Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title





School of Business and Law / Centre for Innovative Practice




Kiani Mavi, R., Gengatharen, D., Kiani Mavi, N., Hughes, R., Campbell, A., & Yates, R. (2021). Sustainability in construction projects: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 13(4), article 1932.


This paper aims to identify the major research concepts studied in the literature of sustainability in construction projects. Two bibliometric analysis tools—(a) BibExcel and (b) Gephi, were used to analyze the bibliometrics indices of papers and visualize their interrelations as a network, respectively. Therefore, a research focus parallelship network (RFPN) analysis and keyword co-occurrence network (KCON) analysis were performed to uncover the primary research themes. The RFPN analysis clustered the studies into three major categories of evaluating sustainability, project management for sustainability, and drivers of sustainable construction. The KCON analysis revealed that while each paper had a different focus, the underlying concept of all clusters was sustainability, construction, and project management. We found that while ‘sustainability’ was the leading keyword in the first cluster, i.e., evaluating sustainability, it was the second top keyword with the eigenvector centrality of over 0.94 in the other two clusters. We also found that the concept of sustainability should be included in construction projects from the early stages of design and feasibility studies and must be monitored throughout the project life. This review showed that previous researchers used a variety of statistical and mathematical techniques such as structural equation modelling and fuzzy decision-making methods to study sustainability in construction projects. Using an integrated approach to identifying the research gaps in this area, this paper provides researchers with insights on how to frame new research to study sustainability in construction projects.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research Themes

Natural and Built Environments

Priority Areas

Environmental management, governance and policy