Awareness and significance of sustainable development (SD) has been growing around the world for the last few decades. Sustainable construction is now considered a way for the construction industry to contribute to this larger effort. It is clear why the construction industry must respond accordingly and focus its attention on developing more sustainable buildings - not least because of its huge size, the vast amount of resources it consumes and its major impact on the built and natural environments. This research work therefore aims to examine the concept of sustainability, investigate the costs related to producing sustainable buildings and the relationship that exists between these costs. A review of the literature showed that the concept of sustainability is broad but the economic, social and environmental aspects, which are inextricably linked, remain the three fundamental pillars of sustainability. Initial construction cost (IC), cost-in-use (CIU) and carbon cost (CC) were revealed as monetary means of appraising economic and environmental criteria. According to the review, social criteria are drivers: subjective and human factors, which affect the other two factors, directly or indirectly. It is concluded that inverse relationship often exists between IC and CIU but the movement of CC in relation to this is still unknown, being a new concept. Further stage of the research work will explore this grey area and consequently model through quantitative analysis the relationship that exists between IC, CIU and CC
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