The role of design management in the sustainable building process

Mirkka Rekola (Corresponding Author), Tarja Mäkeläinen, Tarja Häkkinen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Sustainable building (SB) aims at the required building performance with minimum adverse environmental impact, while encouraging improvements in economic, social and cultural circumstances. The role of design is essential in interpreting and solving these complicated multilevel requirements. This article analyses current design management practices in Finnish construction projects. The aim was to define the challenges that SB brings to the role of the chief designer (stated in the Finnish building code) and to understand how a chief designer contributes towards SB. Study found that the role is defined and practiced mostly as a technical supervisor. The general shared definition of a more fundamental meaning of the role is shallow. The means and mechanisms of performing the task, however, rely on social interaction, influencing and leadership. A lot more power and effect could be got out of design management if these would be consciously involved. SB does not necessarily create more tasks but it affects several existing tasks by bringing new substance to be considered in the design decisions. The key impact that the chief designer can make is created through successful leadership of human creative competence.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-89
    Number of pages1
    JournalArchitectural Engineering and Design Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • design management
    • integrated design
    • sustainability management
    • sustainable building processes


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