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Authors: Marwa Heilman, Victoria
Title: Factors hindering the adoption of sustainable design and construction practices : the case of office building development in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Issue Date: 2016 Dissertation xx, 250
URI: Keywords: Construction Industry, Dar es Salaam, Managerial, Operational, Office Buildings, Policy, Stakeholders, Sustainable Design and Construction
Abstract: Sustainability is a key global development goal. Countries, especially in the Western world, have created systems that ensure sustainable development including in the area of design and construction. On the other hand progress is rather slow in developing countries like those found in Sub- Saharan Africa. The overall intention of this study is to contribute to the ongoing debate on how to mainstream sustainability in developing countries, especially Africa South of Sahara. This study investigates factors hindering the adoption of Sustainable Design and Construction (SDC) principles in Tanzania. In order to realize these objectives, the study investigated key design and construction industry stakeholders’ understandings of SDC and how their understandings of sustainability impact current architectural trends. Findings show that the current design and construction practices ignore the local context, especially the economic, social and environmental challenges, and this has far reaching consequences for the built environment and for the people who live and work in urban Tanzania. The central question of this research was, why aren’t SDC practices part of current architectural trends in Tanzania? A case study using both qualitative and quantitative methods was carried out in Dar es Salaam. Data was obtained through expert interviews, questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions, observation, document reviews and a literature review of previous studies on the factors hindering SDC in developing countries. Findings indicate that a lack of awareness and understanding of the concept of SDC, the absence of building laws and guidelines, a lack of formal training on SDC in higher learning institutions, developer and designer mindsets and egos, perceptions of investment costs, an influx of foreign investors and lack of professional ethics are key factors hindering the adoption of SDC in urban Tanzania. Significant differences exist in the understanding of SDC among key actors in the construction industry and there is a lack of a comprehensive and practical knowledge, which hinders SDC practices. The lack of knowledge of SDC among key stakeholders is a reflection of the absence of SDC concepts in the teaching curriculum in higher learning institutions, in the procedures for approving designs and in issuing building permits, in the laws governing activities in the construction industry and in the procedures for the employment of operational staff to undertake design and construction work. Thus, the study concludes by suggesting that the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Works, academic institutions, local government authorities, professional regulatory bodies and professional associations should make a greater and preferably joint effort to establish a clearer professional meaning of SDC so that stakeholders will share a holistic understanding of the concept, thus facilitating the creation of a common goal of mainstreaming sustainability in the Tanzanian design and construction industry. The study further suggests that SDC should be emphasized in the prioritization of national research so that findings can be utilized in the construction sector. The major contribution of this study is to provide an expert holistic understanding of SDC and the factors hindering its adoption from the perceptions and experience of policy, managerial and operational stakeholders. The study lays a needed foundation for stakeholders in the construction industry from which to promote sustainable development.
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