Tuesday 20 August 2013

Sustainability Assessments of Building Materials in Developing Countries

The analysis of materials in terms of sustainability is still in its infancy and is not well understood. Current methodologies tend to focus on environmental issues and rely on life-cycle assessment, or similar processes. While these systems address environmental impacts, few of them include social or economic aspects and therefore can not be said to assess sustainability (as defined by organisations such as the United Nations). In many developing countries the lack of social and economic indicators is a significant shortcoming as there is an strong interest in using construction and related industries to creatr beneficial social and economic impacts such as job creation.

This paper investigates the nature of sustainability assessment of building materials. It defines sustainability in order to ascertain the implications for building materials. This is developed into assessment indicators for building materials and an index, or proxy measure of sustainability, for a building material or product. This index, termed the Sustainable Building Material Index is described, and critically reviewed, in order to develop conclusions and recommendations for further research.

Key words: Sustainability, Building Materials, Methodology, Sustainable Building Material Index, SBMI

Contact me for a full copy of the paper. 

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