes millions of tonnes of materials and produces more waste than all other industries combined, partly due to an inability to maintain an industry wide knowledge of material usage. Reclamation accounts for a fraction of industry activity due to intensive manual costs and is only economically viable for high cost, often historically valuable, materials. A key challenge therefore is a need to not only reclaim, but to track all material/asset usage throughout their lifecycles. Our approach is to build a digital platform and assess the associated business models within which the built environment can provide the tracing of materials without evasive building inspections for recall and resume activity.

The main outcomes of the research will be:

  1. A digital (software) platform that harnesses the potential of multi-layered blockchains, to balance local autonomy of transaction recording/management, whilst maintaining a consistent provenance trail of recorded activity within each stage of the AEC lifecycle.
  2. The concept and implementation of a ‘material & service passport’ to show the circularity potential of materials/ components/ assets/ services and enable stakeholders (e.g. designers, main contractors, manufacturers and clients) to assess the likelihood for circularity.
  3. A road map based on the co-developed (with industry) digital platform and circular supply chain models, to incentivise collective supply chain behaviours towards circular economy and environmental sustainability.


Team


Funding

EPSRC

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences, mainly to universities in the United Kingdom.


Partners

SERO

Sero is a zero carbon homebuilder via www.SeroHomes.com with our first scheme at www.Parc-Hadau.wales. We will shortly also become a professional private landlord and maintenance operation for the homes we build.

ARUP

Arup is a British multinational professional services firm headquartered in London which provides engineering, architecture, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment.

KB

Kate Baucherel is a business development and strategy consultant specialising in the application of emerging technology in enterprise. She has held senior technical and financial roles in businesses across multiple sectors including utilities, manufacturing, leisure and and software.

DXC

DXC Technology runs mission-critical systems with the latest technology innovations to deliver better business outcomes and new levels of performance, competitiveness and experiences for our customers. DXC delivers innovative solutions on a global scale with speed and agility.

HS2

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited is the company responsible for developing and promoting the UK's new high speed rail network. It is funded by grant-in-aid from the government. HS2 Ltd is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Transport.

DigitalDisruption@BREI

DigitalDisruption@BREI is a consortium of major UK Real Estate companies, Insurers, Asset Owners and Managers, Facilities Managers, Lawyers, ‘PropTech’ investors and Representative bodies at the UCL Bartlett faculty of the Built Environment. The consortium is a joint venture between RPL, the Bartlett Real Estate Institute [BREI] and the Institute for Digital Innovation in the Built Environment [IDIBE] at UCL.

Resilience Partners Limited (RPL)

RPL is a consultancy that specialises in identification and verification of critical data in the Real Estate sector. We are an expert group consisting of Lawyers, Project Managers, Computer Scientists and ESG data for safety, dispute resolution and environmental compliance.


Outcomes

Conference
Stanly Wilson, Kwabena Adu-Duodu, Yinhao Li, Ringo Sham, Yingli Wang, Ellis Solaiman, Charith Perera, Rajiv Ranjan, Omer Rana, Tracking Material Reuse Across Construction Supply Chains, IEEE 19th International Conference on e-Science (e-Science), Limassol, Cyprus, 2023, pp. 1-4