Determinants of construction and demolition waste management in mainland China : a contractor's perspective

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Determinants of construction and demolition waste management in mainland China : a contractor's perspective

 

Author: Wu, Zezhou
Title: Determinants of construction and demolition waste management in mainland China : a contractor's perspective
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2016
Subject: Construction and demolition debris -- China -- Management.
Construction industry -- China -- Waste disposal.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xviii, 203 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2910886
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8577
Abstract: Construction and demolition (C&D) waste refers to the substances which are generated in the construction, renovation, and demolition activities of buildings and infrastructure. The materials involved in this stream of waste can be divided into two categories according to their chemical characteristics, namely inert materials and non-inert materials. The inert materials (e.g., concrete, bricks, sub-soil) refer to the components that hardly react chemically under common circumstances, while the non-inert materials can be easily involved in chemical reactions, such as rebar, wood. C&D waste is produced unavoidably as a by-product of construction activities. Illegal disposal of C&D waste management can lead to negative impacts. However, effective strategies can be conducted to minimise the negative influences caused by C&D waste. There are several stakeholders involved in a construction project, each stakeholder can affect C&D waste generation from different aspects. This study focuses on contractor rather than developer or designer because the contractor is the direct C&D waste producer and C&D waste management implementer in a real-life project. In Mainland China, the C&D waste management practice is regarded to be inadequate at this stage. Therefore, there is a necessity to investigate the determinants that can promote contractor's adoption of effective C&D waste management measures in real-life projects. The principal aim of this study is to investigate the determinants that affect the contractor's C&D waste management behaviour. Four specific objectives are proposed to be achieved: 1) To identify the potential critical factors that affect the contractor's behaviour of C&D waste management; 2) To develop measurement scales for investigating the contractor's C&D waste management behaviour and the potential determinants; 3) To explore the interrelationships between potential C&D waste management determinants and the contractor's actual behaviour; 4) To provide suggestions for promoting the implementation of effective C&D waste management in the current situation of Mainland China.
These objectives have been achieved through employing a combination of several research methods including literature review, focus group meeting, questionnaire survey, and interviews with industrial professionals. Through the literature review and the focus group meeting, eight constructs were identified, including (1) attitude towards behaviour, (2) social norm, (3) perceived behavioural control, (4) behavioural intention, (5) governmental supervision, (6) economic viability, (7) project constraints, and (8) behaviour, to formulate a preliminary theoretical framework. Based on the preliminary theoretical framework, seven hypotheses were proposed as follows: Hypothesis 1 (H1): Attitude towards behaviour has a direct positive effect on the behavioural intention. Hypothesis 2 (H2): Social norm has a direct positive effect on the behavioural intention. Hypothesis 3 (H3): Perceived behavioural control has a direct positive effect on the behavioural intention. Hypothesis 4 (H4): Behavioural intention has a direct positive effect on the behaviour. Hypothesis 5 (H5): Governmental supervision has a direct positive effect on the behaviour. Hypothesis 6 (H6): Economic viability has a direct positive effect on the behaviour. Hypothesis 7 (H7): Project constraints have a direct negative effect on the behaviour. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect data for investigating the interrelationships between the eight constructs. The employed data analysis techniques included item analysis, reliability analysis, exploratory factor analysis, descriptive statistics, non-parametric test, structural equation modelling, and triangulation analysis. The results showed that attitude towards behaviour and social norm have significant positive effects on behavioural intention of C&D waste management, while perceived behavioural control has an insignificant effect on behavioural intention. Surprisingly, the behavioural intention was found to be an insignificant factor that determines contractor's C&D waste management behaviour. A possible explanation is that C&D waste management behaviour is more attributed to organisational behaviour rather than individual behaviour. The findings of this study also revealed that the most significant determinant that influences contractor's C&D waste management behaviour is economic viability, demonstrating that improving the economic viability of waste minimisation can encourage the contractor to employ waste management measures more positively. Following economic viability is the factor of governmental supervision, indicating that appropriate and strict supervision from the government can improve contractor's waste management behaviour. The factor of project constraints was found to play an insignificant role in affecting contractor's C&D waste management behaviour. A possible reason is that C&D waste management is just a sub-objective in a construction project, attracting less focus than money saving or other main objectives. To test the results derived from the questionnaire survey, a triangulation analysis was further employed through interviews with industrial professionals for a validation purpose. The feedback from these interviewees generally supported the research findings. Overall, the research study revealed that, in order to promote C&D waste management in the current construction industry of Mainland China, the most important focuses should be given to the improvement of economic viability and the enhancement of governmental supervision.

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