Evaluating the Barriers to Entry for non-conventional Building Materials

Written by esba

To achieve broader acceptance by the construction sector, novel and innovative materials and technologies often have to overcome a variety of market barriers. To evaluate attitudes to nonconventional materials and technologies in the UK, sixty-two construction professionals were surveyed on their opinions and views, how often these materials are used, and what influences their specification and use in building projects. Survey data have been analysed using qualitative techniques influenced by grounded theory to form an understanding of the construction industry and non-conventional building materials. Initial findings suggest that the most important barriers to market acceptance are high costs, lack of technical knowledge, and lack of client understanding. Proposed solutions suggested include increasing client and designer awareness through case studies, and knowledge sharing with professional with previous experience with non-conventional materials and legislative incentives.

Authors: Watson, Natasha; Walker, Pete; Wylie, Andrew; Way, Celia; Jan 2012

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The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.