Integrating green specifications in construction and overcoming barriers in their use

Tsun Ip Lam, Hon Wan Edwin Chan, Chi Kwan Chau, Chi Sun Poon, K. P. Chun

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


The use of green specifications as a contractual tool to promote sustainable development should be adopted in the construction industry. The definition and characteristics of green specifications are presented in conjunction with the results of a cross-sectional survey on the possible barriers to their implementation. Generally, construction stakeholders agree that environmental considerations should be included in construction specifications but their underlying motive may be simply for satisfying mandatory requirements. Among the potential barriers identified, the additional cost associated with green requirements is perceived to be the most dominant barrier, followed by possible delay and a limited pool of competent suppliers. Although the crucial barriers based on overall responses were identified, different groups of stakeholders have shown their concerns on particular barriers. Hence, their concerns should be addressed with due regard to these differences during implementation of green specifications. Based on the results of this study, a database and a new market mechanism for green specifications are recommended for adoption by the construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2009


  • Construction industry
  • Contracts
  • Environmental issues
  • Specifications
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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