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Unpacking the problems behind the limited green construction adoption: towards a theoretical model

Samuel Fiifi Hammond (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Thayaparan Gajendran (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
David A. Savage (Newcastle Business School, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Kim Maund (School of Architecture and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 25 August 2020

Issue publication date: 28 April 2021

392

Abstract

Purpose

Given the importance of green construction for reducing the negative environmental impact of the construction industry, and the numerous policies instituted by governments around the world to motivate building construction stakeholders, why is there still a limited level of adoption?

Design/methodology/approach

Building on studies that have questioned the dominant framing of the limited adoption of green construction as an inefficient behaviour, this study proposes a theoretical model characterising the two problems in the decision-making process that boost the reluctance of building construction stakeholders to embrace green construction. A traditional literature review, combining deductive and inductive approaches was employed.

Findings

The theoretical model consists of six conceptual variables as follows: social norms, personal dilemma, trust, loss aversion, self-interest and green construction adoption. The expected relationships between them are also provided.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical model has not been empirically tested; however, it can be replicated or adapted for empirical investigation in any context.

Practical implications

This study may help in identifying which factors must be given attention in policy-making in order to promote the adoption of green technologies and practices. Specifically, subjecting the theoretical model to empirical test will reveal the strongest paths that can be used to curtail the reluctance of the industry to embrace green construction.

Originality/value

Contributes towards the current research agenda on the reasons for the low level of voluntary adoption of green construction. It also provides theoretical answers to the questions regarding the limited impact of the plentiful policy mechanisms instituted by governments around the world to promote green construction adoption.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclosure statement: The author(s) have no financial interest in the research reported in this paper.This paper is an output of a PhD study at the University of Newcastle, Australia and authors would like to acknowledge the university for supporting the candidate with a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) scholarship. Authors are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers.

Citation

Hammond, S.F., Gajendran, T., Savage, D.A. and Maund, K. (2021), "Unpacking the problems behind the limited green construction adoption: towards a theoretical model", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 833-844. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-06-2020-0410

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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