Frontiers of Engineering Management

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 313–326 | Cite as

Built environment and management: exploring grand challenges and management issues in built environment

  • Liang Wang
  • Xiaolong XueEmail author
  • Rebecca J. Yang
  • Xiaowei Luo
  • Hongying Zhao
Review Article


Engineering management research objects have gradually been transformed from micro-scale projects to macro-scale built environment. Built environment has driven the advancement of civilization through human history. From the Stone Age to the modern era, built environment, which refers to manmade surroundings, has provided the setting for human activities. Built environment has undergone developments and evolution processes as civilization grew. Today, technological advancements cause influences of built environment to encompass every aspect of life, as material, spatial and cultural products of the human labor force, which combines material factors and energy in a lively way of work and in forms. However, the concept of built environment remains unclear. Built environment faces a major challenge, such as the use of science and technology to solve key national and global issues. Thus, the definitions of built environment were systematically reviewed and summarized from different perspectives and levels to address these issues. The grand challenges of built environment, including climate change and energy consumption, urbanization and infrastructure construction, growth, and innovation, were summarized. Furthermore, the corresponding management issues and future development strategies were proposed to solve identified challenges of built environment.


built environment innovation sustainability resilience urbanization digitalization infrastructure 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aboelata M J, Mikkelsen L, Cohen L, Fernandes S, Silver M, Parks L F (2004). The Built Environment and Health: 11 Profiles of Neighborhood Transformation. Oakland: Prevention Institute, 6–9Google Scholar
  2. Acemoglu D (2008). Introduction to Modern Economic Growth. Princeton: Princeton University PresszbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Amaratunga D, Haigh R, Malalgoda C, Keraminiyage K (2017). Mainstreaming Disaster Resilience in the Construction Process: Professional Education for a Resilient Built Environment. Project Report. University of HuddersfieldGoogle Scholar
  4. Arkin H, Paciuk M (1997). Evaluating intelligent buildings according to level of service systems integration. Automation in Construction, 6(5–6): 471–479Google Scholar
  5. Atack J, Bateman F, Haines M, Margo R A (2010). Did railroads induce or follow economic growth? Urbanization and population growth in the American Midwest, 1850–1860. Social Science History, 34(2): 171–197Google Scholar
  6. Attar R, Glueck M, Prabhu V, Khan A (2010). 210 King Street: a dataset for integrated performance assessment. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Spring Simulation Multiconference (SpringSim’10), San Diego, USAGoogle Scholar
  7. Avetisyan H, Skibniewski M, Mozaffarpour M (2017). Analyzing sustainability of construction equipment in the state of California. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(2): 138–145Google Scholar
  8. Baetz B W, Korol R M (1995). Evaluating technical alternatives on basis of sustainability. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 121(2): 102–107Google Scholar
  9. Barkema H G, Chen X P, George G, Luo Y D, Tsui A S (2015). West meets east: new concepts and theories. Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 460–479Google Scholar
  10. Berardi U (2012). Sustainability assessment in the construction sector: rating systems and rated buildings. Sustainable Development, 20(6): 411–424Google Scholar
  11. Bettencourt L M, Lobo J, Helbing D, Kühnert C, West G B (2007). Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(17): 7301–7306Google Scholar
  12. Bijker W E (1997). Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Toward a Theory of Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  13. Bosher L, Carrillo P, Dainty A, Glass J, Price A (2007). Realising a resilient and sustainable built environment: towards a strategic agenda for the United Kingdom. Disasters, 31(3): 236–255Google Scholar
  14. Bowley M (1960). Innovations in Building Materials: an Economic Study. London: Gerald DuckworthGoogle Scholar
  15. Bowley M (1966). The British Building Industry: Four Studies in Response and Resitance to Change. London: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  16. Brown R E, Willis H L (2006). The economics of aging infrastructure. IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, 4(3): 36–43Google Scholar
