Impacts of e-commerce on construction materials procurement for sustainable construction

14 Jun 2018

Sustainable building construction has become essential in the construction industry with the aim of satisfying the present and future needs of construction stakeholders. Selection and procurement of appropriate materials that satisfies the principles of sustainability is paramount in construction. To this end, the traditional method of materials procurement has been found to be inefficient considering the increased innovations and diversity of materials available for construction. This paper explores the implementation of Ecommerce especially e-procurement as a strategy for improving the process of materials procurement in the South African construction industry. This study obtained data quantitatively through questionnaires administered to 150 construction professionals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. A total of 93 responses were retrieved and analysed. Findings indicated: building cost reduction, enhanced environmental protection and enhanced implementation of government policies as benefits of sustainability in materials procurement towards sustainable building production. However, eprocurement implementation during materials procurement are hindered by (a) lack of awareness, (b) resistance to change, (c) high cost of installation and operation and (d) internet fraud. Given the benefits and impacts of e-commerce, adequate implementation of these findings should proffer a suitable strategy in addressing the challenges of materials procurement towards sustainable building construction.