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Prevention through design and construction safety management strategies for high performance sustainable building construction


  • Katie Shawn Dewlaney
  • Matthew Hallowell


Recent studies have found that Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings have a higher injury rate than traditional non-LEED buildings and that 12 of the LEED credits increase risks for construction workers. The objective was to identify and describe risk mitigation strategies that reduce the safety risk associated with the design and construction of high performance sustainable projects by conducting extensive interviews with experienced designers and constructors. Fortunately, feasible prevention techniques through design and construction safety management strategies exist and can be used to mitigate the safety risk associated with the design features and means and methods of construction used to achieve LEED certification. Most commonly, designers and contractors identified prefabrication, effective site layout and alternative products as methods to prevent injuries that specifically relate to the hazards of each sustainable element. The results of the interviews and results from previous research were organized into a decision support tool built in Adobe LiveCycle. Practitioners may use the findings and the tool to enhance safety for construction workers, an aspect of sustainability that is not currently addressed in the LEED Program. Researchers may also use the techniques described as a starting point for lifecycle safety analyses for sustainable buildings.

Suggested Citation

  • Katie Shawn Dewlaney & Matthew Hallowell, 2012. "Prevention through design and construction safety management strategies for high performance sustainable building construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 165-177, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:30:y:2012:i:2:p:165-177
    DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2011.654232

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    Cited by:

    1. Zuo, Jian & Zhao, Zhen-Yu, 2014. "Green building research–current status and future agenda: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 271-281.

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