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Athapaththu, K I and Karunasena, G (2018) Framework for sustainable construction practices in Sri Lanka. Built Environment Project and Asset Management, 8(01), 51–63.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Sustainability; Framework; Construction industry; Sri Lanka; Contracting organizations; Sustainable construction practices;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 2044-124X
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-11-2016-0060
  • Abstract:
    Sustainability in construction is a challenging task for contractors due to diminishing natural resources and increasing energy costs. The purpose of this paper is to identify key issues that affect the adaptation of sustainable construction practices by Sri Lankan contracting organisations and propose a framework for successful adaptation. Design/methodology/approach Eight semi-structured interviews are conducted from three selected case studies to gather data on sustainable construction practices and related issues in contracting organisations in Sri Lanka. The proposed framework is validated and enhanced by interviews conducted with seven industry experts in Sri Lanka and the Persian Gulf region. A cross-case with code-based content analysis is used to analyse the data. Findings Gaps in the legal framework and weak enforcement of prevailing rules, less institutional intervention, less commitment of people especially key stakeholders, wrong perceptions on capital costs, and low levels of education and experience on sustainable construction are identified as key issues, similar to the Persian Gulf region. The proposed framework presents suggestions for successful adaptation of sustainable construction practices in the following eight key areas: legal framework, standards, guidelines or policies, design, procurement, technology, processes and innovations, people and organisational structure, education and training, and measurements and reporting. Research limitations/implications The scope of this research is limited to the data gathered from C1 category construction contractors in Sri Lanka and similar category in the United Arab Emirates of the Persian Gulf region. Originality/value The framework for the enhancement of sustainable construction practices via contracting organisations is proposed as an inaugural step to establishing a country-based and industry-specific model to achieve sustainability in the Sri Lankan construction industry.