Management and environmental sustainability – guidelines for architectural and engineering design firms, Nathalia Paula and Silvio Melhado
Purpose: The objective of this paper is to draw up management guidelines on environmental sustainability for architectural and engineering design firms.
Design/methodology/approach: The paper is derived from a research experience between 2010 and 2018. That experience comes from three source sets: Management Development Program for Design Firms from the Research Line of Management Design, Department of Civil Construction Engineering, University of São Paulo in Brazil; papers including a doctoral thesis; and literature review. Revisiting and investigating processes were conducted by research questions, resulting in lessons learned, management difficulties and guidelines.
Findings: The guidelines were drawn up from a strategic sphere, understanding internal and external factors to the firm, diagnosis of the firm's management and sustainability, a building sustainability plan, implications of the plan for management processes, plan monitoring and control and plan evaluation.
Research limitations/implications: The studies were mostly conducted in Brazil, and one of them in the USA. Other studies could be carried out in other countries comparing findings or implementing the guidelines.
Practical implications: The findings will provide feedback to Management Development Program for Design Firms (PDGEP) in the action research method. Moreover, the knowledge about firm's capabilities can advance understanding of architectural and engineering (AE) design firm management as support for sustainability, performance and building information modeling (BIM).
Originality/value: Architectural and engineering design firms are hardly discussed; design is treated in the building project context, giving prominence to technical solutions, not to management ones.
Keywords: Design firm; Design office; Management process; Sustainable design; Sustainable construction; Small and medium-sized enterprise.
Citation: de Paula, N. and Melhado, S. (2021), "Management and environmental sustainability – guidelines for architectural and engineering design firms", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 662-689. https://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-12-2020-0161