Development of a building sustainability assessment method (BSAM) for developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa

Timothy O. Olawumi, Daniel W.M. Chan, Albert P.C. Chan, Johnny K.W. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The consideration of the regional context in the development of green building rating systems is well established in the extant literature, and this informs the development of a sustainability assessment method for sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, a multi-expert consultation method was carried out in Nigeria which is the largest economy in the region. This was performed via a structured questionnaire survey and interview approaches to identify the key sustainability assessment criteria, assign score-weights to the various criteria, and establish the certification grading system of buildings. The developed Building Sustainability Assessment Method (BSAM) scheme and its weighted criteria were validated using two existing building case studies. The established BSAM scheme was compared to six widely used green building rating systems. The comparative analysis reveals that the score-weights and priorities of the BSAM scheme were remarkably different from the existing rating systems. The study findings also show the increasing focus on the indoor environmental quality and energy criteria by all the rating systems. The developed BSAM scheme, meanwhile, has adequately considered the three main pillars of sustainable development unlike the existing green rating tools. Hence, it is expected for the proposed BSAM scheme to promote greener buildings and enhance sustainable urban development in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121514
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Assessment method
  • Developing countries
  • Green buildings
  • Rating systems
  • Sub-saharan africa
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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