The Role of Stakeholder Awareness in the Sustainable Construction
||Maier, Gunther; Sabine Sedlacek
||The Role of Stakeholder Awareness in the Sustainable Construction
||20th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Vienna, Austria
||When it comes to sustainable construction the question of quality comes into the discussion since sustainability can be defined as a quality criterion of a building. The real estate market is complex and shaped by different stakeholders (i.e. developers, investors, etc.) with their individual interests. Building performance assessment depends on those different interests who vary between economic performance as the prime focus of investors and comfort as well as health factors on the side of occupants which can be categorized as potential and actual performance (Cole 1998). Because of the number of actors being involved the sector seems to be fragmented which opens the door for principal–agent problems since decision making and information are dispersed. While the literature maintains that an agent is defined as a third party who acts for, on behalf of, or as representative of the principal will act in the best interest of the principal when the incentive structure is such that the agent is rewarded for outcomes favoring the principal (Arrow 1985) the question of defining the agents in a real estate transaction becomes crucial. This might be specifically important for sustainable constructions since we can found assumptions in the literature that designers and clients are active agents since certification standards are applied during the planning and design phases and decisions regarding green building practices are driven by clients' commitment to sustainability whereas constructors have been seen as passive agents. With new evidence about negative impacts of the construction phase on sustainability a shift towards a more active role of constructors happened. This goes hand in hand with the different actors' perceptions of sustainable construction and the level of knowledge about sustainable construction and its benefits. The argument follows the lines that environmental assessment requires more communication between the stakeholders throughout the whole process. Thus coordination to enhance trust, communication, commitment, and a clear understanding of roles becomes more relevant to manage the transition of the building sector to sustainability. Consequently new modes of governance are needed that take into account the long-term orientation, the uncertainties and complexities and the multitude of actors and interests involved. The paper is designed as a review of the literature including a few cases of green building certification projects.
||Real estate development, Principal agent problem, Sustainable building, Actors’ perceptions, Interest conflicts
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||C-4: Green Buildings & Environmental Policies
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