|Consumers’ Consciousness for Sustainable Consumption and Their Perceptions of Wooden Building Product Quality
|Charlotta Harju, Katja Lähtinen
|Forest Products Journal
Wood products are seen globally as an important solution to substitute nonrenewable materials in the construction sector to enhance the life cycle sustainability of buildings. Globally, the most prominent opportunities for sustainability change in housing production lie in multistory residential buildings, which are built mainly of concrete, steel, and bricks. The possibilities of achieving multiple benefits from the use of wood in multistory residential buildings have gained interest among scholars, especially in the 2000s. However, the research has been dominated by views of production (especially construction processes), while scientific knowledge of consumption (especially the occupational phase of buildings) remains very limited. Information about how consumers with differing views of sustainable consumption evaluate the quality of wooden building materials particularly is scarce. This study aimed to investigate consumer perceptions of wooden building product quality and examine how the perceptions connect with consumers’ consciousness for sustainable consumption (CSC). The research data were gathered in 2018 by a postal survey sent to 1,000 people living in Finland (response rate 25.6%) and analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and the Mann-Whitney U test. According to the results, respondents’ views of wooden building product quality indicators can be grouped into three factors: technical advantages, environmental sustainability of materials, and social benefits at home. The strength of CSC was found to be linked with respondents’ views of wooden building product quality. The results of consumers’ CSC views help actors involved in the wood and construction industries better meet consumer expectations both for different aspects of sustainability and for lifestyles.