Key roles in driving sustainability practice into the built environment

Cheng Siew Goh, Steve Rowlinson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Sustainability has been highly promoted in the construction industry. However, the adoption of sustainability practice has not gained the momentum yet. Sustainability is not only a technical pursuit but also a dialogue of values. It requires collective vision, multiple efforts, dynamic participation and governance of multi-disciplinary stakeholders. Different stakeholders exert various degrees of influences in determining the extent of sustainability implementation in built environment. The purpose of this paper is to determine which stakeholders have greater influences in driving sustainability in built environment. This paper reviews relevant literature and examines the stakeholders’ roles in driving effective implementation of sustainable practice in construction. Interviews were carried out with various stakeholders including developers, contractors, surveyors, architects, landscape architect, urban designer, engineers and facilities manager. The result shows that each stakeholder has his/her roles in bringing impacts on sustainability practice, with varying degrees. Although there are disparities in the opinions of stakeholders, the result suggests that the government and project clients play an extremely important role in the pursuit of sustainability practice. The government can not only lead the industry to pioneer the innovative technologies in relation to sustainability but also introduce sustainability into legislation by enforcing the construction-related laws. Meanwhile, clients create the demand for sustainability since the construction industry is principally client-driven. Stakeholders at the lower echelon of the organisational structure such as contractors and end users are also significant to ensure sustainability is well embedded in the built environment. Being the implementers or users, they could pose challenges which can decelerate progress in the implementation of sustainable construction. The realization of sustainability requires collective vision, multiple efforts, dynamic participation and governance of all stakeholders. Encouraging sustainability behaviour in all the stakeholders is thus the key to transform current practice in the built environment into more sustainable solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2016
Event5th International Conference on Human-Environment System 2016 - Nagoya, Japan
Duration: 29 Oct 20162 Nov 2016


Conference5th International Conference on Human-Environment System 2016
Abbreviated titleICHES 2016


  • Sustainability
  • Built environment
  • Stakeholders
  • Key roles


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