Special Issue "Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Peng Wu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley WA 6102, Australia
Interests: construction and project management; mega projects; sustainability; carbon footprint; life cycle assessment; sustainable construction; lean production
Prof. Dr. Vivian WY Tam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Interests: construction and project management; environmental management; sustainability; mega projects; sustainable construction; recycled concrete
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Xin Hu
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Built Environment, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley WA 6102, Australia
Interests: construction and project management; sustainable living; sustainable building; environmental management; sustainable construction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The popularity of developing mega projects is increasing around the world, with the predicted global mega project market being worth USD 6–9 trillion annually. Sustainability is an important concern for mega project stakeholders. The delivery of mega projects, not only significantly impacts socio-economic development (e.g., public health, resettlement), but also profoundly influences the natural environment, such as biodiversity and ecological process. As such, the sustainability issue of mega projects should be treated differently from conventional projects, given their distinct roles in socio-economic development, as well as their large-scale characteristics.

The primary aim of this Special Issue is to uncover the nature of mega projects’ sustainability by soliciting theoretical, methodological, and empirical studies. It contributes significantly to the understanding of the sustainability issue of mega projects, which facilitates their management and improvement of performance. This Special Issue welcomes papers that are associated with all aspects of “Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects”.

Assoc. Prof. Peng Wu
Prof. Vivian Tam
Dr. Xin Hu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Stakeholders’ sustainability decision-making
  • Stakeholders’ sustainability perceptions
  • Sustainability impacts
  • Sustainability performance assessment and improvement
  • Lifecycle thinking
  • Governance, legislation, and policy for sustainability
  • Sustainability management practices
  • Sustainability management tools and technologies
  • Green supply chain management
  • Sustainable production and consumption
  • Tensions and trade-offs of sustainability dimensions
  • Emergency management of the negative sustainability impacts

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Relationships between Mega Projects and Official Development Assistance: Case of South Korean Infrastructure Construction Projects in ASEAN’s Developing Countries
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124491 - 29 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In developing countries, infrastructure construction projects are sometimes recognized as mega projects that are important for national development. Such projects are usually implemented as official development assistance (ODA). However, the correlation between the size of ODA and the infrastructure construction project orders gained [...] Read more.
In developing countries, infrastructure construction projects are sometimes recognized as mega projects that are important for national development. Such projects are usually implemented as official development assistance (ODA). However, the correlation between the size of ODA and the infrastructure construction project orders gained cannot be completely confirmed. South Korea gives constant aid to developing countries and increases the budget of ODA simultaneously in order to select which country’s construction market to advance. The largest portion of South Korea’s aid continues to be provided to Asian countries. This study analyzes the dynamic relationship between South Korea’s ODA to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) developing countries and the economic fluctuations represented by infrastructure construction projects, gross domestic product (GDP), gross national income (GNI), and foreign direct investment (FDI). The analysis result shows that the scale of ODA is synergistic to the number of infrastructure construction project orders awarded. In other words, as ODA increases, developing countries can continue to construct infrastructure, and South Korean companies can improve their performance in overseas construction projects in cooperation with those countries. The results of this study can be used as basic data for the decision-making of donor countries when selecting a country’s construction market to advance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Contractor Cooperation Mechanism and Evolution of the Green Supply Chain in Mega Projects
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4306; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114306 - 20 Nov 2018
Abstract
The large scale of construction in mega projects leads to significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts; thus, the projects should also exhibit greater social responsibility. Adopting green supply chain management in the construction process is an important way to realize the goal of sustainable [...] Read more.
The large scale of construction in mega projects leads to significant environmental and socioeconomic impacts; thus, the projects should also exhibit greater social responsibility. Adopting green supply chain management in the construction process is an important way to realize the goal of sustainable development of mega projects. Because the green supply chain behavior during construction is mainly demonstrated by contractors, it is especially important to study the evolutionary trend of their behavior. Thus, to explore the cooperative relationship among contractors, this paper considers a lengthy construction period, multi-agent participation dynamics, and opportunistic behavior—all are key features of mega projects—and establishes an evolutionary game model. Specifically, a replicator dynamic equation is used to describe the long-term effects of the contractor’s decisions. Equilibrium determinants are then analyzed and simulated. The results show that the initial probabilities of the two types of contractors (main contractor and subcontractor) demonstrating opportunistic behaviors have a significant effect on the direction of evolution of the mega project. The main contractor, who dominates the subsidy allocation by the government and project owner, should pay attention to maintaining a balance in the income distribution between him or her and the subcontractor. Additionally, there is an optimal distribution coefficient for the subsidy that minimizes the overall probability of opportunistic behavior. This paper provides a point of reference for the decisions of the main contractor and the subcontractor in the green supply chain of mega projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Optimism Bias Evaluation and Decision-Making Risk Forecast on Bridge Project Cost Based on Reference Class Forecasting: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113981 - 31 Oct 2018
Abstract
The high uncertainty of megaproject results in increasing complexity in the decision-making and ultimately leads to different degrees of cost overrun and project delays. One of the critical reasons for cost overrun and delay is the optimism bias of decision makers. Although the [...] Read more.
