The Contractor’s Self-Perceived Role in Sustainable Construction: Survey Results

Skyler Holloway1 & Kristen Parrish2

1Graduate Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, [email protected]
2Assistant Professor, Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, [email protected]; +1-480-727-6363


With the advent of sustainable building ordinances in the United States and internationally, contractors are required to deliver sustainable projects but have historically not been considered partners in developing the sustainability goals and objectives for projects. Additionally, as alternative project delivery methods gain popularity, contractors have an opportunity and—in an increasing number of cases— a requirement, to take a larger role in sustainability efforts beyond the design phase. Understanding the contractor’s self-perceived role in this industry is imperative to informing their future role in the sustainable construction industry. This paper presents data and analysis of a survey of general contractors (GCs) in the Phoenix, Arizona market who are experienced with lean and now implement sustainable construction to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The survey asked GCs for their opinions and viewpoints regarding sustainable construction; respondents provided feedback about corporate profitability, growth forecast, and the perceived efficiency of the U.S Green Building Council’s LEED rating system. The survey also queried contractors about implications of sustainable construction on their existing lean processes, including current and future work breakdown structures for sustainable project delivery as well as their underlying motives for involvement in these projects. Academics from Arizona State University worked with local industry to develop the survey in 2012 and the survey was deployed in 2013. The authors sent the survey to 76 GCs and received responses from 21, representing a 27.6% response rate.


Lean construction, sustainability, LEED, green construction



Holloway, S. & Parrish, K. 2013. The Contractor’s Self-Perceived Role in Sustainable Construction: Survey Results , 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 905-914.

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