UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Green building construction practices : review of environmental management from the contractor perspective in the Canadian industry Saleh de la Garza, Samara Yassim


Green building is a practice applied to the whole life cycle of a building, which means its environmental performance is not only defined by design, but also by the management processes in the construction, operation, and maintenance of a building. Over the past 10 years, research in green buildings has been increasing, mostly focusing on the design and energy efficiency. Contractors now represent a critical role in sustainability, but they have received less support and attention than the design community. This thesis aims to conduct research in environmental sustainability by focusing on three main areas: environmental practices, project management, and organizational perspective. While contractors in Canada are focusing on the implementation of green practices mainly established by LEED; a main problem is that the concept of "green" remains unclear and ambiguous in construction practices. This research started with the identification of green building construction practices categories applicable to contractors by reviewing and comparing green building standards and literature review. Next, this research considered the management perspective by conducting semi-structured interviews in four construction organizations in order to document how LEED is integrated into project management and what issues companies are facing in the implementation of green construction practices. In addition, this thesis identified best practices in how these companies are supporting the reduction of environmental impacts during the construction phase. Overall, this thesis collected several green categories that can serve as a guidance for Canadian contractors to develop specific practices within these categories and advance their environmental sustainability, along with four case studies to document LEED construction management and an overview of the organizational tools used by companies for their environmental management.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International