  17. Brundtland G H (1987). Report of the world commission on environment and development: our common future. United Nations DocumentsGoogle Scholar
  18. Bruneau M, Reinhorn A (2007). Exploring the concept of seismic resilience for acute care facilities. Earthquake Spectra, 23(1): 41–62Google Scholar
  19. Bruneau M, Chang S E, Eguchi R T, Lee G C, O’Rourke T D, Reinhorn A M, Shinozuka M, Tierney K, Wallace W A, von Winterfeldt D (2003). A framework to quantitatively assess and enhance the seismic resilience of communities. Earthquake Spectra, 19(4): 733–752Google Scholar
  20. Bushby S T (1997). BACnetTM: a standard communication infrastructure for intelligent buildings. Automation in Construction, 6(5–6): 529–540Google Scholar
  21. Cannella A A Jr, Jones C D, Withers M C (2015). Family-versus lone-founder-controlled public corporations: social identity theory and boards of directors. Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 436–459Google Scholar
  22. Carlson C, Aytur S, Gardner K, Rogers S (2012). Complexity in built environment, health, and destination walking: a neighborhood-scale analysis. Journal of Urban Health, 89(2): 270–284Google Scholar
  23. Cawthon N, Moere A V (2007). The effect of aesthetic on the usability of data visualization. In: Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Conference Information Visualization (IV’07), Zurich, Switzerland: IEEE, 637–648Google Scholar
  24. Chang S E, Shinozuka M (2004). Measuring improvements in the disaster resilience of communities. Earthquake Spectra, 20(3): 739–755Google Scholar
  25. Chen G, Chittoor R, Vissa B (2015). Modernizing without westernizing: social structure and economic action in the Indian financial sector. Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 511–537Google Scholar
  26. Chen H, Su Q, Zeng S, Sun D, Shi J J (2018). Avoiding the innovation island in infrastructure mega-project. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 5(1): 109–124Google Scholar
  27. Chen Z, Clements-Croome D, Hong J, Li H, Xu Q (2006). A multicriteria lifespan energy efficiency approach to intelligent building assessment. Energy and Building, 38(5): 393–409Google Scholar
  28. Couch C (2016). Urban Planning: an Introduction. London: Red Globe PressGoogle Scholar
  29. Crane P, Kinzig A (2005). Nature in the metropolis. Science, 308(5726): 1225Google Scholar
  30. Crowe N (1997). Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World: an Investigation into the Evolutionary Roots of Form and Order in the Built Environment. Cambridge: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  31. Davies A, Tang P, Brady T, Hobday M, Rush H, Gann D (2001). Integrated Solutions: the New Economy Between Manufacturing and Services. Brighton/London: SPRU/CENTRIM/Imperial College/EPSRCGoogle Scholar
  32. de Vries M (1997). Smart structures and materials. Optical Engineering, 36(2): 616Google Scholar
  33. Ding L, Xu J (2017). A review of metro construction in China: organization, market, cost, safety and schedule. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(1): 4–19Google Scholar
  34. Dodgson M, Gann D M, Salter A J (2002). The intensification of innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 6(1): 53–83Google Scholar
  35. Doyle M W, Stanley E H, Havlick D G, Kaiser M J, Steinbach G, Graf W L, Galloway G E, Riggsbee J A (2008). Aging infrastructure and ecosystem restoration. Science, 319(5861): 286–287Google Scholar
  36. Dulac J (2013). Global Land Transport Infrastructure Requirements. Paris: International Energy AgencyGoogle Scholar
  37. Ekelund Jr R B, Hébert R F (2013). A History of Economic Theory and Method. 6th ed. Long Grave: Waveland PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Fulmer J (2009). What in the world is infrastructure. PEI Infrastructure Investor, 1(4): 30–32Google Scholar
  39. Gandy M (2005). Cyborg urbanization: complexity and monstrosity in the contemporary city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29(1): 26–49Google Scholar
  40. Gann D M (2003). Guest editorial: innovation in the built environment. Construction Management and Economics, 21(6): 553–555Google Scholar
  41. Gann D M, Wang Y, Hawkins R (1998). Do regulations encourage innovation? The case of energy efficiency in housing. Building Research and Information, 26(5): 280–296Google Scholar
  42. Greve H R (2008). A behavioral theory of firm growth: sequential attention to size and performance goals. Academy of Management Journal, 51(3): 476–494Google Scholar
