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|Title||Energy Management during construction phase in Gaza Strip-Contractors’ perspective|
|Title in Arabic||ادارة الطاقة خلال مرحلة تنفيذ الانشاءات في قطاع غزة من وجهة نظر المقاولين|
Purpose: Energy management is an effective mean to lessen energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions as a result of energy use in construction activities. Construction industry practitioners worldwide are beginning to appreciate sustainable energy management and acknowledge the advantages of implementing energy management principles in construction projects. This study aims to assess the level of awareness about energy management among construction contractors in Gaza Strip, to measure the extent of practicing energy management and saving methods, to examine the drivers and the barriers that may exist toward implementing the practice of energy management and to explore the best activities to save energy in construction projects. Design/methodology/approach: Various techniques were conducted in this study to collect needed data including, literature review, questionnaire survey and structured face-to-face interviews with several experts in construction and energy aspects. Questionnaire survey was conducted among professionals working in local construction contracting companies who have extensive experience in practicing construction projects. Questionnaires were distributed to 100 randomly selected contracting companies out of which 76 valid questionnaires were received and have made up of 30 from first class, 30 from second class and 16 from third class according to the Palestinian Contractors Union (PCU) classification system. Quantitative method was used for data analysis by using SPSS version 22. Mean square method and the relative importance index were used to identify the relative importance and ranking of each variable\statement used in the questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was therefore used for data reduction to establish which of the variables could be measuring aspects of the same underlying dimensions. Findings: According to the responses received, the local construction contractors in Gaza Strip have a moderate degree of awareness about energy management. They have the highest level of awareness and most positive attitudes towards economic benefits related to energy management. Poor application level of energy management in local contractors emerged as a result of the lack of specified knowledge about techniques and strategies for energy management. It was also found that some energy management requirements are applied on a small scale with informal system and with nonprofessional approaches. The most effective driving force for local construction contractors to adopt energy management was, cost saving gained from adopted energy management strategies. “Additional costs needed to improve the company energy efficiency” was ranked in the first position from a list of barriers for energy management. Respondents also ranked the activity “Adoption of more energy efficient construction methods as opposed to traditional construction methods during construction phase” as the most effective activity for energy saving in construction projects. Factor analysis method performed on the initial data of each list related to the drivers, barriers and activities for energy management. Four grouping factors emerged from the 19 drivers remained in the final solution which are “Economic and Financial”; “Institutional and Legal”; “Organizational and Managerial” and “Education and Information”. Four factors also extracted from the remained 28 barriers in the final solution which are: “Economic and Financial”; “Knowledge and Information”; “Legal and Contractual” and “Organizational and Management”. The activities to save energy have been clustered in four factors from the remained 27 activities in the final solution, which are: “Information and Communication”; “Techniques and Technology”; “Equipment and Materials” and “Regulation and Management”. The finding also indicated that local construction industry stakeholders should come up with a special educational and training programs, legislations and standards related to energy efficient construction practices specific to Gaza’s construction environment. Theoretical and practical implications of the research: This study can provide a reference for studying the effective practices in order to obtain the efficient energy use in construction projects. It also provides a valuable information for studying the practice of energy management development in other industries. In addition, this study will allow construction contracting companies to understand where they fall within energy saving and sustainability issues and to devise a strategy to be developed to attain higher levels of sustainable energy management. Overall, this study nature and findings will attract the attention of the local contracting companies to the importance and impacts of energy management application in their activities and therefore, greater acceptance will be generated for the adoption of efficient energy practices in local construction sector. Originality/value: This study presents the first investigation into energy management issue in Gaza Strip construction industry, especially from contracting organizations perspective. This study results will open the door for more discussions about all subjects related to energy use, saving and impacts in construction projects. The results of this study can be of good help to policy makers, researchers and industry practitioners (clients, contractors, consultants and others) in energy management related aspects.
|Publisher||الجامعة الإسلامية - غزة|
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