The Assessment of Municipal Services: Environmental Efficiency of Buildings Construction

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Isabel Horta
Ana Camanho
Teresa Galvão
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This paper develops an innovative methodology to assess municipal performance concerning the environmental efficiency of new buildings construction, focusing on the consumption of different types of materials. This study aims to support local governments in the definition of policies for improvements in service provision based on the results of a benchmarking study. The methodology developed includes two stages. The first step concerns the evaluation of municipal environmental efficiency using Data Envelopment Analysis and the identification of factors that may explain different levels of performance. The second step enables the classification of municipalities in terms of the efforts required to achieve environmental efficiency. For this purpose, we used clustering analysis, namely the k-means algorithm. To illustrate the methodology developed, we analyzed the data of the major materials used in the construction of new buildings (metals, non-metallic minerals, fossil fuels, and biomass) in the municipalities of Lisbon metropolitan area between 2003 and 2009. The study revealed that the environmental efficiency of new buildings construction varies considerably among municipalities, suggesting a high potential for performance improvement.