UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Emergy based procurement framework to improve sustainability performance in construction. Ruparathna, Rajeev Jayanga


In the recent past, sustainable development has been a topic of focus as it affects and is affected by the construction industry. Procurement is identified as a main driver in making construction practices more sustainable. However according to the published literature, traditional procurement practices have widely been criticized for their disregard of the environment and society. Currently there is a lack of awareness and lack of resources available for sustainable procurement in the construction industry, especially in Canada. This study conducts an assessment of sustainable procurement in the Canadian construction industry. In addition, much needed resources for sustainable procurement are expected to be developed through this study. Based on the industry survey involving perspectives of construction managers and project owners across Canada, it was concluded that sustainable procurement is rarely being used in the Canadian construction industry. The empirical study indicated that a limited number of sustainability initiatives are used in construction procurement. Furthermore respondents pointed to lack of funding as the main challenge for sustainable procurement. An in-depth review was conducted on sustainable procurement and current guides available for sustainable procurement. This information was used to develop a conceptual framework for sustainable procurement in construction projects. The framework is expected to support project owners and project managers in implementing sustainable procurement. A design and build proposal evaluation tool (Em-procure) was developed that considers the triple bottom line (TBL) of sustainability. Em-procure tool uses emergy in converting TBL of sustainability into a bid evaluation. Interviews with industry experts confirmed that the Em-procure tool and procurement framework is suitable for industrial use.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International