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Climate Change impact and resilient practices/technologies/procedures/design for buildings or infrastructure projects used by construction companies to reach net zero carbon footprint

Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

Climate change is the biggest challenge characterizing our times.

The aim of this PhD project is to map and evaluate the different policies, strategies and processes of the Construction Industry with regards to climate change adaptation and mitigation and to measure and suggest improvements on how the Construction sector contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The latest Sustainable Development report estimates that

· Half of the Earth’s raw materials are used for construction.
· 40% of the final energy consumption is used during the service life of buildings
· The embedded carbon of construction products represents 10-20% of total embedded carbon in buildings in the EU
· There is the need for a rapid and just transition, in line with EU and UK’s climate targets to a climate neutral and more circular economy in the sourcing and manufacturing of construction products and their sustainable use in construction works
· Construction is highly material and carbon intensive
· Construction and demolition waste accounts for a third of waste generated in the EU

At the same time the construction sector is contributing to the National Adaptation Programme making sure the sector is resilient and adapted to climate change. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to Climate Change mitigation and implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas the construction sector is far from achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in general and in particular the ones dedicated to climate change mitigation and adaptation and each

sector is encouraged to contribute to these global goals. This project seeks to develop models representing the efforts of the construction sector in the UK and developing frameworks on how the sector could contribute successfully to climate change mitigation and adaption.

The research will aim to answer the following research questions

1) How are natural resources used and created in the construction sector and what are the environmental effects of their uses

2) What environmentally sustainable models for the construction sector can reduce the negative impact on the climate?

3) What might be environmentally responsible practices in the construction industry and what do these imply for a construction company? Examples of practices may include: carbon footprint etc.

4) How can construction companies accomplish environmentally responsible practices, technologies and procedures that reduce the negative impact on the climate?


Herczeg, McKinnon, Milios, et al. (2014) Resource efficiency in the building sector. Final report to DG Environment

Cao, Dai& Liu (2016) Building energy-consumption status worldwide and the state-of-the-art technologies for zero energy building during the past decade, Energy and Building 128: 198-213

Material Economics, 2018, Circular Economy-A Powerful Force for Climate Mitigation Eurostat (2019) Waste Statistics Available at:

International Labour Organisation, A just transition to a sustainable future-Next steps for Europe, ILO-Brussels, Brussels, 2017

G. Montt, J. Capaldo, M Esposito, M. Harsdorff, N. Maitre and D. Samaan, Employment and the role of workers and employers in a green economy, Greening with Jobs-World Employment and Social Outlook 2018

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