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Barriers To The Adoption Of Environmentally Sustainable Design Methods In Residential Buildings. The Architects’ And Building Owners’ Perspectives In Four Nigerian States

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posted on 29.06.2021, 20:17 by Tamaraukuro Amasuomo

This thesis investigates Nigerian architects’ and building owners’ perceptions of Environmentally Sustainable Design Methods (ESD) to identify barriers preventing ESD adoption for providing thermal comfort and energy efficiency in Nigerian residential buildings. Most of the surveyed architects and building owners agree on the problem of thermal discomfort in Nigerian residential dwellings. However, the results show that architects and building owners opt for non-sustainable methods for addressing this problem. This study aims to understand why architects and building owners are choosing non-sustainable methods. To achieve this aim, the study investigates barriers preventing the widespread adoption of ESD in Nigeria to understand why ESD is not generally adopted as a preferred solution for addressing the problem of thermal discomfort.

The thesis reports on a three-stage evaluation of current barriers to environmentally sustainable design methods in four Nigeria states (Lagos, Abuja, Rivers, and Bayelsa) and concludes by providing basic ways through which ESD could be adopted for ensuring thermal comfort and energy efficiency. A mixed-method research approach was utilised due to its robustness in addressing the research objectives. Stage 1 involved the distribution and analysis of questionnaires from 130 architects; stage 2 undertook semi-structured interviews with 21 architects; stage 3 undertook the distribution of questionnaires to 142 building owners and a visual physical examination of their respective buildings. The results showed that the barriers preventing the adoption of ESD in Nigeria include: a lack of technological development, cost of building construction and operation, public perception, poor governance, and most importantly, a lack of knowledge on the means of adopting ESD. The results from the interview with architects on the main obstacles to ESD showed that a lack of knowledge had the highest citing of 85%, poor governance a citing of 66%, economic factors 57%, and social factors 52%, respectively. These figures were similar to the results from the building owner’s survey.

Given the lack of knowledge on adopting ESD, the thesis provides an explicit but straightforward set of ESD strategies that would add to the existing body of knowledge on ESD, resolve the lack of knowledge, and make ESD easily applicable. It is recommended that the Nigerian government and related institutions set a clear strategy for educating the public on the benefits and means of adopting a pro-sustainable culture. This strategy would include highlighting the importance of environmental protection and ESD, the possible environmental and health implications of environmental degradation, and the long-term economic benefits of sustainable design. Such a strategy should include a structured system of information dissemination through formal and informal mediums such as public campaigns and social media to reach a wide-ranging audience. The research findings identify the range of possible barriers preventing the attainment of a sustainable environment in Nigeria and other countries with similar issues. They also form the basis for an action plan.


Advisor 1

Potangaroa, Regan

Advisor 2

Petrovic, Emina

Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre of Building Performance Research

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture