Barriers and drivers for sustainable building

Tarja Häkkinen (Corresponding Author), Kaisa Belloni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    476 Citations (Scopus)


    What are the actual barriers and drivers for sustainable building? A literature review, interviews and case studies are presented to address this question. Sustainable building is not hindered by a lack of technologies and assessment methods, but is instead beset with organizational and procedural difficulties entailed by the adoption of new methods. New technologies are resisted because they require process changes entailing risks and unforeseen costs. These hindrances can be reduced by learning what kind of decision-making phases, new tasks, actors, roles and ways of networking are needed. The barriers are outlined as steering mechanisms, economics, a lack of client understanding, process (procurement and tendering, timing, cooperation and networking), and underpinning knowledge (knowledge and common language, the availability of methods and tools, innovation). The most important actions to promote sustainable building are the development of the awareness of clients about the benefits of sustainable building, the development and adoption of methods for sustainable building requirement management, the mobilization of sustainable building tools, the development of designers' competence and team working, and the development of new concepts and services. The interviews and case studies were carried out in Finland, but the results may be applicable or interesting to other countries as well.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)239-255
    Number of pages17
    JournalBuilding Research and Information
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • barriers
    • construction industry
    • drivers
    • management
    • organizational change
    • professionalism
    • sustainable building
    • sustainable building process


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