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The topic for this dissertation is a study on the construction wastes minimization in Malaysia Construction Industry. Nowadays, construction and demolition waste that produced in the site is increasing and becoming larger portion of the waste disposed in Malaysia landfill. This research is selected and carried out mainly due to the waste materials from site have been largely generated and most of the Construction Industries in Malaysia have not been practising by using 4Rs Concept to minimize the waste on site.
This is might cause serious impact to the environment. The construction waste has generated a significant amount of waste to the earth that causes major impact on the global. Therefore, solutions have to be implemented to minimizing the construction waste to reduce the impact of the environment.
Rising disposal costs and reduction in number of landfills create a need to search for alternatives to reduce, reuse, recycle and replace of construction waste being generated. Under this assertion, implementation of construction waste management can be one of the apparent solutions for the industry to minimize waste and waste disposal, ultimately reducing costs incurred during the process and contributing to the global "Environmental-friendly" movement (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010). The construction waste will increase from time to time in during the development of very large projects especially located in Town area. Thus, the necessity of finding appropriate solution to reduce the potential of construction waste been generated.
Nowadays the waste management is not an option anymore but necessary. It must be seriously concerns and implement a useful tool to minimize the construction waste on site. Therefore, Reused and Recycle has been known as one of the best solution to recycle the waste materials into recycled contents and turn into usable materials. Sadly though, our national domestic recycling rate still excurse around a mere five percent (Bernama, 2006). Currently in Malaysia, it is still not much of the construction industry practice of 4Rs Concept. Thus, implementing of 4Rs Concept is one of the methods to solve the material waste to minimize the waste.
According to Yusoff (2010) has apparently stated that wastages affect not only to the environment but also incur extra costs. In Malaysia, there is a huge potential in reuse and recycle of construction waste into alternative materials that is usable in Malaysian Construction industry if implement correctly. This will hopefully bring about construction resurgence (Yusoff, 2010). In many of the developed countries have started to implement reuse and recycle of the construction materials aggressively.
The construction wastes affect not only the environment but also incurred extra cost has been spent on the new material. This is mainly due to maybe the un-used material on site has been damaged and additional cost need to reorder the material. Therefore, there is a need of implementing a good material storage to avoid damaging the material. Other than that, the method of reuse and recycle of waste has been largely used on other developed counties. This means that there are has the huge potential in reuse and recycle of waste material on site in Malaysia. Thurs, implementing 4Rs Concept to reduce the extra cost incur on the unnecessary materials and also reuse and recycle of construction waste in the Malaysian construction industry. This will hopefully minimize the construction waste from being largely generated on site.
It is obviously that most of the construction industries may produce or generate a tremendous amount of debris and also solid waste from sites. These debris and solid waste will leave onto the sites for decades or just dump into the sea that may cause to water pollution not just to our country but also damaging the world. In order to allow construction waste to be minimized, it is either by managing the material properly such as provide a good housekeeping, provide proper material storage and so on or using 4Rs Concept such as reduce, reuse, recycle and replace of material waste on site.
Most of the constructions industries generate lots of debris that can be totally cease because in every construction industry during activities in on going, there will be waste occurred no matter what method used to prevent it. It is depend on how the project management reduce the waste to the minimal.
In Malaysia, majority of the construction industry do not take advantages or practise of using reuse and recycle method and at the end the material abandon on the construction site. Consequently, this will cause increasing of burden on landfill loading and operation on site. Thurs, it is time for Malaysia to start to manage the material properly and also practise using recycle and reused to minimize the material waste on site. Therefore, it is advisable to all construction industries in Malaysia should start to practise 4Rs Concepts in order to minimize the construction waste.
The aim of this dissertation is mainly to carry out study regarding to minimize the construction waste in the construction industry. The Malaysian construction industry should implement several methods to minimize the construction waste material such as provide proper management for the material, reuse and recycle method and so on. Therefore, all the solution should be implementing in all construction industry in order to achieve the aims of this study.
Objectives of Project
To identify the types of waste that can be used to reuse or recycle in construction industry.
To analyse the benefits of construction waste minimization in construction industry.
To give out recommendation on how to overcome the construction waste problem in construction industry.
What are the types of waste that can be used to reuse and recycle in construction industry?
