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Demystifying cost misperception as a challenge to green building adoption in Nigeria

Samuel Ekung (Department of Quantity Surveying, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)
Isaac Odesola (Department of Building, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)
Alex Opoku (Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, London, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 18 June 2021




The pertinent information about green buildings (GB) is laden with cost misperceptions (CM) that are paraded into adoption decisions without factual clarifications. The unsupported beliefs are fundamental to the disparaging low adoption of related technologies globally. The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes of CMs among construction stakeholders and why is it difficult to discredit this information?


The research adopted two-tier approaches involving a Delphi study and a questionnaire survey. Construction stakeholders and GB experts, totalling 415 were surveyed, while 12 professionals participated in the Delphi study. This study analysed data from 254 valid responses using Factor Analysis, Fussy Set Theory and Kruskal Wallis test to explain why CMs are prevalent.


The causes of CMs converge towards seven principal factors including low knowledge of GB practices, non-familiarity with performance metrics, inadequate evidence, poor-risk perceptions and reliance on the costs of exemplar projects. The results were explained using gaps in cost management, knowledge and sustainability accounting to show the critical improvements that can benefit GB adoption.

Practical implications

CMs are not abstract but develop from patterns that can be detected and understood within a specific context. Growing GB projects within a region would improve cost information, sustainability accounting, cost management and quality of evidence. GB cost information paraded into adoption decision processes are overestimated and overvalued beliefs of their financial implications. Tackling the important sources of CMs in the study is appropriate to improve rational decision-making aiding GB adoption.


This study untied causes of negative dispositions towards the cost of GB that distort stakeholders’ adoption decisions.



Ekung, S., Odesola, I. and Opoku, A. (2021), "Demystifying cost misperception as a challenge to green building adoption in Nigeria", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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