Holland Professor of Construction Management
College of Design, Construction and Planning
Incorporating sustainable development into construction practices and materials use is at the core of Abdol Chini’s research interests.
“The focus of my research is to foster the implementation of sustainability principles in the creation of the built environment,” he said.
Chini is the former director of the Powell Center for Construction and Environment, an organization focused on resolving environmental problems associated with planning, architecture and construction. He is also one of the founders and coordinators of the Commission W 115 (Construction Materials Stewardship) of Conseil International du Batiment (CIB), an international network of national building research entities, universities, industrial companies and practitioners.
Chini is interested in the potential for reuse and recycling of construction materials from disassembled buildings. He has published research on reusing lumber from deconstructed houses in Florida, and he has worked with the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory to establish re-grading standards for lumber taken from deconstructed homes.
Chini has also investigated the use of recycled concrete aggregates and wash water generated in production of fresh concrete to minimize the environmental impact of concrete production. Based on his research, the Florida Department of Transportation Standard Specifications were modified to allow for broader use of concrete wash water in the production of concrete — reducing the cost of wash water disposal and decreasing the cost of concrete production.
Chini is currently working with Dr. Charles Kibert to develop a program to train construction workers for the manufactured housing and modular construction industry. The program, called TRAMCON, will be taught at four state colleges: Santa Fe, Miami-Dade, Polk State and Seminole State. The consortium at UF and the four state colleges received a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for its development.
“The purpose is to implement and test TRAMCON in Florida and then migrate it to other states with significant manufactured and modular construction activities,” he said.