Adopting Environmentally Sustainable Practices in Interior Design in Sri Lanka

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Abstract

Although a building’s interior is the “three-dimensional enclosed space” that facilitates a healthy and comfortable environment for humans, a traditional interior design approach will not necessarily focus on human welfare, energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental pollution, indicating a relatively backward approach. Thus, Environmentally Sustainable Interior Design (ESID) practices are gaining ground in the world with increased attention paid to environmental responsibility. However, ESID practices are yet to be widely adopted in the construction industry because of the various barriers that exist to their implementation. This research aimed to identify the adoptability of ESID practices in Sri Lanka. The study, which involved an interpretive stance, used a qualitative approach. The empirical data required for the study were collected using semi-structured interviews conducted with seventeen experts. The interview findings, which were analyzed using manual content analysis, revealed cost, time, education and knowledge, collaboration among the parties, materials, clients, lack of governmental support, risks, laws and regulations, procurement and tendering, marketing, rating methods/tools, and contextual factors as the major barriers encountered when putting ESID into practice. Reducing the taxes on sustainable materials, increasing public awareness, conducting continuous professional development sessions, increasing collaboration, enhancing governmental involvement, empowering relevant governing and professional bodies, amending rating methods, facilitating research and development, and including the ESID concept in education curriculums were among the measures proposed to overcome the barriers encountered.