The importance of the construction industry for the three elements of sustainable development, namely economic growth, social progress and effective protection of the environment, cannot be disregarded. This paper aims to evolve a conceptual framework for implementing sustainability principles and strategies to the construction industry from a life-cycle perspective to contribute to sustainable development. The framework relies on three basic principles, which are resource management, life-cycle design and design for human and environment. Following a literature review, each principle involving strategies and methods to be applied during the life cycle of construction projects is explained and a few case studies are presented for clarity on the methods. The framework, offering tools for stakeholders of the construction industry, also aims to help to develop the most appropriate assessment tool, which is based on the priorities of critical conditions. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.