CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractConstruction projects often involve numerous decision-making activities during the design and operation phases. The decision-making process in the construction industry sometimes does not follow an organized manner, and often, decisions are made without having any systematic approach. An important element of a construction project is to select the most preferred building material. The construction operation process is known for its high energy intensity and negative environmental impacts on surrounding areas. Therefore, a quest for sustainable and value-generating building materials has long been overdue. This study proposes a multicriteria decision-making framework called Choosing by Advantages (CBA) to analyze some critical success factors associated with the decision-making process of a novel building material called mass timber. Mass timber is a sustainable and environmentally friendly building material, which has gained wide acceptance in European construction market. However, in the US, the majority of the construction practitioners are hesitant to use mass timber as a mainstream building material. This study aims to bridge the knowledge gap on mass timber and implement a decision-making framework to evaluate the constructability factors of mass timber in comparison with the two most traditional building materials in the US: concrete and steel. A questionnaire survey was distributed among the US construction practitioners experienced with all three materials. The outcomes of the study suggested that concrete is currently the most preferred and value-generating building material in the US construction industry based on eight predefined critical factors. Although mass timber is not the most preferred material for now, it has strong potential to be the most preferred building material in the future. The outcomes of the study will be helpful for the industry stakeholders to analyze the prospect of mass-timber building materials in the US construction industry. Furthermore, it will strengthen the decision-making process of construction operations.



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