Exploration of management practices for LEED projects: Lessons from successful green building contractors

Andrea Ofori-Boadu, De Graft Owusu-Manu, David Edwards, Gary Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Traditional management systems sometimes struggle to meet the unique demands of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects. Consequently, contractors have to modify their management practices. The purpose of this paper is to explore the management practices necessary to achieve successful implementation of LEED projects. Design/methodology/approach: LEED project management practices implemented by six US contractors from the Top 100 Green Contractors list published by the Engineering News and Record, were analysed using structured case study interviews. An additional case study probed management practices implemented on a LEED-GOLD project. Findings: Findings support the implementation of management practices classified using the six Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award criteria of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus and operation focus. Research limitations/implications: The qualitative study was based on a limited number of participant organizations. A subsequent quantitative study might provide generalizeable metrics for the green building industry. Further research on the cost effectiveness of the identified management practices is recommended. Practical implications: This study provides an intuitive framework in the form of discourse on management practices to enhance the success of LEED projects. Contractors may consider the study's recommendations in order to increase their success on such projects. Originality/value: The need to harmonize management practices with sustainable development has sparked the interest of researchers and practitioners. The study should be of utility to LEED contractors, environmental agencies, governments, educators, and other relevant stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-162
Number of pages18
JournalStructural Survey
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Building services
  • Contractors
  • Environment
  • Green building
  • LEED
  • Leadership
  • Management practices
  • Management styles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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