Assessment Of The Impact Of Sustainable Building Materials For Construction Project

Project and Seminar Material for Building Technology BT

Assessment Of The Impact Of Sustainable Building Materials For Construction Project


Abstract


This study investigated the assessment of the impact of sustainable building materials for construction project. This study adopted a descriptive survey design. The study used simple random sampling to select 240 respondents for the study from the field of Architecture, Building, Civil Engineering, and Quantity surveying in Lagos state. The data for this study were generated from two main sources; Primary sources and secondary sources. Questionnaire was the main research instrument used for the study to gather necessary data from the sample respondents. The data collected were coded and analyzed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) software package version 21. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were used. Also, the study used mean deviation. The results of the study revealed that with a grand mean of 2.93, the respondents had a firm knowledge and perception of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry. Furthermore, the highlighted challenges in the implementation of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry were: Inadequate research and educational courses on the use of sustainable building materials, lack of skilled and knowledgeable manpower, lack of scientific information, high payment of skilled labor, wastage of materials, resistance to change from traditional method to other methods, insufficient manufacturers, high capital cost, and project delivery and quality concern. The study outlined six major strategies that can be used to promote the use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian building industry, namely: Educational courses on sustainable building materials in institutions, application of sustainable building materials in big projects, training courses on sustainable building materials, government support with startup capital and also intervene, specialist and experts on sustainable building materials should present sustainable building materials as an alternative construction method, companies should upgrade their construction method to sustainable building materials by sponsoring staffs on sustainable building materials courses. The study recommended that there is need for adequate education on the use and benefits of sustainable building materials for construction project.


Table of Contents


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Research questions
  • 1.4 Aim and objectives of the study
  • 1.5 Research hypothesis
  • 1.6 Justification of the study
  • 1.7 The scope of the study

Chapter Two

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.1 Concept of sustainable building
  • 2.2 Implementation of sustainable building materials
  • 2.3 Consumer Awareness and Purchase Behaviour for sustainable building materials
  • 2.4 Construction Industry in Nigeria and Need for sustainable building materials
  • 2.5 Benefits of sustainable building materials Component
  • 2.6 Barriers in Implementing Sustainable building materials
  • 2.7 Summary of literature review

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Research Population and Sampling Design
  • 3.3 Data Requirements and Sources
  • 3.4 Techniques of Data Analysis
  • 3.5 Ethical Issues

Chapter Four

Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Data presentation and Analysis
  • 4.2 Test of hypothesis
  • 4.3 Discussion of Results

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations.

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • 5.4 Suggestions for further studies.
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The construction industry plays a vital role in the wheel propelling the Nigerian economy. The continuously problems faced by Nigerian construction industry, includes poor performance of time and cost, poor productivity, failed structures, unequitable and unjustified contractors and consultants, too much reliance on foreign skills and workers and much more (Dave et al., 2017).

Nigeria, just like any other developing country, considers the construction industry as one of the main contributors to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It influences the country’s economic activity, adds up to government revenue, creates investment benefits and provides employment opportunity to specially trained workers (Steinhardt and Manley, 2016). The construction industry plays an essential role in the economic development of any developing nation, and especially in an expanding economy like Nigeria (Bari et al., 2012).

Through globalisation, so many information, knowledge, and technology can be shared and transferred easily across countries. Sustainable building materials is one of the technologies which can be categorised as an old technology in developed country but yet considered as a new technology when reached developing countries such as Nigeria (Zhu et al., 2018).

Sustainable building materials is the term coined by the industry and government in Nigeria to represent the adoption of construction industrialisation and the use of prefabrication of components in building construction. sustainable building materials is defined as a construction technique in which components are manufactured in a controlled environment (on or off site), transported, positioned and assembled into a structure with minimal additional site work (Hamid et al.,2018). It consists of precast component systems, fabricated steel structures, innovative mould systems, modular block systems and prefabricated timber structures as construction components (CIDB, 2013). Parts of the building that are repetitive but difficult – and too time consuming and labour intensive to be casted onsite – are designed and detailed as standardised components at the factory and are then brought to the site to be assembled (CIDB, 2013). The onsite casting activities in sustainable building materials utilise innovative and clean mould technologies (CIDB, 2017). In the Nigerian context, the classification by the CIDB is widely used and well understood by scholars and practitioners.

In addition, the huge demand for construction projects, especially building construction, has fostered a new interest in Sustainable building materialss (sustainable building materials) to replace the traditional approaches. These approaches could save on labour, cost and time of construction, and confer quality and durability (Zhu et al., 2018). However, the main aim of sustainable building materials in Nigeria is to reduce the dependency on foreign labour and save the country’s loss in foreign exchange (Ogunde et al., 2016).

