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Dimensions of cost misperceptions obstructing the adoption of sustainable buildings

Samuel Ekung (University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)
Isaac Odesola (Building, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)
Michael Oladokun (University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 1 December 2022




Across the globe, the dearth of certainty about the cost of sustainable buildings (SBs) remains a critical disincentive to their adoption. This study explored the factually incorrect knowledge about the cost of SBs and their implications on adoption.


The study adopted sequenced mixed qualitative and quantitative approaches involving a literature review, Delphi study and survey. Semi-structured and structured self-study questionnaires were administered to a random sample of green building experts, researchers and registered construction professionals with deep knowledge of SB. The dataset from 254 stakeholders was analysed for commonality, principal components and critical misperceptions using multivariate approaches.


The predominant misperceptions in the study linked low adoption of SB to cost premium, portray cost premium as a property of luxury sustainable features and suggest related practices are suitable for exemplary projects only. The critical misperceptions produced various misinterpretations that inhibit the adoption of SB through the dearth of policies, increased complexities and inflation of budget to curb perceived risks.

Practical implications

The study buttressed the imperative to improve cost information, knowledge, skills and stakeholders' risk perceptions to increase SB adoption. The results provide insight into the regional misperceptions and knowledge gaps that could explain the low adoption of SB in a typical emerging green market.


The study showed that the prevalent knowledge about the cost of SB among construction stakeholders are unsupported beliefs and directs attention to emerging issues critical to SBs' adoption in emerging markets.



Ekung, S., Odesola, I. and Oladokun, M. (2022), "Dimensions of cost misperceptions obstructing the adoption of sustainable buildings", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 852-869.



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