What benefits can the construction waste minimization contribute to the construction industry?
Which types of method can be implemented to overcome the construction waste problem in construction industry?
Background of Study
Nowadays many constructions industries around the world have produced a tremendous amount of waste into this world. Many of the waste produced from the constructions site has been dump on all over the places and it will increase from time to time relatively with development of rural and urban areas if construction industries did not managed them properly. Therefore, construction waste management plays an important role to minimize or control the amount of waste that produce from the construction site.
The Malaysian construction industry has now mainly concerns regarding to the amount of construction waste generated in Malaysia. In many of the developed countries have been using reuse and recycle of construction waste. Therefore, reuse and recycle have been recognised as one of the most workable strategy to control and minimize the waste on site. In most of projects, more than half of the construction wastes are recyclable materials.
There are several authors have been highlighted strategies for waste minimization. One of the strategies that find repeated mention in the literature is the strategy referred to as 3Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle. (Shekdar, 2008; Wang et al., 2008; Kibert and Languell, 2000;Teo and Loosemore, 2001). Therefore, there is a good opportunity to implementing 4Rs concept rather than 3Rs. This is mainly due to the 4Rs Concept is a better and workable strategy that can be used to control and minimize the construction waste.
Scope of Study and Limitation
This research is mainly focusing on the construction wastes minimization in Malaysian construction industry. In this research, a case study of construction wastes minimization in Malaysian construction industry which mainly focusing on cities or town area such as Kuala Lumpur.
Firstly, this research is carry out to ensure whether that the practise of reuse and recycle waste has been implemented in Malaysian construction industries. Besides that, to investigate the current trend of the waste management in Malaysian construction industry in order to find out the waste minimization method that provides smooth flow of process.
Secondly, this research is carrying out by questionnaires to the relevant respondents that have the skills and knowledge regarding to the research topic. Not all respondents has the knowledge that can contribute to the research topic due to not many respondents had the experience and knowledge regarding to the construction waste minimization.
The targets of the respondents are mainly focus on who have the experiences and knowledge regarding to the construction waste minimization in Kuala Lumpur such as contractors, specialists, professionals, project manager, etc.
Contribution of the study
First of all, this research is carried out due to various reasons. The main reason of this research is to reduce the cost of construction material and disposal. Due to this reason less waste will be generated means that a reduced quantity of materials will be purchased and less waste taken to landfill will reduce gate fees for disposal as well. This will improved recovery practices and motivate a sustained change in waste management practise in future. In order to reduce the cost of construction material, reused and recycled construction waste is the best solution to dispose the waste materials in the construction industry.
Secondly, reused and recycled is an economically viable option. Using reused and recycled, the waste materials on site will not be dumped indiscriminately and sent to incinerators of burnt on-site or sent to landfill sites. Contractors could just send the materials to recycling centres. From recycling of construction wastes, contractors could recoup their losses and make a healthy profit out of it. This method is already been used in the United States.
In Malaysia, reused and recycled is still not commonly practise. Therefore, there is much potential to contribute on the market for recycled construction wastes. Therefore, our country not just cut down the landfill sites but also cut down a lot of expenses on construction material to construction industry.
The construction industry produces substantial amount of waste, which is about four times of that produced in households thereby accounting for more than 50 per cent of the waste deposited in a typical landfill (Ferguson et al., 1995; Coventry and Guthrie, 1998). This means the rising of disposal costs and reductions in number of landfills that create a need to seek for other solutions to either reduce, recycle and reuse or providing a good material storage management for the material from being damage and lead to construction waste.
Lastly, the contractors in every construction industry should be practising 3Rs Concept or provide proper training regarding on efficiency of the material storage management. This will hopefully to prevent losses in the construction industry because the amount of construction waste generated is equal to waste of money in the construction company. This research is carried out to investigate the best options to minimize or dispose the waste from the site in order to make the company gain profits.
This research will be focus on the benefits of the construction waste management, the types of waste used to reuse or recycle and the method used to overcome the construction waste in order to minimize the construction waste in Malaysia construction industry.
The stages of the research methodology can divided into 4 stages, which are:
Stage 1 - Literature Review and the Pilot Study
Stage 2 - The Technique of Data Collections
Stage 3 - The Result of Analysis and Findings
Stage 4 - The Conclusion and Recommendation of Data Analysis
Stage 1 - Literature Review and the Pilot Study
The literature review is a critical and in depth evaluation of previous research. The literature review serves to demonstrate and more understanding and knowledge of theoretical and research issues related to research topic. In order to collect information in the literature review, the secondary sources is implement which included journal articles, books, newspapers, magazines, online sources, senior dissertation, etc. Therefore, a comprehensive of literature review regarding to the construction waste minimization in Malaysian construction industry is carry out. These will hopefully providing some useful information in carrying out the research topic in literature review. The literature review act as a guide to discovered more knowledge regarding to the research topic.
Stage 2 - The Technique of Data Collections
Primary source can be collected through case study, questionnaire and interview. These are the effective alternative solution that enables to collect adequate and solid information regarding to research topic. The questionnaire survey technique is chosen to collect the data.
Questionnaire will be the primary data collection which was selected as survey method for this research. The data collection is based on the "open-ended" questionnaires will be given out 20-50 respondents to relevant person who has the experience and knowledge in construction waste management. The questionnaire was designed in several sections and categories, the questionnaires will be distribute to the construction industry companies located in city area of Kuala Lumpur. The target respondents to distribute the questionnaire are mainly focus on the person who has knowledge regarding to the types of waste used to reuse or recycle, the benefits of the construction waste management and the method to overcome the construction waste.
Secondary source can be collected through journal articles and journal review. In this secondary source, carry out study as much journal articles as possible in order to understand and provide help on this research topic. Other than that, other secondary source in including books, newspapers, magazines, internet sources, senior dissertation will also be carried out to conduct this dissertation. The information that has been review or study must relate to the research topic in order to carry out this research efficiently.
Stage 3 - The Result of Analysis and Findings
The data can be collected through surveying in questionnaire method. The structure of the questions is based on the research topic which is minimizing construction waste in the Malaysian construction industry. Approximate 20-50 sets of questions are send to the relevant respondents who has the experience and knowledge with the construction waste minimization. The respondents are mainly targeted on the project manager, specialists, professionals, etc.
After the data of questionnaires has been collected and gathered, the analysis result will be analysed and present into bar charts, pie charts or histogram form with explanations in details regarding to the data collected. Form the data that had been collected, writing up of the content of the dissertation is used in this stage to write up the result of analysis and findings that cover the chapters proposed in every each of the following section.
Stage 4 - The Conclusion and Recommendation of Data Analysis
In this stage, the overall result of the survey is combined and gathered, then come out with the conclusion of the data analysis. After result analyse of the data is taken, recommendation of the data analysis from the survey is suggested regarding to the construction waste minimization in Malaysia construction industry.
The construction wastes minimization in Malaysian construction industry
To identify the types of waste that can be used to reuse or recycle in construction industry
To analyse the benefits of construction waste management in construction industry
To give out recommendation on how to overcome the construction waste problem in construction industry
Technique of Data Collection
(Primary source, Questionnaires)
The Result of Analysis and Findings
A case study about the fire protection system in commercial building
A set of question will be distribute to the commercial building's users to dertermine theier knowledge about fire safety
An interview would be carry out to the fire safety professionalSTAGE 3
Conclusion and Recommendation
Figure 1.1: The Flow Chart of the Research Methodology
Summaries of Chapters
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Research
The Chapter 1 for the project and dissertation is introduction to the research. Under this chapter, the researcher needs to explain to the reader that the reason that choosing the dissertation title and briefly introduce the research title. The research goals for this research also one of the important parts to be included in this chapter. The aim, objectives and hypothesis to be tested for the research title should be clear before start. A research content is a basic requirement to be prepared before proceed to the next stage. This is to brief the whole process of dissertation to the reader before read the content.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Literature review is to introduce the types of materials that can be reuse and recycle in Malaysian construction industry, the construction waste management that may lead benefits to the Malaysian construction industry and recommend on how the construction waste problem can be overcome in Malaysian construction industry. In this chapter, literature review will done by carried out studies on Articles from the internet, online sources, books and journals regarding to the construction waste in Malaysian construction industry, the types of particular waste material that can be used to reuse and recycle in order to minimize the waste in Malaysia and recommend some solution to overcome the problem regarding to construction waste.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
In this chapter will explain about the research methodology used in order to carry out this research. This chapter consists of the scope of this chapter, the statement of the research aim, the rational of questionnaire, research samples and lastly the method of analysis. In the first stage, the principle of waste management that normally manage in Malaysian construction industry. The second stage will be introducing the benefits of waste management that may lead benefits to the Malaysian construction industry. After that, introduce the types of waste material that can be used to reuse and recycle and recommend the most effective ways to overcome the waste problem in Malaysian construction industry. In order to achieve effective and efficient feedback from the respondent, all the design questionnaire should met with all the research objectives.