In another dimension, the utilization of prefabricated components shows a decline in the use of materials such as cement, sand, timber, steel and formwork due to lower amount of framing and foundation works (Chiang et al., 2016). Additionally, smart and innovative construction techniques have been linked to sustainable building materials model of construction delivery. The ability to implement this method of construction strategies aimed at promoting built environment sustainability will create a balance in construction.

The adoption of sustainable building materials has shown some drawbacks. Chiang et al. (2016) attributed the limitations of sustainable building materials to cost arising from setting up of fabrication yards and transportation, vertical transportation on site, labour training, and jointing problems. The cost factor is further reinforced by Ogunde et al. (2016) by identifying initial construction cost as the main impediments in achieving sustainable building materials in Nigeria. Low incorporation of innovation such as automation, standardization and modularization in construction industry is observed by Xue et al. (2018). Other challenging factors such as lack of awareness, negative perception among designers and customers and jointing issues were.

Policies and initiatives have emanated in promoting sustainable building materials in many countries. Rashidi and Ibrahim (2017) assert that from 1962-2015 various advanced and developing countries have initiated polices and departments that drives the implementation of sustainable building materials in their respective regions. In Asia, Malaysia has the highest strategy in form of sustainable building materials Strategic Plan 1998, sustainable building materials Roadmap 2013–2010, Construction Industry Master Plan 2016–2015, sustainable building materials Roadmap 2011–2015 and Construction Industry Transformation Program 2016–2021, 2015. This action is followed by Singapore promoting Construction 21 and Reinventing Construction, 1998 while Japan is with Future Directions of the Construction Industry, 1998. UK is leading in Europe with programmes like Greater Integration of the Design and Construction Process, 1962; Constructing the team (Latham report) 1994, Construction task force (rethinking construction), 1998, Construction client group CCG, 2004 and Build offsite, 2016 initiatives. Finland is pursuing Reengineering the construction process using ICT, 2002 and Ireland has Building our future together, 2017.

Australia has embarked on Building for growth initiative, 2019 while USA hinged on National Construction Goals,1994. In Africa, South Africa formulated Creating an enabling environment for Reconstruction growth and development in the construction industry, 2017 to attain sustainable building materials. Irrespective of these initiatives and projects developed with sustainable building materials technique across climes, researchers are of the view that the adoption has not been commensurate with traditional method of construction. This situates the need to investigate the critical success factors that promise effective implementation of sustainable building materials in Nigeria.

However, there have been little studies undertaken to offer insight into problems of CSFs for application in sustainable building materials projects in developing countries such as in Nigeria. Omotayo and Keraminiyage (2014) compared the knowledge gap in lean and offsite construction techniques in Nigeria and UK. Ogunde et al. (2016) evaluated challenges and factors influencing the use of prefabrication in Nigeria while Ojoko et al. (2018) qualitatively identified and evaluated the factors hindering the sustainable building materials performance in the Nigerian mass housing projects. Also, a mixed study of Zakari, et al. (2017) explored the perceptions of construction personnel in Nigeria on the use of sustainable building materials. This study therefore draws on Ojoko et al. (2018) by examining the CSFs influencing the implementation of sustainable building materialss (sustainable building materials) in Nigeria.

The population of Nigeria is about 186.9 million (2016) and with a claim of about 17 million housing deficit, the country will continue to embark on developing an affordable and sustainably low and medium house. Furthermore, infrastructures are needed due to the growing population, the increasing demand for construction witnessed shall continue as long as the population increases and there is improvement in the quality of life of the populace. Meeting the infrastructural needs of Nigeria within the framework of sustainable development will require that new technology and sustainable strategies to be adopted.

Despite lots of problems faced by Nigeria, the need for infrastructures for the growing populace is one of the problems, implementing sustainable building materials to help in overcoming such problems. The outlook for sustainable building materials implementation in Nigeria is bright, but great work is still needed from both the government and individuals to be able to adopt sustainable building materials construction method. Therefore, this research is focused on determining the assessment of the impact of sustainable building materials for construction project and how it can be improved to solve the infrastructure and housing needs in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Although the long-introduced Sustainable building materials has promised to solve and improved the current construction method and scenario in our country, but the sustainable building materials method has been low in gaining popularity, partly due to lack of awareness and coordination among the relevant parties. Currently, the level of usage of sustainable building materials method is very low as compared to the conventional methods in building construction (CIDB, 2015). In spite of its many benefits, the different perceptions among the construction players and practitioners towards its application in construction industry has led to the low usage of sustainable building materials components in the construction industry.

