Factors affecting structural steelwork adoption from a project lifecycle perspective: The case of Hong Kong

Yang Yang, Albert Ping Chuen Chan, Amos Darko, Ran Gao, Hafiz Zahoor

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The use of structural steelwork (SS) for buildings continues to grow worldwide owing to its sustainability benefits. However, the market share of SS in the building sector of Hong Kong greatly lags behind other markets. This paper focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of the issues that greatly drive or inhibit SS adoption in Hong Kong from a project lifecycle perspective. The methodology encompasses both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 28 professionals from developer, structural engineering consultant, main contractor, steel specialist contractor, and steel stockholder companies. The results identified 12 driving factors and 25 barriers affecting SS adoption in Hong Kong. A questionnaire survey with 118 practitioners was carried out to identify the most important driving factors and barriers. The results revealed that “increased speed of construction” and “must-have requirements” were the two most important driving factors; while “shortage of skilled labor”, “shortage of supervisors working directly under main contractors”, “high construction costs”, “shortage of experienced designers and draughtsmen”, and “lack of education, training, and design experience on structural steelwork” were the five most critical barriers. This may imply that education and training are needed to improve knowledge and skills of professionals and workers, and thus to ensure an adequate supply of manpower. The findings of this study not only contribute to the existing body of knowledge on SS practices but also provide valuable references for helping practitioners and policymakers to promote sustainable construction methods within the building sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-646
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Barriers
  • Driving factors
  • Hong Kong
  • Project lifecycle
  • Structural steelwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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