Improving project collaboration to minimise the energy performance gap in residential construction
: case study of Kurdistan

  • Hazhar Mohammed Ameen Faris

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Residential buildings consume a significant amount of energy. Researchers have indicated that deficiencies during project delivery stages are some of the reasons for a gap between the designed and actual performance of buildings in terms of energy consumption. Competing relationships and fragmentation in the construction industry are highlighted as principal causes for this underperformance. Collaboration has been demonstrated as a solution to these challenges in the construction industry. However, collaborative environments are still far from effective in developing countries with a lack of research and information available for such countries. This research is undertaken on the residential sector in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Despite that the residential sector is a significant contributor to the economic growth of the region, those projects are not performing as expected regarding energy consumption. Researchers have pointed to lack of collaboration as a primary reason for high energy consumption in the residential sector.
To investigate and explore these challenges, this research uses a systematic enquiry, utilising quantitative and qualitative methods. This thesis aims to explore these challenges, by reviewing literature and investigating construction practices to better quantify those factors that underlie collaboration. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted to identify the most critical factors. Then, a questionnaire was used to survey the opinions of practitioners, analysed through Exploratory Factor Analysis. Six factors were identified: project vision, participant behaviour, communication, relationship definition, contractual agreements and systematic process. The factors were used to develop a framework that aims at improving collaboration in the Kurdistan region in order to minimise the energy performance gap. The framework was validated using interviews with construction experts. The developed framework explains the process of delivering collaboration in the form of a set of tasks distributed over a project’s lifecycle. These tasks must be accomplished to ensure collaboration between practitioners throughout the project lifecycle. Since there was an absence of studies that investigate improving collaboration in the residential sector in the Kurdistan region, this research significantly contributes to the scarce literature on construction projects in the region. Additionally, the study has a practical contribution by providing a framework that could be implemented to enhance collaboration and minimise the gap between the designed and actual performance of residential buildings in the Kurdistan region, and other countries at a similar stage of development.
Date of AwardJan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorMark Gaterell (Supervisor)

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