Overcoming the Social and Psychological Barriers to Green Building
Andrew John Hoffman
University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Erb Institute
September 1, 2008
Ross School of Business Working Paper No. 1106
Organization & Environment, 21(4): 390-419.
The green building movement has made tremendous achievements in the past decade. Technological advances in building systems and materials have made revolutionary possibilities in reducing the environmental impact of buildings. Economic achievements in price reductions have made these advances more feasible. And yet, adoption of green buildings within the construction and design fields remains low. The strongest barriers to a more rapid deployment of green buildings are now psychological and social. This paper surveys the form of these barriers, discussing them on three levels - individual, organizational, and institutional. The paper concludes with two categories of strategies for overcoming them: as entrepreneurial opportunities and a challenge for change. In this latter category, seven specific strategies are elaborated: issue framing, targeting the right demographic, education, structural and incentive change, indemnifing the risk, green building standard improvements, and tax reform.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 47
Keywords: Green building, social barriers, psychological barriers
JEL Classification: M14, N60, O31, O33
Date posted: May 21, 2008 ; Last revised: April 24, 2009
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