Chapter 4: The Result of Analysis and Findings
In this chapter will analyse the result from the questionnaire that collected from the relevant respondents. The purpose of this chapter will analyse the data collected and to analyse the information that obtained to charts or histogram from the respondents regarding of that particular title.
Chapter 5: Conclusions and Recommendations
In this chapter will sum up the conclusion and recommendation regarding of the project and dissertation on this research topic. Base on the result that obtained, the researcher should write down the conclusion and recommendation on this research topic. This will conclude all the information obtained and summarise the major conclusion to briefly explain what this research topic is all about.
As a conclusion, a brief introduction has been stated in this chapter regarding to the construction waste minimization in Malaysian construction industry. Besides that, background of construction waste in the industries is reviewed and come out with several factors such as reduce, reused, recycle and replace. Next, problem statement has been stated the problems that face in the current construction industries regarding to the waste, thus 4Rs Concept is implement to minimize the waste. Therefore, the aim and objectives is carried out to determine the research topic. Other than that, the scope of the study has also carried out to come out with the location that the researcher going to focus and what are the targeted respondents. Lastly, research methodology is carried out to determine the method used to collect the data such as primary and secondary sources. After the data collected, analysis of the result will be conducted to analyse the information obtained into charts and histogram.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
In this chapter, literature review is going to carry out in depth study on the overview of the Malaysian Construction industry. After that, introduce the types of waste that normally generated in Malaysia and the method to overcome the construction waste from site in order to minimize the waste produce on site. The process of this is to investigate whether Malaysia construction industry has practise and carried out the 4R Concept in order to minimize the waste on site.
2.2 The overview of the Malaysian construction industry
Figure 2.1: National GDP and Construction GDP of 2006 to 2009
In Figure 2.1 stated that the GDP has constantly increased from 2008 to 2009. This means that the economy is growing in Malaysia. Therefore, Malaysian construction projects are needed to give momentum to the economy to make firm on the Construction GDP. When the economy grows, the standard of living, opportunity for the jobs, economy will increase as well.
Whenever things that has a good side, there will be also a bad side of it. The bad side is that as there are demands of developments in Malaysia, the construction wastes produced will also increase as well. The construction industry will be known as non-environmental friendly industry due to pollution of air, water, sound and land. Other than that, it will also cause natural disasters such as flooding, landslides and so on. This is mainly due to inappropriate construction management and Lack of concern for the environmental consequences of large development projects.
It is believed that the GDP has increase constantly. This shows that the standard of living, opportunity for the jobs, economy is increasing which mean waste generate by the Malaysian construction industry will be also increasing that may lead to pollution such as noise, air, water and land. This may cause to natural disaster such as landslides and flooding. Most of the developed countries such as Kuala Lumpur, they did not concern about the waste that produced to the environment and they just concern about the profit they are going to earn after the project is done.
The construction industry in our country is fast becoming a big waste generator. The extensive building and infrastructure development projects have led to a huge increase of construction and demolition waste recently. With that in mind, the government introduced EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) in 1987 within the framework of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA). Environmental impact assessment (HA) is a legal measure to curb environmental pollution and ecological destruction at the source Environmental review of projects prevents not only environmental degradation, but also construction errors and faulty economic analysis (Yusoff, 2010).
In developed country such as United States, the construction industry has already produced tones and tones of construction waste on site. Whereas, in under develop country such as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is expected that numerous numbers of wastes is going to produce in the Malaysia construction industry. The waste produced in Malaysia will be more than United Stage due to there is more development on-going that cause waste definitely. Recently, the development of building and infrastructures project generates most of the waste due to hacking, dismantling, repairing work. On the other hand, the government also introduce the Environmental Impact Assessment. Environmental impact assessment is a legal measure to stop environmental pollution and ecological destruction at the source Environmental review of projects. It is not just minimizing the waste that generated in Malaysian construction industry but also environmental degradation.
