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Contractor use of productivity and sustainability indicators for building refurbishment

Ahmet Anil Sezer (Technology Management and Economics Department, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 5 May 2015




The purpose of this paper is to analyse the use of building refurbishment productivity and sustainability indicators among construction contractors.


Theories of organisational culture and incentives predict that contractor size affects dependency on routines and the implementation of company policies on site. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with three general or site managers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and five site managers of large contractors involved in housing and office refurbishment projects in Sweden.


Both SMEs and large contractors track resource use on refurbishment sites. Resource use is measured through cost recording systems and a few area-based key indicators. SMEs may have sustainability policies, but routines derived from such policies were weak on site. However, for SMEs, refurbishment technology choices are often made by the client’s designer, and sustainability requirements are included in the contract specifications. For large contractors, sustainability policies are more developed and are reflected in site routines. Large contractors are usually public companies with stakeholders who expect such routines.

Practical implications

Contractors that develop strategies for increasing productivity and sustainability can benefit from a deeper understanding of implementation issues. The outcome of this paper is useful while designing new indicators and building certification schemes.


Much has been written about key performance indicators for construction, but little attention has been paid to indicators for building refurbishment, or the use of measurement routines.



The author is grateful to FORMAS, The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning for financial support.


Sezer, A.A. (2015), "Contractor use of productivity and sustainability indicators for building refurbishment", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 141-153.



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