Factors Affecting the Selection of Low-Cost Green Building Materials in Housing Construction

Factors Affecting the Selection of Low-Cost Green Building Materials in Housing Construction

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Author(s): Ibuchim Cyril Ogunkah, Junli Yang

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926 2479 41-75 Volume 2 - Sep 2013


This paper is informed by a study conducted to determine how the understanding of the principles of best practices associated with the impacts of low-cost green building materials could be improved to fulfil the objective of their greater use in mainstream housing. The aim of this paper is to address one of the main objectives of this study: to identify the key influential factors that will aid designers in the informed selection of low-cost green building materials and components for sustainable low-cost green housing projects. The findings and results derived through an extensive literature review and a preliminary study with leading experts emphasised the need for appropriate informed data for use in the material selection decision-making process. Solution proposed in this study contributed to the simplification of this task by conducting further surveys with experts who represent various fields in the housing construction industry and research institutions in Nigeria, to examine views and current thinking from leading researchers in the field, and obtain relevant data on issues specific to the critical factors affecting the choice of low cost green building materials. The methodology adopted in undertaking this research was the mixed method approach involving a detailed review of the relevant literature, networking with domain experts and practitioners, knowledge-mining interviews and industry-wide surveys with design and building professionals in Nigeria. A total of 210 out of 480 questionnaires were returned for analysis. A variety of statistical methods within the Statistical Package for the Social Scientist (SPSS v.20) were used to analyse the data collected and identify the key influential factors. The identification hence helped to develop a methodological framework for depicting the ranked factors for sustainable low-cost green housing. The information gathered from the analysis with inputs elicited from domain experts and extensive literature review will be used to further develop a Multi-Criteria Material Selection Decision Support System (MSDSS), and later to be refined with feedbacks obtained from selected expert builder and developer companies. The rationale of this paper is inevitably built on the ground that the identified factors; site-related issues, cost effectiveness, environmental impacts, socio-cultural impacts, sensorial effects, and technical performance are crucial in ensuring the design of sustainable low-cost green housing in Nigeria.


Decision Support System (DSS), Factors, Housing Construction, Low-Cost Green Building Materials


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