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Roles and competencies of quantity surveyors in achieving a circular built environment: an investigation according to 3R principles

Hasith Chathuranga Victar (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
B.A.K.S. Perera (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
Asha Dulanjalie Palihakkara (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
Kaveesha Gihani Dewagod (Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 19 July 2023

479

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry is shifting towards becoming more circular by reducing waste, reusing building materials and embracing regenerative solutions for energy generation and biodiversity conservation. Thus, construction professionals must perform diversified services to achieve a circular built environment (CBE). Implementing resource planning and waste management in CBE has already posed challenges to the quantity surveying profession; thus, quantity surveyors (QSs) should be equipped with new roles and competencies to tackle challenges in achieving a CBE. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the functions and competencies of QSs at the design and building material sourcing stages in achieving a CBE according to 3R principles.

Design/methodology/approach

The research apprehended a qualitative approach, including two expert interview rounds adhering to the Delphi technique with 14 and 11 experts per each round. Manual content analysis was incorporated to analyse the collected data.

Findings

The research findings revealed the important roles and competencies of QSs in achieving a CBE. In addition, essential functions and competencies were categorised according to the 3R principles (reduce, reuse, recycle) to successfully implement CBE during the Design and Building Material Sourcing stages. According to the 3R principles of CBE, cost control, cost planning, feasibility studies, measurement and quantification, risk management, value engineering and innovations and technologies were well-received by most interviewees as essential roles of QSs during the Design and Building Material Sourcing stages. Further, basic/mandatory competencies (personal, interpersonal, professional practice and business skills), economic analysis, BIM management, cost management and risk management are highly regarded by experts for QS as important competencies to achieve CBE.

Originality/value

With new construction trends, QSs must enhance their conventional roles and competencies and search for new skills and competencies. Those skills and competencies could be linked to the CE concept, either directly or indirectly. Since QS holds a prominent place in sustainable construction in CBE, adapting to changes in the construction industry such as CBE is timely for QSs. Further, there is a shortage of literature regarding QSs' roles and competencies in achieving a CBE; thus, this study will contribute by identifying new avenues for QSs in achieving a CBE in the practice and the research.

Keywords

Citation

Victar, H.C., Perera, B.A.K.S., Palihakkara, A.D. and Dewagod, K.G. (2023), "Roles and competencies of quantity surveyors in achieving a circular built environment: an investigation according to 3R principles", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-10-2022-0231

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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