According to Ibrahim (2010) has stated that the construction materials wastage has shown that the costs of materials have been exceeded 50 percent of the construction cost, depending on the type of construction. The main reasons of causing such material wastage due to poor setting out error, workmanship, ordering of materials not meeting specifications and requirement, excessive use of materials, breakage in poor handling of materials and improper planning of storage (Ibrahim, 2010).
This shows that in the construction industry, the percentage of the construction waste produced consist of very high percentage in Malaysia. Therefore it is time for everyone to take into consideration of implementing several ways to minimize the construction waste on site.
Some waste is unavoidable even under perfect conditions of design and construction. But excessive waste is common in the construction process and has received lack consideration by contractors or the industry. The waste levels in Malaysia is considerably high and from the Malaysia Environmental Quality Report 2005 we may find that waste may be generated and treated in many forms. "Based on notification received by the Department of Environment (DOE), a total of 548,916.11 metric tonnes of scheduled wastes were generated in 2005 as compared to 469,584.07 metric tonnes in 2004 (Teoh Su Ping, 2009).
It is surprisingly that the construction material turned up to be construction waste rapidly and gradually increasing from 2004 to 2005. It is just within one year, the waste that generated has gone up rapidly and the volume of the waste is calculated in metric tonnes of wastes which mean the production of waste is very serious in Malaysia. There is a lot of opportunity to improve on waste minimization in Malaysia.
The breakdown according to waste categories and industry types are given in (Figure 2.2 and Figure 2.3 respectively). Of the total wastes produced; 8s5,734.92 metric tonnes (15.6%) were treated and disposed at Kualiti Alam Sdn. Bhd., 8,423.26 metric tonnes (1.5%) were treated and disposed at Trinekens (Sarawak) Sdn. Bhd., 17,650.01 metric tonnes (3.2%) of clinical wastes were incinerated at licensed off-site facilities, 5,224.00 metric tonnes (1.0%) were exported for recovery purposes, 149,569.99 metric tonnes (27.2%) of scheduled wastes were recovered at off-site facilities, an estimated 120,345.25 metric tonnes (21.9%) were treated on-site and 161,968.68 metric tonnes (29.5%) were stored onsite at waste generators' premises. Six land farms and 16 on-site waste incinerators had been licensed by DOE to allow for on-site treatment and incineration respectively." (Malaysia environmental quality report, 2005).
Figure 2.2 DOE: Quality of Scheduled Waste Generated by Category, 2005
(Sources from Malaysia environmental quality report, 2005)
Figure 2.3 DOE: Quality of Scheduled Waste Generated by Industry, 2005
(Sources from Malaysia environmental quality report, 2005)
2.3 The types of waste produced in Malaysia
There are various waste generated in Malaysia industry. The waste can be differentiating as following:
Construction and demolition waste
Commercial and industrial waste
In this research, it is mainly focus on construction and demolition waste that generated in Malaysian construction industry. The construction and demolition waste is accounted as the second highest in Malaysia. Although construction and demolition waste is not the highest waste that produced in Malaysia but construction and demolition is consider quite high in Malaysia.
Figure 2.4 Types of waste produced in Malaysia
2.3.1 Construction and Demolition waste
The construction industry uses a wide of material including lumber or wood, concrete, aggregate, drywall, masonry products, plastic and metal products. In addition, hazardous materials such as paints, solvents, and adhesive are used. Many of these materials eventually become wastes. Typically, up to 10 percent of the materials delivered to a construction site become waste (Magdich, P. 1995).
According to Magdich (1995), it is understandable that the most of the material used in construction industries are normally wood, concrete, aggregate, metal and so on. The construction waste defines as most of these materials only uses 90 percent in the construction and the rest of the 10 percent will be end up wastage on site. The demolition waste defines as waste that generate from the demolition work of the buildings or structures. The component of the construction and demolition wastes differ mainly depend on the mature of the project or activities involved. Table 2.1 shows the major components of the Construction and Demolition wastes.
