Early implementation of the sustainable development goals in construction projects: A Danish case study

Anne N. Gade, Aysar D. Selman

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


The 2030 Agenda is an ambitious step towards sustainable development for the construction industry, which holds great potential for contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, challenges remain regarding the implementation of the goals. This study aims to investigate the level of integration of the SDGs at an early stage of a new school and kindergarten project in Denmark, which seeks to implement 14 of the SDGs and 50 targets actively throughout the project, along with exploring the decision-making process. The case study consists of two parts: interviews with the actors involved in developing the project's vision plan, hereunder prioritising the SDG and targets, followed by an analysis of the building brief, investigating the utilisation of the SDGs and targets. The interview results were designed and analysed through the lens of the values-rules-knowledge model. The results showed that the perceived level of integration of the SDGs differed among the involved actors, and that the targets that were most successfully implemented at this stage were SDGs 4, 9, 12 and 13. The main conclusion were that the SDGs were not a main driver in the decision-making process, due to the lack of measurability and benchmarking in building projects. The results contribute to the current effort toward implementing the SDGs in construction on a project-specific level, and the novelty lies in the analysis of the decision-making process through the values-rules-knowledge-model, the calculation of the SDG implementation percentage, and providing a best-practice example for SDG implementation in a construction project. The authors recommend further research focusing on case studies involving practical examples of SDG implementation in construction projects to support the operationalisation of the SDGs.
TidsskriftJournal of Building Engineering
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2023


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