System Formwork In Construction Industry Construction Essay

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In the 9th Malaysia Plan, the construction sector was the only sector that recorded a positive growth during every quarter of 2009. So that, the construction sector have growth 5% in 2009, and subsequently 8.7% for the first quarter of 2010 as against the overall GDP growth of 10.1% during the first quarter of 2010. (Shaziman, 2010) It was within this scenario that the construction industry act as the momentum to economy, improve the standard of living and create job opportunity to the countries.

The construction industry in particular has been known among the main consumers of resources and energy. Nevertheless, the construction by nature is not a friendly activity to the environment. It creates serious environmental problems with deadly consequences such as air pollution, water pollution, landslides, flooding and many others. Moreover, the construction industry also reported generating unacceptable levels of construction wastage. A report published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE 1996) indicates that over 500 million tonnes of construction waste are generated each year. Landfill space is becoming scarce and the cost of tipping materials is very high and rising. (Cooke & Williams, 2004)

Conventional construction encompasses traditional forms of construction for structural load-bearing elements which fabricated on-site. It typically consists of reinforced concrete, brickwork and or structural steel. The conventional construction has the advantages of easy transportation of wet concrete. It is flexible in any shape of design and on-site adjustment can be arranged easily provided carpenter is available. The disadvantages of the conventional construction is it fabricated in an 'unprotected' environment, additional time is required for the curing process, and it requires more temporary works and space to store the construction materials such as timber, steel, cement and many others.

Cast in-situ system formwork is a system which consists of the table form and tunnel form construction method. These construction methods are technically to all type of building construction and it can increase productivity and quality of work through the use of better construction machinery, equipment, materials and extensive pre-project planning. The objective of cast in-situ system formwork method is to eliminate and reduce the traditional site-based trades like traditional timber formwork, brickwork, plastering and reduce labour content, in order to speedy construction, low maintenance, durable structure and low cost.

In Malaysia, even through cast in-situ system formwork construction is not new and have many published on the subject. Nevertheless, conventional construction seems the main choice of the contractors in the construction industry. At a time of financial difficulty when competition is fierce, any construction method which can get better savings that can be achieved must be the first choice of the clients and contractors.

Rationale of Study

Some degree of waste of material is inevitable in the construction process; all Quantity Surveyors will allow wastage when pricing a bill of quantities. Experience shows, however, unless the management of control material is very strict, material wastage can frequently exceed with a huge amount.

Generally in the conventional construction, the contractors will make sure all the construction activities are carry on fast and smoothly to prevent any delay of construction period and earning more profit in the project. Despite the contractors need to speed up the construction progress, but they cannot lack of attention to the material wastage on site. Whereas the cast in-situ system formwork, it has the advantages over the conventional construction that include speedy construction, low maintenance, durable structure and low cost.

Since the trend of adopt the cast in-situ system formwork in Malaysia has been growth, it is believed that this study will contribute to various project participants in the future. Besides that, this study will help to reduce material wastage in the construction industry and various methods of waste prevention will be discussed. And, it is suitable for them to refer and choose a suitable construction method to manage the material waste and achieve a desirable profit.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this study is to investigate the construction wastage in construction industry. In order to achieve the aim of the study, there are three objectives established as follows:

To determine the types of material wastage;

To identify the causes of construction waste;

To establish the waste prevention methods in construction for conventional and cast in-situ system formwork.

Scope of Study

Scope of research determined to facilitate the literature research, by focusing on certain field in literature research and data collection process. The research covers:

Research area involved in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Collect data on the materials wastage generated in construction building.

Focus on materials waste between conventional and table formwork and tunnel formwork.


In fact, there are some of people not familiar with the table form and tunnel form system so that will consider this is a new technology in construction industry. Moreover, they probably associate table form and tunnel form are only used for limited sector of construction project such as multi-storey building. For this reason, the usage of table form and tunnel form system is uncommon for local construction industry compared to conventional construction.

Therefore, this may affect the respondents to respond the questionnaire because they lacked of knowledge and experiencing in the table form and tunnel form system. In addition, they also lack of opinion about the problems encountered by the conventional building system.

Research Methodology

The research methodology is an essential part for the researcher to know the ideal methodologies in order to meet the aim and objectives of this study. In this study, the researcher will collect information from reference books, and journal articles to introduce some theories regarding to material wastage between conventional and cast in-situ system formwork. Moreover, internet sources also a part of the research methodology for the researcher to get the latest updated information of construction waste issues.

In order for the researcher to get some practical information from the construction industry, the data collection can be collected by using mail questionnaire. To strengthen the finding of the survey and to assist in providing more information about building material wastage, the case study was also conducted in this research. The method and detail on this data collection, location, and analysis will be explained in more detail in chapter 3 and 4.

Chapter Outline

Chapter 1

Introduce the area being investigated for this study. These are the background of the relevant material wastage level in construction industry, rationale of study, aims and objectives, scope of study, limitation and research methodology.

Chapter 2

Define the comparison between conventional and table form and tunnel form system in term of definition of waste, types of waste material, causes of construction waste, waste prevention methods in Malaysia and others country, materials wastage level between conventional and cast in-situ system formwork and conclusion.

Chapter 3

Explains the method of research for this study included the research strategy, method of data collection, the technique to analysis the collected data and conclusion.

Chapter 4

Discuss of the interpretation and analysis of the results obtained from the survey research and findings from the case study.

Chapter 5

States the conclusion and recommendation of the entire study.



Building materials are the materials which used for construction purposes. It is an important input into the site production process which will affect the construction projects finish in the time specified with the required specification. Any attempt to quantify the materials in term of costs would come to the realization that they contribute a significant proportion towards the total construction costs. Due to the building materials contribute a significant proportion towards the total construction costs and consist of various types of material in different quantity, thus the building materials must be controlled by applying a strategic and systematic material management.

The construction industry by nature is not an environmental friendly activity. It creates serious environmental problems with deadly consequences and generating unacceptable levels of material wastage. Unacceptable levels of material wastage will increase the construction costs and lower the profit margin. Any projects which do not have a workable and efficient material management will face the material wastage problems.

Definition of Waste

Under the United Kingdom's Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 90) Section 75 stated that waste includes any substance which constitutes a scrap material, an effluent or other unwanted surplus arising from the application of any process or any substance or article which requires to be disposed of which has been broken, worn out, contaminated or otherwise spoiled. It means that the construction waste consists of unwanted material produced directly or incidentally by the construction industry.

The wastage of construction materials can be classified into two types, which are direct and indirect material waste. Direct waste consists of the loss of those materials, which damaged and could not be repaired and subsequently used, or lost during the building process. By contrast, indirect waste normally occurs when the materials were not lost physically and it represented only a monetary loss.

In the other term, the definition of waste in Lean Production paradigm described it as a concepts related to process and operation. Process refers to the flow of activity form one worker to another worker; whereas operation is an activity taken by worker such as the worker transforms the raw material to finished product or walking to another location to get parts (Shingo, 1988).

Womack and Jones (1996) describe waste are related to the human activity which absorbs the time, resources or place but works with no value to the product, such as the process steps that are not needed, production of items that completed but not comply with the instruction, workers waiting for instruction and so on.

Types of Waste Material


Timber as describes wood which has been cut for use as structural material for construction. The majority used of timber in construction sites are in formworks during casting the structural elements. According to Waste Online (2006), timber waste form construction is produced in large amount all over the world. In the UK, it is estimated that each year up to 750,000 tonnes of timber waste is produced by construction and demolition.

Timber possesses many advantages that make it a popular building material. It is relatively inexpensive, high load capacity and lightweight material that is easy to cut, shape and join by relatively cheap and simple hand or power operated tools in the production of structural elements or formworks. The timber can be cut and shaped to producing any unique and complex forms of concrete structures. However, the timber has the disadvantages of low durability and reusability cause the timber one of the high wastage material.


Steel are referring to the reinforcement used in reinforced concrete and reinforced masonry structures. It is very important in the construction giving ridges for better frictional adhesion to the concrete. Concrete are strong in compression but weak in tension and contrary the steel are strong in tension and weak in compression. However, the operative's ability to measure the lengths of steel to obtain the most economical cuts is very important and condition of steel while storing must take into account to prevent serious rusting because steel is relatively expensive compared to other materials and the wastage of steel material will cause a significant impact on the project cost.


Concrete is a building material composed of cement as well as other cementitious material such as course aggregate, fine aggregate, water and chemical admixtures. Concreting works is a major building process for structural elements and most of the works are made from ready-mixed concrete. However, the concrete also one of the high wastage material caused by loss attributed to excessive material ordering, overtime of concrete, broken formwork and redoing due to poor concrete placement quality.


Brick is a building material made from clay, calcium silicate, and concrete. The standard size of brick is 215mm x 102.5mm x 65mm and there are so many types of bricks such as common brick, facing brick, and engineering brick. Masonry works is the building process to enclose and protects a building or serves to divide buildings into compartments or rooms. However, the brick also one of the waste material caused by loss attributed to excessive material ordering, carelessness off-loading and handling due to the fragile characteristic of the material and redoing due to poor bricklaying workmanship.

Causes of Construction Waste

In generally, waste will occurs on site for a number of reasons, it resulting from all stages of building process starting from the design stage until the handover of the projects. There are many factors contribute to the generation of material wastage no matter direct or indirect wastage. The factors which cause the material wastage in a project were identified in four major sources as shown in Table 2.1: (1) design, (2) procurement, (3) material handling, and (4) operational. (Ekanayake & Ofori, 2000)

Table 2.1: Sources and causes of construction waste


The most often causes occur during the design stage are the designers pay less attention to the dimensional coordination of products and the standard sizes available in the market. It may resulted the standard sizes available in the market cannot fit with the designed sizes and the workers have to cut the materials to suit the designed sizes. Following causes happened in a construction project is the changes of the design made by the client and the designer while construction. These may caused the previous works done has to be aborted and also resulted huge of material wastage in that project.

The complexity of detailing in the drawings and specification are usually make the project participates confused and improper planning. Due to the complicated of the assembly process stated in the specification and the lack of knowledge and experience by the workers may lead to the material wastage in the construction project.


The material wastage of a construction project during procurement is involved to both of materials suppliers and the contractor or subcontractor. During the procurement stage the most often causes are incorrect taking-off and scheduling of materials, material ordering errors, supplier's error and others. According to Illingworth (2000), such situations generally start with incorrect taking-off of materials. If material over measure, where the quantities have been ordering is delivered, it will cause huge of material waste. If under ordering, waste can be created by delay to the contract. This shows that incorrect requisitioning and ordering of materials will lead to the material wastage in construction industry.

A specification can be amended in construction industry to regulate the use of recycled materials as hardcore in foundations, sub-base in road pavement and concrete in less technically demanding works. There are many different materials can be recycled with a different technique. For example, concrete aggregate collected form demolition sites are put through a crushing machine, often along with bricks, dirt and rocks. Smaller pieces of concrete are used as gravel for new construction projects. Crushed recycled concrete can also be used as dry aggregate for brand new concrete if it is free of contaminants.

As a conclusion, raw data will be collected by using interview survey and the methods of analyzing the raw data will be descriptive statistics method. In addition, the researcher will collect the data from two case studies of construction projects with each using conventional and cast in-situ system formwork construction method. The material wastage level of these two types of construction method will be evaluated and analyzed as a result in this research study.