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Categorising green building features in developing countries: The case of South Africa

Faith Owoha (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
Eric Kwame Simpeh (Centre for Settlements Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Julius Ayodeji Fapohunda (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
Divine Kwaku Ahadzie (Centre for Settlements Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Henry Mensah (Centre for Settlements Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 16 June 2021

269

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the concept of green building by determining a suitable system for categorising green building features (GBFs) that are considered significant in enhancing the value of a building in a developing economy with particular reference to South Africa. The motivation for categorising the features is based on the perception that the upsurge in adopting green building and sustainability has ushered in a new and formidable set of challenges to practising professionals in terms of recognising the most significant value-adding GBFs.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was adopted, involving randomly selected construction professionals within the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical analysis tools.

Findings

Based on the mean ranking analysis, the top three most important features, amongst others, were kitchen and water-closet (WC) water efficient fittings, megawatt photovoltaic solar plant and water metering for monitoring and leak detection. Additionally, an exploratory factor analysis revealed that the underlying grouped features were “recycled materials and high-performance building energy design”, “water-saving and solar technologies”, “biometric system and acoustical feature”, “sensor control and natural daylight design”, “daylight harnessing feature”, “high-performance hydrologic strategy and noise control feature” and “special utility feature and water efficiency technologies”.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted and limited only to the Western Cape Province of South Africa. However, the findings have practical significance to the generality of green building projects and may serve as a useful guide for other developing countries.

Originality/value

This study broadens the viewpoint of construction professionals to recognise and prioritise the most important GBFs in South Africa that increase the value of a building. To create a system for assessing the sustainability of a building, the seven components and the features associated with them may be useful.

Keywords

Citation

Owoha, F., Simpeh, E.K., Fapohunda, J.A., Ahadzie, D.K. and Mensah, H. (2021), "Categorising green building features in developing countries: The case of South Africa", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-01-2021-0012

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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