Control And Reducing Construction And Demolition Waste Construction Essay


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The construction industry is facing a challenging problem of looking for landfill sites for construction and demolition (C&D) waste. Construction and demolition waste has become one of the major environmental problems. With the demands in implementing major infrastructure projects in Malaysia, together with many commercial building and housing development programmes, a huge amount of construction waste is being produced by the construction sector. There is also relatively large portion of the materials being wasted because of lack of consideration given to waste reduction during the planning and design stage and poor material control on building sites. There are two main kinds of building construction waste, structure waste and finishing waste. Thus, it is also directly increase the capacity of the landfill. The survey focused on the waste rates and causes of the most dominant materials influencing the projects' costs. The main objective of that study was to analyses the main causes of material waste in the building industry in order to propose guidelines for controlling it in construction field. To accomplish this goal, quantitative survey method is used to collect primary data by using both questionnaires and interviews.

Keywords: Construction and demolition waste, environmental problems, poor material control, material waste, landfill


Construction and Demolition waste management has become one of the major environmental problems in many municipalities (Lawson and Douglas, 2001). It is generally known that there is a huge amount of the materials being wasted due to the poor material control on building site. Based on the Global Environmental Centre estimate, amount of the construction waste in Malaysia will rise to 30,000 tonnes by the year 2020. Thus, problem of material wastage is not an isolated issue on construction site, it is also an environmental concern. That is why those local authorities apply the legislation to control the landfill problem. Besides that, there are two main kinds of building construction waste which is structure waste and finishing waste. Those Concrete fragment, reinforcement bars, abandoned timber plate and pieces are generated as structure waste during the course of construction. Finishing waste is generated during the finishing stage of a building. In recent years, wastes in construction industry have been concerned by major country.

1.1 Background of study

According to Global Environment Centre in Malaysia, there show year 2010 Malaysia produces approximately 25,600 tonnes of waste in daily. About 7.34 million tones of wastes were generated, it enough to fill up 42 buildings the same size as Petronas Twin Towers. In this situation, government's target for 22 percent waste minimization and recycling still far to reach because now only around 5 percent waste recycled in Malaysia.

Also, the environmental impact of construction is also felt in terms of pollution. This is not in the extraction but in the processing of materials for construction. And again, not surprisingly, the construction industry has the biggest effect of all sectors because of the quantity of materials used in construction and cause uncontrollable for the construction waste.

1.2 Problem Statement

Government had launched recycling programme since year 2000, but at he year 2010 the construction waste only around 3 to 5 percent being recycled. Other than that, construction waste in our country keeps increasing and the problem become serious. It also affects our country's economic growth result from National Economic Advisory Council in year 2010.

To solve these problems, the only way is to come out some solutions or strategy to control the waste and reduce the severity of the global warming and economic problem will face in our country.

1.3 Research Aims and Objectives

The aim of study is to identify the causes of material waste on construction site and the researchers were responsible for site visit and interview site staff in order to collect further information that could help the analysis of causes and the identification nature of the waste detected. Besides that, the research purposes also explore ways to avoid or reduce material wastage for future building project. The study will address the following objectives:

- To compare formwork waste in residential project between two construction site.

- To investigate the causes of material waste on construction site.

- To identify the strategy and method between two construction site use to reduce construction waste.

1.4 Research Methodologies

To ensure the validity and accuracy of this dissertation, I will collect the data from case study and interview.

The research that I am conducting is a basic research, which intends to find out the causes of construction waste, and the ways to prevent construction waste. I am going to collect data through communication with the staff in the construction company, which can request one of their residential projects's drawing to do calculation. Besides that, I also will tell them my purpose is to collect information regarding the quantities of formwork they using by taking their 'Delivery Order' softcopy. After collect those data I will compare two construction companies waste in formwork and further study these company's strategy, and the reason cause the construction waste by measurement method. In addition, I will conduct face-to-face interview with at least one of the company's project manager for communicate to assist my thesis and listen his opinion in reduce and method to control construction waste. The results of interview will be summarized and type-written in essay form, which will be included in my report.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Definition of construction & demolition waste

Consequences of high levels of waste in both reducing the future availability of materials and energy, and creating unnecessary demands in the transportation system. Waste can be classified in unavoidable waste (natural waste) and avoidable waste. Conclusion waste is an important topic to quantify and analyze despite the lower volumes in comparison with demolition waste because construction waste is more difficult to recycle due to high levels of contamination and a large degree of heterogeneity (Brooks et al. 1994).

2.3 Situation in Malaysia

Construction Industry is one of the main contributors to bring up our countries economic, also provide necessary infrastructure and physical structures for activities such as commercial, services and utilities. Besides that, construction industry also creates a lot of opportunities for foreign and local investor to invest those projects. However, the opposite of these contributions, construction industry also involve to environmental pollution, waste of resources and global warming,

Based on Global Environment Centre estimated, amount construction waste in Malaysia will increase to 30,000 tonnes daily by the year 2020. In another word, Malaysia will face with the challenge of decoupling economic growth and waste generation (National Economic Advisory Council, 2010).

In year 2000, although the government had launched recycling programme and had shown that they take a serious on construction waste problem. Government suggests a higher recycling rate that can reduce the waste generated and also cut the waste management cost. Based on this method, recycling at least 22 percent each year could help the Government save RM 88 million a year (Veeraiah, 2006). Hence, our country expense RM400 million to manage the waste.

