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Project Management and Green Buildings:

Lessons from the Rating Systems

Peng Wu1 and Sui Pheng Low2

Abstract: Building sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions around the globe. Being green, or sustainable, is one pressing
issue coming from both internal and external drivers for construction and engineering companies. Green building has experienced rapid
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growth in the past several years. To assess how green, or sustainable, the building is, several green rating systems have been developed.
Among these rating systems, more similarities exist than differences. One noteworthy difference—project management—serves as the
motivation behind this investigation. To identify the role of project management that is less related to technology and engineering in
developing green building rating systems, this research centers on a comparison between the LEED, the Green Globes, and the BCA
Green Mark to obtain an understanding of current practices, and more importantly, to address the significance of project management in
achieving green or sustainable construction. The findings suggest that project management adopted in green building construction involves
both the practice and the process. Although the practice—mainly represented through the project management body of knowledge—is
currently the focus of green building construction, the importance of the process, such as managing people, organizational structure,
building commissioning, performance documentation, and so on, cannot be neglected, as can be seen from the evolution of the green
rating systems. It is recommended that the construction and engineering companies take project management in terms of both the process
and the practice into consideration when fulfilling requirements of being green.
DOI: 10.1061/共ASCE兲EI.1943-5541.0000006
CE Database subject headings: Sustainable development; Climate change; Project management; Construction companies.
Author keywords: Sustainable development; Climate change; Project management; Construction companies.

Introduction According to Adler et al. 2006, green building is often devel-

oped under the guideline of a rating system, which provides guid-
Green building is a way of enhancing the environment, which ance on the measurements and can supply recognition and
benefits human well being, community, environmental health, validation of that level of commitment. Rating systems can be
and life-cycle costs 共Adler et al. 2006兲. It belongs to the concept divided by the difference of concentration into two groups: one
of “sustainable development,” which also serves as the driving which focuses on specific building components or activities, and
force. However, instead of simply regarding green building as an the other that centers on regarding the building as a whole entity.
assembly of new materials, technologies, and other pieces of Among the whole-building rating systems, the leadership in en-
ergy and environmental design 共LEED兲 green building rating
environment-friendly innovations, it should be a holistic solution
system and the Green Globes are the most well-known standards.
to achieve the concept of sustainable development in the project
The Building and Construction Authority 共BCA兲 Green Mark
life cycle including project planning, designing, constructing, and
was launched in January 2005 as well in Singapore to spur
operating. In the past few decades, green building has been
Singapore’s construction industry toward more environment-
through a flourishing development due to a growing market de-
friendly buildings 关Building and Construction Authority 共BCA兲
mand for environment-friendly solutions and products. The 2008兴. It is obvious that these green building rating systems share
practices of green building were initiated primarily from the non- many similarities, including water, energy efficiency, and indoor
profit sector, federal, state, and municipal building projects environment quality. However, significant questions relating to
共Smith et al. 2006兲. However, the concept of green building is how the degree of the differences in the rating criteria among the
now widespread in the construction industry due to the rising rating systems influences performance should focus on the major
awareness of sustainability. differences. This paper aims to take the first step in assessing the
three green building rating systems, mainly focusing on one
Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Building, School of Design and Environ- major difference, which is project management, to identify the
ment, National Univ. of Singapore, 4 Architecture Dr., Singapore 117566, role of project management in achieving the green agenda or
Singapore 共corresponding author兲. E-mail: g0700346@nus.edu.sg sustainable construction. Thus, the objectives of this study are:
Professor, Dept. of Building, School of Design and Environment, • To compare the LEED, the Green Globes, and the BCA Green
National Univ. of Singapore, 4 Architecture Dr., Singapore 117566, Sin- Mark on a general level, mainly focusing on the measure-
gapore. E-mail: bdglowsp@nus.edu.sg
Note. This manuscript was submitted on September 15, 2008; ap-
proved on April 23, 2009; published online on March 15, 2010. Discus- • To highlight the sections in all three rating systems which
sion period open until September 1, 2010; separate discussions must be address the role of project management in obtaining the cor-
submitted for individual papers. This paper is part of the Journal of responding rating credits; and
Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, Vol. 136, • To identify the sections which are highlighted above and to
No. 2, April 1, 2010. ©ASCE, ISSN 1052-3928/2010/2-64–70/$25.00. prepare a package for the construction industry to understand


