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The reduction of waste and loss of construction material begins by specifying a budget to buy equipment needed to manage materials properly at a construction site.

The necessary equipment may involve tools to cover and protect fragile materials, strong standing areas for material storage area and site access, pallets to store formworks, scaffold fittings, drainage fittings, etc.

A successful construction manager, if equipped with the right tools, can reduce waste and loss of materials. Lousy management would lead to loss and waste of construction materials and eventually in economic loss. In summary, controlling materials and good site layout planning are essential to manage construction materials efficiently.

How to Reduce Waste and Loss of Materials at Construction Site?

1. Prepare Tools for Materials Management

Appropriate storage and handling of materials are keys to reduce waste and loss of construction materials. Several tools and machinery are required to store and handle materials. A list of necessary tools has been presented below. The list has no end and may vary from one project to another.

  • Provide strong standing areas for site access and material storage areas.
  • Prepare tools to protect and cover components from detrimental weather influences.
  • Prepare storage area for materials to store frames, pipes, windows, formwork, scaffold fittings, drainage fittings, sheeting, etc.
  • Handle materials with loaders or lifter on to the loading platforms.
  • Tarpaulin sheets for covering plasterboards.
Provision of Good Site and Equipment to Store Materials
Fig. 1: Provision of Equipment to Store Materials
Storing and Protecting Materials at Construction Site
Fig. 2: Storing and Protecting Materials at Construction Site
Colored Barrier Used to Determine Site Access (Excellent Practice)
Fig. 3: Colored Barrier Used to Determine Site Access (Excellent Practice)

2. Prepare Construction Site

Prepare construction sites for the ingress of the material, before ordering materials, to avoid messy construction sites and consequently prevent waste and loss of materials.

The Construction Site is not Prepared before Delivering Materials, and Concrete Blocks Placed near the Side of Excavation that Caused Collapse of Trench Walls
Fig. 4: The Construction Site is not Prepared before Delivering Materials, and Concrete Blocks Placed near the Side of Excavation led to the Collapse of Trench Walls
Well Planed Construction Site in which Construction Materials Stored in an a Good Order
Fig. 5: Well-Planed Construction Site where Construction Materials are Stored in an Orderly way

3. Ordering Materials

The construction manager should practice utmost care to avoid over-ordering since it creates an untidy construction site, and may cause material loss.

Overordering the prevention of materials like insulation materials, faced or rubbed stonework, plasterboard linings, and cladding trims is a must. Overordering increases the expenses for the constructor because these materials demand a certain cost when it comes to delivering and disposing of.

Unorganized Storage Area, Which mostly Occur at the end of the Project, Due to Over-ordering of Materials
Fig. 6: Unorganized Storage Area, often found at the end of the Project, due to Over-ordering of Materials

4. Flexible Layout Plan

The flexibility of the layout plan is essential because different materials are brought to the site as the construction progress.

If the site layout is flexible, then it would have the capacity to accommodate the changes that are being made during the progression of construction work.

Well Planned and Flexible Construction Site; Scaffold planks and Tubes are Close to Erection Area, and Other Materiasl are Placed in Open Boxes
Fig. : Well-planned and Flexible Construction Site; Scaffold planks and Tubes are Close to Erection Area, and Other Materials are Placed in Open Boxes

5. Separate Waste Materials from Site

The separation of waste materials from the construction site is common in major projects. Use skips to separate water materials form the project site. Sometimes, waste materials can be recycled. Go for recycling.

Pile of Various Mixed Waste of Construction Materials Created Mess Which Could have been Prevented by Putting Them into Containers
Fig. 8: Pile of Various Mixed Waste of Construction Materials Created Mess Which Could have been Prevented by Putting Them into Containers
Separation of Waste Materials From Construction Site; Good Construction Practice
Fig. 9: Separation of Waste Materials From Construction Site; Good Construction Practice

FAQs on How to Reduce Waste and Loss of Construction Materials at Construction Site

?How to Reduce Waste and Loss of Construction Materials at Construction Site?

Provision of necessary tools for storing materials, preparing construction sites before ordering materials, planning flexible site layout, and separate waste materials from construction sites can reduce loss and waste of construction materials.

?Why is loss and waste of construction materials a problem?

The waste and loss of materials lead to the increase expenses both when the materials are delivered and disposed.

?How to control waste at a construction site?

The placement of waste materials into skips and containers and then recycling materials that can be recycled is a good practice to control wastes.

?How does a good site layout contribute to the reduction of loss and waste of construction materials?

A well-planned site layout helps easy access to site and good storage for construction materials as the construction work progress. Good site layout avoids chaos and mistakes at construction sites which sometimes lead to the delay in construction work.

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Madeh Izat Hamakareem

Madeh Izat Hamakareem

EDITOR
Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.

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