Process transparency for sustainable building delivery

Leidy Klotz, Michael Horman, David Riley, John Bechtel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The construction and operation of buildings account for more than one-third of all material and energy flows worldwide. Therefore, a greater market share of buildings that reduce the associated negative impacts is essential to address global issues, including energy and water shortages and the climate crisis. Proven strategies and technologies exist today for more sustainable buildings, but a need to improve their implementation remains. The processes for planning, designing, building and operating, or 'delivering', these projects are complex and often unfamiliar to the stakeholders (e.g. owners, designers and constructors) whose collaboration is essential to implementing sustainable solutions. In other industries, process transparency helps facilitate complex, unfamiliar processes by making their status, goals and rules visible to all stakeholders. The objective of this research was to examine whether increased process transparency can reduce costs for sustainable buildings. The delivery processes of two recently completed sustainable building projects are compared to the 'counterfactual' delivery of the same projects with complete process transparency. The research results demonstrate that substantial cost savings are possible through improved delivery process transparency on sustainable buildings. Based on these results, strategies to enhance transparency on future projects are discussed along with implications for industry and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-307
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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