UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A framework for sustainable development management in the construction industry Nunes Lins Espíndola, Suzana Carla


The most common way to deal with sustainable development in the construction industry is through sustainability-related standards and certifications that identify and systematize sustainable business practices in diverse fields. However, certifications often focus on the same or overlapping areas. The construction industry is endeavouring to become more sustainable and spends extensive management and administrative effort to accomplish this through standards and certification processes. Notwithstanding, the business comprehension of achieving broad sustainability, the viability of accreditation as a system and administration practices of organizations remain under-developed and disconnected. This research identifies gaps in the studies of sustainability management, contributing to a solution that defines the scope of sustainable development in the building construction industry. Moreover, it helps organizations implement sustainable development management at both the strategic and tactical levels. It formalizes sustainable development management practices into a body of knowledge framework and implementation templates. The validation step of this research consists of an investigation based on multiple data sources, consolidating information in the current literature that partially addresses sustainability and sustainable development management. As a qualitative research method, the epistemology of this research uses a document analysis method to consolidate a diverse source of information existing in the current literature, focusing on the three perspectives of sustainability—environmental, economic and social—and in business and project management. The research presents an in-depth analysis of the scope of sustainability for the construction industry and how to implement it, based on the participation of organizations from Canada and Brazil. They shared their current practices at the strategic management level. The systematic review of the documentation provided background information to understand the construction industry's economic, social and environmental aspects and sustainable development management body of knowledge. This research contributes to the field of construction management by (1) identifying the scope of sustainable development, introducing the 100 SDI—a consolidated list of sustainability targets for the building construction industry and their contribution to the UN-SDGs—and (2) the SDMBOK—a framework to implement sustainable development at the strategic and tactical level and templates to assist in implementing the framework at the strategic level.

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