The high uncertainty of megaproject results in increasing complexity in the decision-making and ultimately leads to different degrees of cost overrun and project delays. One of the critical reasons for cost overrun and delay is the optimism bias of decision makers. Although the previous literature has analyzed the cost overrun distribution of bridges, roads and other infrastructure projects, there is still a lack of research on how to make more reasonable decisions according to the cost overrun risk and cost-benefit theory by considering the expectation of cost overrun. Therefore, this paper firstly measures optimism bias by conducting the field research and interviews regarding over 30 long bridges in China. On the basis of the optimism bias measure, a decision-making risk model of bridge projects with the expectation of cost overrun has been built. Then the paper takes Hangzhou Bay Bridge as an example to discuss the influence of cost overrun predication, implicit benefits and the project’s operation time on NPV results. Moreover, the probability of project unbuildability risk under different degrees of cost optimism bias has also been discussed. Finally, suggestions for risk forecast are provided for decision-makers to make more objective and comprehensive judgments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
How Green Building Product Decisions from Customers Can Be Transitioned to Manufacturers: An Agent-Based Model
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3977; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113977 - 31 Oct 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of green building products is of great significance to the sustainability of construction projects. Both the financial ability and adoption behavior of customers have a great influence on the decisions made by manufacturers regarding the development of green building products. To [...] Read more.
The development of green building products is of great significance to the sustainability of construction projects. Both the financial ability and adoption behavior of customers have a great influence on the decisions made by manufacturers regarding the development of green building products. To clarify how customer behavior related to green building products can be transitioned to manufacturers, this paper presents a multiagent model that considers the interactions between customers and manufacturers, describing the decision process of manufacturers through the swarm intelligence algorithm and taking complex characteristics of agents into account. Results show that the customer’s financial ability has a positive impact on the green decisions of manufactures. In addition, the average greenness of products produced by manufacturers is found to be lower than that required by customers. Furthermore, building products within a certain range of greenness has strategic advantages in market competition, leading to higher sales and a monopoly position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Comparisons of Contemporary Construction Industry Sustainable Concepts in the Chinese Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113831 - 23 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Emerging construction practices such as building information modelling (BIM), prefabrication construction, green building, and integrated project delivery methods are gaining momentum in China, with great potential due to the size of its construction market. Through this, the sustainability level of China’s construction industry [...] Read more.
Emerging construction practices such as building information modelling (BIM), prefabrication construction, green building, and integrated project delivery methods are gaining momentum in China, with great potential due to the size of its construction market. Through this, the sustainability level of China’s construction industry is expected to be enhanced from the economic, social and environmental perspectives. So far, there has been limited understanding of how BIM, as a digital technology, would affect other contemporary sustainable construction practices from the industry professionals’ point of view. Limited studies have been carried out to study the regional differences of these contemporary sustainable practices in China. This study adopted a questionnaire-based approach targeting industry professionals from three different metropolitan cities (Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Wenzhou).The follow-up comprehensive statistical analysis revealed that with regards to these contemporary sustainable construction practices, survey participants held much varied views on the growth of renovation projects, traditional Design–Bid–Build delivery, and conventional on-site construction methods. These three types were also generally perceived to have weak correlation with BIM application. Regional comparison further conveyed information on differences in perceptions among survey respondents from these three cities. For example, respondents from Wenzhou perceived more positive effects of BIM use in conventional construction projects. This research addressed the inter-correlation among these emerging sustainable construction practices, as well as the regional differences in China’s construction market. The findings provide insights and the big picture for both governmental authorities and industry practitioners on the latest sustainable practices of China’s construction industry. Recommendations are also offered towards improved economic, social and environmental sustainability performance for construction projects in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating the Relationship between Construction Supply Chain Integration and Sustainable Use of Material: Evidence from China
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3581; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103581 - 08 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Environmental burdens arise in the whole life cycle of construction. Waste and pollution are produced in the upstream and downstream of a construction project along the supply chains. The interdependency between on-site construction and off-site logistics also leads to an expansion effect of [...] Read more.
