International Journal of Sustainable Real Estate and Construction Economics (4 papers in press)
Analysis of Challenges in Sustainable Construction Industry by Using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP): A Case Study of Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia
by M. Essam Shaawat, Rehan Jamil, Mohammed M. Al-Enezi
Abstract: Construction procedures in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) consume excessive capital, time and resources, and thus have a direct effect on the national economy and the nations socio-economic development. These costly procedures add to the current difficult economic situation in the construction industry. The developed and many underdeveloped countries have implemented sustainable construction practices and are increasing the awareness of the environmental impacts caused by construction processes. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken the initiative to support and implement green building principles but still there are various factors due to which the implication of sustainable construction has not been materialized in full swing. This research project studies and evaluates those factors which have become a challenge for the construction industry in the application of sustainable construction. A new settlement in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia has been taken as a case study. This research ranked some of the barriers identified from previous studies, based on their level of importance, using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to investigate the priority ranking of the issues involved in sustainable construction principles.
Keywords: sustainable construction; Analytic Hierarchy Process; barriers; Saudi Arabia; Jubail; new settlement; green building.
The challenge of sustainability in Chinas built environment: a comparison between urban and rural areas
by Rita Yi Man Li
Abstract: The rapid economic growth in China is accompanied by an ever-increasing demand for energy in both urban and rural areas. Since 1978, China has experienced an annual growth rate of 4.98% in primary energy resources production. The primary energy consumption from 2000 to 2009 recorded an annual growth rate of 9.4%. Ostensibly, it is important to upgrade the power generation units and improve air quality. Nonetheless, the uneven development of regional economies hinders the less developed rural areas from adopting cleaner power resources. For rural areas, including Northern China, straw, firewood and coal accounted for approximately 90% of the total energy consumption from 1996 to 2005. The commercial energy supplied to the rural areas was generated by direct burning of coal briquettes, which are heavily polluted. Thus, incomplete combustion is the major cause of environmental pollution in rural areas. On the other hand, factories, residential buildings construction activities and energy use are the chief factors that lead to serious pollution in mainland China. To enhance air quality, this article suggests the adoption of small-scale hydropower and biomass energy in rural areas and the construction of green and smart buildings in urban areas. Improvement in regulations and enforcement is also considered to be another useful means in enhancing urban sustainability. As the urban areas are now experiencing strong economic growth, an increase in income for most urban workers and the rapid development in smart home technologies, it is an appropriate to incorporate some of the smart and sustainable building elements such as moveable fa
Keywords: buildings; sustainability; rural and urban areas; China.
A Fuzzy Expert System Model for Risks Qualification in Real Estate Projects
by Mohamed Marzouk
Abstract: Expert Judgment is a key factor in prioritizing risk events for Real Estate construction projects, especially in developing countries where essential historical information about the risk events are missing and specialized experts are rare. Although the quantification of the subjective qualifications of experts is necessary in determining the quality of their judgment, adequate research work on quantifying the importance levels of risk experts was lacking in the risk management field. In this paper, a Fuzzy Expert System (FES) model is created to determine the qualifications of Real Estate experts in the field of risk management in developing countries. The model computes an importance weight factor of an expert participating in the process of risk qualification, based on his or her attributes, which helps in ranking Real Estate risk management experts in terms of their quality and importance prior to the risk qualification process. The Fuzzy Expert System (FES) model contributes to the Real Estate industry by solving a fundamental problem for Real Estate project management teams who lack the capability of determining the impact of the qualifications of experts on the quality of their risk assessments. The FES model adds an essential component to the general steps of the risk management process and further enhances the process by providing a tool that captures the knowledge of project management teams, in the form of expert rules, to compute a unique value that ranks the experts who are called to participate in the risk assessment process. The FES model also utilizes fuzzy logic to address the vagueness and imprecision inherited in the knowledge elicitation process of risk evaluation that provides an improvement over traditional methods that usually depend on determining experts arbitrary importance weights to aggregate their opinions. A case study in Egypt is presented to test the validity of the model.
Keywords: Expert Systems; Membership Functions; Risk Management; Real estate projects.
Building information modelling in sustainable design and construction
by Chunlu Liu
Abstract: Building information modelling (BIM) has been developed in design and construction as a solution to sustainability issues. This research aims to study the practical application, contributions and improvements of BIM in developing sustainable design and construction. The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry in Australia is employed as a case. A questionnaire was developed and distributed via the internet to a range of industry professionals. The results indicate that two main functions of BIM are analysis and visualisation. BIM plays various roles in sustainable design and construction, and its most significant contributions have been in relation to developing energy efficiency, daylighting and orientation, and natural ventilation. Moreover, application barriers such as insufficient knowledge and practical experience of BIM, and clients lack awareness of BIM are identified. Providing government support and training/education opportunities, reducing BIM software cost and increasing awareness of BIM are recommended to enhance its contribution to sustainable design and construction. This research makes a contribution in promoting BIM in developing sustainable design and construction and so advancing the sustainability of the AEC industry.
Keywords: Australia; building Information Modelling; design and construction; sustainability.