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Intelligent BIM tool for Construction Waste and Associated Embodied Energy Minimisation at Design Stage using Supply Chain Collaboration

Project Description

The main aim of the project is to develop an intelligent waste evaluation BIM tool that help designers to evaluate construction waste and associated embodied energy at early design stage.
Functions of the tool include
(1) identification of construction waste sources and prediction of construction waste quantities and associated embodied energy,
(2) identification of realistic recovery and re-use potential of materials to avoid wastage of embodied energy,
(3) optimisation of assembled unit sizes to reduce construction waste quantities and associated embodied energy


1. To identify and categorise construction materials according to the level and types of waste they generate, and associated embodied energy

2. To identify all existing reuse purposes of the identified materials to avoid wastage of embodied energy

3. To develop a dimensional coordination optimization tool for the materials identified as having off-cuts as their major contributions to construction waste

4. To develop a predictive tool for predicting construction waste quantity of a building and associated embodied energy, and suggesting reuse potentials of materials in a building buildings at the design stage

5. To develop a theoretical framework for integrating the tools in objectives 3 and 4 into a major BIM software like Revit

Research questions
1. What are the levels of waste generated, and energy consumed in their production and disposal, by the different construction materials and

2. What are the existing reuse purposes of the various construction materials, especially for materials with high embodied energy

3. What digital solution is available to solve the off-cut problems of construction materials as a major contributor to construction waste and wastage of energy

4. How can the potential waste levels a building construction process generate and the associated embodied energy be evaluated digitally at the design stage

5. Can the digital solutions for construction waste reduction, as developed in question 3 and 4, be integrated into a major BIM software like Revit


The pragmatism paradigm with a mixed method approach will be used to ensure all research questions are adequately answered. Interviews and focus groups with experts will be used to understand the problem and used to inform project specific questionnaires. Questionnaire data will be processed with expert systems to develop digital tools
This study will be the first to develop an expert systems for construction waste prediction and dimensional coordination optimization of construction materials to reduce off-cuts


The key resources needed include normal computers which university will provide, expert systems algorithms which are freely available, and some transport costs to meet with respondents hence project can cover all costs


Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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