Editorial: Cost Effective Methods for Sustainable Construction Practice

Vivian Tam

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© 2011 Tam.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Correspondence: Head of Program - Construction, School of Engineering, Civionics Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Construction industry has been deemed to be as one of the most polluted industries for many years. Sustainability is an important issue for the construction industry to improve the environment, particularly in dealing with climate change and global warming problems. However, most of the industry practitioners cannot put sustainable construction practice as their first priority in their projects because of high investment cost and lack of experience. Therefore, this Special Issue seeks to highlight to show the researchers and industry practitioners that sustainable construction practice can be cost effective, which is a winwin approach for both the industry and the environment.

The Special Issue starts with the manuscript entitled “Rate of Reusable and Recyclable Waste in Construction” by myself in examining the rates of reusable and recyclable waste for six major types of building materials: plastic, paper, timber, metal, glass and concrete. This examination leads to the identification of the major barriers on reuse and recycling of construction materials in the local construction industry. Recommendations to improve the reusable and recyclable rates are also highlighted.

“Waste minimisation in office refurbishment projects: An Australian perspective” by Mary Hardie, Graham Miller and Shahed Khan monitors a sample of current recycling and reuse rates as reported by experts involved in commercial refurbishment projects in three Australian cities, namely Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Waste minimisation strategies in office building refurbishment can potentially make a significant contribution to the sustainability of the built environment.

“Barriers to implement green strategy in the process of developing real estate projects” by Xiaoling Zhang, Liyin Shen, Yuzhe Wu and Guoyou Qi examines barriers encountered in the process of real estate development and facilities management. The paper concludes by exploring the reasons that these barriers exist and suggesting some ways in which the barriers may be overcome.

This Special Issue hopes to show that sustainability is cost effective and achieves long term cost saving for the company and helps improve the environment.

I would like to thank all authors and reviewers for their contribution to this Special Issue.