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SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT FOR HOUSING
Lee Mao Rui1, Syuhaida Ismail2 and Mohammad Hussaini3
1,2 Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Universiti Teknology Malaysia, Kuala
E-mail: 1 email@example.com , 2 firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Razak school of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Universiti Teknology Malaysia, Kuala
Sustainable construction management bid a supreme scope of opportunities to contribute
economic development, environmental stewardship, quality of life and social equality.
Sustainability is the critical issue in global urbanization which has a huge impact on the
environment. Effective of construction management is becoming increasingly achievement
for sustainability in the housing project. During construction period, productivity and
efficiency become a key factor in the success of construction project. The most important of
these are practices relating to scope management, such as controlling the construction work.
This study is investigated the sustainability in construction management for housing project.
This study is important because it related to the sustainability of construction management
that affects the project success.
Keywords: sustainability; global urbanization; environment
Construction management is a method to design production system to minimize
waste of materials, time and effort in order to generate the maximum possible amount
of value. It is to reduce waste and increase the productivity and effectiveness in
construction work. The most important determinants of construction are supposed to
be workflow reliability and labour flow. Site staff are often faced with problems, such
as extensive rework, waiting for materials and tools, constantly moving from one
work area to another, confusing work, lack of identify with the project, and lack of
recognition for performance (Lu and Yuan, 2011).
It should be noted that Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) method of
construction could achieve successful environmental sustainability (Wan Mahmood et
al., 2012). Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM), as well as other related
principles, has become an important strategy for companies to achieve profit and
market advantages by reducing the environmental risks and improving efficiency
(Tsai and Hung., 2009; Sarkis., 2012). Construction activities are not environmentally
friendly due to the diverse adverse impacts such as resource depletion, noise, dust, air
pollution and discharge of toxic waste (Sarkis and Lai., 2011). Nowadays, all these
impacts are forcing the construction industry to develop toward the mission of
sustainability. It to develop and apply green practices in the construction sector,
mainly including green building, sustainable construction, sustainable design,
construction waste management and low-carbon building. As a result, many countries
are setting efforts into the application of sustainable construction practices (Yuan et
Construction Waste Management
Among the culprits contributing to the adverse impacts of construction activities,
a noteworthy one is the construction waste caused by various building, renovating and
demolishing activities. It is showed that every year an overwhelming amount of
construction waste is generated worldwide, resulting in many economic,
environmental and social problems, although varying from country to country. In
Hong Kong, the construction waste generated annually more than doubled between
1993 and 2004 (Poon, 2007). Furthermore, in 2008, China produced 29% of the
world’s MSW, of which construction activities contributed nearly 40% (Wang et
The problems resulted from construction waste are particularly serious in
developing countries partially because that on one hand, large-scale construction
activities are occurring in these countries due to requirements of urbanization and
infrastructure development, and thus resulting in huge amounts of construction waste.
On the other hand, project decision makers more concern on cost, duration, quality,
and safety, rather than environment (Shen et al., 2006). Construction waste will either
positively or negatively influence the economic, environmental and social
performance of projects. However, a few research showed that the efforts have been
focused on the economic and environmental impact associated with construction
waste (Duran et al., 2006). Therefore, they fail to cover the social impact resulted
from construction waste. As insisted by Yao (2009), sustainable construction in the
long-run should embrace collective development of three major dimensions, namely,
economic, environmental, and social aspects.
The research weakness of existing lacks in investigating the social impact with
respect to construction management waste. It includes the processes of analyzing,
monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both
positive and negative, of planned interventions and any social change processes
appeal by those interventions. Its main purpose is to show more sustainable and
equitable biophysical and human environment (Chukwunonye and Clive, 2012).
According to Wang et al., (2008) discussed the major factors influencing
construction waste reuse in Brazil. In their study, the social impact was not separately
examined but considered along with economic and legal factors. Meanwhile, the
social impact associated with construction waste reuse was analyzed from a
qualitative point of view. The reasons for scant research into social performance of
construction waste management (CWM) are probably attributed to three aspects.
Firstly, the social influence of performing CWM is by and large of lower priority
while implementing construction projects (Katz and Baum, 2011). Mostly, the major
focus is given to objectives such as project cost, time, duration and safety. Secondly,
social impact is not always obedient to empirical measurement. Fundamentally, many
indicators used for assessing the social impact of CWM are qualitative and thus very
difficult to be quantified. Finally, implementation of CWM affects different groups of
project participants in different ways (Seadon et al., 2010).
Major participants involved in CWM can be generally divided into two groups:
one group includes the authorities, general public and NGOs. The other group
comprises project clients, main and subcontractors. It is obvious that the former group
more focus on construction waste minimization, aiming at lessening the
environmental and social impacts, while the latter concerns more on the economic
benefits from managing construction waste (Villoria et al., 2012). Nevertheless, in
most practices, particularly those developing economies, it is the latter group that is
more powerful in developing and executing CWM plans. Hence, it is not surprising
that more concern on assessing and monitoring the economic performance of CWM
(Sufian and Bala, 2007). But in line with an increasingly recognized consensus that
the three dimensions, namely, the economic, environmental, and social aspects,
should be collectively considered for elevating the effectiveness of CWM, it is
imperative to evaluate the social performance of CWM (Yuan and Shen, 2011).
