Du Plessis (2002), postulates that the construction industry, with special reference to developing countries as is the case for Kenya, has been identified to result in vast negative sustainability impacts. These impacts are; of economic nature such as cost of constructed facilities and proportion of labour employed in the construction industry, environmental nature such as demand for natural resources, and energy consumption in processing of construction products, and social nature such as corruption and unfair labour practices (Macozoma, 2002). The situation is further complicated by the numerous direct and indirect linkages between the construction industry and other industries (Du Plessis, 2002). 

Numerous scholars have pursued matters in relation to aspects of sustainability literacy, uptake and assessment- specifically in the construction industry- in various countries such as Turkey, Nigeria, Australia, England and Cyprus (Usal,2012; Ikediashi at al., 2013; Khalfan et al., 2015;Higham & Thomson, 2015; Elmualim & Alp,2016). These efforts display global efforts towards enriching the theory, and consequently the practice, of sustainability within the construction industry. In addition, analysis of previous research in relation to sustainable construction shows limited coverage of the interior design market segment sustainability related endeavours compared to general architectural ones (Jones,2008; Keane, 2009; Hayles, 2015).

Principle Instigator
Samuel Kamau Joseph

Due to the widespread calls for the construction industry to adopt sustainable approaches, the various stakeholders are now engaging in the sustainability agenda more than before. This study investigated how the Kenyan construction industry is engaging the sustainability agenda. Specifically, this study sought to establish sustainable construction (SC) literacy levels, key sustainability considerations, and SC literacy avenues in the interior design market segment of the Kenyan construction industry. Key project stakeholders in the interior design market segment of the Kenyan construction industry were the target population. A total of 60 (12 architects/interior designers, 12 electrical engineers, 12 mechanical engineers, 12 quantity surveyors, and 12 contractors) structured questionnaires were distributed, out of which 46 (10 architects/interior designers, 9 electrical engineers, 9 mechanical engineers, 8 quantity surveyors, and 10 contractors) were received back. Collected data were analysed using frequencies, percentages, mean item scores (MIS), and standard deviations (SD). The study revealed an average level of sustainability literacy with a composite mean score of 3.7102 and a mismatch between SC literacy levels and key sustainability considerations in interior design projects. Additionally, the respondents rated standard SC approaches, legislation, policies, and construction trade associations as the least effective contributors to their current SC literacy levels. On the other hand, informal learning, construction professional associations influence, collaboration amongst firms, and formal learning were largely attributed to the respondent’s SC literacy levels. The implication of the findings was that there is a need to fine-tune SC literacy drives to the peculiarities of the various industry market segments to ensure their effectiveness in informing practice. Additionally, there is a need to leverage standard SC approaches, legislation, policies, and construction trade associations as avenues to improve the overall sustainability literacy levels