Sustainable Construction Assessment, Land-Use Planning, and Architectural Education
A Kenyan Interior Design Market Segment Perspective
The centrality of the construction industry in the sustainability agenda is undoubted. This is in context of its known economic, environmental and social impacts and numerous forward and backward linkages with other industries. This drove the quest to assess: (1) the extent of sustainability assessment (SA)/evaluation; (2) SA standards and methods/tools familiarity levels; (3) effectiveness of sustainability assessment (SA); and, (4) SC assessment framework(s) familiarity levels. These research objectives were explored, with specific reference to the interior design market segment of the Kenyan construction industry. A mixed-methods approach was adopted for this study. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect sample attributes from actively practicing key project professionals. These professionals, for this study, were identified as: architects/interior designers; electrical engineers; mechanical engineers; quantity surveyors; and, contractors. They constituted the sample in the ratio 12:12:12:12:12 respectively – drawn from Nairobi City County. The valid responses received were in the ratio 10:9:8:9:10 respectively. Data analysis employed the descriptive statistics of frequencies, percentages, mean item scores (MIS’s) and standard deviations (SD’s). A majority of the respondents reported not assessing/evaluating sustainability in interior design projects, and gave a number of reasons thereof. They also reported a below average familiarity level on SA standards and methods/tools. On effectiveness of SA, the respondents registered an average score. Lastly, a majority of the respondents reported being unaware of any SA framework assessing the three dimensions of sustainability. From the findings, there is the implied need to train Kenyan construction industry practitioners on sustainability assessment. This study recommends improved training for construction industry practitioners to improve their familiarity with SC assessment standards and tools/methods/frameworks, in a bid to foster improved SC assessment levels. This will foster improved sustainability assessment, which will in turn contribute to improved sustainability compliance.