According the result, 2010 year only around 3 to 5 percent construction waste recycled. It is still far to reach government's target 22 percent. In recent years, the problem of construction waste has become terrible and depleted the natural resources. Due to the stakeholder in this industry without environment awareness and cause the amount of construction waste keep increase.

2.4 Caused construction waste

Construction waste is usually caused by a combination of events and not due to an isolated factor (Skoyles 1976). Broken raw material like mosaic, tiles, ceramics, paints and plastering materials are wasted because of careless use. There is a very high of waste indices from site to site. Furthermore, the lack of knowledge was an critical causes of waste. Most building firms did not know the amount of waste they had create through the development of the study. Thus, inadequate designs, lack of planning, flaws in the material supply system are those problems causes' wastes. Besides that, major company in Malaysia do not even apply simple procedure to avoid and prevent waste on site, this shown them do not seem to concerned about material waste and do not willing contribute to environmental.

2.5 Prevent and reducing construction waste

Prevention on site is an important issue in the integrated chain management policy in the sustainable construction (The Dutch National 1990). Some country conducted a research on construction waste aimed to reduce the generation of waste in order to reduce the demand for final disposal areas. Reduction of construction waste is not only a responsibility of the construction company, it also need concern by government.

A case study in Ipoh [1] , they discusses the legislation applied by the local authority to control the disposal of construction waste. The authorities direct all construction wastes to be disposed of at the municipal managed by them. However, the recorded quantities are small despite the growing number of construction activities. Thus, a survey also conducted to investigate the present scenario of construction waste disposal in legal and illegal dumping sites. Besides that, awareness that client, designer, and contractor are able to reduce the amount of generated construction waste during a construction project.

2.6 Method and Suggestion to Reduce and Control the Situation

A trend in construction field - Labor Intensive will switch to Capital Intensive

Construction waste is very broad, there can be separated to three stages which are design phase, pre-construction phase and facility phase.

In design phase, one of the better solutions to control and reduce the construction waste is good planning in materials usage. Nowadays much country emphasis waste reduction and good planning in materials usage. Nowadays many country emphasis waste reduction and recycle the construction waste to fully utilize and last long our resources, especially Europe, USA and etc. IBS is one of the efficiency method uses in construction industry. Less formwork and false work are used in IBS construction. IBS proved that it is a method to reduce the construction waste as it uses a systematic method and can be reused for repeated type of construction. For example, by using the conventional system whereby timber and nails are involved, the probability of the timber bulging is high, causing uneven surface and wastage increase. Although the cost for IBS construction may he higher than conventional system, causing most industry players to choose conventional method for their project, but in my opinion conventional method require more labor. One of the reason causes construction waste also involve labors false work or careless use materials. As I mentioned, the future construction field will switch to capital intensive from labor intensive. It not only benefits the environmental, it also enhances the productivity to assists more construction using less time to complete the projects.

In the pre-construction phase, the better ways to reduce and control waste is reuse and recycle materials. An article that I read show that how Derwen technology contribute to the construction industry and also become a trend for others construction firm to follow their technology to recycle their materials and get more profit from there at the same time. Derwen Construction's aggregate recycling plant is unique to Wales and the UK. Derwen's technology provides the construction industry with the perfect solution to major environmental challenges, to avoid, minimize, re-use and recycle and divert from landfill, materials that have been considered as waste. Their resource provides a one-stop-shop that dramatically reduces carbon footprint, and increases resource efficiency. Derwen's audited recycling rate for inert waste is 99.1%.

Facility phase is mention that the building is completed but the wastes also included. That is why nowadays green building is a hot topic in construction industry. An interesting news I read "Build the eco-way" by Tan Cheng Li (The Star, Tuesday 4 October 2011). This article talking about "Going passive is the simplest way to make building green" Concept of passive building is to make sure the building does not require much electricity in the first place. In Jakarta, Indonesia, one building was achieved energy saving up to 40% by making its façade airtight. Besides that, in the article also emphasis environmentally preferable building materials are those that are fabricated with less energy and have recycled content or are made from renewable resources while at the same time function as well as existing materials.

Construction materials consisting of recycled content include drywall (uses recycled paper and post-industrial gypsum), plastic lumber (uses plastic waste), clay roof tiles (uses factory rejects) and glass tiles (uses waste glass). Metals such as steel and aluminum also have high recycled content due to expensive virgin materials.

Working Programme and Timetable

Tasks to be completed

Year 1 Semester 2

Year 2 Semester 1

Year 2 Semester 2

































Proposal handout given






























Topic selection






























Literature review






























Background / Introduction






























Objectives & Questions






























Scope of study






























Significant of study






























Submission of proposal






























Meet with supervisor & finalize topic






























Reasons to recycling/reducing C&D waste adoption






























Factors of causes C&D waste adoption






























Strategies to control and reduce C&D waste






























Construct structured questionnaires






























Sending out questionnaires






























Conducting interview






























Analyze interview outcome






























Analyze questionnaires outcome






























Conclusion & Recommendations






























Complete 1st draft






























Make good & improvement






























Final draft






























Submission of thesis






























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