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

the role of project management in achieving sustainable con- its environmental impact and performance based on five key rat-
struction in terms of processes and practices. ing criteria. Similar to previous rating systems, buildings can be
awarded a platinum, goldplus, gold, or certified rating depending
on the points scored 共BCA 2008兲.
Green Building
There are relatively few publications that directly compare the
Green building emerged during the late 19th and early 20th cen- LEED and the Green Globes. The Athena Sustainable Materials
turies 共Cassidy 2003兲. However, it is until recently that green Institute 共2002兲 has completed a study focusing on a comparison
building has gained widespread development. In the 1980s, under of the LEED and the Canadian version of the Green Globes with
the cover of sustainable development 共Rees 1989兲 and sustainable the conclusion that there is a close relationship between the two
design 共St. John 1992兲, green building has proven to be successful systems in terms of contents, goals, and weightings of rating cri-
in contributing toward sustainability. Green building refers to tai- teria. The Natural Resources Defense Council has released a re-
loring a building and its placement on the site to the local climate, port to focus on the increased stringency and credibility of
site conditions, culture, and community to reduce resource con- the LEED rating system over the flexibility and ease of use of
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sumption, augment resource supply, and enhance the quality and the Green Globes system 共Bright, U. “Comparison of the LEED
diversity of life 共Adler et al. 2006兲. It is a division under the and Green Globes green building rating systems.” Backgrounder
umbrella of sustainable development, which is characterized by Report of the Natural Resources Defense Council, 2005兲. In ad-
Sara Parkin of the British environmental initiative forum for the dition, the Carpenters Industrial Council has conducted a research
future as “a process that enables all people to realize their poten- to deeply investigate the comprehensiveness, comparability,
tial and improve their quality of life in ways that protect and and credit/point balance between the LEED and the Green Globes
enhance the Earth’s life support systems 共Forum for the Future 共Smith et al. 2006兲. The BCA Green Mark was released in Janu-
2008兲.” In accordance with the three aspects of sustainable devel- ary, 2005. There was no previous study which focuses on com-
opment, which are economic, social, and environmental, green paring the Green Mark with the other two more popular rating
building can benefit human well being, community, environmen- systems due to its regional limitation. However, the BCA Green
tal health, and life-cycle costs 共Adler et al. 2006兲. Mark should not be overlooked because of the current eco-
Green building rating systems are designed to assess and city initiative undertaken jointly by Singapore and China in
evaluate the performance of either the whole building or a spe- Tianjin. The Tianjin ecocity project is likely to be the first and
cific division of the building from planning, designing, construct- most significant building project at a macrolevel to focus on
ing, and operations. In so far as the assessment and evaluation environment-friendly features that could provide valuable ecoles-
criteria are concerned, rating systems, guidelines, and standards sons for other countries worldwide 共BCA 2008兲. This study takes
can be categorized into two groups: those which concentrate on the first step to investigate the differences between these three
specific building components or areas, and those which identify green rating systems to examine if the differences can lead to
the building as a whole evaluation entity 共Adler et al. 2006兲. As further improvement.
the concentrations of different rating systems vary, the same
building can be green credited by one while failed to be credited Project Management
by another at the same time. The rating process seems to be a
more subjective review than it was thought to be. In the past few years, the concepts of green design and green
Among the whole-building rating systems, the LEED, which construction have been embraced by an increasing numbers of
was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the most architects, designers, and building owners to achieve the green
commonly used whole-building rating system around the world. objective 共Cole et al. 2000兲. In the concepts of green design and
This study focuses on the LEED-new construction 共LEED-NC兲 green construction, there are many systems that can help to
rating system, which is currently the premier and most heavily achieve the green objective, including energy efficiency, quality
used green rating system in the United States 共Haselbach 2008兲. management system, using environmentally friendly materials,
The LEED-NC rating system is applicable to new commercial etc. Much attention has been paid to components of these sys-
construction and major renovation projects 共USGBC 2008兲. The tems, which are often referred to as technical-related issues.
LEED includes six categories, all of which carry a specific Project management is often regarded as a set of tools which can
amount of rating credits. Different certification from LEED certi- help to fulfill the requirements of the systems, such as waste
fied, LEED silver, LEED gold, to LEED platinum is issued to the management, materials management, site management, and so on.
project in proportion to the amount of credits that are allocated to However, due to the long duration, green building is better re-
the project. garded as a process rather than a product. Simply looking at
Due to different market concentrations and its relative new- project management as components of these systems would lead
ness, the Green Globes, on the other hand, does not attract as to problems from loss of efficiency to project failure. The com-
much attention as the LEED does 共Smith et al. 2006兲. It origi- ponents of these systems may be defined by one group, planned
nated from a British version, which is the building research es- by another group, and executed by yet another group. Therefore,
tablishment assessment method 共BREEAM兲 and was adopted and the project management process which can ensure a smooth flow
introduced into the Canadian market as the BREEAM green leaf of the practices should not be overlooked.
rating system. This system is known as the origin of the Green On the other hand, the project management process, which is
Globes. Similar to the LEED, the Green Globes has seven areas often referred to as the nontechnical-related issues, is currently
of assessment as well as other supplements. A rating certification not being paid enough attention. Hughes and Williams 共1995兲
between one and four Green Globes is issued to the project based stated that most organizations implementing a quality system tend
on the scores achieved. to pay much attention to the technical requirements stipulated in
The BCA Green Mark is a green building rating system devel- the ISO 9000 standards as well as understanding how the process
oped by the BCA and supported by the National Environment in organizations may achieve ISO 9000 certification. Low 共1998兲
Agency in Singapore. It aims to assess and evaluate a building for argued that when implementing total quality management sys-


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

Table 1. Points Allocation of LEED 2.2, Green Globes, and BCA Green Mark 3.0
Green rating system
Assessment area LEED 2.2 Green Globes BCA Green Mark 3.0
Project management T N/I 100 共10.0%兲 32 共22.9%兲
M 50 Together with water, indoor
environment, and others:
maximum capacity: 50/minimum: 20
Site T 14 共20.3%兲 120 共12.0%兲 N/I
M 24
Energy T 17 共24.6%兲 300 共30.0%兲 79 共56.4%兲 共exclude bonus points兲
M Path A: 150/Path B: 100 Maximum capacity: 50/minimum: 30
Water T 5 共7.3%兲 130 共13.0%兲 14 共10.0%兲
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M 26 See project management

Resources/materials T 13 共18.8%兲 145 共14.5%兲 N/I
M 29
Emissions and storage T N/I 45 共4.5%兲 N/I
of hazardous materials M 9
Indoor environment T 15 共21.7%兲 160 共16.0%兲 8 共5.7%兲
M 32 See project management
Others Innovation and design process: 5 points 共7.3%兲 N/I Other green features: 7 points 共5%兲
Note: Path A = performance design option; Path B = prescriptive design option; T = total possible points; and M = minimum points required.

tems, nontechnical or human behavioral attributes should never energy use; 共2兲 water use; 共3兲 pollution; 共4兲 material/product in-
be overlooked. Gray and Larson 共2008兲 stated that project man- puts; 共5兲 indoor air quality and occupant comfort; 共6兲 transport;
agers are exposed to so many project management softwares that 共7兲 site ecology; and 共8兲 other sustainable design. Adopting the
they become infatuated with network charts, Gantt diagrams, and same consideration, in this research, rating criteria are reallocated
performance variances and consequently attempt to manage a accordingly. However, only those related to project management
project from a distance. In fact, Czuchry and Yasin 共2003兲 men- are reorganized, in accordance with the objectives of this study.
tioned traditional project management as closed system where the
technical aspects of project management are highlighted. Instead
of relying solely on the practices, project managers should be able Comparison of LEED 2.2, Green Globes, and BCA
to adapt to an open system where both the technical and nontech- Green Mark 3.0
nical aspects of project management are balanced.
At first sight, it would seem that the Green Globes offers a better
package which identifies project management process as one
Systems Overview major rating area. Evaluation points are allocated from predesign,
construction, to postconstruction stage. In the predesign stage, the
To reflect the more common practice, the most popularly adopted Green Globes suggests that individuals that represent different
versions are chosen for comparison, which are the LEED for NC disciplines, which include the owner’s representative, green de-
and major renovations version 2.2 共referred to as LEED 2.2兲, the sign and delivery coordinator, architect, contractor, civil engineer,
GBI-proposed American National Standard 01-2008P 共referred to and other stakeholders, are to be involved in a planning session to
as the Green Globes兲, and the BCA Green Mark for nonresidential discuss and establish performance goals and measurements. The
building version 3.0 共referred to as the BCA Green Mark 3.0兲. At planning session can be in the form of a meeting, charrette, or
first sight, it seems that all three rating systems share a lot of workshop 关Green Building Initiative 共GBI兲 2008兴. The perfor-
common areas in terms of rating categories and allocation of mance goals and measurements that are decided in the predesign
points. As can be seen from Table 1, the allocation of credits/ planning sessions are to be applied in the construction and post-
points to different categories is only a few percentages off when construction stage. In addition, there are 48 points, which repre-
comparing these three systems, among which energy takes up the sents nearly 50% of the credits in the project management process
highest weighting. In addition, although LEED 2.2 does not set that will be allocated to the commissioning process, which in-
the minimum credits required to achieve certification, there is a cludes the structural system, heating, ventilation and air condi-
certain amount of prerequisites under each area that must be tioning 共HVAC兲 system, electrical system, etc. The reason is that
implemented without being allocated with credits. with the commissioned systems, quality is assured and environ-
From Table 1, it seems that no credits have been allocated to mental protection practice is applied from the start.
the section on project management in LEED 2.2. However, this is In a similar fashion, the BCA Green Mark 3.0 identifies sus-
not true because the same entry may be classified into different tainable construction and environmental management practice as
categories. For example, both LEED 2.2 and the Green Globes important rating criteria when allocating credits. Project manage-
put public transport under the heading of site while the BCA ment takes up to 21 points, which represents 13.2% of the total
Green Mark 3.0 addresses the same criteria in the section on credits. However, instead of allocating credits to the processes
environmental protection. Previous studies carried out by Smith which stimulate sustainable or green practices, the BCA Green
et al. 共2006兲 reallocated the assessment areas to form a system Mark 3.0 focuses on allocating credits to these practices them-
based on eight generic “sustainability” categories, including 共1兲 selves, such as using concrete more efficiently and introducing


