Multi-criteria sustainability risk management for post-war residential re-construction: the case of Damascus

Lina Adib Khaddour, Wu Deng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Syrian conflict nine years of destruction have had catastrophic influence on the built environment. Post-war Residential Re-construction Projects (PRRP) have been one of the most challenging and controversial responsibilities. PRRP play vital role in building back to better level of sustainability, mitigating risks and resilience, providing housing for traumatised displaced people while coping with the war consequences. Hitherto, more sustainable PRRP are found to be riskier for construction professionals compared to traditional projects. Sustainability Risk Management (SRM) can be a challenging mission where multiple interrelated criteria exist. This research is set to identify and assess sustainability risks associated with more sustainable PRRP in Damascus and to understand how the Syrian construction professionals perceive these risks. The research study enhances a survey and interviews’ findings to develop a multi-criteria SRM framework that can be perceived as a decision-support tool to assess sustainability risks in Damascus PRRP. The survey revealed that while the sustainability risk categories weightings are 38%, 24%, 39% for economic, environmental and social risks respectively, the overall response categories weightings are 44%, 31%, 25% for economic, environmental and social responses respectively. The top five risks found are: expenses exceed anticipated, absence of sustainable technology, delays in planning for alternative social homes, unclear allocation of responsibilities and lack of qualified professionals. The interviews looked beyond the current prevailing approaches to sustainability risks while assessing the proposed multi-dimensional conceptual framework. The research framework enhances interrelatedness in management principles among: sustainability assessment, RM and multi criteria decision making in the post-war context. These findings are significant as this is the first-hand experience gathered from Damascus PRRP. It symbolises a turning point in Syrian construction; from traditional to sustainable housing, which will positively influence construction companies’ sustainability awareness in reconstruction process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1982
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • Build back better
  • Post-war
  • Reconstruction
  • Residential buildings
  • Risk management
  • Sustainability
  • Syria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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