Infrastructure design stage considerations for environmental sustainability in Zambia

Ephraim Zulu, Sambo Lyson Zulu, Mwansa Chabala, Neema Kavishe, Charles Chifunda, Innocent Musonda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: While previous studies have highlighted the importance of incorporating environmental sustainability in building designs, there is a paucity of studies that assess the extent to which design teams in developing countries consider environmental sustainability at the building design stage. Therefore, using Zambia as a case study, this study examined the extent to which infrastructure design teams in a developing country consider environmental sustainability at the design stage. Design/methodology/approach: The study used a qualitative research approach using structured interviews because there are hardly any studies which have explored the extent to which designers incorporate environmental sustainability in infrastructure designs in developing countries. The data is analysed thematically using the ATLAS.ti software. Findings: The results show that environmental sustainability is not an important design consideration because it is secondary to functional, technical and aesthetic considerations. Environmental considerations are also made in an ad hoc manner and when it is cost-effective for the project. Regulatory requirements pertaining to environmental protection are adhered to without any cost considerations. It was, therefore, theorised that building design teams in developing countries make technical, functional and aesthetic consideration during the infrastructure design stage ahead of environmental considerations. Originality/value: There is a paucity of studies that have investigated whether building infrastructure designers consider issues of environmental sustainability at the design stage in developing countries. The findings have practical implications on how developing countries can foster environmental sustainability at the design stage and avoid generating a building infrastructure stock that will require environmental resilience adaptation in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Building sustainability challenges
  • Design considerations
  • Design stage
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Sustainable building design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering

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