Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Critical Evaluation of Allowance for Resources Wastefulness in the Construction Industry

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Critical Evaluation of Allowance for Resources Wastefulness in the Construction Industry

Article excerpt


In the construction industry, project site operatives see resources wastefulness as inevitable. Moreover, there is often an absence of appropriate resources to support waste management. This notion makes participants to a project exhibit nonchalantly towards optimising the "nuclear use" construction resources. It is also an important realisation that, these resources, materials, manpower and machinery are not only increasing in cost daily but also becoming increasingly scarce. Previous research has shown that more than 30% of construction resources often end up wasted during the building production process. These emanate the rational to evaluate the issues of 'budgeting for resources waste syndromes' in building industry, and to identify the appropriate measure of achieving optimal utilisation of these resources. This paper identifies the behavioural features of site participants in resources wastefulness and provides an incentive framework for achieving efficient utilisation of construction resources, which include self-fulfilment, belong-ness and appraisal. Adequate implementation of the framework proposed will not only be beneficial to the construction practitioners and researchers, but will also enhance construction sustainability and lean thinking in this building industry-regenerating era.

Keywords: Behavioural features, Building production, Construction resources, Incentives, Waste syndromes

1. Introduction

Teo and Loosemore (2001:271) emphasised, in their "Theory of Waste Behaviour in the Construction Industry", that the management of wastes is perceived as a low project priority; also, there is an absence of the appropriate resources and incentives to support the management. It was identified by Egan (1998), in "the Rethinking Construction Report", that the construction industry as a whole is under achieving, and to achieve its set target, the industry will need to make radical changes in the process through which it delivers its products. Though, the main challenge in resources optimisation problem is to identify the best option towards optimal resource utilisation for each construction activity in the project, from a set of feasible alternatives that may include possible combinations of: construction method, which represents possible construction technologies and materials; team formation, which depicts feasible compositions of construction labour and equipment; and to overtime policy, which describes the length and time of work shifts on site, (Kandii & Khalied, 2006). Hence, to achieve an enhanced radical changes in the construction product delivery, there is a significant need to evaluate the scenarios of Budgeting for resources Waste Syndromes, (BWS) in the industry and to minimise its effects on the construction product.

Budgeting for waste in construction industry imply allowance for wastefulness of materials, machinery, manpower, cost and time, during pre-contract and construction stages of the project. Thus, the inefficient use of labour, materials, plant and equipment is usually due to the proactive believe that waste has been built into the resources during production information preparation, specification writing and construction cost budgeting. This is seldom the case resulting in predominant losses of time and cost during construction process. In Constructing Excellence (2003; 2006), it was explained that wastes due to motion, transportation, repetition, overproduction and defects will never add value to construction products. However, the majority of construction wastefulness stems not only from to bad workmanship, inadequate supervision, improper planning or poor organisation of a site, but usually because of the concept of pre-notion that wastage is normal. These beliefs often makes the construction participants exhibit nonchalant attitude to resources utilisation.

Among the critical factors identify by Fapohunda et al. (2006) that hinder construction site managers in efficient resources utilisation based on syndromes of "budgeting for wastes' of construction resources in the industry are: the provision or allowance of resources for wastage; envisage that wastes will occur during the construction stage; the intrinsic perception of the construction participants on the production information and the belief that wastes has been built-in into the resources' specifications, estimated quantity, and construction costs. …

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