Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Planning, Design, and the Built Environment

Committee Member

Vincent Y Blouin

Committee Member

Dina Battisto

Committee Member

Joseph Burgett

Committee Member

Anastasia Thyroff


This research examines barriers to the adoption of green building materials and technologies in developing countries, using the case of Burkina Faso. Developing countries understand the need to incorporate sustainability as part of their national agenda; however, their ability to implement it is hampered by actual and/or perceived barriers. To gain insight on these barriers, this study solicited perceptions from various stakeholders from the design and construction field in Burkina Faso. The barriers explored in this research are grouped into the following five categories as defined in the literature: (1) government, (2) human, (3) knowledge and information, (4) market, and (5) cost and risk. A mixed method sequential exploratory design using both quantitative (i.e., online questionnaire) and qualitative (i.e., semi-structured interview) tools was carried out.

In the quantitative phase, descriptive and inferential analysis was employed to identify the most prevalent barriers within the five categories in Burkina Faso. In the qualitative phase, data was gathered from interviews and archival data, and inductive analysis was used to develop interpretive themes and explanatory concepts.

The findings from the two phases identified 31 barriers to the adoption of green building materials and technologies, with 14 barriers specific to Burkina Faso itself. These barriers were either confirmed by the literature or identified as specific to Burkina Faso.

Findings were compared to the existing literature from the United States of America as a representative of developed countries to help anticipate how to avoid barriers as Burkina Faso develops its built environment.

From the understanding of the barriers, guidelines were developed, which are the first step to initiate changes in policies and practices aimed at increasing green design and construction in Burkina Faso, and in West Africa in general.



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