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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

George Agyekum‐Mensah, Andrew Knight and Christopher Coffey

The paper is conceptual in nature and explores the role and function of project management in the achievement of sustainability in the built environment by developing a…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper is conceptual in nature and explores the role and function of project management in the achievement of sustainability in the built environment by developing a 4Es (Economic, Effectiveness, Efficiency and Ethics) and 4 Poles (Economic, Social, Environmental and Technology) model of sustainability. The study also identifies that the existing debates on sustainability seem to marginalise project management's positive contributions to sustainable construction, as well as the importance of technology in the sustainability agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper consists of a literature review on the concept of sustainability, the contribution of the built environment to the sustainability problem, and an intellectual discussion of a proposed model for achieving sustainable development in the built environment. The body of this paper is divided into three sections: part one reviews “what is sustainability”, part two discusses the current state of sustainability including the importance of technology, and part three discusses the 4Es and 4 Poles model.

Findings

This research establishes the importance of technology in the sustainable development agenda. The paper proposes a 4Es (project management model) and 4 Poles (poles or factors of sustainability) model as a holistic approach to achieving sustainable construction. In addition, this paper proposes an extension to the definition of sustainable construction or development, as the existing definitions seem to be vague.

Research limitations/implications

This research paper focuses only on sustainability in the built environment and sustainable development with reference to project management.

Practical implications

The proposed model uses a project management approach, which does not allow trade‐offs, but promotes integration of the 4 Poles. This will contribute to the achievement of sustainable construction at every level of a project or organisation.

Originality/value

The proposed model is new within project management and the built environment. It also promotes technology as a core factor in achieving sustainable development.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2018

Anthony Higham, Catherine Barlow, Erik Bichard and Adam Richards

The paper aims to assess the strengths and weaknesses of sustainable return on investment (SuROI) to determine it suitability as a means through which social value can be…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to assess the strengths and weaknesses of sustainable return on investment (SuROI) to determine it suitability as a means through which social value can be predicted in line with public procurement directives and the Social Value Act, whilst at the same time as fitting the developer’s business model and CSR commitments.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a multi-case design, findings from a comprehensive evaluation of three major housing-led mixed-use regeneration developments are presented. The three case study locations were selected on the basis of the developer’s strong commitment to place-making and social sustainability. Together with a strong strategic desire to reposition their organisation away from the traditional business as usual profit-led model.

Findings

Whilst the social return on investment methodology is applicable to the charity sector, its use in the built environment is highly questionable. When applying the model to the mixed-use housing projects, the authors identified a number of technical limitations to the model, inter alia a lack of suitable proxies and especially proxies relating to the built environment for the valuation of identified outcomes; the use of monetisation as a evaluating measure which did not support some of the more abstract or softer benefits identified; problems collecting, identifying and evaluating data to inform the model given the complexity and scale of the project; and significant time and expense associated with the valuation and finally the inability to benchmark the report on completion. These findings have implications for the social housing providers and local authorities looking to use SuROI to evaluate potential built environment projects.

Originality/value

The paper offers unique insights into the viability of using existing social value measurement methodologies. The paper identifies the significant limitations associated with the SuROI methodology.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

W.H.C.D Kumara, K.G.A.S. Waidyasekara and R.P.N.P. Weerasinghe

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contribution of building management system (BMS) towards a sustainable built environment.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contribution of building management system (BMS) towards a sustainable built environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on the findings of a comprehensive literature survey, preliminary survey and a structured questionnaire survey. Quantitative data were analysed using a relative importance index. Content analysis was used for the qualitative data analysis.

Findings

The results show that identifying user requirements, identifying BMS features, designing BMS, installation and commissioning, and operation and maintenance are the key steps in the BMS implementation process. High cost, lack of knowledge on BMS, unavailability of service and maintenance, and inadequate performance of BMS vendors were highlighted as barriers when adopting a BMS. Energy efficiency, reduction of operation and maintenance cost, occupant satisfaction, productivity, fault diagnosis, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, emergency response and level of controllability of building systems are some of the significant BMS functions that accomplish economic, environment and social sustainability pillars.

Practical implications

This study increases the awareness on functionality of a BMS and its potential contribution towards a sustainable built environment.

Originality/value

The study develops strong ties between BMS contribution and sustainability where built environment professionals could use the developed decision support model towards a sustainable built environment through the application of BMS.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Ali GhaffarianHoseini, John Tookey, Amirhosein GhaffarianHoseini, Nicola Naismith and James Olabode Bamidele Rotimi

The purpose of this paper is to review extant literature and to provide perspectives on approaches to enhancing built environment sustainability in Africa. There is a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review extant literature and to provide perspectives on approaches to enhancing built environment sustainability in Africa. There is a mismatch between global societal resources and the increasing demand for natural resources. The consequences of this mismatch are prevalent in many African countries, causing the need to implement of built environment sustainability as a matter of cause.

