Thomas, D., Ding, G. & Crews, K. 2015, 'Sustainable timber use in residential construction: Perception versus reality', WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, WIT Press, Southampton, UK, pp. 399-410.
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Close to 90% of new project homes in NSW, Australia are constructed with reinforced concrete flooring and brick veneer envelope whereas many traditional Australian homes were built of timber floor structures with timber walls and cladding. The adoption of concrete and brick homes originated from a perceived advantage of longevity, low maintenance and thermal comfort. Innovation in wood treatments, wood protection and insulation have provided solutions to these issues so that timber is once again a viable option with added benefits such as environmental sustainability and erection speed. This paper reviews literature and analyses the results of a home occupants survey on the perception of timber use in new homes in NSW, Australia. It also investigates the comparative performance of a timber veneer/structural timber home to a concrete floor/brick veneer home to evaluate whether perception of timber performance matches reality. This paper highlights Australian homeowners reluctance to use timber as a sustainable building product for homes even when they are willing to pay for a more environmentally sustainable home. It also discusses the time and environmental advantages of a timber home over a concrete and brick home based on the results of a test case study.
Wonschik, C.-.R., Brennan, J., Ding, G., Heilmann, A. & Vessalas, K. 2014, 'Implications of legal frameworks on construction and demolition waste recycling - a comparative study of the German and Australian systems', Proceedings: ISARC 2014, The International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC), Sydney, pp. 523-530.
This comparative study between German and Australian legislation demonstrates that legal frameworks impact on the way in which recycling systems work. Both Australia and Germany operate as Federations and the autonomy of states influences common federation wide practices and standards. In Germanys case however, it is obliged to comply with European Union guidelines which result in German federal legislation being binding for all German states and to common industry practices across all of Germany. Purely industry regulated systems are not always sufficient to cater for societal and environmental needs, and political intervention can sometimes be necessary to achieve desired outcomes. The construction and demolition (C&D) waste recycling industry is a good example. In Australia C&D waste recycling is mostly industry regulated, while the state has greater influence in Germany. A statistical analysis illustrates legislative impact on recycling outcomes. Nonetheless, any legislative efforts can also have effects contrary to the intended ones. A study of such cases is conducted and other influencing factors also considered. In conclusion, the study outlines the importance of interstate coordination and regulation; and the need for the incorporation of industry requirements and other potentially influencing factors into the legal frameworks in order to meet desired outcomes.
Brennan, J., Ding, G., Wonschik, C.-.R. & Vessalas, K. 2014, 'A closed-loop system of Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling', Proceedings of the 31st International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, University of Technology, Sydney, 15 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia, Sydeny, Australia, pp. 499-505.
This study discusses the construction and demolition waste recycling stream both in Australia and in Germany. Differences and commonalities in commercial practices between the two countries are outlined, and open research questions are introduced. Following McDonough and Braungarts cradle-to-cradle theorem, and ideal closed-loop system within the building life cycle is proposed. Deficiencies and efficiencies in the closed-loop system are reported and assessed and related parameters promoting or hindering the closed-loop system are evaluated. Results of the study demonstrate that reusable and non-reusable materials generated from construction and demolition operations, which are destined for landfill, are categorized differently between the recycling systems used in Australia and Germany.
Thomas, D., Ding, G.K. & Crews, K.I. 2013, 'Medium-rise structural timber apartment: Luxury or long-term carbon storage solution?', Proceedings of the Sustainable Buildings - Construction Products & Technologies, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria, pp. 647-654.
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The Australian construction sector contributes almost a quarter of the nations carbon emissions and the main strategy to address this has been to reduce the operating energy of existing buildings and by regulating energy consumption of new buildings. However there has been less focus on minimizing the embodied energy of new construction projects. Engineered timber products have been used in a number of large building projects to replace heavier materials as a structural alternative whilst providing benefits such as aesthetics and the capacity to store carbon. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) has found a market in apartment buildings in Europe with a growing number of projects using the product for both structural floors and walls up to 9 storeys high. Australia's first major CLT building stands 10 storeys high and is currently being marketed as a sustainable city apartment alternative to reinforced to reinforced concrete. This paper looks at the perception of consumers towards this new construction innovation in an attempt to understand whether Australian residents will accept sustainable timber use in apartment living.
Nguyen, D., Ding, G.K. & Runeson, G. 2013, 'Sustainable Maintenance of Office Buildings: The Current Practice in Sydney, Australia', Proceedings: 38th AUBEA International Conference website, AUBEA, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 1-10.
In Australia, approximately 2% of the demand for office buildings is satisfied annually by new construction which means that it will take 50-100 years to replace the current stock and its contribution to the environmental problem. The argument for upgrading existing buildings through sustainable maintenance is strong as it is relatively cheaper and less environmentally costly to upgrade than to rebuild. The upgrading will not only turn old buildings environmentally-friendly but also enhance their market values and competitiveness. This paper examines the role, current practices and limitations of sustainable maintenance of existing office buildings in Sydney, Australia. The paper presents the results of an industry survey conducted in November 2012 on strategies to improve current practices. The survey revealed that the most crucial aspects of sustainable maintenance for existing office buildings are efficient energy and water management; the use of environmentally-friendly materials; improved waste management; education and knowledge of sustainable methods and Government incentives to compensate for any additional costs of sustainable practices. The research found that most existing office buildings in the industry are currently maintained by non-sustainable practices. Sustainability is a relatively new concept but one that professionals are keen to introduce into mainstream practices.
