The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection and use, in practice, of appraisal frameworks regarding sustainability evaluation in UK social housing sector projects, which have been advocated by academics as a means of ensuring that business decisions related to potential built environment projects are driven by best value rather than lowest cost. It also seeks to identity the key features of sustainability as assessed at the project feasibility stage. The research context is housing regeneration projects undertaken by UK social housing providers.
Using a quantitative approach, a survey was conducted of 481 built environment professionals working within the UK social housing sector, which generated an overall response rate of 24 per cent.
The survey results revealed that few toolkits and models developed by academe to facilitate the development and evaluation of sustainability-led building projects have so far been adopted. The impact of organisational factors such as size, denomination, and maturity on the frameworks was analysed and, in general, no statistically significant relationship was found between organisational features and the models in use. The principal features of sustainability were found to be related to energy efficiency and asset life expectancy. These findings have implications for the UK construction industry’s commitment to enhancing the built environment’s sustainability and thereby stakeholder prosperity.
The methodological approach adopted failed to uncover fully the reasons why practitioners selected particular types of sustainability appraisal toolkits.
This paper focuses on the current use of sustainability-led project appraisal models and the key features of sustainability whilst also providing directions for further research. It explores the adoption of sustainability-focused project evaluation practices in the UK social housing sector and outlines potential areas for further research, focused on developing a usable, holistic framework for evaluating sustainability during the early stages of project development to help to create a more sustainable built environment.
The paper contributes to the body of knowledge available on the adoption of sustainability-focused project evaluation practice in the UK social housing sector, outlining potential areas for further research, focused on developing a usable, holistic framework for evaluating sustainability during the early stages of project development to help to create a more sustainable built environment.
Higham, A., Fortune, C. and Boothman, J. (2016), "Sustainability and investment appraisal for housing regeneration projects", Structural Survey, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 150-167. https://doi.org/10.1108/SS-09-2015-0044Download as .RIS
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