Design/methodology/approach

Little research has been undertaken to date with a focus on the environmental sustainability of Africa. With this in mind the review was undertaken through a series of incremental steps. It began with an initial review, before developing through exploratory and development phases. The process culminated with the refined literature review presented.

Findings

The paper finds that a different approach is required to achieve built sustainable development for developed and developing countries, with a clear difference in terms of its application observed between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Current energy and water crisis facing Africa is brought to the fore and an evaluation is provided of the systems being used to ameliorate its effects. The study explores a range of technological solutions that are appropriate for consideration in the African context. It also examines the barriers that need to be overcome to facilitate the widespread use of the suggested solutions in Africa.

Originality/value

This study examines built environment sustainability through the Africa lens. It highlights its importance and the contextual factors inhibiting the widespread uptake of built environment sustainability solutions. The study offers a number of recommendations for the future to encourage long-term built environment sustainability in Africa and more specifically the Sub-Saharan region.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2019

Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

In spite of the urge among stakeholders to increase sustainability in the built environment, the South African Construction Industry (SACI) continues to suffer from low…

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of the urge among stakeholders to increase sustainability in the built environment, the South African Construction Industry (SACI) continues to suffer from low level of adoption of strategies such as life cycle assessment (LCA) to increase sustainable building practices in building and infrastructure delivery, hence the need to increase the adoption of sustainable concepts and sustainability practices is an emergent necessity. This study aims to identify the measures that can increase the adoption of LCA toward overcoming the practical difficulties, theoretical concerns and structural differences encountered in making gains in achieving sustainable practices in the SA construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a deductive research design using a questionnaire survey with mean scores, Kruskal–Wallis and least square regression analysis done.

Findings

The study determined ten measures that can significantly influence about 88 per cent improvement in the success of LCA adopting in the SA industry. Also, there was a higher level of consensus in the findings which offers credence and good representation of the practical reality in the LCA adoption in South Africa.

Originality/value

These measures could be seen to embrace behavioural, social, technical and policy dimensions of LCA adoption. The findings are thus crucial in overcoming challenges to LCA methodologies in achieving sustainable building practices in the construction process in building and infrastructural delivery in SACI.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

Jay Yang

This purpose of this paper is to introduce the new Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (SASBE) journal to readers by discussing the background and underlying…

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to introduce the new Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (SASBE) journal to readers by discussing the background and underlying principles of its establishment, the editorial visions, and the range of papers selected in this first issue. It will encourage readers and potential authors to consider the need for integrated approaches to sustainability problems, to take on emerging challenges in the built environment and to join the SASBE journal in finding and promoting optimum solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explores the evolving nature of sustainability, the recent trends of sustainability endeavours in built environment and the current knowledge gaps. The need to bridge these gaps is then discussed in the context of suggested remedies and justifications. This leads to the development of a smart and sustainable built environment as a R&D philosophy for world researchers as part of their interactions with professional bodies and agencies such as CIB, UNEP and iiSBE, and the establishment of the SASBE journal.

Findings

Sustainable development in the built environment requires holistic thinking and decision making and innovative solutions that enhance sustainability and result in mutually beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders. A dedicated forum, through the journal of SASBE, is much needed for the exploration, discussion, debate, and promotion of these integrated approaches.

Originality/value

Through presenting an overview of the current issues and identifying gaps in the understanding and pursuit of sustainability in the built environment, this paper suggests potential areas for future research and practice as well as possible topics for authors to make new contributions.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Srinath Perera, Onaopepo Adeniyi, Solomon Olusola Babatunde and Kanchana Ginige

Disaster risk reduction is prominent in the international policy agenda, and the year 2015 brought together three international policy frameworks that contribute to…

Abstract

Purpose

Disaster risk reduction is prominent in the international policy agenda, and the year 2015 brought together three international policy frameworks that contribute to disaster risk reduction (i.e. the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Change Agreement – COP21). However, there is a dearth of effort at identifying and aligning the specific educational needs of built environment professionals with the three policy frameworks. This is needed to facilitate the incorporation of the contents of the policy frameworks into built environment professionals’ training. Therefore, this study aims to map the educational needs of built environment professionals with the core areas of the three international policy frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized CADRE (Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education) research project outcomes alongside the earlier mentioned three international policy frameworks. A comprehensive desk review was done to map the educational needs identified in the CADRE project with the core priority areas of the three policy frameworks.

Findings

The study revealed the educational needs that are significant towards an effective implementation of the core priority areas of the three international policy frameworks.

Practical implications

This study would be beneficial to the built environment professionals involved in disaster risk reduction. They will be aware of the specific knowledge areas that would aid the successful implementation of the aforementioned three international policy frameworks.

