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Title: The use of smart technologies in enabling construction components reuse: A viable method or a problem creating solution?
Authors: Iacovidou, E
Purnell, P
Lim, MK
Keywords: Construction and demolitwaste (CDW);Structural components;RFID;Information flow;Lifecycle valuationion;Reuse
Issue Date: 5-May-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Journal of Environmental Management, 2018, 216 pp. 214 - 223
Abstract: The exploitation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for tracking and archiving the properties of structural construction components could be a potentially innovative disruption for the construction sector. This is because RFID can stimulate the reuse of construction components and reduce their wastage, hence addressing sustainability issues in the construction sector. To test the plausibility of that idea, this study explores the potential pre-conditions for RFID to facilitate construction components reuse, and develops a guidance for promoting their redistribution back to the supply chain. It also looks at how integrating RFID with Building Information Modelling (BIM) can possibly be a valuable extension of its capabilities, providing the opportunity for tracked components to be incorporated into new structures in an informed, sound way. A preliminary assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the RFID technology is presented in order to depict its current and future potential in promoting construction components’ sustainable lifecycle management, while emphasis has been laid on capturing their technical, environmental, economic and social value. Findings suggest that the collection of the right amount of information at the design-construction-deconstruction-reuse-disposal stage is crucial for RFID to become a successful innovation in the construction sector. Although a number of limitations related to the technical operability and recycling of RFID tags seem to currently hinder its uptake for structural components’ lifecycle management, future technological innovations could provide solutions that would enable it to become a mainstream practice. Taken together these proposals advocate that the use of RFID and its integration with BIM can create the right environment for the development of new business models focused on sustainable resource management. These models may then unlock multiple values that are otherwise dissipated in the system. If the rapid technological development of RFID capability can be allied to policy interventions that control and manage its uptake along the supply chain, the sustainable lifecycle management of construction components could be radically enhanced.
ISSN: 0301-4797
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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