Evaluation of symmetries and asymmetries on barriers to sustainable housing in developing countries

Michael Atafo Adabre, Albert P.C. Chan, David J. Edwards, Sarfo Mensah

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


For effective policy development and implementation for sustainable housing, the perspectives of professionals (i.e., suppliers of housing facilities and services) and households (i.e., consumers thereof) must be assessed concurrently. However, with sparse studies examining both the supply and demand-sides of sustainable housing development simultaneously, policymakers are plagued with unbalanced information. Consequently, eclectic and specific policies cannot be formulated for implementation. This study presents a concurrent evaluation of sustainability challenges from both perspectives towards identifying symmetries and asymmetries on sustainable housing barriers. Four categorizations of barriers were developed from extant literature, viz: ‘economic’, ‘social’, ‘environmental’ and ‘institutional’ barriers. Primary data was gathered using a structured questionnaire that was distributed via a non-probability purposive sampling technique to both professionals working in formal/regulated institutions of the Ghanaian housing market and household occupants. A test of significant difference on underlying barriers was conducted using Mann-Whitney U test. The fuzzy synthetic evaluation (FSE) technique was also employed for dealing with subjectivity in responses attributed to differences in respondents' aim, motivation and experience for an objective evaluation of a multivariate factor (i.e., category of barriers). The study's findings revealed significant differences among some underlying barriers rated by the two respondent groups. Likewise, there were significant differences supported at p < 0.05 at a Z-value of −2.24 and p < 0.05 at a Z-value of −1.48 on the social and environmental categories of barriers, respectively. Practically, results on the test of significant difference are indicative of barriers that require all-inclusive and specific policies. Moreover, the FSE indices provide allocative purpose by directing resources from policymakers towards more critical barriers for sustainable housing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104174
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Circular economy
  • Economic sustainability
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Institutional sustainability barriers
  • Social sustainability
  • Sustainable housing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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