Smart construction logistics concepts in practice
In cooperation with
Various knowledge institutions, (local) government, and the business community.
New concepts in construction logistics can save you a lot of time and money. They also lead to improved traffic flow, fewer harmful emissions, and less disruption for the surrounding area. For example, it is possible to reduce the number of inner-city journeys to and from the construction site by some 50 to 80%.
Less disruption and lower costs with sustainable construction logistics
Many people are having trouble finding affordable housing. That’s why around 900,000 additional homes are needed by 2030. The housing stock is also being made more sustainable and infrastructure is being renewed. Already, 30% of business traffic in cities is attributable to construction: more than 200,000 delivery vans and 20,000 lorries every day. This leads to disruption and costs. For example, traffic jams, problems with air quality (CO2, particulate matter), noise, and road safety.
Sustainable construction logistics is the coordination of logistics throughout the chain: from the architect to the contractor to the workers on the building site, so that construction takes place as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Research into sustainable building logistics
In recent years, research into sustainable building logistics has been carried out in various projects. For example, with the help of Cross Chain Control Centres (4C). Read more about some of these projects below.
Coordination in the chain is crucial
For good construction logistics, coordination and collaboration within the chain are crucial. Conditions for the successful implementation of construction logistics include:
- insight into the integral chain costs
- tactical and operational planning on the basis of shared information
- sufficient scale in construction hubs to reduce costs
- well-considered locations of the hubs
- insight into operational logistics performance
- an active role of local government in procurement and licensing
In the various projects, we work closely together with several knowledge institutions, (local) government, and the business community, including TU Delft, Twente University, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Municipality of Amsterdam, Port of Amsterdam, Waternet, VolkerWessels Bouwmaterieel, Dura Vermeer, van Wijnen, Waal bouw, Scholtens group, Bouwend Nederland, and TLN. The knowledge and experience gained are shared widely within the sector via conferences and institutions such as Dinalog and Connekt.
Cross Chain Control Centre (4C) in construction logistics
In this research project, new construction logistics concepts and chain management systems were implemented in practice in two building projects of TBI (Hotel Amstelkwartier) and VolkerWessels, in collaboration with Boele & van Eesteren (De Trip).
For construction project De Trip, we demonstrated the advantages of construction logistics concepts:
- 69% fewer journeys to the construction site
- 69% fewer kilometres of construction traffic
- 68% fewer carbon emissions
- An average savings for the supplier of 81 minutes per trip
4C control tower applications in construction logistics
This is a follow-up to the ‘4C in construction logistics’ project. In this project, we advised 9 new construction projects on the implementation of construction logistics concepts and examined the performance and impact on the environment.
At 3 living labs, we collected extensive data and demonstrated the following savings:
- approximately 50%, 65%, and 80% fewer journeys
- a total of over 260,000 fewer kilometres
- a reduction in CO2 emissions of 40%, 85%, and 50%.
In this project, we worked with the municipality of Amsterdam, the Port of Amsterdam, and Waternet. The aim was to shift as much of the transport of construction materials from the road to the water as possible. In many cases, this required a multimodal construction hub.
A multimodal construction hub is a disconnection point for the transhipment of construction materials from road to water and vice versa. It offers opportunities for the temporary storage of building materials and the combining of transport.
A number of multimodal construction hubs were launched as early as 2018. Initial experience with the transportation of building materials by water was also gained in four construction projects. In this project, we focused on monitoring the effect of implementing and working with a multimodal construction hub.
The Municipality of Amsterdam used the experiences in developing policy on goods transport by water. The positive results from 2018 have ensured that there will be a follow-up for several construction projects in Amsterdam, among others. For more information on the 2018 findings, please read the final report Amsterdam Vaart (pdf) (pdf).
Exploring impact on sustainability
The Municipality of Rotterdam asked us to study the potential and the impact of operating a multimodal logistics construction hub, in particular on the number of transport movements and related carbon emissions and other harmful emissions (NOx and particulate matter).
The most important conclusion of this study was that the use of construction hubs to combine the transport of building materials to all construction sites within the Rotterdam ring road has a very positive impact on both the heavy goods traffic in the city centre to the construction sites and on the climate, as well as on air quality. By combining the use of construction hubs with electric transport between the construction hubs and the building sites in the city centre of Rotterdam, even greater savings on emissions can be achieved (about double). The results of the study were used by the Municipality of Rotterdam for follow-up steps towards a policy on construction flow regulation.
Want to know more?
Read the report ‘Sustainable construction logistics for inner-city residential and non-residential construction: experiences and recommendations’.
Hans QuakFunctie:Senior Scientist
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