Framework for rating the sustainability of the residential construction practice

  • Author / Creator
    Mah, Don
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Safouhi, Hassan (Campus Saint Jean)
    • Al-Hussein, Mohamed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Flynn, Peter (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Sego, Dave (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Mawdesley, Michael (School of Civil Engineering)
    • AbouRizk, Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Robinson, Aminah (Civil and Environmental Engineering)