Construction Climate Challenge selects research to fund

Created: October 10, 2014. Updated: December 14, 2017.

In June 2014, Volvo CE initiated the Construction Climate Challenge (CCC), an initiative that works with industry leaders and other stakeholders to promote sustainability across the entire construction industry value chain. In its latest move to make a positive difference four research proposals have been selected to receive funding of an overall amount of 2 million SEK (277, 000 USD). The pre-studies are part of the CCC initiative to facilitate the sharing of environment related knowledge and resources.

From 1 July 2014, research teams had the opportunity to submit research proposals in four key areas as outlined by CCC: circular business models, emerging sustainable technologies, energy efficiency and enablers for change and innovation.

Peter Wallin, Technology Research Manager for Volvo CE, was involved in the selection process and commented: “It’s great to see the interest that the CCC has gathered from researchers from around the world and it was a difficult process to select just four research projects.

“The start of the Volvo Ocean Race is an appropriate setting for what marks the commencement of our challenge to improve how construction affects the environment,” Wallin comments. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results from the pre-studies.”

Having analyzed the submissions and conducted interviews with the academics involved, CCC has selected four pre-study teams to conduct the valuable research over the next nine months. The selected researchers attended the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 launch in Alicante this week, where they gave an overview of their planned research. Below are the selected research groups and a short summary of their pre-study proposals.

Circular business models – working towards a zero carbon footprint Johan M. Sanne, Håkan Stripple, Anders Björk, Bo Sahlberg IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

The objective of this pre-study is to implement circular business models that include the correct life-cycle costs from construction machinery, promoting the procurement of machinery with a low carbon footprint, and promoting carbon-effective ways to use them. The study aims to outline the research needed to implement such business models and ensure carbon footprint and energy calculations are considered. Developing knowledge and incentives for procurement of low carbon machinery, and for efficient use of the machinery, will also play a part in this.

Exploring future energy storage systems for construction applications Aleksandar Matic, Helena Berg, Patrik Johansson, Bengt Steen Chalmers University of Technology

Exploring future technologies is a fundamental part of CCC’s commitment to promote innovation in sustainability. This pre-study will explore the potential of future energy storage systems for applications at construction sites, with the objective of providing a road map for future research and development in this field.

Sustainable construction operations for reduced emissions Jiali Fu, Xiaoliang Ma, Hui Chen, Haris N. Koutsopoulos KTH Royal Institute of Technology

The initiative aims to assess emission impacts from construction processes and emphasize the mitigation of these impacts as an important aspect of operation design and planning. Emissions will be evaluated through detailed construction environment analysis, and researchers will explore policy tools that may reduce emission impacts.

Developing innovation for change – enablers for sustainability Åsa Ericson, Johan Holmqvist, Johan Wenngren Luleå University of Technology

There are three main pillars for sustainability: ecological, economical and social. The challenge is to integrate them into product development and to identify how more sustainable paths can be identified, assessed and decided upon. The study will propose solutions for demonstrating value in innovative engineering projects and, as a result, should present an approach to identify customer values, as well as visualizing how they support (or do not support) the development process for sustainability.

The pre-study teams are required to submit progress reports to the CCC every two months, culminating in a final report. The Construction Climate Challenge Summit will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, in conjunction with the final stop of the Volvo Ocean Race, on 24-25 June 2015, where the teams will present their results.

(Photo: From left to right: Ms. Jiali Fu from the Royal Institute of Technology, Dr. Åsa Ericson from Luleå University of Technology, Dr. Johan M Sanne from Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Peter Wallin, Technology Research Manager for Volvo CE and Dr. Helena Berg from Libergreen)