Methodology for estimating emissions in underground utility construction operations

Shaik S. Sihabuddin, Samuel Ariaratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Purpose: Today, engineers are faced with engaging the construction option that not only provides the best cost advantage, but also considers environmental sensitivities to create the most sustainable solution. The purpose of this paper is to identify a methodology to determine the pollutant emissions from utility construction methods. Design/methodology/approach: A survey of the literature was conducted to determine the need and developments in the area of emissions from construction industry. With the use of approved methodologies, an application program that is simple and user friendly was designed to estimate emissions from utility construction projects. Findings: The results of the research shows that the emissions can be calculated from standard equations using details available at any project site. With minimum effort, construction industry personnel can use available historical project data to determine and quantify emissions from their construction activities. Research limitations/implications: The research examines the major air pollutants from equipment/trucks burning diesel fuel. The impact of existing climatic conditions, weather and maintenance of machineries is not considered in the emission calculations. Practical implications: Estimation of emissions during the design phase of a project will help regulators and decision makers choose a construction methodology that not only incorporates time, cost, and social benefits, but also environmental benefits. Originality/value: Utilization of the tool created by this research should make contractors conscious towards the impact of their activities on their environment by showing them a methodology for estimating such emissions. The research shows the path to promulgate their methodologies in a world that is going "Green".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-64
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Construction operations
  • Pollutants
  • Sustainable development
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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