Environmental burdens arise in the whole life cycle of construction. Waste and pollution are produced in the upstream and downstream of a construction project along the supply chains. The interdependency between on-site construction and off-site logistics also leads to an expansion effect of waste when a disturbance occurs. A related supply chain activated by construction activities should be taken into account to improve the sustainability in construction from a material and waste management perspective. However, it is unknown how the supply chain integration could contribute to the sustainable use of materials in construction. Therefore, an empirical investigation is conducted. A research model with eight latent-constructs is designed through a comprehensive literature review, and 70 completed survey questionnaires are received. Using PLS-SEM (partial least squares-structural equation modeling), sample data is analyzed and seven research hypotheses are examined. Results support the assumption that the construction supply chain integration had a positive correlation with the sustainable use of construction materials. Discussion and relevant suggestions are given for the future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Social Capitalism on Construction Safety Behaviors: An Exploratory Megaproject Case Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3098; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093098 - 30 Aug 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Health and safety issues are critical factors influencing the sustainable development of mega construction projects. The impact of social capitalism on health and safety activities has been widely discussed in sustainability domains; nevertheless, its influence towards workers’ safety behaviors in mega construction projects [...] Read more.
Health and safety issues are critical factors influencing the sustainable development of mega construction projects. The impact of social capitalism on health and safety activities has been widely discussed in sustainability domains; nevertheless, its influence towards workers’ safety behaviors in mega construction projects remains largely unknown. To address this research gap, the current study aims to determine the influence of social capitalism on safety behaviors from a two-fold perspective between project managers and construction workers. An exploratory case study was adopted from a mega construction project in Tianjin, China. The results reveal that (a) the social network between project managers and construction workers manifests itself as close communication and contact, trust and emotional identification, common language, vision, and values; (b) project managers’ management behaviors show stronger influences on construction workers’ safety compliance behaviors, while their leadership behaviors show stronger influences on construction workers’ safety participation behaviors; and (c) the practice of social capitalism promotes enforcement of commands and compulsory norms and plays a positive regulatory role on safety behaviors. These findings provide new insights into the use of social capitalism for improving safety behaviors and ultimately facilitate the attainment of the broader goal of sustainability in mega construction projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
What are the Key Indicators of Mega Sustainable Construction Projects? —A Stakeholder-Network Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2939; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082939 - 18 Aug 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Mega sustainable construction projects (MSCPs) require complex system engineering. There are various indicators available to evaluate sustainable construction, and it is difficult to determine which the key indicators are among them. Existing studies do not adequately consider the stakeholders associated with the indicators [...] Read more.
Mega sustainable construction projects (MSCPs) require complex system engineering. There are various indicators available to evaluate sustainable construction, and it is difficult to determine which the key indicators are among them. Existing studies do not adequately consider the stakeholders associated with the indicators of sustainable construction, leading to key decision-makers’ lack of targeted management strategies to improve the sustainability level of MSCPs. Using literature analysis and expert interviews, this study identified the key evaluation indicators of MSCPs from a stakeholder-network perspective. Social network analysis (SNA) was used to explore the relationships between the key evaluation indicators and corresponding stakeholders. The results showed that the government and designers significantly impacted other stakeholders and played as the key stakeholders in MSCPs. Regarding the indicators, applying energy-saving and intelligent technologies plays a key role in the MSCPs. This study links key indicators of MSCPs with the associated stakeholders, which helps decision-makers to develop targeted strategies to improve the sustainability level of MSCPs, thereby not only improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the intervention strategies, but also helping to save decision-makers’ monetary and human resources which are usually limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
How Does Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) Affect the performance of megaprojects? Insights from a System Dynamic Simulation
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1708; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061708 - 24 May 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
As one of the emerging research fields of sustainability management, Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), especially its influence on project performance, has been drawing increased attention both in the academic and industrial areas. Nevertheless, existing studies mainly examine the static relationship between OCB and [...] Read more.
As one of the emerging research fields of sustainability management, Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), especially its influence on project performance, has been drawing increased attention both in the academic and industrial areas. Nevertheless, existing studies mainly examine the static relationship between OCB and project performance but fail to explore the dynamic characteristic of the relationship as a project may evolve and proceed over the time. Therefore, this paper aims to evaluate the dynamic impacts of OCB on the performance of megaprojects with the assistance of a system dynamic model. Four causal feedback loops and a stock-flow diagram were developed to illustrate the dynamic influencing mechanism, and three distinct policies quantitatively simulated the possible impacts arising from the changes of OCB on the whole system and, specifically, on the performance megaproject. The results show that an increase in the AIRPP (actual increasing rate of potential promotion) exerts significant influence on the improvement in OCB and the performance of megaprojects. The higher the AIRPP in the multi-policy scenario, the higher the OCB and the performance. One major contribution is that this study is one of the first studies to explore the potential use of system dynamics to model megaproject organizational behavior and its performance with implications in both the practical and cultural promotion of OCB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Manufacturer’s Decision as Consumers’ Low-Carbon Preference Grows
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1284; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041284 - 21 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper investigates five channel structures for manufacturers including three single channels and two dual channels. Consumers’ low-carbon preference is considered to explore how market demands and channel selections will change as it remains stable and grows. To compare performances of the five [...] Read more.
