UH-Tarmac sustainable living

Following the successful conclusion, in April 2015, of its Lafarge Tarmac-funded research into sustainable living in master planned communities, the Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Hertfordshire, is now embarking upon a further round of research funded by Tarmac (the successor company to Lafarge Tarmac).

Entitled, Supporting innovation and best practice in the materials supply chain: communicating and learning with suppliers and end-users, this 3-year, £150,000 research project aims to explore and understand purchasing decision-making processes and contexts in the construction industry supply chain, and the impact of these on the demand for sustainable building products.

Further research

Led by Dr Susan Parham, and with the close involvement of co-investigator, Research Fellow Dr John McCormack, the research involves a range of methods to explore the materials supply chain. These include a survey of stakeholders in the construction industry supply chain, case studies of purchasing decisions, interviews with key actors in the supply chain, and interviews and focus groups with end-users (including landlords, tenants and residents).

There will also be an international, comparative dimension to the project, with telephone interviews planned involving actors in the construction industry supply chain from overseas. The project will also benefit from the convening of an Industry Advisory Group, comprising actors in the construction industry supply chain, whose role it will be to provide industry (as distinct from academic) insights and feedback in relation to the design, delivery and analysis of the project.

Dr. John McCormack

Co-investigator, Centre for Sustainable Communities  +44 (0)7811 352114.


The project is now progressing and there are a number of outputs from key stages, details of the project – including its emerging findings – can be accessed below. These include reports (interim and final), briefing papers, blog posts, press releases and notes from focus group proceedings.