Concrete / Masonry
Concrete / Masonry
Soil and land-clearing waste
Hazardous waste (solvent / Oils)
Table 2.1: Major Component of Construction and Demolition wastes
(Source from Magdich.P.1995)
Percent (%) By Volume
Masonry and Tile
Plastic and Foam
100The estimated composition of Construction wastes in Malaysia is shown in below Table 2.2 and 2.3.
Table 2.2: Estimated Composition of Construction waste in Malaysia
(Source from Magdich, P. 1995)
Percent (%) By Volume
Masonry and Tile
Table 2.3: Estimated Composition of Demolition waste in Malaysia
(Source from Magdich, P. 1995)
2.4 The classification of the construction waste
In construction industry, the waste can be produced in anytime and anyplace on site or off site. There are great possibility of the material waste may be arise when deliveries to site is inappropriate handling or material on sites have been idling for too long. This means the wastes can be occurred in any moment and in all stages of constructing the projects. Therefore, material should be handling appropriately, moving carefully, storing in the appropriate storage in order to minimize the material to become wastage. Material wastes can be classified into four aspects such as:
Avoidable waste means material waste that can be avoided and controlled in Malaysian construction industry by the contractors. Therefore, the contractor must try his best to minimize the waste that produce from site by on site supervision. However, the contractor must search for an alternative solution to minimize the avoidable waste. The contractor also must hire supervisor to check the material delivery and also during installation on site. There are an alternative solution is that hire guards on the place where tracks and vehicles access and egress to prevent the theft from coming into the site. This is to avoid the theft damaging the material on site. Other than that, a proper storage area is needed to prevent or minimize the material from being deteriorate and damage.
Unavoidable waste means material waste on site that cannot be controlled by the contractors. The contractor must accept this type of waste that produced during the operation. On the construction site, the operators are working in a hectic and sophisticated environment which they are not able to handle the materials properly and will be end up huge possibility of material waste generate on site.
Unavoidable waste must be allowed such as the allowance of material waste including pricing during tendering stage. This should be allowance when the purchase department are preparing the material schedules and ordering of materials.
Most of the material that leads to unavoidable waste is "cutting waste". For examples, the operator cuts the materials such as bricks, timbers, reinforcement bars and sheeted materials to suit the dimensions according to the specification so the rest of the cutting waste end up to be waste that unavoidable.
Potential waste means the materials of any other components delivered to site, all of these materials have the potential that may lead to waste. All of these materials may be damage when handling, moving, stacking and storing. Materials such as tiles are very fragile which may easily damage if it is not properly stored or handled.
Other than that, the potential waste may arises when there are too many materials are delivered to the site without adequate storage for storing the materials. This may lead to potential waste if the materials idling or unused for too long. Mostly the site personnel will be asked to remove it as soon as possible to avoid damages of material. They will be then transferring these excessive materials to other sites.
2.4.4 Compensating waste
Compensating waste means when the materials or components are ordered to site and these materials will be used for its purpose other than those specified. For example, for compensating waste is known as "substitution waste". It is meant that the specification of the walls should be constructed by concrete blocks, but instead of concrete blocks, the operator replaced the concrete block with common bricks. This means there are losses of money in changing the used of the material due to the common bricks are more costly than the concrete blocks.
2.5 The causes of the construction waste
There are many factors that contribute to construction waste generation on site. The construction waste may cause due to single or a combination of many causes. The construction waste can be organized under four phases: (1) design; (2) procurement; (3) handling of materials; (4) operation (Ekanayake, 2000).
From the statement above, it is stated that the construction wastes generation can be divided into four distinct phases such as:
Causes of Waste
Lack of attention paid to dimensional coordination of products
Changes made to the design while construction is in progress
Designer's inexperience in method and sequence of construction
Lack of information in the drawings
Errors in contract documents
Incomplete contract documents at commencement of project
Ordering errors (e.g. ordering significantly more or less)
Lack of possibilities to order small quantities
Purchased products that do not comply with specification
Damages during transportation
Inappropriate storage leading to damage or deterioration
Use of whatever material which are close to working place
Unfriendly attitudes of project team and labourers
Errors by tradespersons or labourers
Accidents due to negligence
Damage to work done caused by subsequent trades
Use of incorrect material, thus requiring replacement
Required quantity unclear due to improper planning
Delays in passing of information to the contractor on types and sizes of products to be used
Table 2.1: Causes of construction waste (Ekanayake, 2000)
Design Stage can be lead to excessive cutting of wastes due to carelessness or mistake done by the designer on site. The designer's inexperience in method and sequence of construction can affect the construction progress of a project. Other than that, the changes made to the design while construction is in progress can also cause a lot of waste in constructability and assemblies of the building.
