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Open AccessArticle

Sustainable Construction Risk Perceptions in the Kuwaiti Construction Industry

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1854;
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 31 May 2018 / Accepted: 1 June 2018 / Published: 3 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Construction Engineering)
PDF [1324 KB, uploaded 3 June 2018]


Sustainable construction is fundamentally different than traditional construction because it requires whole systems thinking, early collaboration across stakeholders, and core principles like reducing resource consumption, eliminating toxins, and applying life cycle costing. Construction professionals unfamiliar with this mindset and approach may perceive sustainable construction as risky. One of the global regions in need of more sustainable construction is the Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) region. The MENA region is one of the fastest developing in the world. However, it is the slowest one in implementing sustainable construction practices. Kuwait, in particular, contributes 53% more carbon emissions per capita than the United States. To understand how the Kuwaiti construction industry perceives risks associated with more sustainable construction, a survey was developed with 52 risk elements in which 131 industry professionals responded. The results indicate that industry professionals perceive a lack of public awareness as the risk element with the highest probability of occurrence. The risk element with the highest possible negative impact on future projects is designers’ and contractors’ inexperience with sustainable construction. Other risks were found to include a high initial cost for materials and overall project costs. Educational interventions, changes in risk allocation, and behavioral science to reframe upfront costs as long-term savings are offered as possible solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable construction; risk perceptions; risk management; Kuwait sustainable construction; risk perceptions; risk management; Kuwait

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Ismael, D.; Shealy, T. Sustainable Construction Risk Perceptions in the Kuwaiti Construction Industry. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1854.

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