Theorizing the path dependencies and hierarchical structure of the multidimensional risks in green building projects

Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni*, Zhikang Bao, Sitsofe Kwame Yevu, Mershack Opoku Tetteh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Green buildings are designed, constructed, and operated to reduce the consumption of energy, electricity, water, materials, and natural resources over the whole lifecycle. However, the added sustainability objectives expose green building (GB) projects to additional uncertainties and unpredictable risks. This paper conducted a systematic literature review to identify, categorize, and theorize the chain reactions of various risks in GB projects. Results revealed ninety-six (96) critical risk factors (CRFs) for GB projects. The study derived nine (9) broad taxonomies of the CRFs, including financial, material and equipment, design, technical, stakeholder, management, environmental, legal, and regulatory risks. These taxonomies parade different levels of criticalities based on mean citation scores. The five most persistent taxonomies include design, regulatory, material and equipment, financial, and technical risks. A Pareto analysis revealed sixty (60) vital CRFs for green building projects. The study developed a hierarchical structural model explaining how the various risks influence each other in GB projects. Therefore, this study not only provides a comprehensive list of CRFs, as frame of reference, for researchers and practitioners, but also can inform more efficient resource allocation and introduce novel perspectives for managerial practices in GB projects.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106069
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Early online date10 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023, Elsevier Ltd.. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license - the version of record can be found here:


  • Critical risk factors
  • Green building
  • Green construction
  • Risks
  • Sustainable construction
  • Systematic literature review


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