The Assessment of Municipal Services: Environmental Efficiency of Buildings Construction

  • Isabel M. Horta
  • Ana S. Camanho
  • Teresa G. Dias
  • Samuel Niza
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 247)


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.


Municipal services Public sector Buildings Data envelopment analysis Clustering 



The authors are grateful to Leonardo Rosado from Chalmers University, Gothenburg, for compiling some of the data used in this study. The authors also acknowledge the financial support of the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) through iTEAM project (MIT-Pt/SES-SUES/0041/2008) and MeSUr project (PTDC/SEN- ENR/111710/2009).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabel M. Horta
    • 1
  • Ana S. Camanho
    • 1
  • Teresa G. Dias
    • 1
  • Samuel Niza
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculdade de EngenhariaUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Superior Técnico - Universidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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