Originality/value

The outcomes of the study would be beneficial to higher education providers in disaster risk reduction and sustainable development. It has identified the knowledge and competency gaps needed to be bridged in the curricula to meet the demands created by the international policy frameworks.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Timothy O. Olawumi and Daniel W.M. Chan

The construction industry has been evolving in recent years through the adoption of smart tools such as building information modeling to reduce the complexity in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry has been evolving in recent years through the adoption of smart tools such as building information modeling to reduce the complexity in the construction process and optimize the project's goals. This paper aims to identify and assess the key drivers for the implementation of smart sustainable practices in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Inferential and descriptive statistical techniques were employed in analyzing the data collected via an international empirical questionnaire survey deployed in soliciting the perceptions of 220 construction professionals across 21 countries. Factor analysis was used to categorize the identified key drivers into their underlying clusters for further discussion. Also, the data were analyzed based on the various groups and regions of the study's respondents.

Findings

The key drivers (KDs) are related to the technical competence of staff as well as knowledge and awareness level within the industry, issues related to organizational and project's strategy and policies, availability of financial resources and development of relevant standards and policies to aid its execution among others. A comparative analysis of the perceptions of the different respondents' groups was undertaken and discussed.

Practical implications

The analysis of the key drivers for the implementation of smart and sustainable practices in the construction industry is expected to aid the decision-making of the relevant stakeholders as well as serve as a consultation instrument for government agencies in their design of localized policies and guidelines to aid smart and sustainable urbanization. The findings revealed the gaps in the implementation of smart and sustainable practices in various climes and organization setups and provided useful and practical strategies for addressing the current hindrances during implementation.

Originality/value

The study has generated valuable insights into the significant drivers that can enhance the implementation of smart and sustainable practices across regions. It is evident that synergy among the relevant stakeholders in the built environment will help accelerate the implementation of smart sustainable practices in the construction industry. The study findings have provided profound contributions to theory and research as well as to industry practice.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2017

Somayeh Roshanfekr, N.M. Tawil and N.A. Goh

This research work is an introduction to sustainable construction. A few significant indicators and many related subsets, which are crucial to green sustainable

Abstract

This research work is an introduction to sustainable construction. A few significant indicators and many related subsets, which are crucial to green sustainable construction and also to green buildings, are mentioned in this study. An ecocity is one that utilizes all the critical elements of the environment. Urban sustainable construction is a vital criterion in this context. Sustainable construction paves the way for the building industry to progress towards achieving realistic standards of performance, particularly in view of economic, environmental, and social concerns. Sustainability is a popular expression that has given rise to various activities throughout the world once people began to grasp the implications of sustainable construction. Sustainability, which is an important factor in reducing the negative environmental effects of construction, includes improving the control and efficiency in the use of raw materials, land and power consumption. The lifetime of a building is based on some factors that are prognostic regarding the manufacture, remodelling, support, utilization, and administration of the building, and finally, the sources of utilization and waste formation, annihilation and devastation. All of these give rise to a range of ecological issues in the life of a building. Generally, a sustainable building and construction involves a reduction in the utilization of energy and also wastage from the beginning of the construction process and throughout the lifecycle of the building. Moreover, the environment is faced with mounting devastation due to the exploitation of natural resources for building construction and the replacement of agronomic regions by residential areas.

Details

Open House International, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Darja Kobal Grum

In comparison with the relations between the human and natural environments that have been the central focus of environmental psychology for many years, the interactions…

Abstract

Purpose

In comparison with the relations between the human and natural environments that have been the central focus of environmental psychology for many years, the interactions between the psychological processes underlying human behaviour and the built environment have only recently regained the interest of researchers. In this paper, the author first discusses the reasons for the slower development of human – built environment relations. Afterwards, the author systematically examines the impact that the research of environmental stress, namely, poor housing and poor neighbourhood quality, had on the contemporary understanding of human – built environment relations.

Design/methodology/approach

The author focuses on social, biophilic and evidence-based design. The author proposes deeper psychological engagement in correlation with human behaviour, psychological well-being and society. The author highlights the inclusion of psychologists in interdisciplinary research teams addressing the development of sustainable solutions to the issues of residential environments.

Findings

It has been shown that substandard house quality, high noise, lack of natural light in houses, poorer physical quality of urban neighbourhoods, living in a low-income neighbourhood, etc. are linked to elevated physiological and psychological stress. Despite this evidence, there is still a gap between building designers and building users in modern industrialised societies, which could deepen tenants’ dissatisfaction due to specific behavioural needs and consequently lower their psychological well-being and health risk behaviour.

Research limitations/implications

These are potential risks of error arising from the use of assumptions, limited samples size and data from the secondary resources.

Originality/value

The major contributions of this paper are as follows. If the environment is understood as a dynamic, constantly changing and complex system of a wide range of players, the author can discern in this environment a dynamic that is otherwise characteristic of emotional dynamics. Expressed participants’ high satisfaction with residential status does not necessarily generate high expectations regarding real estate factors.

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