Literature review

Review of barriers to green building adoption

6 May 2016

The need to implement sustainable development (SD) in the construction industry has given birth to the green building (GB) movement. GB is a promising construction approach through which the construction industry contributes to SD. However, the adoption of GB has been hampered in many parts of the world by numerous barriers. To date, no attention has been paid to the need to review existing knowledge of barriers affecting GB adoption. This paper presents a systematic review of literature on barriers to GB adoption published in academic journals. It has been found that lack of information, cost, lack of incentives, lack of interest and demand, and lack of GB codes and regulations are the most reported barriers in the literature. Recommendations are offered to overcome the barriers to facilitate the adoption of GB. This review provides a valuable reference for both industry practitioners and policy makers to implement GB. Moreover, a developed checklist of GB barriers in this paper can be useful to scholars for further empirical studies.

Synthesis method: Qualitative (using content coding)

Conclusions: It was found that there are many barriers affecting GB adoption, but the most reported barriers in the literature are lack of information, cost, lack of incentive s/support, lack of interest and demand, and lack of GB codes and regulations, implying that these are the major barriers hindering the adoption of GB in the global construction community.

Screening criteria: 36 articles reviewed. This review was restricted to GB studies that present arguments on the issue of barriers or obstacles or challenges to GB adoption published in academic (peer-reviewed) journals. After searching, a brief review of the abstracts, and in some cases, where the abstracts do not provide sufficient information, contents of the initially iden tified articles, was conducted. Articles not about barriers to GB adoption were excluded. 

Search source: Scopus

Search keywords: ‘barriers’, ‘challenges’, ‘obstacles’, ‘green building’, ‘green construction’, ‘sustainable construction ’ and ‘sustainable building’

Funding source: Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

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