Frameworks, Strategies and Tools
Edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique
Chapter 7: Sustainability in the Built Environment: Factors and a Decision Framework
Joseph Sarkis, Laura Meade and Adrien Presley INTRODUCTION Sustainability has become a strategic imperative for almost all businesses in the early years of this century and has evolved into a fundamental market force affecting long-term financial viability and success (Orlitzky et al., 2003). In this evolution, some have simplified and categorized sustainability to three primary components often referred to as the ‘triple bottom line’: economic, social, and environmental components (Robins, 2006). The concept of sustainability has become more important for organizations and has permeated a number of decisions that management in these organizations need to consider. A major driving force for these organizations is the business value possibilities associated with managing sustainability effectively (McMullen, 2001). This chapter identifies important factors and presents a decision framework that incorporates the economic/business, environmental and social aspects within a built environment context while building some initial concepts of sustainability modernization theory. The decision model’s overall objective is to aid a decision-maker in selecting the subcontractors that can most sustainably contribute to a construction project. Within the three major dimensions we utilize the LEED requirements for environmental sustainability evaluation and introduce a series of factors related to social sustainability. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). In our evaluation of the built environment we introduce an extension to the ecological modernization theory at the organization level which we term sustainability modernization theory. This theory provides us with the underlying framework for the overall evaluation, that...
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