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The environmental performance assessment of civil construction projects : an expert rule approach


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Ng, Shao Kwan 2002 , 'The environmental performance assessment of civil construction projects : an expert rule approach', Research Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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This thesis presents a method of assessing the environmental performance of civil
contractors on major construction projects. The motivation for the research leading
to the development of the method was recognition of the increasing need for civil
construction companies to self-regulate the environmental management aspects of
their work, which in turn requires performance evaluation in order to achieve
continual improvement.
The thesis starts by briefly reviewing the environmental management aspects of civil
construction projects in Tasmania. It highlights the emergence of environmental
management plans and associated commitments as part of the project approval
process. The widespread adoption of environmental management systems by civil
construction firms is also discussed, and attributed in part to government downsizing
over the past decade.
The proposed environmental performance assessment method aims to provide civil
construction companies with a tool to assist continual improvement. The method is
based on examining the company's compliance with its environmental management
system, and also with the project's environmental management plan. A risk
management approach is used to select the leading commitments for a given project
associated with the company's environmental management system, and the project's
environmental management plan.
Site visits to major Tasmanian civil construction projects were carried out to develop
these ideas. The visits were to the Abt Railway construction site and to the
Westbury-Hagley bypass construction site. The visits were undertaken with the help
of the State Department of Infrastructure Energy and Resources (DIER), and of the
civil construction and consulting engineering companies associated with the projects.
The new evaluation method is illustrated by application to these two projects, and
shown to be an effective tool for assessing the environmental performance of the
civil contractor regarding specific project commitments.
The research also examined ways to aggregate individual performance scores. An
expert rule approach is shown to provide a natural and elegant alternative to the
traditional weighted average method of combining scores. In particular, an expert
rule approach offers the advantage that an individual poor score can be flagged by
the aggregation process, and not masked by good performance scores for other
The thesis concludes by discussing how best to develop the method into an
operational tool through trials carried out in association with local civil construction
The research is supported by two unpublished site visit reports, and two refereed
conference papers. The thesis and its associated publications have been very
favourably reviewed by State Government environmental and project management
specialists familiar with the case study projects.

Item Type: Thesis - Research Master
Authors/Creators:Ng, Shao Kwan
Keywords: Civil engineering
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2002 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MEngSc.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references

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