Moderating Influence of Uncertainty on the Adoption of Green Building Practices in Response to Climate Change – Determining Green Building Practice Institutionalization in the Residential Construction Industry




Mark, Larissa

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The Earth’s climate is changing, largely due to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity. The building industry, like all manufacturing and construction industries, contribute to climate change through land-use changes, influencing transportation and product development and use. The residential construction industry has been a staple in the United States economic market for decades. The industry provides millions of jobs and homes across the nation. The industry is fragmented and composed mostly of several small-specialized businesses, filling specific niches. When there is perceived environmental and regulatory certainty surrounding the decisions made by construction firms, builders construct homes traditionally based on regulatory compliance and consumer demands. With such a limited scope of influence, a majority of the industry continues to develop homes in the same manner for generations. While such builders update the type of technology employed during the construction process, the method of construction has not. This has prevented many from voluntarily updating their operating standards and method of construction. Increasingly the American Society is paying more attention to greenhouse gas emissions released during the creation of goods and services. This increased awareness, and subsequent demands for greener products and services, has led to environmental and regulatory uncertainty in many industry sectors across the country. As a result, stakeholders today are better able to exert influential pressure on the residential construction industry to adopt green building practices and practices. While resistance is ever present, increasingly the residential construction industry is adopting practices that result in more efficient homes. There are several factors and internal values that influence the adoption and institutionalization of firm practices and values. This research focuses specifically on the type of stakeholder that is most influential to adopting green building practices and the degree to which the influence alters firm behavior. Uncertainty, in this study, did not exert a significant influence on stakeholder pressure. Instead financial incentives provided by public and private entities most significantly influence the institutionalization of green building practices in the residential construction industry independent of the presence of uncertainty. This study also determined that as the number of annual projects goes up, the adoption of green building practices among firms go down.



Green building, Climate change, Residential construction, Stakeholder theory, Institutional theory, Uncertainty