Download the full-sized PDF of Framework for rating the sustainability of the residential construction practiceDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Framework for rating the sustainability of the residential construction practice Open Access


Other title
residential construction
carbon dioxide
green building
building information modeling
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Mah, Don
Supervisor and department
Safouhi, Hassan (Campus Saint Jean)
Al-Hussein, Mohamed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
AbouRizk, Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Flynn, Peter (Mechanical Engineering)
Sego, Dave (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Mawdesley, Michael (School of Civil Engineering)
Robinson, Aminah (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Sustainable development issues and environmental concerns continue to gain headlines as demand within Canada’s residential construction industry escalates. Current construction practices adhere to traditional methods of construction, with inherent weaknesses such as high labour costs, negative environmental impact during and after construction, and minimal technological advancement. Many programs exist to rate building environmental performance, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Built Green, which are primarily performance-based, not practice-based evaluations. Considerable research has supported these performance ratings; however, there has been very little research in construction practice ratings. Hence, the purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to bridge this gap by proposing a construction practice rating program in order to challenge builders’ claims of being sustainable. Although rating programs should include measurements of both performance and practice—given that great performance does not equal great practice, particularly if the standard of performance achievement is low, current programs are based on performance alone. The goal of this thesis is to enhance the sustainability of the residential construction practice through the incorporation of sustainability evaluation rating tools. To achieve this goal, a framework has been developed which encompasses sustainability rating tools that include an integrated construction practice rating program, an application of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions quantification, and implementation of a mathematical linear optimization model as a tool that minimizes cost while incorporating user-defined preferences and numerous environmental criteria under a green building rating system. CO2 emissions of various house construction stages are quantified and utilized in a 3D BIM. Application of the proposed framework is demonstrated in a case study with findings that show the weak results of sustainability ratings for a particular home builder. Hence, the findings in this research demonstrate a residential builder’s ability to measure his sustainability efforts and enhance construction practices based on a rating analysis. The introduction of BIM for quantifying emissions in the construction process is found to be of significant value.
License granted by Don Mah ( on 2011-03-18T03:33:32Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 14499670
Last modified: 2015:10:12 17:22:21-06:00
Filename: Mah_Don_Spring 2011.pdf
Original checksum: 229caa24310104bb845507a01bf62076
Well formed: true
Valid: false
Status message: Invalid page tree node offset=14496618
Status message: Invalid outline dictionary item offset=14352658
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date