Ge, J., Ding, G.K. & Phillips, P. 2012, 'Sustainable housing - a case study of heritage building in Hangzhou China', Proceedings of 18th Annual Pacific-Rim Real Estate Society Conference, PRRES, Proceedings of 18th Annual Pacific-Rim Real Estate Society Conference, pp. 1-11.
Surrounded by high-rise buildings, some two-storey buildings with black roofs are sited along the Xiaohe (Little River) in the north of Hangzhou, China. The buildings were originally built in the late Qing Dynasty (late 19th century) and restored in 2007 by the Hangzhou municipal government. The architectural materials used in the buildings are mainly concrete for the ground floor and timber to the first floor. Three buildings located at Xiaohe Historical Street were investigated to establish whether traditional buildings performed as well as modern buildings. Hourly temperature and humidity readings from September 2009 to August 2010 were recorded for the selected houses. It was concluded through comparisons that the restored heritage buildings provided similar thermal comfort and conditions to modern buildings.
Thomas, D., Ding, G.K. & Crews, K.I. 2012, 'Multi-Storey Residential Timber Buildings in Australia: Where is the education', Australasian Universities Building Educators Association (AUBEA), 37th AUBEA International Conference: Proceedings, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, pp. 163-170.
There is a growing interest in the construction of medium rise residential timber buildings internationally. A number of developers in Australia are seeking to complete the first structural timber residential building over four storeys high. The most widely advertised is a 10-storey timber apartment building in planning for the city of Melbourne, to be built to 'Passive House' standards. Amongst a number of challenges that face Australian building companies adopting this innovative construction technique is the lack of skill and experience in construction professionals that have worked on medium rise timber structural buildings. The current practice for the design of structural frame for residential buildings over four storeys high is in the use reinforced concrete and steel. Previous studies have revealed that although construction professionals have an interest in innovative timber structures their preference for working with concrete and steel is based on previous education and familiarity with the materials. Preliminary investigations have revealed that Australian university degree courses in Architecture, Civil/Construction Engineering and Construction Project Management receive little or no education on engineered timber medium rise residential buildings construction. This paper aims at investigating the current uptake, demand, opportunities and barriers for timber use in residential buildings. This paper presents the results of semi-structured interviews with Australian construction professionals and tertiary education providers and highlights the challenges they face in adapting to innovations entering their industry. Finally this paper presents strategies on how these two sectors can work cooperatively to incorporate multi storey timber building education into universities across Australia.
Holmes, M.I., Crews, K.I. & Ding, G.K. 2012, 'SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR MULTISTOREY TIMBER CONSTRUCTION IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND', World Conference on Timber Engineering (WCTE 2012), Curran association, Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 171-172.
Multi-storey non-residential buildings are a potential area that timber products could be used as structural elements. Two major barriers to timbers use in non-residential construction in Australia and New Zealand (NZ) have been identified as overall designer confidence and fire performance. Another important area that posses as a potential barrier to an increase in timbers use in multi-storey buildings is the current supply chain. Literature has outlined there historically hasnt been a market or demand for large timber buildings constructed over 4 storeys in Australia or NZ. As a result aspects of the supply chain needed to deliver such buildings have remained fragmented and relatively primitive in nature. The supply chain for multi-storey timber buildings in Australia and NZ includes a number of different stages as outlined below in figure 1. Between each stage a number of transportation, material and design information flows occur. This paper focuses on the issues in the supply chain from forestry through to construction and aims to outline the key areas that pose as a risk on the cost and time of multi-storey timber buildings.
Ding, G.K. 2012, 'Strategies for sustainable housing development - the challenges from renewable energy', Proceedings of the XXXVIII IAHS World Congress: Visions for the future of housing mega cities, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 305-311.
One-fifth of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions come from households. There are 7 million households in Australia and each is producing about 15 tonnes of greenhouse gas every year. Energy use, car use and waste are the largest sources of household emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of homes is one of the most effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has been the main focus of the government's energy policy. In addition to the introduction of BASIX as mandatory to all new homes in NSW in 2004, the federal and state governments have introduced incentive schemes to subsidize Australian homes to install solar panels and other renewable energy technologies as a way to improve energy performance of existing homes since 2006. This paper examines the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy in improving energy efficiency of existing dwellings. The paper also presents the results of an economic analysis of renewable energy source in a dwelling in NSW. Finally a strategic direction of providing affordable and environmentally sustainable practices in upgrading existing homes to improve energy efficiency is also developed and discussed.
Smith, P.V. & Ding, G.K. 2012, 'Construction Cost Management in China: The Impact of Government Economic Reforms', International Cost Engineering Council: 8th ICEC World Congress, The South African Association of Quantity Surveyors, Durban, South Africa, pp. 1-20.
