Early prioritization of the United Nation's goals for sustainable development in construction projects

Anne Nørkjær Gade, Mette Bisgård Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The building sector holds great potential and responsibility in achieving several of the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs). This study presents preliminary findings of an exploratory study aiming at investigating how the SDGs can be successfully implemented in construction projects in a Danish context. A focus group workshop was held with academic experts within building design and the SDGs. The participants discussed which aspects were important throughout the different phases of new construction projects for successful implementation of the SDGs, and the roles of the included actors. The results showed that the participants highlighted SDG 4 (quality education) and SDG 17 (partnerships for achieving the goals) as the most important throughout the different phases, from the programming phase to demolition or renovation. SDG 3 (health and well-being), was seen as the most important factor during the occupation phase, and the main positive effect of a successful design process. A "phase zero" was proposed to ensure a common ground and understanding the SDGs among the involved actors before the programming phase. Several barriers for implementing the SDGs in Danish building projects were identified in the study, including the need for local indicators, transfer of knowledge between the involved actors, and lack of user involvement. The results indicate that there is a need for rethinking and supporting strong partnerships among the different actors, improve knowledge management, and ensure targeted educational material regarding the SDGs towards all actors involved in the building process, including the building owner, advisors, craftsmen and users.
Original languageEnglish
Article number052054
Conference seriesIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1.15-1.19
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2020
EventBEYOND 2020: World Sustainable Built Environment Conference - Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden
Duration: 9 Jul 202011 Jul 2020


ConferenceBEYOND 2020
LocationChalmers University of Technology


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