We partnered with the the National Union of Students (NUS) on its Projects for Good initiative to support students and alumni to create positive change for sustainability in their workplaces, embodying UCEM’s commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

The shortlisted ‘Projects for Good’ were displayed at the our student and alumni centenary event in 2019, highlighting the variety of ways positive, sustainable change can be achieved within the built environment.



Creating a sustainable lifestyle

Project by: Abdulbasit Olad, Student, MBA Construction and Real Estate

Ecosystem degradation creates a new trend in the context of the global ecological crisis. This trend involves the need to shift urban facilities to  sustainable development standards, which in turn is linked to the necessity to modernise the urban environment in the view of comfort, economy, and ecological compatibility.

The planning, design and construction of sustainable developments plays a natural catalytic role for change towards improvement of the  environmental quality. This paper suggests a number of sustainable development planning, design and construction interventions which aim to influence the behaviour of residents to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

The adoption of sustainable practice was infused through all aspects of the planning and development of Al Marai, and, importantly, they were able to positively influence the lifestyles of those who live, work and visit the development.

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The housing crisis in Uganda

Project by: Alfred Lulembwe, Student, BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management

This project is entirely based on sustainable, affordable housing in Uganda, especially among the youth, and what can be done to improve the situation.
Accessing affordable housing in Uganda is still a very big challenge, especially among the younger population yet this demographic constitutes the biggest part of the country’s population (73%). According to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Uganda has a deficit of approximately 1.7 million
habitable houses.

This has not only affected the socio-economic aspects of Ugandans’ lives but also the environmental and natural resources such as wetlands and forests which are at risk of massive destruction leaving future generations hanging in the balance.

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Two meals a day for good health and sustainability

Project by: Ansar Azeez, MSc Quantity Surveying

The basic definition of sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Food wastage is as serious an issue as food scarcity. The number of people with obesity is increasing at the same levels of those without food to eat. This is caused by the food imbalance in our society.

This project is influenced by the famous quote: “We live in a strange world where the poor walk miles to get food and the rich walk miles to digest food”.

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The assessment of construction plants and equipment management

Project by: Adebanji Bademosi, BSc (Hons) Construction Management

Based on qualitative and quantitative findings, this research will establish the criteria for the selection of sustainable construction plant and equipment for on-site mechanization. The sustainability criteria results showed that there are differences between the conventional way of procurement which mostly emphasises cost, time and quality. Due to global warming, it is imperative for the plant and equipment industry to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of the construction process.

This will assist mostly civil construction contractors in the selection and development of better and more sustainable plant and equipment machinery to meet the triple bottom line of sustainability: profit, planet and people.

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A sustainable alternative to bespoke construction in the UK

Project by: Djordje Veselinovic, MSc Quantity Surveying

This case study outlines efforts to develop the ‘Open Plan’ project which aims to promote sustainable construction by encouraging construction project owners to ‘site-adapt’ existing building designs for new build projects instead of developing bespoke one-off buildings. This will provide a financial motive for existing building design owners to offer their designs under a license. This also encourages building design professionals to create more open-source designs.

Re-thinking our approach to building in this way could make thousands of excellent ‘off-the-shelf’ designs available to the market, reduce project costs for owners by as much as 15% on account of design fees, cut down project lead times to a fraction compared to current practices, and improve the quality of original designs.

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Waste management challenge in Ghana

Project by: Kwasi Appiah Asamoah, MSc Construction Management

Waste management has become one of the biggest challenges confronting developing countries, including Ghana. Increased population growth and rapid urbanisation have resulted in increased generation of volumes of waste in Accra. Within a period of 15 years, Accra has grown very rapidly with a population of around 5 million and an annual growth rate of 4% making it one of the fastest growing metropolises in Africa. This phenomenal growth has contributed to the myriad of municipal waste management problems facing the country.

To change the mindset of citizens on polluting the environment with waste, it is key to educate Ghanaians on proper waste management, waste separation, recycling and reuse of waste.

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Sustainable alternatives to road building in Zimbabwe

Project by: Lenon Nyagura, MSc Quantity Surveying

This case study has been designed to inform, inspire and share good sustainability practice. It provides an account of the Department of Roads’ Construction and Rehabilitation of Harare Masvingo Road using alternative soil stabilising agents. This case study explores both the rationale and opportunities that exist for embedding sustainability into the built environment and analyses the impact of alternative soil stabilisers thus far within an environmental, social and economic context.

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Wokingham Greenways Project

Project by: Preeti Chatwal-Kauffman, MBA Construction and Real Estate

Wokingham Greenways are continuous, generally traffic-free, multiuser routes that are aimed at linking the major Strategic Developments in the
borough to each other and places of interest and employment.

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Precast construction as a sustainable building method in the United Arab Emirates

Project by: Shahid Gardezi, MSc Quantity Surveying

Ajmal Makan, Sharjah Waterfront City is spread over 60 million square feet and consists of eight beautifully designed islands creating a new city on the coast of the Arabian Gulf. Once developed, Sharjah Waterfront City will host a community of 60,000 people, 1,500 villas and 95 high-rise residential and commercial towers. The development is a combination of open and verdant beaches (40% of the project area), and 60% of the area is landscaped with green beaches, green gardens and service areas, ensuring the building of a healthy and respectful society.

Ajmal Makan has adopted international standards for green buildings, reducing energy use and the overall carbon footprint of the project.

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Collection of carbon footprint data

Project by: Sridhar Pentapati, MSc Quantity Surveying

This report is to quantify the amount of fuel consumption (through individual transportation of each employee to work each day), then relating it back to the size of carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint generated. This will identify the key areas where it can even be decreased or what measure needs to be implemented to achieve the objective of decreasing individual carbon production. This study will impact the participants involved, clients in some cases (by promoting video conferences rather than face to face interactions), and the organisation itself.

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Recycling aiding sustainable road building in Qatar

Project by: Victor Adefolaju Ajayi, MSc Surveying – Construction and MSc Construction Management

The sustainable and innovative materials used in the Road Works Project in Qatar have been designed to look into different types of innovative materials that can been used in the road work construction in Qatar which will be sustainable and cost-effective for the future. This case study explores both the rationale and opportunities that exist for embedding sustainability in road construction and it analyses the impact on the environmental and weather conditions coupled with cultural and economic contexts.

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An analysis of the viability of private sector impact investment in rural infrastructure development in South Africa

Project by: Yanda Ntsapokazi Tolobisa, MBA Construction and Real Estate

The argument for infrastructure development as an accelerant of poverty reduction and national growth has been proven in both literature and completed projects; similarly, in successful impact investment in commercially viable rural infrastructure projects, where investors gain up to or greater than the market value in financial returns. However, the South African private sector has shown very low confidence, and government or Public Private Partnerships (PPP) have shown little to no progress in rural infrastructure development.

With regards to the most effective South African rural locations for high-impact investment, the project assesses the best routes to commercial markets, in particular, the emerging industry of blue ocean economy. This project will focus on sustainable infrastructure through smart technology, clean energy, waste recycling (including water), low embodied energy construction processes and materials.

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“The 13 Projects for Good on display provided brilliant examples of our students’ and alumni’s commitment to the sector and agility to create sustainable solutions in a changing world.”

Jane Fawkes
Deputy Principal, UCEM