Embodied Carbon as a Material Selection Criterion: Insights from Sri Lankan Construction Sector

Amalka Nawarathna*, Muditha Siriwardana, Zaid Alwan

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The choice of materials is crucial in responding to the increasing embodied carbon (EC) impacts of buildings. Building professionals involved in material selection for construction projects have a vital role to play in this regard. This paper aimed to explore the extent to which building professionals in Sri Lanka considered EC as a material selection criterion. A questionnaire survey was conducted among a sample of building professionals in Sri Lanka. The results indicated that the consideration of EC as a material selection criterion remained low among key professionals, such as architects, engineers, and sustainability managers, despite their reasonable influencing powers and knowledge of EC. Those respondents who had considered EC as a selection criterion said they had been primarily driven by green building rating systems and previous experience. Those respondents who had not considered EC during material selection commonly reported that they had been prevented from doing so by the lack of regulations and the lack of alternative low carbon materials. Respondents believed that the involvement of actors, such as the government, professional bodies, environmental organizations, activist groups, and the public, may be significant in promoting the greater consideration of EC during material selection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2202
Number of pages20
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021

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