The SAMCEW © method
“At FCC, we are convinced that optimising the sustainability of infrastructure is possible”
At FCC, we are convinced that optimising the sustainability of infrastructure is possible, and this starts with understanding the current situation. Based on our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, we apply policies based on respect for the environment, efficiency and positively impacting the local economies where we operate, in all of our civil works.
“SAMCEW © is an internal tool created to measure the sustainability of our civil works”
This is how we view the construction business and, with this in mind, we have developed our own methodology. SAMCEW © (Sustainability Assessment Method for Civil Engineering Works) is an internal tool created to measure the sustainability of our civil works, allowing us to plan the work, identify improvements and share the advances in well applied practices.
It is a system of self-assessment and qualification that is born from our experience in applying Environmental Management System and Sustainability practices in infrastructure projects. This tool is the result of the work done by international civil engineers of the ‘Sustainability in Civil Works’ teams of ISO and CEN, which is chaired by FCC Construcción.
How SAMCEW © works
The methodology of this program considers sustainability practices at all the stages of the cycle of the civil work. There are three dimensions to this, divided into fifteen categories:
- Environmental: ecosystems and biodiversity, use of natural resources, waste, emissions in the environment, and noise and vibrations.
- Social: participation and acceptance, cultural heritage, welfare, effects on society, and risk and resilience.
- Economic: project management, land management, life cycle costs, externalities, and effects on the local economy.
Each of the categories develops a series of themes. Their purpose is to measure the impact of civil works on the three dimensions of sustainability, allowing those responsible for the work to identify the most important areas of improvement and share the progress in this particular area.
The SAMCEW © methodology is a flexible system. The main advantage of this is that it allows for the measurement of all types of projects, with their individual complexities, environments and specific circumstances.
Objective: To implement SAMCEW © in the most important works in 2017
“The College of Civil Engineers of Madrid, presented the award for Sustainability and Social Responsibility to FCC Construcción for its SAMCEW © project”
In December 2016, the College of Road, Channel and Port Engineers of Madrid awarded the Social Sustainability and Social Responsibility award to FCC Construcción for its SAMCEW © project.
SAMCEW © is now being piloted in the construction of lines 4, 5 & 6 of the Riyadh Metro (Saudi Arabia). The goal is to apply it in the most important works during 2017 and obtain feedback that helps improve and enhance the tool.
FCC Construcción’s commitment to sustainability
FCC Construcción always optimises the sustainability of the infrastructure it develops. SAMCEW © is the result of our efforts to make construction more respectful of nature and people, and to make it more economically viable. It is also a way of acting that reduces the environmental footprint caused directly or indirectly by construction activity as much as possible. It ensures that we are thinking about future generations.
Management and Sustainability System
SAMCEW © is part of the experience of apllying the Management and Sustainability System. It improves the eco-efficiency of construction processes, which are certified according to ISO 14001 in the 20 countries where it operates, reaching 95.9% of the total of its operation
“FCC Construcción works permanently in the optimisation of the sustainability of the infrastructure it develops”
In this sense, FCC participates actively in the development of standards that advocate sustainable construction. We also have our own Climate Change Strategy, which specifies a protocol for the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions under construction. Therefore, energy efficiency, recycling, exploitation and use of new and alternative fuels, the use and development of renewable energies or an alternative use of the surplus material of the productive processes, are key to all our operations.
In FCC Construcción we have implemented a system of Good Practices, which adds to the legislative, contractual or any other requirements, that guarantee better environmental results. Within this framework the Technical Specification ISO / TS 21929-2 for the development of sustainability indicators for civil works have been published. This commitment to sustainability also includes the suppliers with whom we work, demanding quality, respect for the environment and policies to prevent occupational risks in addition to other aspects.
Interview with Lucía Monforte Guillot
Department of Environment, FCC Construcción
– Why is SAMCEW © important?
“Its application in work is important, because it allows a self-evaluation of the project from the perspective of sustainability”
SAMCEW © is an internal methodology for evaluating sustainability in Civil Works (environmental, social and economic sustainability). Its application on site is important because it allows a self-evaluation of the project from the perspective of sustainability, identifying, from an early stage, the necessary improvements and more appropriate actions to minimise the potential impacts of each project, but also the sustainable practices that are applied to it. This methodology is a powerful communications tool for the managers of civil works, allowing them to demonstrate the sustainability of their projects to clients, planners and other interested parties.
– What’s new?
Although there are several evaluation methodologies in the market, these are usually focused towards the building sector and towards the evaluation of the environmental aspects of a building. This is partly because of the immediacy of the social impact of building and the effects that its spatial concentration has. It is also due to the fact that for infrastructure projects the tools in use are systematised and rather generalized, such as the Environmental Impact Assessment.
The novelty of SAMCEW © is that it contemplates the three dimensions of the model (not only the environmental, but also the social and economic) and that can be applied to different types of civil works during all stages of their life cycle.
Another new aspect of SAMCEW © is that the relative importance of each category is customised in each project according to its specific characteristics. This makes it a flexible and customisable methodology, which is important because on different projects certain aspects will have a greater or smaller impact on sustainability.
To define the weighting system of the project categories, it is necessary to respond to an initial questionnaire, which includes aspects such as the type of civil work evaluated, its location, the natural and social environment of the project, or the stages that will be evaluated.
– SAMCEW © is a commitment to sustainability in three dimensions: What does it contribute socially, environmentally and economically?
“The novelty of SAMCEW © is that it contemplates the three dimensions of the model and can be applied to different types of civil works during all stages of their life cycle”
Environmentally, it provides strategies to minimise the use of resources by correctly managing raw materials, improving recycling and reuse, minimising the generation of waste using recycled materials, reusing and / or recovering energy, minimising direct and indirect discharges to water, atmosphere and soil. It also pays particular attention to greenhouse gas emissions and their connection to climate change, as well as minimising the impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.
Socially, it considers the impact of infrastructure, both on its active users and on local communities affected. It also enhances participation, communication and consultation with the actors involved as well as contemplating aspects such as cultural heritage, safety of workers or the adaptability of infrastructure.
It integrates the concept of sustainability into project strategy and management, considering life cycle costs, including externalities and impact on local economies, and assessing changes in land use as a consequence of the implementation of the infrastructure.
– What projects have been put into operation and what has been the result?
So far, a pilot test has been carried out on the Riyadh Metro works. One of the objectives of the company for 2017 is to apply the methodology for the evaluation of sustainability to more of its own significant works. This will help to calibrate the tool generating results that can be used both internally in the company and in external forums