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

Table 2. Comparison of LEED 2.2, Green Globes, and BCA Green Mark 3.0 in the Area of Project Management

Bold = Major credits PM Project Management IDP Innovation and Design Process GDDC Green Design and Delivery Coordination
Bold italics = Subdivisions of credits or strategies employed EA Energy and Atmosphere MR Materials and Resources EM Environmental Management
= No equivalent PR Prerequisite SS Sustainable Site MRT/LRT Mass Rapid Transit/Light Rapid Transit

LEED 2.2 % of PM % of total Green Globes % of PM % of total BCA Green Mark 3.0 % of PM % of total

Project management process 3.0 21.4% 4.3% Project management process 106.0 62.7% 10.6% Project management process 6.0 28.6% 3.8%

6.1 Coordination and benchmarking 28.0

GDDC pre-design green design meetings 4.0
GDDC performance goals 10.0
GDDC progress meetings for design 6.0
GDDC progress meetings for construction 8.0
Project Management Process

Suggested documentation 0.0

6.2 Environmental management during construction 16.0
Environmental management systems 5.0
Building materials and building envelope 2.0
Indoor air quality 9.0
Suggested documentation 0.0
EA, IDP and MR 3.0 6.3 Whole building commissioning 48.0 3-1/3-3 Sustainable construction/EM practice 6.0
Pre-commissioning 3.0
Fundamental commissioning of the Developer, main building, etc. that are ISO
EA PR 1 0.0 3-3 c 1.0
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building energy system 14000 certificated

EA 3 Enhanced commissioning 1.0 Certificated Green Mark Manager or Certificated
Whole building commissioning 39.0 3-3 b 3.0
IDP 2 LEED accredited professional 1.0 Green Mark Professional
Building quality assessed under Construction
3-3 d 1.0
Quality Assessment System
Environmental friendly products certificated
MR 7 Certificated woods 1.0 10.3.2 Certification of wood-based products 6.0 3-1 c(i) 1.0
under The Singapore Green Labelling Scheme
Suggested documentation 0.0
6.4 Environmental management- post construction 14.0
Operations and maintenance manuals 14.0
% of PM % of total Suggested documentation 0.0 % of PM % of total % of PM % of total

Project management practice 11.0 78.6% 15.9% Project management practice 63.0 37.3% 6.3% Project management practice 15.0 71.4% 9.4%
Project Management Practice

Public transport 2.0 Public transport 8.0 Public transport accessibility 2.0
SS 4.1 Public transport access 1.0 Located within a 0.25mi of a public transport 5.0 3-4 a Good access to MRT/LRT or bus stops 1.0
SS 4.2 Bicycle storage and changing rooms 1.0 Bicyle path, bicyle rack, sidewalk access 3.0 3-4 b Adequate bicycles parking lots 1.0
Materials and Resources 9.0 Materials/Resources 55.0 Environmental protection 13.0
10.1.2/ Recycled content (assemblies/furnishings, finishes
MR 4.1-4.2 Recycled content 2.0 21.0 3-1 c(ii) Products with at least 30% recycled content 4.0
10.2.3 and fit-outs)
10.1.3-4/ Transportation (assemblies/furnishings, finishes and
MR 5.1-5.2 Regional materials 2.0 14.0
10.2.4-5 fit-outs)
3-1 a More efficient concrete usage 4.0
MR 1.1-1.3 Building reuse 3.0 10.4 Reuse of existing structures 18.0 3-1 b Conservation of existing building structure 2.0
Provision of facilities for collection and storage
MR PR 1 Storage and collectin of recyclables 0.0 10.5.2 Operations-related recycling programs 2.0 3-3 f 1.0
of recyclable waste
MR 2.1-2.2 Construction waste management 2.0 10.5.4 Suggested documentations-waste minimization 0.0 3-3 a Implement environmental friendly programmes 1.0
10.5.4 Suggest documentations-other 0.0 3-3 f Provision of building users' guide 1.0

