CHALLENGES WHEN EXECUTING GREEN BUILDING PROJECTS IN SWEDEN : An interview study on project managers’ perceptions

University essay from KTH/Ledning och organisering i byggande och förvaltning; KTH/Ledning och organisering i byggande och förvaltning

Abstract: A sustainable development is required within the construction sector, in order to cope with an increasing population in a built environment that already suffers from high energy consumption. Green building certification systems, such as BREEAM and LEED, function as tools to support sustainability of buildings in the design, production, maintenance and operation. In green building projects, green requirements are added to the traditional project scope for the buildings in order to achieve certifications. Green buildings tend to be more complex than traditional buildings without high green requirements. Thereby, challenges can appear in these projects that do not exist within traditional building projects. To date, there is little published research exploring how the green requirements impact the execution of green building projects and what challenges they entail in such projects in the Swedish context. This master thesis examines project managers’ perceptions of the impact of green building certification systems on the execution of building projects in Sweden. Furthermore, the study identifies the main challenges that these project managers perceive within green building projects. In order to achieve the aim of this study, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with professionals with experience from green building projects. From the empirical findings, it could be concluded that the general perception among project managers is that the additional requirements that the certifications imply, do not impact the execution of building projects to a considerable extent. However, project managers within this study perceive deficiencies in the ability of BREEAM and LEED to consider Swedish conditions, which impacts the green aspect in the end product. To be able to carry out green building projects, the traditional way of working has been adapted to a certain extent, where set of activities have been organized differently compared to traditional projects. Moreover, four considerable challenges could be identified that the project managers perceive, which are connected to the high green requirements within green building projects in Sweden: (1) Conflict between green requirements and tenants’ requests/user comfort, (2) Lack of engagement among project members regarding green requirements, (3) Management of materials in building material databases and (4) Heavy administration and documentation.

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