Social Dimension of Sustainability: A Least Investigated Criterion for Built Environment Assessment Tools

  • YEAR
    Ramineni, Keerthi Priya
    Ang, Susan
    Shuchi, Sarah
    2020 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Design and Environment Science, Urban Science
    Conference Papers


Sustainability has driven built environment discourse increasingly in the last decades since the twentieth century. Expectations for buildings and built environment to be ‘sustainably measurable’ have increased. There has been a growth of development and introduction of built environment assessment tools, implemented as a measure of how ‘sustainable’ the built environment is, alongside inherent complexities of readily quantifiable indicators as well as less easily qualifiable indicators. This paper raises questions of how assessment tools are aligned with the myriad of diverse and dynamic scenarios of a rapidly changing built environment. Now, more than ever, exists the need to explore one of the least, if not the least considered criterion of sustainability in the built environment, the social dimension, and its critical inclusion in built environment assessment tools. The research study evaluated current available built environment assessment tools and the associated underpinning sustainable frameworks. The findings indicated there was a measure of aspiration and regard for this criterion which left room for a dedicated investigation for the incorporation and integration of social impact considerations. Exploring the ways in which social dimensions sit in fields other than built environment provided valuable reflection and ways forward for built environment assessment tools to be more holistically sustainable in its measurement approaches.

Keywords: Social dimension; built environment; assessment criterion; sustainability.


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