2B: Sustainability in Construction: Innovative solutions for the built environment (1.5 LU)

The session aims to discuss and present emerging applied research and industry practices around sustainability in construction. The session will investigate environmental impacts of built environments, sustainable construction materials and practices, lifecycle costing and assessment, building energy efficiency, green buildings, facility management, use of information technology for lifecycle planning, Integrated Design Process, and LEED.

Panel Lead

Hyun Woo “Chris” Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Construction Management. Prior to joining the CM Department in January 2016, he spent 3.5 years as an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University, and 7 years in the U.S. and Korean construction industries as field engineer, project engineer, and estimator. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004 and 2012, and B.S. in Architectural Engineering from Seoul National University in 1999. His areas of expertise include advanced risk assessment for energy efficiency investments, lean design and development of sustainable infrastructures, IT innovation in project management, and construction safety.


Lower Carbon Concrete: Moving from Research to Practice
Dave Walsh, Sellen Construction

This presentation examines Sellen Construction’s journey from modeling reductions of embodied emissions to the realities of placing low carbon concrete. Informed by several current and recent projects in the Puget Sound region, the presentation will discuss the environmental, owner, aesthetic and economic drivers to reducing cement and concrete’s embodied impacts; the process of creating new mix designs and environmental product declarations (EPDs); and the challenges and successes of early adoption. The presentation shares real-world experiences of working with a transit agency to forecast potential embodied emissions savings by implementing new mixes across a transit system, as well as working with public and private owners to place lower cement concrete in high-rise and office projects. The discussion concludes with both the promises and challenges facing general contractors, concrete suppliers, design teams and project owners.

Development of Strategies to Increase Recycled Asphalt Pavement Mixtures in Oregon
Erdem Coleri, Oregon State University

General reduction in pavement program funding levels over the past decade and the possible consequent increase in pavement road roughness within the next couple years created a need for low cost yet effective alternative ways to rehabilitate, preserve and maintain roadway network in Oregon. Recycling highway construction materials and minimizing the use of virgin materials can reduce the pavement life cycle costs, improve highway network condition, conserve natural resources, and protect the environment. Although the recycling of asphalt pavements is beneficial in most cases by reducing the need for virgin materials and construction costs, asphalt pavements with high recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) contents should be carefully designed to avoid premature cracking. The use of binder-grade bumping and high virgin binder content were determined to be effective in improving cracking performance. In this study, mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design methods and laboratory testing are combined with different modeling methods and life-cycle cost analysis (LCCA) to investigate the performance and cost benefits of using binder-grade bumping and high binder content in Oregon RAP mixes.


Improving Safety in Solar Installation on Small Buildings through Prevention through Design
Chung Ho, Hyun Woo Lee, University of Washington

The U.S. has observed a dramatic increase in the use of solar systems in recent years. Most solar installations happen on rooftop, forcing workers to face unique safety concerns due to varying conditions of existing structure and limited work space. Although Prevention through Design (PtD) has been developed as a proactive method to prevent safety hazards, no identified study has indicated how PtD can be applied to prevent hazard during solar installation. In response, this ongoing study aims to investigate how to address workers’ safety concerns from design process for solar installations on small buildings. The expected study outcome is a safety design protocol that small solar installers can employ to improve their safety practices. This presentation will be focused on presenting varying PtD attributes in solar systems that the study has revealed so far, including roof slope, roof material, roof accessory, fall protection system, and lifting method.


Disaster Migration and Resiliency of the Built Environment
Dr. Jessica Kaminsky, University of Washington

In 2015, European nations received over two million applications for asylum.  This population displacement is now the largest in the world’s history.  Upon arrival, these enormous displaced populations immediately require shelter and other infrastructure services.  This sudden shock challenges the resiliency of the existing infrastructure systems, and must be managed to ensure appropriate engineering and management response. In the summer of 2016, 56 semi-structured ethnographic interviews were conducted with German utilities, government agencies, engineers, architects, and contractors to explore the impacts of this sudden population growth to civil infrastructure. Concurrently, a survey was issued to 25 US water and sanitation utilities to explore concerns regarding the impacts of a (hypothetical) similar sudden population growth in the US.  Drawing from these combined datasets, we describe the impacts of disaster migration on the built environment and discuss the implications for construction research and practice.

Speaker Bios

Dave Walsh is a Registered Architect and Sustainability Manager at Sellen where he leads sustainability efforts on deep green projects including the new State of Washington 1063 Office Building, Federal Center South and a new corporate headquarters for a Seattle technology company. Informed by his dual experience in architecture and construction, Dave collaborates with the design team, manufacturers and owners to find materials that move projects beyond business-as- usual. Specifically, he has worked to reduce the embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions in new concrete mixes.

Dave chaired the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board and was a Board Member of both AIA Seattle and the Seattle 2030 District. He is currently a member of the leadership team for Washington Businesses for Climate Action (WBCA). He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas and completed post-graduate architectural studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Erdem Coleri received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Davis (2011) with specialization in pavement materials and structures. Dr. Coleri joined OSU in September 2014 after working as a postdoctoral scholar and a project scientist at the University of California Pavement Research Center for three years. He has also worked as a Technical Consultant for Sensys Networks, Inc., which is a leading provider of wireless traffic detection and integrated traffic data systems. His research interests are in the areas of sustainable pavement materials and structures, energy efficient pavement design strategies, and infrastructure health monitoring using wireless sensor networks.

Chung Ho is a PhD Student in Construction Management at the University of Washington. She received her MS in Structural Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and at the National University of Civil Engineering in Viet Nam she received a BS in Structural Engineering and a BEngr in Construction Management. She has 11-year experience working in design and project management services. Her research interest is lean construction, focusing on applying operations research to assist the management of construction prefabrication supply chain. Her other interests include project management, construction technologies, Building Information Modeling, construction safety and construction sustainability.

Jessica Kaminsky is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Washington. A scholar of engineering projects and organizations, she conducts research on infrastructure for developing communities with a particular interest in topics of social sustainability. While she is particularly interested in the global south, she is also interested in any context that is experiencing significant change in basic civil infrastructure (or, is developing). The practical goal of her research is to make basic civil infrastructure better serve all the world’s people by enabling increased human capabilities.

Prior to entering academia, Jessica spent 6 years working internationally for one of the world’s largest engineering firms. Other than her work, she enjoys spending time with my family, playing the banjo, and bad science fiction.