Evaluating the effects of green building on construction waste management: A comparative study of three green building rating systems

Weisheng Lu, Bin Chi*, Zhikang Bao, Anna Zetkulic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


The impacts of buildings on our life, business, and natural environment have fueled a global trend in the building industry to “go green”. This has helped proliferate various green building rating systems (GBRSs) around the world. While previous studies have examined the effects of these systems on such aspects as resources consumption, indoor air quality and property value, little research, if any, has examined their effects on construction waste management (CWM). This study aims to evaluate the effects of GBRSs on CWM, and to understand the causes behind the effects thereof ascertained. Three GBRSs, including the U.S.-developed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Mainland China's GB Evaluation Label (GBEL) and Hong Kong's Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM Plus) are selected for comparative study. A combination of desktop archive analysis and semi-structured interviews formed the study's mixed method approach. Surprisingly, the study reveals that the three GBRSs do not greatly promote superior CWM performance despite their respective CWM targeted credits. Possible causes, as informed by the interviewees, include the design of rating systems themselves, developers’ biases, and lack of incentives to improve CWM. Legal and economic incentives are more decisive drivers of responsible CWM. This paper also provides demonstrable qualitative evidence for legislators and associated bodies to achieve continued improvement in CWM via GBRSs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • BEAM Plus
  • Construction waste management
  • GBEL
  • Green building
  • Green building rating system
  • LEED

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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