  43. Habraken N J, Teicher J (2000). The Structure of the Ordinary: Form and Control in the Built Environment. Cambridge: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  44. Hamedani A Z, Huber F (2012). A comparative study of DGNB, LEED and BREEAM certificate systems in urban sustainability. In: Pacetti M, Passerini G, Brebbia C A, Latini G, eds. The Sustainable City VII: Urban Regeneration and Sustainability. Cambridge: MIT Press, 121–132Google Scholar
  45. Hargadon A, Sutton R I (1997). Technology brokering and innovation in a product development firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(4): 716–749Google Scholar
  46. Hassler U, Kohler N (2014). Resilience in the built environment. Building Research and Information, 42(2): 119–129Google Scholar
  47. Heinimann H R, Hatfield K (2017). Infrastructure resilience assessment, management and governance—state and perspectives. In: Linkov I, Palma-Oliveira J M, eds. Resilience and Risk. Dordrecht: Springer, 147–187Google Scholar
  48. Holling C S (1973). Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 4(1): 1–23Google Scholar
  49. Howard-Grenville J, Buckle S J, Hoskins B J, George G (2014). Climate change and management. Academy of Management Journal, 57(3): 615–623Google Scholar
  50. Huang G, Wang J, Chen C, Guo C, Zhu B (2017). System resilience enhancement: smart grid and beyond. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(3): 271–282Google Scholar
  51. Hughes T P (2005). Human-Built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago PressGoogle Scholar
  52. Huy Q N, Corley K G, Kraatz M S (2014). From support to mutiny: shifting legitimacy judgments and emotional reactions impacting the implementation of radical change. Academy of Management Journal, 57(6): 1650–1680Google Scholar
  53. Jones D A, Willness C R, Madey S (2014). Why are job seekers attracted by corporate social performance? Experimental and field tests of three signal-based mechanisms. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2): 383–404Google Scholar
  54. Judd S (2008). We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us. Dementia, 7(2): 163–165Google Scholar
  55. Kaklauskas A, Zavadskas E K, Ditkevicius R (2006). An intelligent tutoring system for construction and real estate management master degree studies. In: Luo Y, ed. Cooperative Design, Visualization and Engineering. Heidelberg: Springer, 174–181Google Scholar
  56. Kaklauskas A, Zavadskas E K, Naimavicienė J, Krutinis M, Plakys V, Venskus D (2010). Model for a complex analysis of intelligent built environment. Automation in Construction, 19(3): 326–340Google Scholar
  57. Khan A, Hornbæk K (2011). Big data from the built environment. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Research in the Large, Beijing, China: ACMGoogle Scholar
  58. Kibert C J (1999). Reshaping the Built Environment: Ecology, Ethics, and Economics. Washington DC: Island PressGoogle Scholar
  59. Kua H W, Lee S E (2002). Demonstration intelligent building: a methodology for the promotion of total sustainability in the built environment. Building and Environment, 37(3): 231–240Google Scholar
  60. Kwon S W, Adler P S (2014). Social capital: maturation of a field of research. Academy of Management Review, 39(4): 412–422Google Scholar
  61. Laurance W F, Clements G R, Sloan S, O’Connell C S, Mueller N D, Goosem M, Venter O, Edwards D P, Phalan B, Balmford A, Van Der Ree R, Arrea I B (2014). A global strategy for road building. Nature, 513(7517): 229–232Google Scholar
  62. Lee W L (2012). Benchmarking energy use of building environmental assessment schemes. Energy and Building, 45: 326–334Google Scholar
  63. Levitt R E (2007). CEM research for the next 50 years: maximizing economic, environmental, and societal value of the built environment. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 133(9): 619–628Google Scholar
  64. Lewis P (1979). Axioms for reading the landscape. Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes, 23: 167–187Google Scholar
  65. Liddle B (2014). Impact of population, age structure, and urbanization on carbon emissions/energy consumption: evidence from macro-level, cross-country analyses. Population and Environment, 35(3): 286–304Google Scholar
  66. Lin H, Zeng S, Ge S, Chen Y (2017). Can the bullet train speed up climate change mitigation in China? Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(1): 104–105Google Scholar
  67. Ling W (2015). Exploration and practice in systems engineering management of large coal-based integrated energy projects of Shenhua. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 2(2): 173–177Google Scholar
