Too many construction projects go over budget and are not completed on schedule. Both of these can have a drastic impact on the overall economics of a project. The lack of design innovation and construction efficiency is the primary cause of these problems. Even in the second millennium, there is significant room for improvement at a project planning phase that if appropriately addressed could ensure greater sustainability of most projects.
The current method of “Design – Construction” within a single organization may not necessarily consider all the outcomes at the end of construction and handover to operations. In fact, sometimes newly built facilities do not serve communities and stakeholders as planned. This is often because from the very beginning suppliers and vendors are asked to deliver their scope of work at the lowest cost without much consideration for what is best for the lifetime and socio-economics of the project.
A small initial investment in a “Sustainability Study” by an objective team of experienced professionals to review the project profile, before the designers turn on the computers or the shovels hit the ground, will pay dividends during the construction and operation of the project. This is the essence of “Sustainable Development”. Saving Changes...
It always comes down to what the primary constraint is for a project. If that's cost, then all stakeholders have to accept that scope & quality might take a back seat. However, as Vincent says, even if cost is a constraint, embracing agile principles and values is one way to reduce the gap between the needs & wants of stakeholders and what was delivered.