Prioritizing barriers and developing mitigation strategies toward net-zero carbon building sector

Eric Ohene, Albert P.C. Chan, Amos Darko

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Net-zero carbon building (NZCB) has been recognized as a viable solution for reducing carbon emissions in the building sector. However, its uptake within the industry has been limited, and the inherent barriers remain not fully explored. This study aims to identify and prioritize the barriers to NZCB and suggest strategies to overcome those barriers to promote wider uptake. A systematic review was adopted to comprehensively identify the barriers using the Scopus and WoS databases. Based on experts’ opinions, the best worst multi-criteria decision-making method was used to prioritize the barriers. Legislative barriers were the top prioritized, followed by economic and professional/technical barriers. The top-ranked specific barriers were insufficient regulations, policy, and implementation efforts (legislative) and uncertain long-term economic returns/payback periods (economic). Strategies to overcome the top 20% of the barriers were proposed. The study recommends an integrated collaborative approach from governments, demand-side (building sector), supply-side (e.g., energy sector), and end-users (e.g., building owners) towards achieving the net-zero target by 2050. The barriers identified and strategies offered in this study could guide policymakers in formulating and improving existing policies and roadmaps to promote NZCB. The research community could use the findings to identify barriers peculiar to their scenario and serve as a starting point for devising case-specific strategies to overcome them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109437
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Best worst method
  • Net-zero
  • Net-zero carbon building
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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