The importance of sustainability issues has increased among the global community and it is necessary for all parties involved – local authorities, contractors, governments, consultants and architects – to respond quickly to these changes and constraints (Yang et al., 2015). Several studies have been carried out regarding the sustainability of construction and building, and from these studies the importance of sustainability has been highlighted (Cohen, 2016; Ding, 2018; San-José et al., 2017; Vanegas, 2013).

Moreover Blismas, et al. (2016) reported that the construction industry is still far from achieving the ideal objective as articulated in sustainable building materials Roadmap even though almost all activities identified in the roadmap has been implemented. Based on the Road map mid-term review, it is clearly stated that one of the most barriers is negative perception by the consumer and the practitioner. Even contractors whom experiences in sustainable building materials construction project before, reluctant to use sustainable building materials in their next project.

Why is this so?

A building requires assembling different materials through the process of construction. Some of these materials include concrete, timber (wood), steel and glass and so on. Energy is involved in the extraction of these raw materials, their processing and transportation from the factory to the construction site and their eventual placement. In most of the developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, there is a general dependence on fossil fuel for energy generation for these processes. This results in the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, methane etc in the atmosphere resulting in the depletion of ozone layer thus causing global warming and by extension, climate change.

Some building materials such as steel, glass, concrete are manufactured from raw materials that their replacement require geological years while tree is continually being fell for construction work without due consideration for afforestation, consequently the nature is over exploited resulting in environmental degradation, desertification, desert encroachment and imbalance in the ecosystem. Fewer trees mean more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere during photosynthesis.

Furthermore, the abundance of cheap unskilled workers and large initial capital outlay are among the barriers to the implementation of sustainable building materials (Blismas, et al., 2016; Blismas & Wakefield, 2019; Chiang et al., 2016; Haron et al., 2019; Kamar, et al., 2019). All these reasons influence builders to select a conventional method instead of changing to sustainable building materials.


1.3 Research Questions

  1. What is the level of knowledge of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry?
  2. What are the challenges of sustainable building materials implementation in the Nigerian construction industry?
  3. What are the strategies to promote the use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry?

1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the assessment of the impact of sustainable building materials for construction project.

The following are the specific objectives of the study:

  1. To determine the level of knowledge of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry.
  2. To evaluate the challenges of sustainable building materials implementation in the Nigerian construction industry.
  3. To develop strategies to promote the use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry.

1.5 Research hypothesis

  • Ho: There are no challenges in the implementation and use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry.
  • Ha: There are challenges in the implementation and use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry.

1.6 Justification of the Study

The study is attempted to propose a better alternative method for housing construction. As the construction industry now is facing the challenges of four aspects of time, cost, quality and safety, besides the demands of hundred thousand houses development in Nigeria, it is vital to have a systematic method to be used in this industry. Therefore, sustainable building materials used in double storey houses has been introduced.

Other than that, this study will be used as a guideline model for the developer or the contractor of sustainable building materials projects in the future to construct houses using sustainable building materials components with detail information especially on time and resources usage. Besides, this study will show them on how to manage sustainable building materials construction method at site by considering the best sequence process whereby it will offer the optimum resources utilization with minimum construction time. Finally, the idea gathered and simulation model produced from this study may help all parties involved in sustainable building materials construction to prevent unnecessary problems.

Yet, it is hoped that the widespread understanding on the Sustainable building materials can further help to develop and promote sustainable building materials as an innovative construction method in Nigeria.


1.7 The Scope of the Study

The scope of this research will be limited to the construction industry sector, which involves the sustainable building materials as the main components in their projects. This research will identify the most crucial assessment of the impact of sustainable building materials for construction project.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

This study was carried out on the assessment of the impact of sustainable building materials for construction project. The study used three (3) objectives: To determine the level of knowledge of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry, to evaluate the challenges of sustainable building materials implementation in the Nigerian construction industry, and to develop strategies to promote the use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry.

This study was divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one introduced the topic by discussing the background of the study, the problem that led to the researcher carrying out this study. Also, the chapter discussed the rationale and scope of the study. Chapter two discussed the review of related literature. It was treated under different sub-headings. The sub-headings were: Overview of Sustainable building materials, Typical Classification of sustainable building materials, Types of sustainable building materials, Construction Industry in Nigeria and Need for sustainable building materials, Benefits of sustainable building materials Component, and Barriers in Implementing Sustainable building materials. Chapter three presented the research methodology adopted by the researcher. The study employed a descriptive survey research design. Chapter four showed the results and discussed the findings.

The implications of this study for practice in sustainable building materials projects is to develop a complete and strong working relationship and training frameworks that would permit project stakeholders to function maximally for sustainable building materials projects. This will fascinate policy makers, private and public entities to the industry and increase competency of built environment professionals in executing sustainable building materials projects.


