Water use efficiency and conservation during construction: drivers, barriers and practices

Water use efficiency and conservation during construction: drivers, barriers and practices PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore ways to enhance water use efficiency at construction sites according to project stakeholders’ perceptions.Design/methodology/approachA questionnaire survey was developed based on drivers, barriers and potential water use efficiency measures identified through a literature review. It was administered among professionals working in the construction industry who have more than ten years of work experience.FindingsThe study highlighted cost of water and sources of water as main drivers that promote water use efficiency on sites. Lack of priority for water management among host of other managerial functions was identified as the main barrier. In order to conserve water, respondents favoured “soft” measures such as changes in workers’ behaviour and managerial policies and planning for water savings, as opposed to “hard” measures which were primarily technology based.Research limitations/implicationsThe major implications of the study are related to how behaviour of the workers could be changed to accommodate water use efficiency in their everyday activities. Water saving measures such as leak detection, auditing and sub-metering were favoured by respondents referring to policies and planning, as well as implementing a water action plan when a project begins.Originality/valueThis study makes a contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject of water sustainability at construction projects. This is an understudied area. In addition, the findings will enhance the understanding of construction companies on water use efficiency and should serve as a platform to develop improved and appropriate techniques. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Built Environment Project and Asset Management Emerald Publishing

Water use efficiency and conservation during construction: drivers, barriers and practices

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2044-124X
DOI
10.1108/BEPAM-09-2015-0052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore ways to enhance water use efficiency at construction sites according to project stakeholders’ perceptions.Design/methodology/approachA questionnaire survey was developed based on drivers, barriers and potential water use efficiency measures identified through a literature review. It was administered among professionals working in the construction industry who have more than ten years of work experience.FindingsThe study highlighted cost of water and sources of water as main drivers that promote water use efficiency on sites. Lack of priority for water management among host of other managerial functions was identified as the main barrier. In order to conserve water, respondents favoured “soft” measures such as changes in workers’ behaviour and managerial policies and planning for water savings, as opposed to “hard” measures which were primarily technology based.Research limitations/implicationsThe major implications of the study are related to how behaviour of the workers could be changed to accommodate water use efficiency in their everyday activities. Water saving measures such as leak detection, auditing and sub-metering were favoured by respondents referring to policies and planning, as well as implementing a water action plan when a project begins.Originality/valueThis study makes a contribution to the body of knowledge on the subject of water sustainability at construction projects. This is an understudied area. In addition, the findings will enhance the understanding of construction companies on water use efficiency and should serve as a platform to develop improved and appropriate techniques.

Journal

Built Environment Project and Asset ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 7, 2016

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