Environmental impacts comparison between on-site vs. prefabricated just-in-time (prefab-JIT) rebar supply in construction projects
In the on-site rebar delivery system, as the common method of rebar supply in the construction industry, reinforced steel bars are delivered in large batches from supplier's facilities through contractor's warehouse to the construction site. Rebars are then fabricated on-site and installed after assembly. In the new delivery system, called prefabrication Just-In-Time (prefab-JIT) system, the off-site cut and bend along with frequent rebar delivery to the site are applied in order to improve the process and increase its efficiency. The main objective of this paper is to assess and compare the environmental impacts resulting from the air emissions associated with the two rebar delivery systems in a case study construction project. Environmental impact categories of interest include global warming, acidification, eutrophication, and smog formation. A process-based cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment methodology is applied to perform the analysis. The results show that the prefab-JIT rebar delivery system causes less contribution to all mentioned environmental impact categories compared with a traditional on-site delivery system.