Analyzing the environmental and economic sustainability of building materials flow under geopolitical uncertainty

Shaikha R. Al-Nuaimi, Yemane Weldemichael Weldu, Sami G. Al-Ghamdi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Materials flow is a key parameter in assessing the environmental and economic impacts of various products over their life cycle; any change in the logistics of construction materials can directly or indirectly affect all parties involved in the product supply chain. Geopolitical challenges can affect the normal routes of construction materials flow and the delivery of those materials. Qatar's only land border and air and sea routes have been cut off by its neighboring countries. Most of Qatar's construction materials are produced outside the country and imported, and so this geopolitical crisis has forced Qatar to seek alternative routes of producing and importing building materials; this is important, as Qatar has undertaken massive construction projects, given that it will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. In this study, the environmental and economic sustainability of building materials under states of geopolitical uncertainty are examined using an environmental life cycle costing method. Various building materials (i.e., steel, sand, cement, limestone, and asphalt) were investigated from a life cycle perspective, using a cradle-to-gate system boundary. Preliminary results of this analysis demonstrated trade-offs and the variability of impacts, depending on the material considered. It is crucial that countries facing geopolitical uncertainty assess the sustainability potential of alternative routes, if they are to mitigate environmental and economic impacts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2019: Leading Resilient Communities through the 21st Century - Proceedings of the International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure 2019
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)1801 Alexander Bell DriveGEORestonAlabamaVA 20191onlinejls@asce.org
Pages703-714
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780784482650
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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