Note: Bold= major credits; PM= project management; IDP= innovation and designed process; GDDC= green design and delivery coordination; bold
italics= subdivisions of credits or strategies employed; EA= energy and atmosphere; MR= materials and resources; EM= environmental management;
NE= no equivalent; PR= prerequisite; SS= sustainable site; and MRT/ LRT= mass rapid transit/light rapid transit.

sustainable materials and products in building construction. address the problem that a project might be certified without con-
LEED 2.2 for NC and major renovations, published in October sidering the whole-building performance. In addition, instead of
2005, seems to have many similarities with the BCA Green Mark using the all-or-nothing approach which is adopted by LEED 2.2,
3.0, both of which intend to highlight sustainable practices rather the Green Globes offers grant the possibility to gain partial credits
than the process to achieve these practices. In addition, the sus- for implementing certain technologies which might lower the as-
tainable construction and environmental management practice sessment levels 共Smith et al. 2006兲. However, this does not pre-
adopted in LEED 2.2 and the BCA Green Mark are quite similar. vent the newly reviewed Green Globes from being regarded as
Both encourage building reuse, if there are existing building one of the leading whole-building rating systems that takes both
structures, as well as construction waste management plans. the process and the practice into consideration.
When evaluating the LEED 2.2 and the BCA Green Mark 3.0, In summary, as shown in Table 2, the Green Globes allocates
there may be a problem of point chasing from project manage- 62.7% of the credits to project management process, where LEED
ment credits which have lower investment costs over the other 2.2 and the BCA Green Mark 3.0 only allocate 20–30% of the
credits that are more difficult to obtain. Project management in credits to project management. It seems that the Green Globes
LEED 2.2 and the BCA Green Mark 3.0 takes around 20% of the embraces the strategy that it is better to do something instead of
whole project management credits. Other than that, few credits nothing at all, which is quite similar to previous findings 共Smith
have been allocated to interaction, communication, and collabo- et al. 2006兲. LEED 2.2 and the BCA Green Mark 3.0 seem to
ration during the project life cycle. The problems are even worse have a lot of strategies and gray areas 共as shown in Table 2兲 in
in the BCA Green Mark 3.0, even though it has a similar section common. Both rely heavily on project management practice
on mandatory requirements as the prerequisites in LEED 2.2. 共78.6% for LEED 2.2 and 71.4% for Green Mark兲 and yet show a
A minimum of 20 points is allocated to parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 as a lack of the processes to achieve sustainable construction. All the
whole, which are water efficiency, environmental protection credits in the project management process are taken by commis-
共project management practice兲, indoor environmental quality, and sioning and certification activities.
other green features, respectively. The project can fulfill the mini-
mum point requirements by simply obtaining the credits from
project management practice, which is allocated up to 21 points. Project Management and Sustainable Construction
Thus, a project can be Green Mark certified even if the areas of
water efficiency and indoor environmental quality are overlooked. Although green building is better regarded as a process rather
This would obviously harm the development, especially when than a product due to the long duration, much attention has been
the BCA Green Mark 3.0 is identified as a whole-building rating paid on green design and green construction rather than on the
systems. complete project life cycle. Even if green construction is consid-
On the other hand, the Green Globes sets a minimum percent- ered in project life cycle, as explained in LEED 2.2 and BCA
age of points required for each environmental assessment area to Green Mark 3.0, it is the practice rather than the process that are


