Better Carbon Footprint Surety & Project Execution Plan Formulation with Cost Based Analysis
Sugata Bandyopadhyay
Engineering Manager (AIM)
Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd

Moumita Deb
Assistant Manager (Civil)
Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd

In construction industry, project execution formulation process has got various priorities. The authors in this article present an innovative finding which not only generates a cost economic solution, but also does ensure an improved carbon footprint.

Global warming is a major issue causing unprecedented impact on our planet. Appropriate measures, in all aspects of our life, are to be taken up to combat against it and also to reduce the carbon footprint. There are many methods such as the sustainable recyclable material usage, focus on non -conventional energy resources, water conservation, and many more. However, it had been conceived that the most successful approach shall be those which will bring the commercial benefits as well, so that more and more groups will be eager to quickly adopt the same for getting direct benefit and also to ensure the intangible result of carbon footprint reduction.

The uttermost reason why most developers refrain from using green construction materials in place of the traditional ones is: sustainable construction comes with a premium price. However, all we need is the right approach, pointing towards the possibilities, for carbon footprint reduction of a project using smart design(s) and without any cost increment. It is possible to replace the traditional concrete with green concrete by increasing the GGBS or fly ash usage in concrete - either by adding it separately or by adding as a cement which includes these materials. Similarly, recycled steel, cross-laminated timber (CLT), lowcarbon insulation, and bio-insulation can significantly reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with the various construction activities.

From the above chart, it can be deduced that about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions come from the industry operations and construction activities.

To increase the sustainability of a building structure, it is important to improve the operational efficiency with a target to reduce the overall energy usage. There are two kinds of carbon footprint for a structure in its lifetime, operational carbon emission and embodied carbon. Embodied carbon can sometimes account for almost half of the total carbon footprint.

However, in a retrofitting work, possibility to improve operational carbon emission is very less, while attempt may be made to optimise the embodied carbon footprint.

Therefore, a more structured approach has been developed for the restoration of very old assets which are running with primitive technology to reduce its carbon foot print. The restoration process of the old assets is known as Asset Integrity Management.

A recent study report on business trend analysis at the present industrial scenario reveals that investments are limited towards Capex domain and the focus is more towards OPEX business for improved energy efficiency & increasing residual life improvement. This report is more focused on OPEX domain in the construction process of Asset Integrity Management.

As cost is an important driver for any new project or for the rehabilitation of a project, project execution methodology is required to have more sensitivity towards cost optimizing approach. Considering Industry 4.0 as the driver for digital transformation and as the connector of supply chain mechanism with construction as well as the other project execution processes, the cost based approach should be integrated with all the work processes for risk free, safe, and sustainable execution. To address all the diversified risks, project execution model had taken a top down approach to stay competitive in the present business scenario. Apart from other key performance indicators(KPIs), cost plays the most vital role in formulating a process to ensure a sustainable execution model.



Broad Classification of Project Execution Cost


Detailed Classification


To ascertain the impact of the various project components on the overall project cost, individual cost analysis has been carried out in various executed projects and the study has been summarized and presented herewith in the chart. After carrying out the above analysis, it evolved that while working in foreign shore, the dominating cost bearing components, are the ones predominantly for human resources and for hiring of specialized construction equipment including tools & tackles and safety gears. While the material cost had the impact to some extent, an attempt to reduce the same will create a very small influence on the overall cost. This triggers to create new methodology for project execution.



To address the above issues, the required primary consideration is to optimize the project timeline during project planning at engineering stage, which will have significant impact both on indirect human resource cost as well as on the construction equipment hiring charges.

A detailed analysis and experimentation with various methodology resulted with the following outcome.

By adopting the above methods, an improvement on project timeline, cost, safety, and better environmental impact can be evolved. Various other methodologies are being tried to further improvise and to generate a more costeffective project timeline.



Project Scheduling
As seen in the above diagram, micro scheduling is of utmost importance to ensure the smooth running of a project. To facilitate that, it is required to finalize the project implementation process. Once that is done, a work breakdown structure of all the site activities and daily work schedule is prepared as well.

Before the commencement of the construction activities, the following checks need to be carried out:
i. Availability of front
ii. Safety
iii. Regulatory compliances
iv. Parallel opening of front
v. Impact on running plant

After the standard checks and procedures are in place, it is necessary to check if there is any possibility for the project implementation schedule improvement. Then the corrective measures for the project implementation plan optimization will be developed and taken care of, from the inception stage itself.

Conclusion
The focus on carbon footprint reduction during project execution has recently gained momentum in the industry. Usage of existing buildings, Green Building Certification Schemes for new buildings, and having regulations & policies for decarbonization in place are a few of the measures being undertaken to ensure the same. However, its popularity can only be increased if stakeholders across the construction industry come together and share their stories of successful project executions and work towards demand creation as well as a favourable market for low carbon materials and processes.