Evaluation of sustainability innovations in the construction sector

Juho-Kusti Kajander

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


The climate change mitigation market offers huge business opportunities for new construction services and products that improve sustainability in the built environment. In spite of the opportunities provided by sustainability, the construction sector is slow in producing innovations. Earlier studies suggest that the evaluation of innovation is a critical stage of the construction innovation implementation process and a major capacity development area for the whole sector. The aim of this research is to examine the evaluation of sustainability innovations in the construction sector as well as demonstrate managerial practises for the evaluation of sustainability innovations for construction companies.The research utilizes a mixed-method research strategy. Both quantitative and qualitative data is collected and analysed with qualitative and quantitative methods to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the reseach topic. The study analyses sustainability innovations in the construction sector by using empirical data from innovation and construction projects. This dissertation finds that construction companies can evaluate sustainability innovations by investigating their potential monetary benefits and makes the following proposals: (i) Construction companies should evaluate sustainability innovations together with clients and value networks to systematically manage the development and adoption of sustainability innovations; and (ii) construction companies can demonstrate the monetary benefits of sustainability innovations to shareholders with the event study method, and the benefits to clients and tenants with real option analysis. This dissertation presents and tests two new tools that construction companies can use to evaluate sustainability innovations.Overall, this study contributes to the literature on construction innovation and to its practice by examining the evaluation of sustainability innovations in the construction sector. It does so by investigating the evaluation of sustainability innovations in construction projects and in the context of business management. Moreover, the present study demonstrates new managerial tools for the evaluation of sustainability innovations, i.e., event study and real option analysis. The research experiences of the present study indicate that real option analysis has major potential as a tool for design target setting in construction projects, which represents a very interesting avenue for future research. More research is also needed to develop and to validate the use of the demonstrated tools for the evaluation of sustainability innovations in different empirical settings and with larger data sets. Finally, future research should establish a practical innovation evaluation theory for construction managers.
Translated title of the contributionKestävää kehitystä edistävien innovaatioiden arviointi rakennusalalla
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Junnila, Seppo, Supervising Professor
  • Junnila, Seppo, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6957-9
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6956-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • construction innovation
  • evaluation
  • decision-making
  • real option analysis
  • event study


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