This paper examines the changes in Chinese construction cost management practices brought about by the 'open door' economic reforms implemented by the Chinese government since 1978. Prior to these reforms the construction industry was tightly controlled by the government and a quota pricing system was used whereby all projects were priced according to nationally uniform standards of pricing prepared and issued by the government. The 1978 economic reforms resulted in a transformation from this closed system to a market oriented system that incorporated competitive bidding utilizing market pricing. The key problem that the industry has faced is coping with fundamental changes to their industry in a relatively short period of time. The methodology to investigate this problem comprises a review of English/Chinese literature, an exploratory perception survey of construction professionals in the Chinese construction industry in Tianjin and Beijing and a project case study interview in Beijing. The government economic reforms have had a profound effect on the Chinese construction industry and cost management practices. The Chinese industry has developed at an unprecedented phenomenal rate to the point where it is now a global leader. The industry has shifted to a more 'western' open market system and has embraced competitive bidding and market pricing. This transformation has occurred in a very short space of time and the research has found that the industry is struggling to adapt to the 'western style' of cost management. The research has found a pressing need for the further development of cost management education and training in China. In the past decade more than 110,000 cost engineers have been certified in China with growing concerns about the quality and adequacy of the certification system. The paper provides original contribution to the field through in-country case studies, surveys and interviews and the analysis/translation of Chinese literature.
Smith, P.V. & Ding, G.K. 2012, 'Economic reforms in the Chinese construction industry - cost management implications', Innovating and sustaining: challenges and opportunities, Pertubuhan Ukur Jurutera & Arkitek Brunei (PUJA), Brunei Darussalam, pp. 1-13.
The People's Republic of China was formed in 1949 with an economic system based on a planned centralized economy controlled by the government. Under this system, the construction industry was characterized by tight government controls that included the financing of projects and the allocation of design and construction works to state owned enterprises. There was no competitive bidding system with projects priced according to fixed standard price norms published by the government. In 1978 the government introduced fundamental economic reforms aimed at shifting from a planned centrally controlled economy to an open-door market driven economy. These and other ongoing reforms have resulted in a remarkable transformation of the Chinese economy and construction industry over just three decades. This paper examines the impact of these changes on Chinese construction cost management practices and the role of the Cost Engineer. The research methodology for this paper was based on a review of English and Chinese literature and industry interviews in Beijing. The research found that the economic reforms have had a profound effect on Chinese cost management practices and has seen the rapid rise of the Cost Engineering profession. The industry has shifted to a more western open market system and has embraced competitive bidding and market pricing. This has placed tremendous pressure on cost management professionals to adapt and has heightened the need for improving cost engineering education and certification programs.
Thomas, D., Ding, G.K. & Crews, K.I. 2012, 'Sustainable timber use in the Australian housing market: Are consumers willing to pay the price?', Proceedings of the XXXVIII IAHS World Congress: Visions for the future of housing : Mega cities, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey, pp. 1076-1082.
A large proportion of traditional Australian homes contained timber floors and timber exterior cladding until the advent of the standard concrete slab/brick veneer house. Up to 95% of new homes are built by project home companies and the majority of these contain an external envelope consisting of concrete flooring, clay brick walls and concrete tile or steel sheet roofing. This design is currently driven by consumer's expectation of low cost, durable homes that are completed within restricted time limits. There is now a price premium on bespoke housing projects that differ materially or otherwise from a limited set of designs offered by project home firms. The adoption of concrete and brick homes originated from a perceived advantage of longevity, low maintenance and thermal comfort. Innovation in wood treatments, wood protection and insulation have provided solutions to these issues so that timber is now a viable option with added benefits such as environmental sustainability and erection speed. Australian consumers have a growing awareness and desire to live in a way that is sustainable and are making choices that reflect this attitude. This has been demonstrated through the high adoption rate of recent government-supported schemes such as subsidized insulation and solar panel installation. This paper aims at investigating homeowner's perception of timber as a sustainable building product, the desire of homeowners to use sustainable building products, and the willingness of homeowners to pay a premium to live sustainably. This paper highlights Australian homeowners reluctance to use the most sustainable building materials even when they are willing to pay for a more environmentally sustainable home. This paper presents the results of a questionnaire survey to homeowners in the city of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and some strategies on how to increase the use of timber in new housing projects in Australia.
Holmes, M.I., Crews, K.I. & Ding, G.K. 2012, 'Supply chain management strategies for engineered-to-order timber structural systems', Construction, building and real estate conference, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, pp. 1478-1485.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) originated in the manufacturing industry and then in the construction industry in the mid 1990s. SCM is the management of the entire supply chain instead of individual parts or processes. Its aim is to deliver improved transparency and alignment of the industry's supply chain coordination and positively influence time, cost and quality aspects. Time and cost are important factors that developers and clients use to measure the success of projects. Prefabricated timber structural systems for multi-storey construction are a new innovation, as such time and cost aspects are critical to their commercial viability in the construction industry. They are an engineered-to-order (ETO) product and most SCM literature has neglected the needs of the ETO sector, in particular prefabricated timber structural systems. This paper aims to review the current state-of-art of SCM used in construction and discuss how it can best be adopted for prefabricated timber systems with a focus on improving time and cost. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with industry professionals across the supply chain of timber construction with the aim of identifying which areas of the supply chain have the greatest impact on time and cost. SCM strategies are then suggested to address these areas.
Liu, J., Ding, G.K. & Samali, B. 2011, 'Quantifying and assessing impacts of building processes in a triple bottom line appraoch', World Sustainable Building Conference, Finish Association of Civil Engineers RIL & VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 554-563.
The paper is based on a research project undertaken by the University of Technology, Sydney in examining the integration of economic, social and environmental considerations throughout the building process of a development. The project comprises the first stage, a literature review and model development, followed by the second stage, model implementation through case studies. The paper presents the first stage of the research project in a literature review and model development. The paper reviews the current application of environmental building assessment tools and their impacts on the construction industry. The importance of building process in environmental assessment is also indicated. The paper also seeks to analyze building performance using a triple bottom line approach on a life cycle perspective. The major activities in the building process are identified and presented on how they influence sustainable performance. Finally the paper presents a model that combines economic, social and environmental assessments into a single indicator to aid decision making.
Holmes, M.I., Crews, K.I. & Ding, G.K. 2011, 'The influence building codes and fire regulations have on multi-storey timber construction in australia', World Sustainable Building Conference, Finish Association of Civil Engineers RIL & VTT Technical Research Centre of Finlandn, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 224-235.
Timber is an environmentally friendly building material that is both renewable and reusable, though being combustible by nature meant historically it has been viewed in some parts of the world as an inferior structural material to steel and concrete in multi-storey construction. Buildings are responsible for a substantial amount of material and energy consumption. The environmental properties of materials aren't traditionally a design or construction priority and typically cost, performance characteristics and aesthetics have governed the choice of structural materials. This trend is beginning to change as the issues associated with climate change continue to come to the forefront and governments and industry look for ways to assuage its effects. Choosing environmentally sustainable building materials is beginning to become a client and tenant expectation and industry is starting to follow suit. Life Cycle Assessment studies have outlined when timber is used as an alternative structural material to steel and concrete the overall environmental impact of the building can be reduced.
Phillips, P., Ding, G.K. & Ge, J. 2011, 'Old and green: Environmental performance of traditional Chinese housing', 17th ICOMOS General Assembly Symposium, ICOMOS France, Paris, France, pp. 349-356.
Traditional Chinese housing, like vernacular housing everywhere, is under threat. Because such housing is considered wasteful in its use of land or energy, it is often demolished for more intensive and supposedly more energy-efficient housing, despite the resulting loss of embodied energy and urban amenity. Although the conservation movement has helpled to preserve some traditional housing, the need for old buildings to meet modern standards of comfort and environmental performance remains a potential economic deterrent to conservation. For this reason, a team from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) undertook in 2009-10 the first stage of a research project to study the environmental performance of traditional Chinese housing in Xiao He Zhi Jie, Hangzhou. The UTS team of Dr Grace Ding, Dr Janet Ge and Peter Phillips was assisted by staff and students from Zhejiang University and local members of ICOMOS China, and by a research grant from the Australia-China Council. Temperature and humidity monitors were installed in six local houses, and in a modern unit in a nearby multi-storey building as a control. Readings were made every hour and the data collected every fortnight for a full year. This paper reports on the project and its initial findings, including the surprisingly small difference in environmental performance between traditional and convertional modern construction.
Ding, G.K. & Ge, J. 2010, 'A challenge to sustainably improving environmental performance of existing housing stock in Australia', CIB 2010 World Congress Proceedings, CIB, United Kingdom, pp. 86-98.
A key global challenge nowadays is to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing Australia today. Improvements to energy and water efficiency of existing building stocks can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce utility bills. With increasing recognition that green buildings outperform conventional buildings, much less known about how green building initiatives can be incorporated into upgrading existing housing stocks. In Australia due to population growth and increased in the size of dwellings coupled with the reduction of number of person per household have put an enormous pressue on energy and water consumption. Existing houses represent approximately 98% of residential building stocks and any improvement to these dwellings will have a profound impact on reducing the negative effects of the environment. This paper examines the sustainable upgrading strategies in improving environmental performance of three existing single dwellings. This paper presents an economic analysis of sustainable upgrading using Net Present Value. The results suggest that sustainable upgrading of existing housing stocks is feasible and the scheme will be more attractive if more government financial assistance is provided.
Ge, J. & Ding, G.K. 2009, 'Cost effective and sustainable? Photovoltaic rebate program in Australia', International Conference on Management and Service Science, The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Inc, Beijing, China, pp. 1-4.
The Australian Government has recently announced a Renewable Energy Target (RET) scheme to provide up front payments of $8,000 for around 25,250 households of income less than $100,000 per year installing a 150 watt solar panel system starting on 01 July 2009 using $202 million taxpayers money. The scheme has not included households income greater than $100,000, nor for developers who produce new houses. Whether the policies are effective and sustainable are arguable. This paper examines policies designed to encourage households to install solar panel system in Australia and demonstrates reasons for supporting developers to build green houses using Net Present Value (NPV) rule in a case study. The findings suggest that the government should support installation of solar systems in both households and the developers.
Ge, J. & Ding, G.K. 2009, 'Energy efficient and water reduction programs on households in Australia', 2009 Conference on Green Building: Towards Eco-City, Architecture and Building Research Institute, Ministgry of the Interior, Taiwan, pp. 56-66.
In 2009, the Australian government has formulated strategies to provide $3.9 billion Energy Efficient Home Package for cutting energy waster and $12.9 billion Water for the Future plan for reducing the use of drinking water, aim of tackling climate change and reducing green house emission. Under the strategies, there are incentive schemes for households of the existing homes, which include a) rebates of up to $500 for installing a new rainwater tank or a permanent grey water treatment system; b) offers of up to $1,600 ceiling insulation or installation of solar hot water system or an assistance of up to $1,000 installing insulation in private rental properties; c) cash rebates of up to $8,000 for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on homes; and d) providing detailed, quality household sustainability assessments and green renovations packs to Australian households as well as access to low interest Green Loans of up to $10,000 each to make existing homes more energy and water efficient. This paper studies whether the incentive schemes motivate households and how much attraction of the schemes for households. The paper starts to review government policies for home energy efficient and water reduction programs in Australia and compare schemes provided by other countries. Case studies on incomes and expenses for a standard family, costs and benefits, as well as elements impact on households of taking the government incentive schemes are examined. The paper comments on the current incentive programs provided by the government and argue that education on attitude toward saving electricity and water should be one of the important parts of the programs.
Ding, G.K. & Ge, J. 2009, 'Green revolution - a challenge to improve environmental performance of existing housing stocks', 2009 Conference on Green Building: Towards Eco-City, Architecture and Building Research Institute, Ministry of the Interior, Taipei, Taiwan, pp. 135-149.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing Australia today. This is a challenge and responsibility that is shared by all Australian households. Improvements to energy and water efficiency of houses can significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce utility bills. In July 2004 the New South Wales (NSW) government introduced the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) to assess potential performance of a dwelling against a set of pre-determined criteria. Housing construction in NSW is the first in Australia to be subjected to mandatory sustainability requirements. BASIX is an online assessment tool which sets scores required to obtain development approval in new residential projects. BASIX is mandated only to improve environmental performance of new residential buildings and does not attempt to improve environmental performance of existing housing stocks which continue to consume natural resources and pollute the environment. Existing houses represent approximately 98% of residential building stocks in NSW and any improvement to these dwellings will have a profound impact on reducing the negative effects of the environment. This paper examines the sustainable upgrading strategies in improving environmental performance of three existing single dwellings in meeting the minimum BASIX requirements. This paper presents an economic analysis of sustainable upgrading using Net Present Value. The results suggest that sustainable upgrading of existing housing stocks is feasible and the scheme will be more attractive if the payback period is reduced with further government financial assistance.
Ding, G.K. & Runeson, G. 2008, 'A BASIX tool for environmental assessment of residential buildings - An Australian approach', CME 25 Conference Construction Management and Economics 'Past, Present and Future', University of Reading, UK, Reading, UK, pp. 931-940.
Ding, G.K. 2008, 'Environmental assessment of residential buildings in China', Proceedings of the 2008 World Sustainable Building Conference, ASN Events, Victoria, Australia, pp. 494-501.
Ding, G.K., Smith, P.V. & Yan, L. 2007, 'The cost management system in China - The impact of social and economic reforms in the construction industry', Proceedings of CRIOCM 2007 International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, The Chinese Research Institute of Construction Management, Sydney, pp. 660-669.
Ding, G.K. 2007, 'The evaluation of environmentally sustainable residential development using a building sustainability index', ARCOM Twenty-Third Annual Conference 2007 September 3-5 Belfast, ARCOM Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Reading, UK, pp. 851-860.
Green homes or eco-homes have been built in many countries and have played an important role in setting a benchmark in ecologically sensitive housing and guiding industry in the design and construction of sustainable homes. According to the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources a new dwelling is built every 14 minutes in New South Wales, Australia. This paper examines the introduction of an online tool the Building and Sustainability Index (BASIX) as mandatory to all residential developments in NSW. It is two and half years since the introduction of the index and yet no atttempt has been made to ascertain this impact and it was found that free access to the tool via internet was one of the main reasons for its success. It was also generally accepted that the tool has played a significant role in providing a general guideline for the sustainability performance of a proposed development. This paper discusses the results of the survey.
Ding, G.K. 2006, 'Towards sustainable construction - Implementing sustainability education at university level', AUBEA 2006 Conference Proceedings, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia, pp. 1-72.
Ding, G.K. 2006, 'Assessing environmental performance of housings in Australia - A BASIX approach', BEAR Construction Sustainability and Innovation 2006 CIB W89 - International Conference on Building Education and Research, Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, pp. 1-124.
Ding, G.K. 2004, 'The development of a multi-criteria approach for the measurement of sustainable performance of Housing Projects', XXXII IAHS World Housing Congress, Sustainability of the Housing Projects, University of Trento, Italy, Trento, Italy, pp. 1-10.
Ding, G.K. 2004, 'The development of a multi-criteria approach for the measurement of sustainable performance of housing projects', Sustainability of the Housing Projects, Univeristy of Trento, Italy, pp. 1-10.
It has long been recognised that environmental matters are important to the survival of the construction industry. Yet, in general, the construction industry continues to degrade the environment, exploiting resources and generating waste, and is reluctant to change its conventional practices to incorporate environmental matters as part of the decisionmaking process. Building development involves complex decisions and the increased significance of external effects has further complicated the situation. Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is one of the conventional tools used widely by public and private sectors when appraising projects. It sets out to measure and compare the total costs and benefits of different projects that are competing for scarce resources in monetary terms. However, there are growing concerns that the values of environmental goods and services are often ignored or underestimated in the CBA approach which has led to the overuse and depletion of environmental assets. Consequently, CBA's usefulness and relevance in this respect is increasingly controversial. Project development is not just concerned with financial return, but is also conscious of the long-term impacts on living standards for both present and future generations. Sustainable development is an important issue in project decision-making and environmental effects need to be incorporated into the evaluation process.
Ding, G.K. & Langston, C. 2002, 'A methodology for assessing the sustainability of construction projects and facilities', Environmental & Economic Sustainability - Cost Engineering Down Under, ICEC, Melbourne, pp. 1-20.
There is a growing concern about the negative effects that construction projects have on the natural environment. The values of environmental goods and services are often not included or are under-estimated in the traditional market-based approach which has led to the overuse and depletion of environmental assets. As such, a new or improved methodology needs to be developed in order that a comprehensive assessment of environmental matters can be incorporated in the evaluation process. A questionnaire was prepared and a survey was undertaken to identify the major environmental effects related to the construction industry and key components to be considered in the decision process were identified. The key components are combined together to development a sustainability index which sets out to embrace environmental issues as part of the assessment tool. This paper presents the survey results and also outlines the development of a sustainability index for project appraisal.
Ding, G.K. 2000, 'MCDM and the sustainable assessment of projects', Cities & Sustainability-sustaining our cultural heritage, Univeristy of Salford, Salford, pp. 1-11.
Ding, G.K. 1999, 'MCDM and the assessment of sustainability in construction', The challenge of change: Construction and building for the new millennium, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London, pp. 206-216.
Forsythe, P. & Ding, G.K. 2014, 'Greenhouse gas emissions from excavation on residential construction sites', Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 1-10.
Despite considerable research concerning the manifestation of greenhouse gases in the usage of buildings, little has been done concerning emissions arising from the construction process itself. This paper specifically examines emissions arising from cut and fill excavation on residential construction sites. Even though such excavation is often seen as being economical in terms of providing a flat base for concrete raft slab construction, the environmental consequences of this approach need to be considered more fully in terms of impact on the environment. This is particularly important when steeply sloping sites are involved and for different soil types. The paper undertakes a study that quantitatively assesses the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions caused by cut and fill excavation on 52 residential projects in Australia for a range of slope and soil types. The paper presents results from the study and concludes that greenhouse gas emissions increase as site slope increases; the building footprint area (as distinct from Gross Floor Area), exposes the need to reduce the area of the building to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; excavation of rock soils creates higher emissions than other soil types; and cut and fill excavation on steeply slope sites increase emissions. Potential alternative construction includes suspended floor construction systems which involve less excavation.
Thomas, D., Ding, G.K. & Crews, K.I. 2013, 'Sustainable timber use in the Australian housing market: Are consumers willing to pay the price', International Journal for Housing Science, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 187-196.
A large proportion of traditional Australian homes contained timber floors and timber exterior cladding until the advent of the standard concrete slab/brick veneer house. Up to 95% of new homes are built by project home companies and the majority of these contain an external envelope consisting of concrete flooring, clay brick walls and concrete tile or steel sheet roofing. This design is currently driven by consumers expectation of low cost, durable homes that are completed within restricted time limits. There is now a price premium on bespoke housing projects that differ materially or otherwise from a limited set of designs offered by project home firms. The adoption of concrete and brick homes originated from a perceived advantage related to longevity, low maintenance and thermal comfort. Innovation in wood treatments, wood protection and insulation have provided solutions to these issues so that timber is now a viable option with added benefits such as environmental sustainability and erection speed. Australian consumers have a growing awareness and desire to live in a way that is sustainable and are making choices that reflect this attitude. This has been demonstrated through the high adoption rate of recent government-supported schemes such as subsidized insulation and solar panel installation. This paper aims at investigating homeowners perception of timber as a sustainable building product, the desire of homeowner to use sustainable building products, and the willingness of homeowners to pay a premium to live sustainably. This paper highlights Australian homeowners reluctance to use the most sustainable building materials even when they are willing to pay for a more environmentally sustainable home. This paper presents the results of a questionnaire survey to homeowners in New South Wales, Australia and the strategies on how to increase the use of timber in new housing projects in Australia.
Ding, G. & Forsythe, P.J. 2013, 'Sustainable construction: Life cycle energy analysis of construction on sloping sites for residential buildings', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 254-265.
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In 2010, the Australian residential construction sector contributed about 28% of the value of all construction and was responsible for 8% of the total energy consumption. Residential construction will continue to increase to cope with the demand due to population growth. Owing to land scarcity, construction on sloping sites has become a common construction method for residential development in Australia. This method has economic benefits but poses environmental issues as it damages topsoil, disturbs natural drainage and groundwater pathways and imposes additional stress on soil under fill. The life cycle energy consumption of the construction process is examined in relation to residential projects on sloping sites on a range of slopes and soil types in New South Wales, Australia. Forty-one detached dwellings were selected and a service life of 60 years assumed for the study. The research findings reveal that the slope for each type of soil has a positive correlation with life cycle energy consumption. As part of the onsite construction process, the results also show that the energy consumption of construction on sloping sites plays a significant factor in the life cycle energy analysis of a building. 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Liu, J., Ding, G.K. & Samali, B. 2013, 'Building sustainable score (BSS) - A hybrid process approach for sustainable building assessment in China', Journal of Power and Energy Engineering, vol. 1, no. 5, pp. 58-62.
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Sustainable building in China has gained attention both domestically and abroad. Despite the fast increase in sustainable assessment tools developed locally or adopted from overseas, there are still criticisms about the current situation of weak implementation and lack of comprehensive consideration. The lack of consideration of economic and social as-pects or building performance on whole building life cycle all lead to departure from the true meaning of sustainable development. And lack of participation on the part of stakeholders makes it too theoretical to be carried out. This re-search aims to develop a model to address this problem. This research started with review of current sustainable as-sessment tools applied in China. As the assessment indicators have clear regional disparities, and almost no current tool considers all three pillars of environmental, economic and social in building life cycle. An industry survey was therefore designed for generation of indicators at different building stages, and personal interviews relevant to different occupa-tion in building industry were conducted to complement the questionnaire survey. After that, the model Building Sus-tainable Score (BSS) was developed based on the stakeholders participation. Finally, the model is verified by a case study.
Ding, G.K. 2013, 'Demolish or refurbish - Environmental benefits of housing conservation', Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 18-34.
Climate change and energy efficiency are some of the most pressing issues facing China today. With its economic growth since 1978, the government in China has struggled to contain environmental damages and social unrest related to the economys rapid transformation. With the rapid growth in population and urbanization the demand for housing has escalated and traditional housing has been under threat of demolition to make way for new construction. Traditional housing is generally considered wasteful in its use of land and/or energy, and is often demolished for more intensive and more energy-efficient housing, despite the resulting loss of embodied energy and urban amenity. A research project was undertaken in 2010/11 in conjunction with Zhejiang University to study the environmental performance of traditional housing in Xiao He Zhi Jie, Hangzhou. The project looks into analyzing and comparing embodied energy and CO2 for seven dwellings. In addition indoor climate data were recorded and collected in the form of hourly temperature and humidity readings for one year in six local houses and in a modern unit in a nearby multi-storey building as a control for one year. The paper presents the results of the research and the results reveal that there is little difference in environmental performance between traditional and conventional modern construction. The research results have revealed the value of conservation rather than demolition as a strategic development for the construction industry.
Ding, G.K. 2013, 'Strategies for sustainable housing development - The challenges from renewable energy', International Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications: housing planning, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 239-248.
One-fifth of Australias greenhouse gas emissions come from households. There are 7 million households in Australia and each is producing about 15 tonnes of greenhouse gas every year. Energy use, car use and waste are the largest sources of household emissions. Improving the energy efficiency of homes is one of the most effective ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has been the main focus of the governments energy policy. In addition to the introduction of BASIX as mandatory to all new homes in NSW in 2004, the federal and state governments h
ave introduced incentive schemes to subsidize Australian homes to install solar panels and other renewable energy technologies as a way to improve energy performance of existing homes since 2006. This paper examines the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy in improving energy efficiency of existing dwellings. The paper also presents the results of an economic analysis of renewable energy source in a dwelling in NSW. Finally a strategic direction of providing affordable and environmentally sustainable practices in upgrading existing homes to improve energy efficiency is also developed and discussed.
Ding, G.K., Ge, J. & Phillips, P. 2012, 'Cradle-to-gate analysis of materials used in historic and modern housing', Advanced Materials Research, vol. 374-377, pp. 2029-2036.
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Climate change and energy efficiency are some of the most pressing issues facing China today. With its economic growth since the economic reforms in 1978 the government has struggled to contain environmental damage and social strife related to the economys rapid transformation. With the rapid growth in population and urbanization the demand for housings escalated and thus existing houses are under threat of being demolished to make way for new construction. However there was a strong debate that existing houses should be maintained and upgraded instead of demolishing for new development as improvements to energy and water efficiency of existing homes can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease utility bills. This paper aims at reviewing the importance of existing houses and their environmental significance in conservation as opposed to demolition. This paper presents and discusses the preliminary results for the first two stages of a research project undertaken at the University of Technology Sydney to investigate environmental performance of historic housings in Xiao He Zhi Jie in Hangzhou, China
Ding, G.K. & Shen, L. 2010, 'Assessing sustainability performance of built projects: a building process approach', International Journal of Sustainable Development, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 267-279.
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Existing environmental performance assessment approaches focus on the overall performance to reflect sustainability of built projects. However, the impacts caused by construction activities on the environment occur throughout a project's life cycle which may be different at different stages. Similarly, the economic benefits and social impacts from implementing a construction project may be different in different project stages. This paper presents a model of the sustainable development value (SDV), which integrates sustainability assessment into the building process. SDV measures the significance of the concerned project to the attainment of sustainable development values at different stages of a building life cycle, and the SDV at each stage will be amalgamated into the model of sustainable development ability (SDA). SDA is used as a prototype to demonstrate the extent of sustainable performance to aid decision making. This paper presents the methodological framework of SDV and SDA, and the implementation was demonstrated using a case study.
Ding, G.K. 2010, 'Sustainability assessment of residential development - An Australian experience', The International Journal of Construction Management, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 19-32.
Environmental performance of residential development has played an important role in achieving the goal of sustainable construction. Green homes have been or are being built in many countries. This paper discusses the issues of sustainability and its roles in residential developments. This paper also examines the development of a building and sustainability index (BASIX) for mandatory assessments of all residential developments in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Data collection includes examining the methodology of BASIX in assessing sustainability performance of residential development in the three broad areas of energy and water efficiency as well as indoor thermal comfort. The introduction of BASIX has had a profound impact on the construction industry. An online survey of users of BASIX in the construction industry revealed that the tool has played a significant role in providing a guideline for the sustainability performance of a proposed development and lifting the standard of design practices. The tool has led to better thermal comfort for users and reduced water and energy consumption by all new residential developments in NSW. However successful this has been, there is more to be done such as control of waste and energy usage in the manufacturing of building materials.
Ding, G.K. 2008, 'Sustainable construction--the role of environmental assessment tools.', J Environ Manage, vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 451-464.
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Construction has been accused of causing environmental problems ranging from excessive consumption of global resources both in terms of construction and building operation to the pollution of the surrounding environment, and research on green building design and using building materials to minimise environmental impact is already underway. However, relying on the design of a project to achieve the goal of sustainable development, or to minimise impacts through appropriate management on site, is not sufficient to handle the current problem. The aim for sustainability assessment goes even further than at the design stage of a project to consider its importance at an early stage, before any detailed design or even before a commitment is made to go ahead with a development. However, little or no concern has been given to the importance of selecting more environmentally friendly designs during the project appraisal stage; the stage when environmental matters are best incorporated. The main objectives of this paper are to examine the development, role and limitations of current environmental building assessment methods in ascertaining building sustainability used in different countries which leads to discuss the concept of developing a. sustainability model for project appraisal based on a multi-dimensional approach, that will allow alternatives to be ranked is discussed in detail in the paper.
Ding, G.K. 2007, 'Life cycle energy assessment of Australian secondary schools', Building Research & Information, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 487-500.
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The Australian Department of Commerce builds many secondary schools in New South Wales every year, and the impact of energy consumption for such a type of construction has rarely been done before in Australia. Although there is a particular responsibility to ensure that public-owned projects contribute to the future well-being of the natural environment, environmental performance and energy efficiency of public projects are not well studied. In order that more informed design and planning decisions can be made about the future construction of school projects, this research paper uses life cycle energy analysis to study the total energy consumption of 20 public secondary school projects in New South Wales. The results will serve as a model for a more comprehensive analysis of energy consumption in establishing environmental performance criteria for the design and construction of future school projects in New South Wales.
Ding, G.K. 2005, 'Developing a multicriteria approach for the measurement of sustainable performance', Building Research & Information, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 3-16.
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In Australia, costbenefit analysis (CBA) is one of the conventional tools used widely by the public and the private sectors in the appraisal of projects. It measures and compares the total costs and benefits of projects that are competing for scarce resources in monetary terms. Growing concerns that the values of environmental goods and services are often ignored or underestimated in the CBA approach have led to the overuse and depletion of environmental assets. A model of a sustainability index as an evaluation tool that combines economic, social and environmental criteria into an indexing algorithm is presented and described. The sustainability index uses monetary and non-monetary approaches to rank projects and facilities on their contribution to sustainability. This process enables the principle of trade-off to occur in the decision-making process and thereby allows environmental values to be considered when selecting a development option. This makes it possible to optimize financial return, maximize resource consumption and minimize detrimental effects to the natural and man-made world. A case study is used to demonstrate the model.
Ding, G.K. & Langston, C.A. 2004, 'Multiple criteria sustainability modelling: Case study on School Buildings', The International Journal of Construction Management, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 13-26.