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

being focused upon. As shown earlier, project management takes sustainability agenda is vulnerable. Hence, as construction moves
around 20% of the credits in the rating systems. This route is easy on, more and more green performance goals are dropped. At the
and has a low investment cost to implement during the project life end of the construction period, when the project is handed over to
cycle. This section investigates the project management area to the client, it may be far from what have been expected, in a
achieve sustainable construction, in terms of both the process and negative manner. To safeguard the green baton during the project
the practice. life cycle, Halliday 共2008兲 proposed that the project should start
As discussed previously, in LEED 2.2 and BCA Green Mark with high aspirations, or green performance standards, and in-
3.0, project management practices, including waste management, volve the widest range of interests in the design process. In addi-
environmental management programs, materials management, tion, a smoother flow or handover of the baton, which can be
site management, and so on, are allocated with most of the points realized by regular progress meetings during the project life
in the project management section 共78.6% in LEED 2.2 and cycle, is of critical importance to the success of green building.
71.4% in BCA Green Mark 3.0兲. The results clearly indicate the The project management process is highlighted in the Green
importance of project management practice in current construc- Globes by allocating 62.7% of the project management points to
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tion projects to achieve the green agenda. However, the Green progress meetings, coordination, benchmarking, commissioning,
Globes, on the other hand, allocates most of the credits in the and documentation. Although LEED 2.2 and BCA Green Mark
project management section 共62.7%兲 to processes such as coordi- 3.0 allocate 20–30% of the project management points to the
nation, building commissioning, documentation, etc. If the project process, most of the points are allocated to commissioning and
intends to obtain certification under the Green Globes, this allo- certification activities. No points are allocated to planning and
cation strategy will force the project manager to be more balanced coordination which may lead to problems such as green baton
between the process and the practice. which will hinder LEED 2.2 and BCA Green Mark 3.0 from
Although the green building rating systems may not be 100% reaching their full potential.
credible to evaluate how green the building is, they do provide
useful information on the good practices and measures to achieve
green objectives. In fact, each rating system provides a certain
level of information that can help project managers to balance The construction period is often lengthy and easily exposed to all
between the process and the practice. An effective project man- kinds of pollutions, which can influence both the local and na-
agement package to fulfill the requirements of green building tional environments, depending on the nature of the project. Three
should include: types of inputs are discussed in this section, which are labor,
• Project management process in the project life cycle to achieve equipment, and material. All inputs are of critical importance to
sustainable construction; improve the overall productivity and reduce waste in the con-
• Delivery of relevant aspirations to different project parties struction period. Basically, green construction is about planning
without the sustainability baton, which is referred to as the and scheduling. Other than introducing the low-emission vehicles
“green baton” being dropped at key points in the process; and improving fuel efficiency, green construction aims at plan-
• Construction management practice during the construction pe- ning and scheduling to fulfill the green project requirements,
riod to achieve the green objective; and which is always less technology and design related and is often
• Feedback and documentation of the project life cycle for con- overlooked by the industry. According to Glavinich 共2008兲, an-
tinuous improvement. other consideration is the need to minimize site disturbance dur-
ing construction or to protect materials and equipment from
Project Management Process contamination during the construction process. Hence, planning
and scheduling is about fulfilling the green project requirements
In the predesign stage, the level of understanding of, and commit- with high efficiency and low interruption 共sometimes referred to
ment to, sustainability vary with different parties, including client, as “waste”兲.
architect, engineers, and other stakeholders 共Halliday 2008兲. Indi- • Labor. Projects are carried out by people. As skilled workforce
viduals that represent the disciplines listed above should be in- is a must for the success of a project, this workforce must be
volved in a planning session to discuss green issues and cared for and preserved just like any other resource used in the
performance goals 共GBI 2008兲. The planning session during the construction industry 共Glavinich 2008兲. Training is essential to
predesign stage is of critical importance to realize the goal of raise awareness of sustainable construction and reduce waste.
sustainability because it is the starting point to achieve sustain- According to EPA 共2004兲, if driven carelessly, even a perfectly
ability. The client has to clearly identify the needs; architects, maintained vehicle will pollute more than necessary. Thus, it is
engineers, and project managers have to figure out the project necessary and beneficial for the operators to understand and
envelope; and environmental engineer and quantity surveyor follow the sustainable operating conventions. In the Green
should research into sustainability issues and life-cycle costing. Globes, training and awareness is also allocated up to 5 points
Different parties contribute their knowledge into the process to under the heading of environmental management system with
identify the performance goals, such as site issues, water effi- action plan, communication, and emergency preparedness and
ciency, indoor environmental quality, environmentally responsible response. Being treated with equity and respect in terms of
construction activities, etc. training, learning, and meaningful jobs, collaboration of differ-
As stated previously, the construction life cycle can be divided ent parties can be achieved. However, the importance of labor
into a few set periods from briefing to handover of the project. is only addressed in the Green Globes by providing training,
Problems exist when the project team transfers the performance action plan, and raising awareness of the employees. Both
goals into the following period. Varied interests always lead to the LEED 2.2 and BCA Green Mark 3.0 highlight the adoption of
green baton. According to Liddel 共2006兲, green baton means that green-certificated project managers and professionals but do
at each stage in the project life cycle, where there is a high risk of not allocate credits to the site workers who are doing the actual
the sustainability baton being dropped throughout the process, the work. In fact, Low and Choong 共2001兲 stated that the site


