The adoption of big data concepts for sustainable practices implementation in the construction industry
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AbstractThe global construction business is on a point of a paradigm shift. The exponential growth of digital technologies, the increasing impacts of climate change, impending Brexit and looming social and environmental pressures are driving change to the construction industry. Increasingly policies press for the adoption of sustainability and construction organisations are realising that small sustainable impacts are no longer enough. Therefore, measurement is one of the keys to the implementation of sustainable construction strategies. Advances in data gathering, computing power and connectivity mean that construction organisations have more information and data than ever before. Collecting, analysing and understanding those large volumes of available data, known as Big Data, about how an organisation operates sustainably leads to knowledge that can improve decision making, refine goals and focus efforts. However, when it comes to sustainability the great thing about big data is that it is unlocking the ability of businesses to understand and act on what is typically their biggest sustainable (i.e. economic, social and environmental) impacts - the ones outside their control. Measuring and understanding how doing business really does affect the natural world will open new opportunities for bringing sustainability inside an organisation: creating change, cutting costs and boosting long-term profitability in a resource-constrained world. Still, there are issues and challenges around gathering sustainability-related data, as well as in analysing and interpreting of data points. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore the barriers to adopting big data related to sustainable strategies. The relationship between Policy Making, Big Data and sustainability is still in early stages, but already several applications can be mention to the environment, health and construction, such as biodiversity loss monitoring, pollution zones Identification, endangered species location, smart energy management, cost reduction or investment assessment. In the same way, barriers and opportunities were identified, for instance: the lack of financial resources and business case, skills and training, unequal opportunity and security and disclosure issues among the barriers, and partnership, emerging and accessible technology, personalization of the environment among the opportunities. Finally, the biggest challenge presented by the implementation of Big Data is concept standardization, since there are many areas in which one way or another is making use of this technology without being recognized as such. In the same way, the greatest asset that represents the use of Big Data for sustainability is the identification of the future causes and consequences of climate change and its subsequent prevention or mitigation in time.
JournalIEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing Companion (UCC Companion)
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