Applying material flow analysis for optimizing construction aggregates management in the road sector
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The construction of infrastructure presents large issues of environmental impacts, land-use conflicts, and resource scarcity. Good resource management streamlining the material use and waste production is essential to target these issues, however, there are indications that current management of construction aggregates in the construction industry does not comply with the circular economy mindset. In addition, we find a lack of data and tools to support mitigation. In this thesis, we suggest a MFA, which: 1) Visualizes current material manage-ment in the road sector, and thereby allows us to evaluate the system s compliance to circu-lar economy. 2) Acts as a framework for storing data on material flows and stocks within the system over time. 3) Can be used to quantify supplies of and demands for material for a giv-en road project prior to construction, supporting an optimized utilization of material across the construction industry. The MFA is developed specifically to incorporate spatial resolu-tion and differentiation between material types due to the importance of these aspects to the potential for material utilization. Through the development and testing of the MFA, we found four areas, which should be further investigated to properly allow for an optimization of material utilization by the suggested approach. This includes testing the system definition through a regional quantification of material stocks and flows in road infrastructure, devel-oping a good reporting scheme on material stocks and flows, approaching current limitations of 3D software, and modelling current road infrastructure in 3D. In addition, we investigated what underlying barriers prohibit contractors from managing material in a way more com-pliant to the circular economy mindset. These barriers must also be approached, to really secure the possibility of optimizing material management on construction aggregates.