Limitations of Futuristic Building Materials for Achieving Sustainability in the Construction Industry
Authors: Olusegun Oguntona, Opeoluwa Akinradewo, Onalerona Mokono, Babatunde Fatai Ogunbayo, Clinton Aigbavboa
Abstract: Globally, the construction industry (CI) is regarded as one of the largest consumers of raw materials and natural resources. The industry is also known to be a major source of pollution, waste, and other adverse environmental issues within the built environment. It is therefore imperative to introduce strategies, processes, materials, and technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the CI to a sustainable state, especially in this fourth industrial revolution (4IR) era. Futuristic building materials (FBMs) are the generation of novel and cutting-edge materials with significant potential to solve ongoing challenges and address environmental issues attributed to the CI. Hence, the objective of this paper is to evaluate the hindrances to the utilization of FBMs in realizing a sustainable CI in South Africa. The quantitative research approach was employed in this study. A structured questionnaire survey was administered to construction professionals in the South African construction industry (SACI). Data collected were analyzed using a descriptive statistical method and exploratory factor analysis. Findings from the study revealed the impact of the 15 barriers identified in the reviewed literature. The study also revealed a lack of awareness, lack of knowledge, shortage of skills, poor economic conditions, and escalating costs of building materials as the major barriers hindering the adoption of FBMs. In conclusion, the availability, and accessibility of FBMs are discovered to be limited in the SACI. Research and development (R&D), awareness creation, and multi-disciplinary collaboration is recommended to maximize the effectiveness of FBMs for a sustainable and innovative SACI.
Keywords: architecture, engineering, and construction industry, futuristic building materials, innovation, sustainable construction, South Africa
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