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Barriers to environmental sustainability of construction projects

De-Graft Joe Opoku (Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Joshua Ayarkwa (Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Kofi Agyekum (Department of Building Technology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 10 May 2019

Issue publication date: 31 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry plays an important role in the achievement of the 11th and 15th of the Sustainable Development Goals. Efforts have been made by most developing and developed economies toward the achievement of these goals. Despite the efforts being made by the construction industry toward the achievement of these goals, there are still barriers that prevent built environment consultants from advancing environmental sustainability (ES) of construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to identify barriers to ES of construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review on barriers to the adoption of ES was conducted and face-to-face semi-structured interviews of purposively selected built environment consultants in Ghana were carried out. Thematic template analysis of qualitative data was conducted.

Findings

The key findings from the study include perceived initial costs, lack of knowledge on ES, technological difficulties, external pressures in adopting ES practices and environmental conditions in developing countries.

Originality/value

The outputs of this study offer strategies which are very significant to the construction industry in embracing ES. Further, the findings contribute to knowledge on achieving the sustainable development agenda.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study forms part of a large-scope Master of Philosophy study on developing guidelines for building capacity of built environment consultants to practice ES at the design stage of projects. The authors acknowledge that this paper shares a similar background and methodology with other related papers published with different objectives and scopes. The authors wish to thank the consultants on the KCM project who participated in the study. Finally, the authors are grateful to the editors and reviewers for their comments and suggestions which aided in improving the quality of this paper.

Citation

Opoku, D.-G.J., Ayarkwa, J. and Agyekum, K. (2019), "Barriers to environmental sustainability of construction projects", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 292-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-08-2018-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited