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Current Sustainable Construction Practices

04/17/2023   |   Sustainable Construction

Infrastructure development is essential to a nation's development and can stimulate local, regional, and even global economic growth. The success of such development is a crucial aspect of creating a stronger economy, which can improve community welfare and contribute to sustainable development. According to the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), sustainable development is development that satisfies the requirements of both current and future generations. This definition is predominantly employed to construct conceptual frameworks for sustainable development (Abrahams, 2017).

In contemporary practice, sustainable development has been broadly implemented in relation to policies for sustainable development in the area of cultural empowerment (Froner, 2017), the principle of sustainable development within spatial planning regulations (Stead and Stead, 2014; Shurrab et al., 2019), and other factors that promote human development (Byrch et al., 2007) and enhance the quality of human life. Since the construction industry has a direct impact on society, the environment, and the economy, sustainable construction is a way to ensure that all construction activities, from the planning to the completion phases, are conducted sustainably, taking into account economic, social, and environmental factors. More than that, it has been stated that the construction industry significantly contributes to improving the quality of human life and that it plays a crucial role in preserving the local environment through resource utilization, asset utilization, and water use. Since then, the concept of sustainable development has been incorporated by developed nations. However, the incorporation of sustainable construction concepts has been encouraged in Sri Lanka (Athapaththu and Karunasena, 2018), Nigeria, and South Africa, as well as in neighboring countries such as Malaysia (Abd Hamid and Kamar, 2012). (Aghimien et al., 2019). Sri Lanka has prioritized policies, resources, and education for the successful adoption of sustainability in its construction (Athapaththu and Karunasena, 2018), Nigeria and South Africa have considered awareness of using sustainable construction methods (Abd Hamid and Kamar, 2012), and the Malaysian construction industry has prioritized off-site manufacturing practices (i.e. environmental impacts and construction waste management) to contribute to sustainable construction (Aghimien et al., 2019).

To be able to construct environmentally friendly infrastructures that also promote economic and social well-being, construction industry stakeholders must have a comprehensive understanding of sustainable construction best practices that have a positive impact on the environment, socioeconomics, and culture. Moreover, according to Ismail et al. (2017), the use of sustainable construction methods throughout the project life-cycle, such as land use planning, environmentally friendly project design, the use of sustainable building materials, the efficient use of water or natural resources, and minimal construction waste production during the construction process, can increase the disaster-resilience of housing developments.

The fundamentals of sustainable construction are as follows:
There are recurring themes that link the construction industry to sustainability issues, regardless of how these issues are defined. Sustainable construction takes a comprehensive approach to restore and preserve harmony between the natural and built environments so that people can live in a stable economic environment. To attain quality of life, job efficiency, and a secure workplace, sustainable buildings must be able to integrate environmental goals with social and economic issues. In addition, sustainable construction focuses on reducing energy consumption during construction and throughout the life of the building, as well as refuse production and resource consumption.
The term "sustainable construction" was coined to characterize the construction industry's responsibility to attain sustainability. Consequently, in addition to the ecological, social, and economic aspects of a construction project, sustainable practices also take safety, efficiency, and productivity into account. According to another source, the concept of sustainability in the building sector has evolved over time, shifting from an initial emphasis on addressing the problem of insufficient resources, particularly energy, to technical issues such as materials, building components, construction technologies, and energy-related design concepts known as "eco-build" and "green build."
All stakeholders involved in construction projects, including the government, service providers, and the community as end-users, must be committed to implementing the sustainable construction principles articulated in its pertinent definitions and characteristics. 

It requires (1) innovation and technological advancement (2) refuse management method and strategy (3) commitments to and knowledge of sustainable concepts that are integrated into new methods of working, reasoning, and learning to enhance the performance and motivation of stakeholders.
(4) practices to be implemented holistically to the entire organization, not just the initiatives. Compliance with green practices regulations for all categories of initiatives is monitored formally. (6) reduction of water waste and improvement of water efficiency on construction sites. (7) the positive contribution of project management knowledge and skills to sustainable construction, given that project management is a prerequisite for the design, delivery, and administration of this environment. (8) Internal leadership that promotes sustainable construction practices throughout the organization by creating policies, implementing procedures, and sharing best practices. (9) A construction industry supply chain strategy that is coordinated. (10) education and investment in resource-efficient building practices and methodologies. (11) measurement instruments, such as strategic metrics for analyzing sustainable construction practices and rating systems to determine if a construction project has a positive environmental impact.

Specifications for instituting sustainable construction emphasize the importance of allocating budget for education and training, a holistic approach to project management methodology, and technology. All of these are supported by the interdependent duties and responsibilities of construction project stakeholders and are required to ensure that construction projects adhere to sustainability principles. Given the requirements for achieving sustainable construction, however, the implementation procedure can be difficult.

Implementation of sustainable building practices present obstacles
Numerous experts who study the application of sustainable construction believe that there may be restrictions on its use. In both developed and developing nations, the construction industry encounters a number of obstacles that prevent it from adopting sustainable practices. Adopting sustainable construction practices is believed to have significant benefits for the global construction industry.

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