Matias Rokio, Tampere University – 13 November 2023
My name is Matias Rokio, and for the year 2023, I’ve been doing research in ReCreate. My background is in industrial engineering and management, and I have been studying since 2017 at Tampere University. I graduated with an M.Sc in June 2023 and wrote my Master’s thesis on resilience in Finnish health care with an emphasis on information asymmetries. My minor in sustainable production steered me towards the areas of sustainability and circular economy, which I feel should receive a lot of attention in research in varied fields. Currently, I am in the process of applying for a doctoral position at Tampere University, which I will hopefully receive sometime during this year. In my personal life, along with my work as a researcher, I am a semi-professional drummer in a few different groups and doing all kinds of session work for different artists.
Currently, I am working at Tampere University in a CROPS research group, which collaborates with ReCreate’s WP7 through my research. According to WP7 objectives, the work package aims to accelerate the development of a scalable and profitable business model for reused precast concrete components in different environments. Especially within the construction industry, the circular economy has tremendous potential in driving a transition towards more sustainable practises, as concrete manufacturing alone generates around 4-8% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
My research article on ReCreate approaches the concrete element reuse from project management’s perspective, with an aim to unveil how applying circular economy principles in projects affects the inter-organisational collaboration and value creation in the project front-end. In my research, the front-end spans the planning phase of the Finnish country pilot, where the deconstruction of an office building in Tampere city centre and the subsequent phases to it were planned in detail. The purpose of the research is to enrich the discussion around sustainable project management and showcase a project where sustainability is promoted through circular economy practises. Also, the circular economy discussion, despite its trending and important nature, is currently still lacking in the project management context, which makes the research interesting for project management scholars.
In the research, we found out that when a construction project is based on the reuse principle, the front-end phase requires more actors to collaborate in the project planning and some actors are required to take on new tasks in the project. For example, a structural engineering company was an integral part of the deconstruction planning of the building, whereas, in a conventional demolition project, the demolition company does the planning by themselves. It is also evident that there are several new business opportunities for the actors involved that could build new services and marketplaces around the reusable concrete elements and reach new customers through collaboration in the project. Currently, several barriers to the wider adoption of concrete elements reuse still remain, as manufacturing new concrete elements is relatively cheap whilst detaching, and refurbishing the old elements is somewhat time-consuming, and a regulative incentive for adopting the reuse principle is lacking.