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Environmental Assessment Methodologies for Commercial Buildings: An Elicitation Study of U.S. Building Professionals’ Beliefs on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Listed author(s):
  • Jasmin Kientzel


    (School of Governance and UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht 6211 TC, The Netherlands)

  • Gerjo Kok


    (Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Department of Work and Social Psychology, Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel 40, Maastricht 6229 ER, The Netherlands)

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    Voluntary environmental programs (VEPs) have become increasingly popular around the world to address energy efficiency issues that mandatory building codes have not been able to tackle. Even though the utility of voluntary schemes is widely debated, they have become a de facto reality for many professionals in the building and construction sector. One topic that is neglected, however, in both academic and policy discussions, relates to how professionals (architects, engineers, real estate developers, etc .) perceive the rise of voluntary rating schemes. In order to fill this gap in the literature, the present study investigates beliefs underlying adoption behavior regarding one of the most prominent voluntary assessment and certification programs in the U.S. building industry, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scheme. In this paper, an elicitation study, based on 14 semi-structured interviews with building professionals in the North East of the United States, was conducted to analyze this question. Building on the Reasoned Action Approach, this paper shows that, in addition to more conventional factors such as financial calculations and marketing aspects, the understanding of beliefs held by building professionals offers important insights into their decisions to work with Voluntary Environmental Assessment and Rating Programs.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 1-21

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:12:p:2392-2412:d:15184
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    1. Rutström, E. Elisabet & Wilcox, Nathaniel T., 2009. "Stated beliefs versus inferred beliefs: A methodological inquiry and experimental test," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 616-632, November.
    2. Piet Eichholtz & Nils Kok & John M. Quigley, 2010. "Doing Well by Doing Good? Green Office Buildings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2492-2509, December.
    3. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    4. Grunert, Klaus G. & Bech-Larsen, Tino, 2005. "Explaining choice option attractiveness by beliefs elicited by the laddering method," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 223-241, April.
    5. Katie Williams & Carol Dair, 2007. "What is stopping sustainable building in England? Barriers experienced by stakeholders in delivering sustainable developments," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 135-147.
    6. Viswanath Venkatesh & Fred D. Davis, 2000. "A Theoretical Extension of the Technology Acceptance Model: Four Longitudinal Field Studies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(2), pages 186-204, February.
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