Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Organizational Factors Affecting the Usage of Sustainable Building Materials in the Nigerian Construction Industry

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Economics and Management Sciences

Organizational Factors Affecting the Usage of Sustainable Building Materials in the Nigerian Construction Industry

Article excerpt

Abstract

The practice of sustainability in construction is paramount to the preservation of the built environment which is lacking in Nigeria. The study seeks to identify the organizational factors affecting the use of sustainable building materials in the Nigerian construction industry from the perception of the contractors and professionals. A survey research was conducted for data collection with a structured questionnaire between thirty (30) professionals and thirty (30) contractors. The data collected was analyzed with both descriptive and inferential statistics. The study shows that lack of awareness and knowledge of construction personnel, cost and economic viability, passive culture or norm, top management commitment, organizational goal and objectives were the internal organizational factors militating against the practice. While the external factors militating against the practice were research and development, Knowledge and skill of personnel, learning period, and local authority and government. The hypotheses revealed that there is no agreement between the internal factors affecting the contractors and professional firms on the practice. But there is an agreement between the external factors affecting the two types of firms. The study reveals the factors that militate against the practice of sustainability, this will allow the stakeholders to focus on the cogent issues to encourage and sustain the practice within an organizational level. The practice will benefit the built environment and the eco-system through the preservation of natural resources.

Keywords: building materials, contractors, organizational factors, professionals, sustainable

INTRODUCTION

The construction business is the biggest raw materials, consumer of any society. Kasai (1998), estimates that construction consumes about 50% of the total material consumption in Japan. The processing of the raw materials into goods and its movement to the point of usage require an extensive amount of additional resources and results in significant environmental loads. The process of utilization of global natural resources in the past has placed a tremendous strain on the environment- endangering our biodiversity, polluting the environment, depleting our natural resources, warming the earth, and raising sea levels. The result of the global natural resources is climate change. According to the United Nations, cities consume two thirds of global energy use. 76% of the world's energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) is also emitted by cities through building and construction related activities, industry, and transport.

The practice of sustainability in the construction industry depends on the decisions taken by a number of actors in the construction process: owners, managers, designers, firms, governments and so on. The practice of sustainability depends on the awareness, knowledge as well as an understanding of the consequences of individual actions (Braganca et al, 2007; Abidin, 2010). Understanding the environmental issues surrounding the extraction of raw materials, the manufacture of construction materials, and their effects in use, is important to ensure sustainability (Ofori et al, 2000).

The state of the built environment in Nigeria is a National menaced due to the activities of the construction industry and other sectors. The Nigerian construction industry itself is characterized by fragmentation- enmeshed in personal struggles for power and superiority rather than the essence of the industry- the built environment, the products are mainly based on policies and programs rather than plans and processes (Olaseni 1999; NISER 2001; Obiegbu 2001; NIOB 2005). Most government policies and programs failed because they are not well planned and implemented. These have led to environmental degradation-depletion, damage or destruction of potentially renewable resources like, soil (borrow pits) for road construction and land reclamation, forest for timber and so on, resulting in erosion, desertification, deforestation, salination of irrigated land, flooding and so on. …

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