Clusters of key barriers to life cycle assessment adoption in the South African construction industry: perspectives of stakeholders

Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa, Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The South African Construction Industry (SACI) in recent times has been characterized by a strong emphasis towards achieving sustainable building practices in infrastructural delivery. However, the lack of progress encountered in making gains in achieving sustainable practices has raised concerns over the effectiveness and understanding of the extent to which life cycle assessment (LCA) techniques may aid in meeting requirements of sustainable construction. Most efforts at LCA have been blighted with numerous barriers that have not been rigorously pursued and aggregated. Ironically, there is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the limitations and barriers to these methodologies, especially in the South African context. The purpose of this study is to delineate the cluster of barriers to the adoption of LCA methodologies in the SACI. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was carried out from a deductive research design elicit primary data based on the experience of purposively sampled stakeholders in LCA in the SACI on the extent they perceived the presence of well-established barriers in LCA adoption culled from the extensive literature review. Findings: Through the use of factor analysis, three aggregated clusters of key barriers to LCA adoption in the SACI were identified, which were knowledge and enabling conditions constraints, cost and time constraints and technical constraints. The results confirm that indeed human and technical barriers have been notable in limiting gains in LCA adoption and achieving sustainable practices. Originality/value: These findings are, thus, useful in overcoming challenges to LCA methodologies in achieving sustainable building practices in building and infrastructural delivery in SACI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-903
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Construction industry
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Sustainable practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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