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

workers usually have a lower level of motivation than the site overlooked the potential benefit of JIT management 共Low and
engineers. More programs should be organized for the general Choong 2001兲.
employees in green building construction.
• Equipment. The most commonly adopted option to restrict
equipment movement to prevent site disturbance is a proper Postoccupancy
site layout. One target of green construction is to minimize site
Green building is better regarded as a process rather than a prod-
disturbance either to preserve the natural environment or to
uct due to the long postconstruction operational duration. Being
cause minimum interruption to local environment around the
a process, operations and maintenance need to be taken into
project, which requires restricting equipment movement. In
consideration. Green building may be different with regard to
addition, as equipment consumes energy in terms of electricity
operations and maintenance, contractual issues, defects control,
or fuel to maintain operations, restricting equipment involve-
etc. There will be daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual routines
ment can bring economic and environmental benefits, both of
共Halliday 2008兲. It is especially important for the building to be
which are essential to the success of a green project. This is
commissioned if the client is seeking green certification. Accord-
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the situation where the just-in-time 共JIT兲 concept can be ap-

ing to Glavinich 共2008兲, the purpose of building commissioning is
plied with minimum alterations. By applying the concept, in
to ensure that building systems operate and can be maintained in
the predesign stage, all the deliveries of the materials, con-
accordance with the owner’s project requirements as expressed in
struction, and installation activities are taken into consider-
the facility program that defines the owner’s operational require-
ation so that no unnecessary movements happen on site. The
ments, which include:
right parts needed are delivered to site at the time they are
• Building systems have been installed properly and operate
needed and only in the amount needed 共Ohno 1988兲. While the
implementation of the JIT concept in traditional projects is not
• Each building system being commissioned interacts well with
mandatory at the moment, it is always good practice to apply
other building systems;
this in green projects, based on the fact that most rating sys-
• Complete equipment and system documentation, including op-
tems do take minimum energy usage into consideration. By erations and maintenance, is provided to the client and final
appropriately managing equipment, minimum energy usage users; and
and energy efficiency can be achieved, which will help to • Client and final users have been properly trained to perform
achieve the corresponding credits in the three rating systems, reliable, efficient, and sustainable building operations.
such as EA credit 1 to optimize energy performance in LEED In fact, operations and maintenance are the areas that green
2.2, Section 6.1.2 to achieve energy efficiency in Green rating regulatory bodies have taken into consideration when re-
Globes, and Section 3-3 to minimize energy usage in BCA vising the rating systems. Building and Construction Authority
Green Mark 3.0. 共2008兲 proposed the provision of a building users’ guide that in-
• Material. Generally speaking, a material plan can be divided cludes details of the environmental friendly facilities and features
into three phases: selection, conservation, and usage. When within the building and their uses in achieving the intended envi-
selecting the materials for the project, other than fulfilling the ronmental performance during building operations. Green Build-
project requirements, there are some other considerations that ing Initiative 共2008兲 also mentioned the importance of operations
cannot be neglected. Prefabricated materials are widely and maintenance manuals to the success of the green building,
adopted right now because of their easy installation, fire pro- which, like other products, have running problems.
tection, and so on. In addition, prefabricated materials and As stated above, the demand for green buildings is growing.
products are manufactured in factories within a closed envi- Yudelson 共2004兲 forecasted green building growth rates in the
ronment where quality management can be better applied to double digits until 2007. However, this does not erase the fact that
fulfill the requirement of being environment friendly. Adopting green building is in its infancy and it is still a niche market.
materials with recycled contents is one similarity that all three Continuous improvement based on previous experience is essen-
rating systems share. Location of the supplier is another con- tial for the development of green buildings. The feedback review
sideration especially when all rating systems allocate a certain can be carried out by different parties in different stages. After the
amount of credits to regionally extracted, processed, and completion of the building, the project team can investigate the
manufactured materials. Both LEED 2.2 and Green Globes building performance to draw lessons. At the same time, feedback
take transportation into consideration by advocating regionally can be documented by final users in the following years after
manufactured materials. When using regionally manufactured completion. Finally, the performance can be assessed by third
materials is not viable, it is always a good practice to try to parties to highlight both generic and technical lessons for further
combine possible deliveries together to reduce delivery cost, improvement. However, it should be noted that documentation for
which is often referred to as the rim delivery system. As stated continuous improvement is not allocated any credit at the current
previously, if the JIT concept is applied to the construction versions of all three rating systems. It remains a “better-do” rather
stage, materials will be immediately used at the time when than a “must-do” activity. Although documentations for continu-
they reach the site. It is not necessary to provide storage area ous improvement are not allocated with credits in green rating
for materials. However, if storage area is needed on site, as the systems right now, there remains a good chance that this will
Green Globes proposed, building materials made of organic happen in the near future because of the benefits this can bring to
matter as well as steel should be protected on site and in tran- the construction industry.
sit. Managing equipment and materials through the JIT con-
cept in green building construction can save both energy
consumption and costs. However, it requires a stable relation Conclusions
between the suppliers and the contractors so that no last
minute changes would be made. However, the contractors by Green building is not a simple fusion of green design, techniques,
far are obscured by the initial price and may have generally and materials. It is a holistic solution to achieve the concept of