This paper investigates five channel structures for manufacturers including three single channels and two dual channels. Consumers’ low-carbon preference is considered to explore how market demands and channel selections will change as it remains stable and grows. To compare performances of the five channel structures, we further get the critical points consisting of construction cost of a platform, revenue proportion through a third-party platform, and offline proportion of total demands. The findings show that, when the construction cost is low, a self-owned platform performs better than a retail channel and a third-party platform. If the offline proportion is high, manufacturers would adopt or add a retail channel. When the manufacturers’ revenue proportion is high, a third-party platform is more profitable. If the consumers’ low-carbon preference grows, dual channels can be chosen to satisfy the increasing online and offline demands. The critical revenue proportion and offline proportion become smaller while the construction cost becomes larger. In addition, numerical analysis is provided to show profit changes and robustness of channel structure. Our findings can provide useful insights for decision-makers to implement low-carbon sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Incentive Mechanism of Prefabrication in Mega Projects with Reputational Concerns
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1260; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041260 - 19 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
As one of the most important sustainability project management practices, prefabrication has been drawing increasing attention to project construction practitioners. However, due to the needs of high technology and large capital investment, there is a great challenge for suppliers to adopt prefabrication in [...] Read more.
As one of the most important sustainability project management practices, prefabrication has been drawing increasing attention to project construction practitioners. However, due to the needs of high technology and large capital investment, there is a great challenge for suppliers to adopt prefabrication in mega project construction. Therefore, designing an adequate incentive mechanism has become a daunting task for the project owner, which aims to ensure a socially and environmentally friendly project delivery. In this study, an incentive model with reputational concerns from the perspective of the project owner was established and how this incentive affects supplier’s effort and project owner’s profit was investigated. By contrasting to the incentive model without reputational concerns, when the reputation incentive is considered in the incentive contract, both supplier’s effort and project owner’s profit increase. In addition, adding reputation incentive implies more expenses, thus the project owner may not want to take this strategy due to the potential expense increase. Therefore, the study also considered an incentive mechanism with constant total incentive intensity. By comparison, the result shows that this strategy is also useful which can improve supplier’s effort and project owner’s profit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Criterion Two-Sided Matching of Public–Private Partnership Infrastructure Projects: Criteria and Methods
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041178 - 13 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Two kinds of evaluative criteria are associated with Public–Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects, i.e., private evaluative criteria and public evaluative criteria. These evaluative criteria are inversely related, that is, the higher the public benefits; the lower the private surplus. To balance evaluative criteria [...] Read more.
Two kinds of evaluative criteria are associated with Public–Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects, i.e., private evaluative criteria and public evaluative criteria. These evaluative criteria are inversely related, that is, the higher the public benefits; the lower the private surplus. To balance evaluative criteria in the Two-Sided Matching (TSM) decision, this paper develops a quantitative matching decision model to select an optimal matching scheme for PPP infrastructure projects based on the Hesitant Fuzzy Set (HFS) under unknown evaluative criterion weights. In the model, HFS is introduced to describe values of the evaluative criteria and multi-criterion information is fully considered given by groups. The optimal model is built and solved by maximizing the whole deviation of each criterion so that the evaluative criterion weights are determined objectively. Then, the match-degree of the two sides is calculated and a multi-objective optimization model is introduced to select an optimal matching scheme via a min-max approach. The results provide new insights and implications of the influence on evaluative criteria in the TSM decision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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Open AccessArticle
Disruptive Innovation Patterns Driven by Mega-Projects: A Sustainable Development Pattern Case of China’s High-Speed Rail
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1154; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041154 - 12 Apr 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Sustainable development of mega-projects has drawn many concerns around the world. The theory of disruptive innovation in mega-projects is a typical sustainable development pattern but still lacks systematic understanding. This article takes China’s high-speed rail (CHSR) project as an example to analyze the [...] Read more.
Sustainable development of mega-projects has drawn many concerns around the world. The theory of disruptive innovation in mega-projects is a typical sustainable development pattern but still lacks systematic understanding. This article takes China’s high-speed rail (CHSR) project as an example to analyze the disruptive innovation pattern of mega-projects. First, this paper systematically traces the theories of disruptive innovation and summarizes the connotations of disruptive innovation. Simultaneously, from the historical development of several typical mega-projects in China, this paper summarizes the connotations of mega-projects. Based on two connotations, this paper summarizes the theoretical basis of disruptive innovation in mega-projects. Second, this paper takes the CHSR project as a case to analyze its innovation pattern from the analysis of the development process, operation mechanism and influence in sustainability; the disruptive innovation pattern is put forward afterward. Third, the discussion is drawn from the perspectives of the characteristics, scope of application and innovation environment of the disruptive innovation of CHSR. Last, the conclusions of this article are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development and Management of Mega Projects)
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