  68. Ling W (2016). Synergetic management theory for coal-based energy engineering and the engineering practice of Shenhua. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 3(1): 1–8MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  69. Mao Y H, Li H Y, Xu Q R (2015). The mode of urban renewal base on the smart city theory under the background of new urbanization. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 2(3): 261–265Google Scholar
  70. March J G (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1): 71–87MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  71. Marquis C, Huang Z (2010). Acquisitions as exaptation: the legacy of founding institutions in the US commercial banking industry. Academy of Management Journal, 53(6): 1441–1473Google Scholar
  72. Maslow A H (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4): 370–396Google Scholar
  73. McClure W R, Bartuska T J (2011). The Built Environment: a Collaborative Inquiry into Design and Planning. Hoboken: John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  74. Medjdoub B, Chalal M L (2017). Impact of household transitions on domestic energy consumption and its applicability to urban energy planning. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(2): 171–183Google Scholar
  75. Ochoa C E, Capeluto I G (2008). Strategic decision-making for intelligent buildings: comparative impact of passive design strategies and active features in a hot climate. Building and Environment, 43(11): 1829–1839Google Scholar
  76. Omer A M (2008). Renewable building energy systems and passive human comfort solutions. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 12(6): 1562–1587Google Scholar
  77. O’sullivan A, Sheffrin S M (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice HallGoogle Scholar
  78. Pauleit S, Duhme F (2000). Assessing the environmental performance of land cover types for urban planning. Landscape and Urban Planning, 52(1): 1–20Google Scholar
  79. Penrose E T (1959). The Theory of the Growth of the Firm. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  80. Perry W, Broers A, El-Baz F, Harris W, Healy B, Hillis W D (2008). Grand Challenges for Engineering. Washington DC: National Academy of EngineeringGoogle Scholar
  81. Pérez-Lombard L, Ortiz J, Pout C (2008). A review on buildings energy consumption information. Energy and Building, 40(3): 394–398Google Scholar
  82. Philbin S P (2015). Applying an integrated systems perspective to the management of engineering projects. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 2(1): 19–30Google Scholar
  83. Pinch T J, Bijker W E (1984). The social construction of facts and artefacts: or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. Social Studies of Science, 14(3): 399–441Google Scholar
  84. Reinecke J, Ansari S (2015). When times collide: temporal brokerage at the intersection of markets and developments. Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 618–648Google Scholar
  85. Renalds A, Smith T H, Hale P J (2010). A systematic review of built environment and health. Family & Community Health, 33(1): 68–78Google Scholar
  86. Rogers E M (2010). Diffusion of Innovations. 4th ed. New York: Simon and SchusterGoogle Scholar
  87. Roof K, Oleru N (2008). Public health: Seattle and King County’s push for the built environment. Journal of Environmental Health, 71(1): 24–27Google Scholar
  88. Sahely H R, Kennedy C A, Adams B J (2005). Developing sustainability criteria for urban infrastructure systems. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 32(1): 72–85Google Scholar
  89. Sawalha I H S (2015). Managing adversity: understanding some dimensions of organizational resilience. Management Research Review, 38(4): 346–366Google Scholar
  90. Schumpeter J A (1982). The Theory of Economic Development: an Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle. Piscataway: Transaction PublishersGoogle Scholar
  91. Shah H, Nowocin W (2015). Yesterday, today and future of the engineering management body of knowledge. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 2(1): 60–63Google Scholar
  92. Shi J J, Zeng S, Meng X (2017). Intelligent data analytics is here to change engineering management. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(1): 41–48Google Scholar
  93. Shipworth M, Firth S K, Gentry M I, Wright A J, Shipworth D T, Lomas K J (2010). Central heating thermostat settings and timing: building demographics. Building Research and Information, 38(1): 50–69Google Scholar
