Causality between challenges, availability, and extent of use of local building materials
Keywords:climate, environmental performance, local building materials, sustainable building materials
The promotion of sustainable practice in construction has resulted in a renewed focus on local building materials (LBMs). However, existing studies have not provided an extensive understanding of the challenges in the use and awareness of the availability of LBMs. In this study, we examine the challenges in the use and awareness of the availability and environmental performance of LBMs in South Africa. Based on a review of related literature, a questionnaire survey was undertaken to collect data from stakeholders in the construction industry. Structural equation modelling was conducted to validate the causality between the constructs. We found that the negative impacts of the challenges in the use of LBMs significantly reduce if stakeholders are aware of the environmental performance of LBMs in South Africa. The extent of the use of LBMs will increase with an awareness of their environmental performance and availability. Acquisition of the technical knowledge associated with LBM-based construction processes and recognition of the use of LBMs for building projects in building requirements and regulations are recommended.
The study provides an understanding of the challenges in using LBMs linked to construction stakeholder awareness of their availability and environmental performance. This understanding will promote the use of LBMs in the construction industry and provide a valuable reference for stakeholders in decision-making and policymaking on their use.
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Royal Academy of Engineering
Grant numbers IAPP18/19-215