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Constructors and innovation credits in green building projects

Qingwei Li (School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Matt Syal (School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Nova Turner (School of the Built Environment, The University of Salford, Manchester, UK)
Mohammed Arif (School of the Built Environment, The University of Salford, Manchester, UK)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 5 July 2013

Abstract

Purpose

As green buildings have become more widely accepted, constructors (general contractors, construction managers and subcontractors) have become more involved and are playing an increasing role in the success of these projects. As a result, constructors need and want a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects, while exploring ways to provide a “value‐added” service to the projects. Past research has identified “Innovation in Design (ID)” credits as a potential “value‐added opportunity” for constructors to become preferred members of LEED project teams. Similar opportunities may also exist on Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) project teams. This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology encompassed an overview of “Innovation Credits (IC)” in LEED‐NC, BREEAM green building guidelines and an analysis of the ID category in LEED‐NC from a constructor's viewpoint in general, and electrical contractors in particular.

Findings

The findings of this research have identified ID credits as a potential “value‐added opportunity” for constructors to become preferred members of the LEED project teams. In contrast to LEED, this research has identified that similar opportunities for constructors do not exist for ICs under BREEAM as past or current ICs are not available in the public domain unless accessed by a BREEAM Assessor or Approved Person. This lack of access to information could have a negative impact and stifle future innovations and is an area worthy of further research.

Originality/value

This research provides an understanding of the constructor's role in the ID category and contributes to the broader literature related to the role of the construction industry in the green building movement. It is envisioned that the research output will serve as easy to use reference resources for the electrical contracting industry for proposing and achieving ID credits on LEED projects. It is also envisaged that this research will lead to recognition of the need for BREEAM ICs to be accessed within the public domain.

Keywords

Citation

Li, Q., Syal, M., Turner, N. and Arif, M. (2013), "Constructors and innovation credits in green building projects", Construction Innovation, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 320-338. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-Dec-2011-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited