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Assuring Sustainable Construction through Project Feasibility Evaluation Criteria: A Literature Review


The construction projects have a significant influence on achieving sustainable development in developing countries due to the increasing demand for sustainable construction practices. Hence, project sustainability should be addressed mostly in developing countries, like Sri Lanka, where a large number of construction projects are currently in progress and remain to emerge in the future. However, the country is facing not only environmental issues but also economic and social issues due to the unavailability of proper sustainable project feasibility criteria to be considered at the project inception stage. This paper intends to provoke thoughts on the necessity of embracing a new approach to conduct project feasibility studies by answering a few questions i.e. ‘What is the relationship between project feasibility studies and assuring sustainable construction?’, ‘What sustainability criteria have already been achieved by project feasibility study?’, and ‘How do government policies assure sustainable construction at project feasibility stage?’, which were answered in the study via an extensive literature review. Accordingly, 57 peer-reviewed journal articles on the confluence of feasibility and sustainability concepts of construction projects were analysed. The research findings highlight that economic performance has given the major consideration in the current practice of project feasibility study while less attention to social and environmental performance was being paid. Further, sustainability assessment tools have given priority to environmental criteria and their applicability at the project inception is still questionable. Hence, developing effective sustainable project feasibility evaluation will help to ensure sustainability performance from the project inception stage.

Keywords: Environmental Sustainability, Economic Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Construction, Feasibility, Policies.