SymbioConstruction: A Bibliography-Driven Dynamic Construction Industry Symbiosis Database
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CitationGenc, O. (2021). SymbioConstruction: A Bibliography-Driven Dynamic Construction Industry Symbiosis Database. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 147 (8), art. no. 04021077.
The increasing depletion of nonrenewable resources has motivated society to find alternate sources and methods of industrial processes. This problem can only be solved by using the resources that are given by nature in such a way that they can be spontaneously renewed, namely through sustainability. Industrial symbiosis (IS), which is the substitution of raw materials used in an industrial process by another resource that would otherwise be discarded, is the key to sustainability in industry. IS is an alternative to a conventional linear economy (take-make-dispose) in which one keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extracts the maximum value from them during use, then reclaims and reproduces products and materials at the end of each service life. The initial step in developing a symbiotic relationship is to define possible relationships between production firms. Many studies have shown that lack of data on waste streams is one of the significant barriers to IS establishment. In this study, by screening IS case studies in the literature, a construction industry-related symbiosis database, namely SymbioConstruction, is developed as three modules in which the necessary data are provided to waste seekers to utilize/send a specific waste and to stakeholder seekers to establish symbiotic relationships by exchanging wastes. Then, the database is tested with two steps: (1) evaluation on the ecoindustrial parks, and (2) evaluation on the construction materials industry. The exploratory results of the evaluation show that the SymbioConstruction is able to identify the major amount of construction industry-related symbiotic relationships realized in ecoindustrial parks located around the world. Furthermore, it also shows that the main producers of construction materials have the opportunity of implementing symbiotic relationships in terms of sending and receiving wastes for utilization. The practical contribution of this study is in the form of a database in which the guidance is provided to practitioners for decision making in symbiotic relationship implementation with respect to the identification and selection of possible stakeholders. Two methodological contributions are also provided: (1) a generalized method for identifying sector-oriented potential IS implementations, and (2) a generalized method for storing those IS opportunities.