Development of sustainable criteria
The selection of criteria for an assessment framework mainly depends on a number of
factors. In terms of sustainability, it must focus an integral approach that encompasses
suitable measures that reflect economic, environment and social aspects (Teo and
Loosemore., 2001). According to Bovea and Wang (2003) established an apparatus
for integrating environmental and social elements of sustainable development. In this
apparatus, ecosystem and human well-being is evenly required for achieving
Golicic and Smith (2013) established that criteria provide a systematic approach
in order to measure the sustainability of a system in a simple and easy manner. They
further argued that the sustainable criteria in construction will focus on land issues
beside water, energy and material use. It is valuable in making policy in terms of
environment, socio-economic and technological improvements. Their research work
further emphasized that indicator of sustainable development should be closely
selected, refined in order to maintain its contextual effectiveness. Previous research
has emphasized on economic, environment, social and technical measures of
sustainable performance (Tang and Zhou., 2012). A number of prior indicators in this
area are combined with the concern of sustainability. As an outcome, these criteria are
classified under three categories of sustainable development; Socio-economic, and
Environment (Hwang and Ng., 2013).
All construction work required different types of equipment and machineries and
have their own level of equipment usage. Commercial projects have moderate usage
of equipment and machineries. Industrial and heavy construction projects required
intense and high utilization of machinery for carrying out mass excavation,
stabilizing, compacting, asphalt paving and finishing, pipelines, railroads and many
other special activities. The common application of heavy construction equipment
includes but is not limited to; earthwork, structural steel works, concreting, building,
lifting and positioning of components (Akadiri and Olomolaiye., 2012).
The roles of heavy equipment are very vital for increasing the construction
productivity especially for infrastructure works. However, their acquisition is very
much capital intensive for construction firms. It is also considered as a major financial
burden during the construction period beside other expenditures (Singh., et al., 2007).
The previous research shows that the heavy equipment constitutes 36 percent of the
total project cost and possesses high risk and uncertainties for the owners. This
increased level of awareness and the application of mechanized equipment and
machineries are considered as a positive thrust for the advancement of construction
Nevertheless, its adoption has important drawbacks for the environment and the
people working in its vicinity. The emerging concept of sustainable or green
construction has emphasized the elimination and minimization of harmful impacts to
the environment (Yan et al., 2009). Construction organizations are accountable for the
impacts of an implemented project on the society, environment and economy long
after the project has been completed. Therefore, construction and sustainable
development issues are closely related because this sector is a principal contributor to
global resource depletion (Rees, 1999).
Sustainable development has now become a significant subject discussed and
debated at various levels e.g. national, international, governmental, non-governmental
and as well within the academic circles as an agenda of socio-economic and
environmental development. A fair amount of diversity exists among the definitions
of sustainability and sustainable development (Kline., 2000). Sustainable construction
is a broad term and it includes the whole process from basic and detailed design,
engineering, planning and procurement, construction toward the approved deliverable
to the client and then the different stages over the product’s lifetime which consisted
of operation, maintenance, refurbishment, re-construction, demolition and recycling
(Teo and Loosemore, 2001). Among the environmental impacts from construction
processes (such as waste generation, energy consumption, resource depletion, etc.),
emissions from onsite construction equipments account for the largest share (more
than 50%) of the total impacts (Moffatt, 1994). Therefore, during the selection of
construction equipment, there is a need for the most rational criteria that have a
positive impact on operational efficiency, productivity, cost minimization and as well
as environmental and human well being. These criteria make it possible for the
contractors to consider the sustainability agenda in the equipment selection
procedures (Popp et al., 2001).
Sustainability of housing construction practices
The actual construction process may create massive environmental problems,
including noise pollution, air and dust, and harmful contamination through toxic
waste (Tang and Zhou., 2012).. The waste from construction and demolition activities
is frequently dumped illegally in dams, river courses and any available hollows
(Wang and Yuan, 2009). The extraction of raw materials often happens in rural areas,
causing the degradation of land and ecosystems. Deforestation can also be related to
the building materials industry, as timber is often obtained unsustainably from
indigenous forests, which, given minimal biomass and ecosystem replacement
activities afterwards, leads to soil erosion, salinisation of watercourses, reduced
precipitation and the related problems (Simon and Stephen., 2005).
Defective and inefficient construction materials and techniques can put at risk
both construction workers and the end-use residents (Rocha and Sattler., 2009).
Sustainable house-building industry should prevent the use of harmful building
materials and finishes of residential buildings, which constitute a large share of the
global toxic load (Klang, et al., 2003). Construction practices should also promote
sound and safe activities on construction sites, especially with regard to reduction in
topsoil and vegetation losses, dust and noise pollution, and safe storage of harmful
chemicals. There remains a huge potential for sustainable construction technologies
and practices involving ecological, healthy and safe materials and environmentally
friendly techniques (Grace., 2008).
Recycling in the construction industry
There is a need in a practice of producing buildings and materials with a longer life
span, and which are recyclable and disposable at a minimal environmental cost (Lu,
and Yuan., 2010). Recycling provides a number of environmental advantages,
especially in terms of a reduced consumption of natural resources and deposition of
landfill; saving energy in material production and hence reduced pollution; and the
availability of more durable materials (Robichaud and Anantatmula., 2011).
Recycling may be possible for wood, metal, glass and limestone (Zhang and Wen.,
Although in the field of using alternative materials in construction a lot of
progress has already been made, several areas remain where further research and
development is needed. Production methods of construction materials starting from
waste materials have their special points of attention and are sometimes quite
non-standard compared to regular production routes. Therefore, detailed and realistic
investigations should be made to develop new methods or improve existing ones,
rather than copy regular production routes. Reporting such case studies could inspire
other people to look for other applications.
The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Ministry of Education
Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and the Research Management
Centre (RMC) of UTM for providing the financial support for this paper to be
published. This study is financed by the Grant for Research University (GUP) of
UTM for research funding under Cost Centre No. Q.K.130000.2540.03H87.
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