An Integrated Evaluation Framework for Sustainable Residential Construction
Sustainable development issues and environmental concerns continue to gain headlines as demand for housing escalates within the residential construction industry. Current building practices adhere to traditional methods of construction that pose weaknesses such as high labour costs, negative environmental impact during and after construction, and minimal technological advancement. The results of this research will address the limited attention given in the present literature to green construction products, prescriptive practice criteria sustainability rating and benchmarking sustainability scores. There are numerous factors and constraints that contribute to construction material waste, each with varying impact on the type and quantity of waste. After identifying these factors, an analysis will be conducted to evaluate their magnitude and affect on sustainability. Factors include weather, material layout on site, scheduling, transportation, trade skill or experience, socio-economic conditions and regulations. There will be development of a knowledge-based expert system (waste database registry) and tracking of these material waste variables along the construction timeline in terms of quantity, source, greenhouse gases, and costs. At the downstream end of construction, programs and systems will be evaluated based on reuse and recycle opportunities, instead of being hauled and disposed of in landfills. Legislation regulating material and landfill restriction policies related to construction waste will be examined to illustrate its potential economic and environmental impact. The integrated evaluation framework include: determination of appropriate green building programs; evaluation of various building rating software assessment tools; analysis of current construction methods; analysis of material and product selection; development of a multi-criteria optimization model for building rating certification; a proposed integrated evaluation framework for sustainable construction; and development of a sustainability knowledge management system The stakeholders benefiting from this research will include the general public, owners, designers, builders, and government agencies.
Keywords: Sustainability, Waste Minimization, Evaluation Framework
Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein
Associate Professor, Construction Engineering and Management, University of Alberta