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Construction and demolition waste management

The building sector is amongst the major resource consuming and waste generating sectors of the economy. The paradigm of the circular economy has the potential to overcome the problems that resulted due to the adoption of the linear economic model by the construction industry.

The research on circular economy increased rapidly during recent years; however, a research gap exists on the assessment of the current state and barriers to the circular economy in the construction industry of developing countries. The challenges of sustainable construction, industrial growth, and the importance of resource efficiency are clearly recognised by the governments and are now at the forefront of strategy and policy. A critical component of the government’s sustainability strategies concerns the way in which construction and demolition waste (C&DW) is managed.

This PhD study uses a mixed-method approach to investigate current practices of C&DW management and circular construction (re-use, recycle, and recovery of materials) concepts.

References

Ghaffar, S. *, Burman, M., Braimah, N. (2019). Pathways to circular construction: An integrated management of construction and demolition waste for resource recovery. Journal of Cleaner Production, doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118710

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.

Meet the Supervisor(s)


Seyed Ghaffar - Dr Seyed Ghaffar is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Civil Engineering. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer (CEng, MICE), a Member of the Institute of Concrete Technology (MICT) and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). He is the leader of Additive Manufacturing Technology in Construction Research Group (AMTC). The focus of AMTC is on valorising construction and demolition waste using materials science and 3D printing to achieve the circular economy goals of sustainable construction. Dr Ghaffar, as the Principal Investigator, has been successful in securing a €220K project funded by the H2020 EU Commission on ''Digital fabrication and integration of Material reuse for environmentally friendly cementitious composite building blocks (DigiMat)' 2021-2023. Dr Ghaffar is the Principal Investigator of a £300K project funded by the British Council (Institutional Links) on 'Direct Writing of Cementitious Inks to Scaffolds with Complex Microarchitectures (DiWoCIS)' 2020-2022. He is also the Principal Investigator of a £300K project funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) on 'High-Performance Compressed Straw Board (HP-CSB): A New Generation of Building Materials' 2018-2022. Dr Ghaffar's research covers a number of construction materials, with a focus on the development of low carbon technologies suitable for new and retrofitting applications by combining materials sciences and innovative technologies. Dr Ghaffar is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Results in Engineering (Elsevier) and the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures and Buildings (ICE Publishing).   He recently edited a book titled "Innovation in construction - A Practical Guide to Transforming the Construction Industry". He is a Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and has been appointed as an expert evaluator for the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), and the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Dr Ghaffar has also acted as an expert evaluator on Horizon Europe HORIZON-CL4-2021-TWIN-TRANSITION-01-12: Breakthrough technologies supporting technological sovereignty in construction (RIA) (November 2021) and HORIZON-CL4-2022-RESILIENCE-01-16: Building and renovating by exploiting advanced materials for energy and resources efficient management (IA) (April 2022).  During his PhD (2012-2016), Dr Ghaffar was simultaneously working as a research associate on several European research projects, i.e. Grow2Build, VIP4ALL, REWOBIOREF and GELCLAD. Natural fibre composite production, formulation and characterisation are part of Dr Ghaffar's research expertise. In 2015, he was appointed Manager of Grow2Build European Centre of Excellence (Grow2Build), which serves as a permanent focal point for local manufacturers, industries and research centres interested in bio-based building products, providing technical support and innovation for utilisation of bio-based products in the construction industry. Moreover, construction waste management and valorisation (WasteValue) is another of Dr Ghaffar's research interests. This research aims to study the feasibility of the circular economy (cradle to cradle) management of waste and the environmental sustainability of the systems in construction. WasteValue evaluates and analyses current technologies and strategies concerning construction and demolition waste management in the UK.