  94. Shneiderman B (2008). Extreme visualization: squeezing a billion records into a million pixels. In: Proceedings of the 2008 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, Vancouver, Canada: ACMGoogle Scholar
  95. Spiegel H W (1991). The Growth of Economic Thought. Durham: Duke University PressGoogle Scholar
  96. Stern N, Peters S, Bakhshi V (2006). Stern Review: the Economics of Climate Change. London: HM TreasuryGoogle Scholar
  97. Tang J Q, Heinimann H R (2018). A resilience-oriented approach for quantitatively assessing recurrent spatial-temporal congestion on urban roads. PLoS One, 13(1): e0190616Google Scholar
  98. The World Bank (2015). World Bank Open Data. The World Bank GroupGoogle Scholar
  99. Townsend A M (2013). Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia. New York: W. W. Norton & CompanyGoogle Scholar
  100. US Energy Information Administration (2015). Annual Energy Outlook 2015. US Energy Information AdministrationGoogle Scholar
  101. von Hippel E, Katz R (2002). Shifting innovation to users via toolkits. Management Science, 48(7): 821–833Google Scholar
  102. Wang C, Rodan S, Fruin M, Xu X (2014). Knowledge networks, collaboration networks, and exploratory innovation. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2): 484–514Google Scholar
  103. Wang S H M (2016). Sustainable program quality management of international infrastructure construction. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 3(3): 239–245Google Scholar
  104. Wang S, Gang W (2017). Design and control optimization of energy systems of smart buildings today and in the near future. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(1): 58–66Google Scholar
  105. Whitford V, Ennos A R, Handley J F (2001). “City form and natural process”—indicators for the ecological performance of urban areas and their application to Merseyside, UK. Landscape and Urban Planning, 57(2): 91–103Google Scholar
  106. Whyte J, Sexton M (2011). Motivations for innovation in the built environment: new directions for research. Building Research and Information, 39(5): 473–482Google Scholar
  107. Wilson W H (1994). The City Beautiful Movement. Baltimore: JHU PressGoogle Scholar
  108. Wong J K, Li H, Wang S W (2005). Intelligent building research: a review. Automation in Construction, 14(1): 143–159Google Scholar
  109. Woodgate G, Redclift M (1998). From a ‘sociology of nature’ to environmental sociology: beyond social construction. Environmental Values, 7(1): 3–24Google Scholar
  110. Wu J, Zhou Y, Aberer K, Tan K L (2009). Towards integrated and efficient scientific sensor data processing: a database approach. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Extending Database Technology: Advances in Database Technology, Saint Petersburg: ACMGoogle Scholar
  111. Wyrick D A, Myers W (2016). Strategic project management to use the grand challenge scholars program to address urban infrastructure. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 3(3): 203–205Google Scholar
  112. Yang H, Zheng Y, Zaheer A (2015). Asymmetric learning capabilities and stock market returns. Academy of Management Journal, 58(2): 356–374Google Scholar
  113. Zhang B Z, Guo H D, Yang C X, Wang L (2016). Research on evaluating the efficiency of the project financing of the energy service company. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 3(3): 252–257Google Scholar
  114. Zhao Y, Wang S Q, Zhu K C (2015). Green innovation for urban traffic. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 2(1): 35–38Google Scholar
  115. Zielinski S (2007). New mobility: the next generation of sustainable urban transportation. Bridge, 36(4): 33–38Google Scholar
  116. Zou P X, Alam M, Phung V M, Wagle D, Stewart R, Bertone E, Sahin O, Buntine C (2017). Achieving energy efficiency in government buildings through mandatory policy and program enforcement. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 4(1): 92–103Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liang Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaolong Xue
    • 3
    Email author
  • Rebecca J. Yang
    • 4
  • Xiaowei Luo
    • 5
  • Hongying Zhao
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Architecture and Civil EngineeringXiamen UniversityXiamenChina
  2. 2.School of ManagementHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  3. 3.School of ManagementGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Property, Construction and Project ManagementRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Department of Architecture and Civil EngineeringCity University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations