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What drives clients to purchase green building?: The cybernetic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process approach

Serdar Durdyev (Engineering and Architectural Studies, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand)
Saeed Reza Mohandes (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Amir Mahdiyar (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Syuhaida Ismail (Razak Faculty of Technology and Informatics, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 8 September 2021

Issue publication date: 7 December 2022




Homebuyers' motivation to purchase the green building (GB) is vital for the widespread adoption of greener practices and for tackling the adverse impact of the built environment. In this regard, through the lenses of qualified and competent GB developers (GBD) and real estate agents (REAs) using judgment sampling technique, this paper aims to evaluate the factors stimulating the purchase intention of Malaysian homebuyers.


The study uses the interval-valued fuzzy Delphi method (IVFDM) to identify influential factors, while the cybernetic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (CFAHP) for prioritizing the identified factors according to their significance in nationwide promotion of GBs is utilized.


The findings, which are consistent with those reported in the literature and validated by the focus group, uncover the most prominent factors that drive the purchase intention of GB homebuyers. The results indicate that the homebuyers are familiar with the benefits of GB; however, the benefits are not sufficient to overcome the perceived “high cost” of green practices. Hence, homebuyers still seek financial incentives, which is a clear indication that financial issues are the most motivating factor.

Practical implications

Increase in informative promotion of GB is necessary, particularly among prospective homebuyers in developing countries where GB adoption is in its infancy. Frontline players (those who are responsible for wider promotion) can utilize the factors that this study found to be important to identify appropriate steps to increase prospective homebuyers' motivation for purchasing greener dwellings.


The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, review and identification of the most cited determinants that have been reported in the context of the subject. Second, this paper presents the most significant determinants in a developing country setting through the lenses of Malaysian experts in the area. Third, improvement measures could be implemented in Malaysia and other developing countries to promote the GB paradigm with an aim to make the building environment more sustainable.



Durdyev, S., Mohandes, S.R., Mahdiyar, A. and Ismail, S. (2022), "What drives clients to purchase green building?: The cybernetic fuzzy analytic hierarchy process approach", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 29 No. 10, pp. 4015-4039.



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