The paper was written for the International Group for Lean Construction Conference in July 2013 in Fortaleza, Brazil.
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 in the Phoenix, Arizona market that asked 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 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. We sent the survey to 76 contractors and received responses from 21, representing a 27.6% response rate. Respondents include representatives from general contractors, mechanical contractors, and electrical contractors, among others. This paper presents the responses from general contractors as they typically have most contact with the owner and design teams.