Tool to stimulate collaboration in the Procurement Process of Circular Road Projects

Continuation of the 'circular procurement tool' by Menouschka R. Baldew

This report will present the results and experiences of the CME2100-11 course ‘Research Internship’ at TU Delft Faculty of Civil engineering, carried out at the Municipality of Amsterdam in the period between the 26th of July 2021 and the 26th of October 2021.

In this period, Juliëtte Mohamed has been the supervisor of Menouschka R.Baldew within the Municipality of Amsterdam which explains the continuation and relation of the tools.

The Municipality of Amsterdam is one of the partners involved in the program ‘De Circulaire Weg (DCW)’, where different involved parties are aiming to minimize the use of primary materials, increase the reuse of materials by integrating concepts of circularity within the infrastructure sector, and conduct research on the infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) contract model. Currently, ongoing research within the ‘DCW’ must determine if the IaaS contract model can enhance the implementation of circularity within the road construction sector. In IaaS certain obligations, such as ownership of the infrastructure object to the contractor. Within ‘DCW’, there are plans to carry out the project ‘Pilot Tijdelijke weg bij ArenA’ in Amsterdam Zuid Oost.
This research internship assignment aims to create a tool that can be used by all involved parties during the design, procurement process, and construction of circular road projects within the Municipality of Amsterdam. On the basis of initial literature research and talks with partners in ‘DCW’, the research question for this assignment is as follows: ‘What circular and doughnut economic applications can be integrated in a tool in case Infrastructure-As-a-Service (IaaS) contract model is used for circular road construction projects?’

For the research, literature review and interviews are conducted. Within scientific literature, different topics are researched such as Circular Economy (CE) principles, Doughnut Economy (DE) principles, methods of procurements, PSS, and circular design criteria. Also, grey literature is reviewed. With the ‘DCW’ partner program being carried out in the Netherlands, mainly literature from the Dutch context is taken into account. ‘Platform CB’23’, ‘Duurzaam GWW’, and the Dutch public authority Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) have already carried out quite some research related to circular principles within the civil engineering sector. Furthermore, interviews are conducted with experts and partners involved in the pilot ‘Tijdelijke weg bij ArenA’.
Upon the start of the internship, an existing tool for the procurement of circular façade was received by the Intern as an ‘Excel’ file. After analyzing the literature review and interviews, the results are used to review and modify this existing tool to make it useable for the procurement of circular road projects.

The results of the literature review and interviews show that there are still some bottlenecks occurring between the contractor and contracting party during the procurement process in which circular criteria are assessed. One of the reasons is that communication between involved parties does not always go smoothly. With circularity, sustainability, and IaaS contract model being relatively new concepts within the road construction sector.

The modified tool, referred to as ‘CTCR’ (Collaboration Tool for Circular Roads), will be used by the municipality, road design team, and contractor in order to stimulate collaboration between the parties during different stages in the procurement process, for example during the pre-selection phase. Furthermore, the tool can also help especially the design team to consider different design principles for the road. CE main themes, categories, and sub-categories together with DE principles are integrated into the ‘CTCR’. The CE main themes are: protecting the material stocks, protecting the environment, and protecting the existing value. For the doughnut economy, the main principles are related to social wellbeing and work.

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