J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.

sustainable development in the project life cycle including project Athena Sustainable Materials Institute. 共2002兲. “LEED Canada adaptation
planning, designing, constructing, and operating. Although this and BREEAM/green leaf harmonization study.”
life-cycle concept is adopted by a majority of the professionals, Building and Construction Authority 共BCA兲. 共2008兲. “BCA green mark
most concentration has been focused on design and technical- scheme.” 具http://www.bca.gov.sg/GreenMark/green_mark_buildings.
html典 共Aug. 12, 2008兲.
related areas that can be applied in the design and construction
Cassidy, R. 共2003兲. “White paper on sustainability: A report on the green
stage. However, by comparing LEED 2.2 published in 2005 with
building movement.” Reed Business Information, Building Design &
the Green Globes and BCA Green Mark 3.0, which were both
Construction, Clearwater, Fla.
published in 2008, there is a trend that project management pro-
Cole, R. J., Lindsey, G., and Todd, J. A. 共2000兲. “Assessing life cycles:
cess can offer a low-cost low-barrier avenue. Through the com- Shifting from green to sustainable design.” C. Boonstra, R. Rover,
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the importance of project management, in terms of both the prac- tricht, The Netherlands, 22–24.
tice and the process, which is allocated around 20% of the credits. Czuchry, A. J., and Yasin, M. M. 共2003兲. “Managing the project manage-
In the predesign stage, defining and planning sessions are or- ment process.” Ind. Manage. Data Syst., 103共1兲, 39–46.
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ganized to take as wider a range of interests as possible into EPA. 共2004兲. “Exhaust and crankcase emission factors for nonroad engine
consideration to prevent the green baton phenomenon from hap- modeling—Compression-ignition.” 具http://www.epa.gov/otaq/典 共Aug.
pening. Brainstorming and periodic meetings serve as the internal 16, 2007兲.
process to achieve the green objectives. In addition, periodic Forum for the Future. 共2008兲. “Formal definitions of sustainable devel-
meetings are a precautionary measure to make sure that the build- opment.” 具http://www.forumforthefuture.org/node/327典 共Aug. 15,
ing is resilient enough for changes. The execution strategies to 2008兲.
achieve the green agenda in the construction stage are currently Glavinich, T. E. 共2008兲. Contractor’s guide to green building construc-
the focus of the construction industry and is allocated with most tion: Management, project delivery, documentation and risk reduc-
of the credits in the project management section in both LEED tion, Wiley, New York.
Gray, C. F., and Larson, E. W. 共2008兲. Project management: The mana-
2.2 and BCA Green Mark 3.0 共78.6% in LEED 2.2 and 71.4% in
gerial process, McGraw-Hill, New York.
BCA Green Mark 3.0兲. Even in the construction stage, not enough Green Building Initiative 共GBI兲. 共2008兲. The Green Globes system,
attention is paid to human resources, which is less technical re- 具http://www.thegbi.org/commercial/典 共Aug. 29, 2008兲.
lated and may have great potential to help the project to achieve Halliday, S. 共2008兲. Sustainable construction, Butterworth-Heinemann,
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project because facilities, devices, equipment, and vehicles form tion: Sustainable construction for engineers, McGraw-Hill, New
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sustainability. Equipment should be organized in a JIT fashion so build on, 2nd Ed., Blackwell Science, Oxford, U.K.
that minimum involvement is achieved, thus leading to a mini- Liddel, H. 共2006兲. “Eco-minimalism—Less is more.” Green building
mum interruption to the local environment around the building. bible, Vol. 1, Green Building Press, Llandysul, U.K., 具http://www.
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J. Prof. Issues Eng. Educ. Pract. 2010.136:64-70.