US Construction Industry

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Part
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US Construction Industry

About 98% of all energy use in the construction industry comes from diesel, while about 75% of all heavy construction equipment is powered by diesel. The images of construction equipment used for various kinds of purposes have been added to this Google Docs, while the details, description, and price of each equipment, as available, have been added to the attached spreadsheet.

Construction Machinery

  • The images of machinery used in building, tunnel, dam, road, canal, and bridge construction have been added to the attached Google Doc.
  • The details, description, and price of each machinery or tool have also been added to this attached spreadsheet to aid easy access.
  • Typical bridge construction equipment includes bridge crane, gantry crane, floating crane, launching girder, and a jib crane.
  • Examples of equipment used in canal construction include canal liners and canal finishers, alongside other general equipment like cranes and loaders.
  • Typical equipment used in dam construction includes sheepsfoot rollers, bulldozers with blade and ripper, and bulldozers with hydraulic scraper.

Construction Machinery Fuel

  • According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States, "most construction, farming, and military vehicles and equipment also have diesel engines."
  • In fact, 98% of all energy use in the construction industry comes from diesel, while about 75% of all heavy construction equipment is powered by diesel.
  • One of the reasons for this is that "no viable alternative has yet emerged for equipment that exceeds 500 horsepower; with some construction engines producing several thousand horsepower."
  • In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States "challenged diesel engine and equipment makers to virtually eliminate emissions from a wide range of diesel engines used in construction, farm and industrial off-road applications from massive bulldozers to farm tractors to lawnmowers." This led to the development of the 2014 Tier 4 Final standards. The Tier 4 standards sought to reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate emission by 90%, compared to what Tier 3 vehicles emitted.
  • In 2016, the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "announced the final rule for Phase 2 of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction from the heavy-duty fleet," which most construction equipment fall under; this new proposal will come into place in 2021.
  • The Phase 2 of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions is "expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program." It should be noted that these standards are focused on vehicle engines and not on the fuel per se.
  • Fuel costs can be between 20% to 30% of all equipment expenses. The last recorded price for diesel was $2.659 per gallon.
  • In the United States, the "low cost of gasoline and diesel, and inertia, or an overall lack of incentive to adapt to different fuel sources, has slowed the growth in popularity of alternative fuels."

Research Strategy

The equipment listed in the attached Google Doc and Spreadsheet were selected after consulting different articles on the tools needed for the different types of constructions — dam, canal, bridge, tunnel, road, and building. We attempted to search for the prices on major construction equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar and Komatsu, but found that these players do not publish price details on their website. As such, we had to rely on third-party articles and Alibaba to provide an estimate where available with attendant notes on some of the provided prices.


Sources
Sources