Construction waste minimization in green building : A comparative analysis of LEED-NC 2009 certified projects in the US and China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number120749
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published24 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020


Construction waste minimization is a key sustainability goal in green building rating systems. Although these rating systems traverse countries’ boundaries, no research so far has compared construction waste minimization performance in such systems across countries. This research aims to investigate and compare the construction waste minimization performance of green building projects in the US and China by focusing on the widely adopted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system. Data on 599 and 297 LEED-New Construction (NC) 2009 certified projects in the US and China, respectively, were sourced from the US Green Building Council project directory. Their construction waste minimization-related points were compared using the Mann-Whitney U and effect size test, and semi-structured interviews were conducted to identify the possible causes behind statistical analysis results. We found no significant difference in construction waste minimization performance of LEED platinum-level projects in the US and China, but the magnitude of the difference between two countries increased as the certification level went lower. The enforcement on regulations, recycling market development, public consciousness and advanced technologies lead to the differences while the influence of the political, economic, social, and technological context increased when the projects were certified with lower LEED levels. An amenable context should be fostered to achieve a better construction waste minimization performance in green building and a sustainable development goal.

Research Area(s)

  • Construction waste minimization, Green building, Green building rating system, Leadership in energy and environmental design

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