University of Tasmania

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The environmental performance assessment of civil construction projects : an expert rule approach

posted on 2023-05-27, 17:50 authored by Ng, Shao Kwan
This thesis presents a method of assessing the environmental performance of civil contractors on major construction projects. The motivation for the research leading to the development of the method was recognition of the increasing need for civil construction companies to self-regulate the environmental management aspects of their work, which in turn requires performance evaluation in order to achieve continual improvement. The thesis starts by briefly reviewing the environmental management aspects of civil construction projects in Tasmania. It highlights the emergence of environmental management plans and associated commitments as part of the project approval process. The widespread adoption of environmental management systems by civil construction firms is also discussed, and attributed in part to government downsizing over the past decade. The proposed environmental performance assessment method aims to provide civil construction companies with a tool to assist continual improvement. The method is based on examining the company's compliance with its environmental management system, and also with the project's environmental management plan. A risk management approach is used to select the leading commitments for a given project associated with the company's environmental management system, and the project's environmental management plan. Site visits to major Tasmanian civil construction projects were carried out to develop these ideas. The visits were to the Abt Railway construction site and to the Westbury-Hagley bypass construction site. The visits were undertaken with the help of the State Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources (DIER), and of the civil construction and consulting engineering companies associated with the projects. The new evaluation method is illustrated by application to these two projects, and shown to be an effective tool for assessing the environmental performance of the civil contractor regarding specific project commitments. The research also examined ways to aggregate individual performance scores. An expert rule approach is shown to provide a natural and elegant alternative to the traditional weighted average method of combining scores. In particular, an expert rule approach offers the advantage that an individual poor score can be flagged by the aggregation process, and not masked by good performance scores for other commitments. The thesis concludes by discussing how best to develop the method into an operational tool through trials carried out in association with local civil construction compames. The research is supported by two unpublished site visit reports, and two refereed conference papers. The thesis and its associated publications have been very favourably reviewed by State Government environmental and project management specialists familiar with the case study projects.


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Copyright 2002 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (MEngSc.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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