Dynamic Sustainability Assessment of the Built Environment


In order to attain sustainable assessment of the built environment, it is of the utmost necessity to develop standardized methods, metrics, and tools to effectively and efficiently study, measure, and analyze the wide range of impacts of the construction processes from planning to completion and beyond. The narrow focus of the currently available assessment methods does not adequately address the technical, environmental, economic, social/cultural, and individual sustainability indicators as well as the temporal, spatial and behavioral aspects of sustainability. This paper develops a dynamic sustainability assessment framework for the built environment that is based on the three novel infrastructure forms, namely nature, work, and flow that were previously proposed by the second author. The "work form" defines the socio-behavioral relationships amongst the construction products and the actors of the built environment. It also attempts to delineate how the end-product is affected by how well the producers are connected to the product. The "nature form" focuses on the effects of the built process on the environment through studying the interaction between the construction actors, their associated processes, and the end-products within their host systems. The "flow form" identifies the changes within the community host systems and the effects of these changes on the natural environment and the socioeconomic setting that encompasses the project. The authors applied this innovative framework to a transportation infrastructure project. This research improves our understanding of environmental, social, and economic effects of the built environment resulting in a sustainable infrastructure.

Meeting Name

Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2013: Know-How-Savoir-Faire, CSCE 2013 (2013: May 29-Jun. 1, Montreal, Canada)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Technology transfer, Construction process; Construction products; Standardized methods; Sustainability assessment; Sustainability indicators; Sustainable assessment; Sustainable infrastructure; Transportation infrastructures, Sustainable development

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2013 Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 May 2013

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