5.2 Conclusion

The following conclusions were drawn from the results of the analysis carried out in the study.

It is found that the current construction method that is widely practiced is the traditional cast on site, whereas sustainable building materials is rarely practiced in the state. The sustainable building materials implementation progress is also considered to be very slow.

The study reveals that the main challenges of sustainable building materials implementation are based on components, such as inadequate research and educational courses on the use of sustainable building materials, lack of skilled and knowledgeable manpower, lack of scientific information, high payment of skilled labor, wastage of materials, resistance to change from traditional method to other methods, insufficient manufacturers, high capital cost, and project delivery and quality concern.


5.3 Recommendations

The lesson learnt on sustainable building materials construction in Nigeria has led to the following recommendations towards the future improvement of sustainable building materials adoption in Nigeria:

  1. The rising sustainability awareness around the globe has put the construction industry under immense pressure to improve project efficiency and deliverables. Industrialised Building System (sustainable building materials) has the potential to promote sustainability development and green construction. This may be achieved from a controlled production environment, minimization of construction waste, extensive usage of energy efficient building material, a safer and more stable work environment, and possibly better investment for long term project economy. The industry need to seize this opportunity and use sustainable building materials as their competitive advantages in promoting sustainable construction.
  2. The mass construction workforce, especially the locals, needs to upgrade their skills to be involved in sustainable building materials. The policy on labour focuses on encouraging personnel to acquire skills in more than single trade. This would add more value by providing a more skilled workforce which would ultimately enhance the competitive advantage of the industry in facing the issue of adoption from conventional to the sustainable building materials. They must be equipped in design, installation and project management skills which are critical to sustainable building materials. A comprehensive preliminary study should be conducted by the government to identify the skill gaps in the sustainable building materials sector in order to create a comprehensive and systematic training programme. The preliminary study will ensure that the training fits the needs of sustainable building materials organisations and accommodates current skill shortages in the market, particularly specialist skills such as design and installation, based on information from real practice.
  3. It is suggested that the strategies should be adopted through improving the curriculum in educational institutions, and also adopting intensive training for the related parties along with the government support, especially in providing standard guidelines and capital cost.
  4. Component accredited will be given green lane approval such that technical and non-technical legislation that hinders implementation of the new technology will be removed. The government can help by conducting market research to ascertain market opportunities to the vendors. The vendors also need inventory management consultancy and advice and development of better tools and infrastructures required for location of manufacturing plant.
  5. Manufacturers and all players of sustainable building materials sectors need to create highest value for sustainable building materials to serve the clients best interest, as we know clients in a private sector are more demanding in term of design esthetic value. With this regards, we need to move from mass production of components to mass customisation of buildings where the building design can be tailor-made to specific customer needs. The industry shall need to encourage automation and robotic to be really reduce the use of workers in construction and prefabrication. The government also perhaps needs to encourage manufacturers to produce ‘modular housing’ which move all the work trade at site to the manufacturing floor. We need to move up the level of industrialisation and encourage innovation, whilst low innovative systems which do contained enough value like mould systems will be discouraged. Proper incentive and tax holiday need to introduce to cater the production of innovative sustainable building materials.
  6. Nigerian sustainable building materials contractors need to benchmark sustainable building materials technologies, lesson learnt and best practices from other countries. Construction industrialisation is a worldwide agenda. sustainable building materials is already successful adopted in Finland, Sweden, Japan, Germany and Singapore where offsite technologies had eventually modernised and improved the industry. This research recommended the industry players to find ways to capture and disseminate technologies, lesson learned, and best practices from successful countries and companies to expedite our learning curve on sustainable building materials and to guide the way forward. The government should launch a forum on a regular basis of academics and associated practitioners active in sustainable building materials for exchange of information and experience, development of new techniques and advice on promotion and implementation of sustainable building materials. An online portal was also suggested to disseminate international trends, products and processes associated with the sustainable building materials.

5.4 Suggestions for Further Studies.

Future research is sought for more investigation to be done for the qualitative stakeholders’ perspectives on the factors that impede the sustainable building materials adoption in the construction industry.

Since the data was obtained in Nigeria, it is suggested that the outcomes from this research should also be tested and verified in different developing and underdeveloped countries.

Consideration should be given to the end-users of sustainable building materials or the building occupants since these real people will work and live in these buildings.

Future research could extend the investigation into how sustainability advantages in sustainable building materials buildings are able to improve the health of the building occupants and their work or living performance. Factors related to psychological wellbeing such as effective day lighting system will help in maintaining good health, increasing productivity and improving the safety of building occupants.

Future research could consider encapsulation of the decision-making guidelines into a computerised tool for more systematic analysis and processing of the various project-level constraints and scenarios to assist the designers.


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