In the procurement, one of the main causes of ordering error is material order to the site is over-ordering or lack of ordering. Besides that, the material purchased that do not comply with the specification. Lastly, lack of caring will result to damage of construction materials during transportation that may also lead to waste.
Inappropriate storage of material will lead to damage or deterioration that will cause wastage of material on site. Besides that, lack of confined space on site always cause problem for materials storage. In the construction industry, there are many unfriendly attitudes of project team and labourers appear on site that manage the materials in the bad manner such as bad stacking, damage and aging of formwork, etc.
Errors by tradespersons or labourers will lead to damage of material on site. This errors cause by the tradesperson that damaging the material are mostly accidents due to negligence. Materials that are completely constructed to the building lead to damage caused by subsequent trades such as use of incorrect material or not according to the specification, therefore demolition and replacement are required. Thus, this will generate a lot of waste during the stage of demolition and replacement of other material.
2.6 The impact of construction waste
In order to minimize or reduce the construction waste in the Malaysian Construction Industry, it is important determine to consequences that affect the construction waste. This will hopefully prevent the bad practise of being repeating and continue creating construction waste in Malaysian Construction Industry.
According to Teoh (2009) said that the construction industry has changed considerably in recent years, influencing production rates, construction techniques and the total quantity of materials used each year. The more complicated the project, the larger volume of materials is being used. As a result, Material Storage Management is indeed deeded in construction industries as shown in the following:
The construction waste in the construction site will lead to low profitability of the project. The issue of the company losses or face low profitability is mainly due to the unused material on site turn to waste material. Therefore, in every construction company shall take into consideration regarding the matter stated in order to minimize the construction waste and also to prevent low profitability of the company.
Construction time delay
The delay of construction work may occur due to wrong qualities and types of materials are used. Moreover, as well as the time spent for the reconstruction and replacement for the goods is one of the issue in delaying construction time (Teoh Su Ping, 2009). The another issue of causing delay can be known as damage, it is occurred during the delivering of materials to the site, material deliver to the site too early, and improper storage of materials, so on. The main issue of delay in construction period is mainly due to lack of planning in Material Management, the project is not only delayed but also will cause a lot of waste being generated on site.
One of the reason that lead to low productivity in the company which is affect by poor management in material storage such as improper storages for materials, delay materials delivery on site, etc. For example, the material without proper storage in a congested site that may lead to problems of obstructing the operation works. This will affect the low productivity of the construction progress on site.
High level of materials wastage
This is mainly due to poor materials storage management. Most of the materials are being wasted due to poor material handling that will likely to be damaged if place on the expose area. This may be occurred because of over-ordering of materials supply. Other than that, this will also cause higher lever of materials loss, vandalism and so on.
Poor materials storage
The materials without proper planning of the place to store the material, the material will be ended up neglect on site and make the accessibility of site congested. The location of the material storage should be plan wisely in order to store the material in the right condition or place to prevent from thief and also workers who work on site. For example, if the valuable materials stored in an open store such as door closet, tiles, etc which will normally being stolen by foreign workers. Therefore, the materials should be kept in the safe place to prevent lost.
Materials shortage or excesses on site
This is mainly cause by improper planning of ordering and delivering of material goods, there is a high tendency of facing the materials shortage on site. Excess of materials delivered to the site has the high potential on creating lot storage problems. Besides that, if the construction materials are delivered on site too early, this may be a high percentage of risk that materials being damaged on site (Teoh Su Ping, 2009).
2.7 The construction waste minimization measures
Construction waste minimization measures should be implementing to provide minimal waste on site. There are several measures need to be taken in order to minimize the waste on site. The measures such as:
Standardisation of design to improve buildability and reduce the quantity of off-cuts
Standardisation has the potential to dramatically reduce the current production of construction waste. By designing room areas and ceiling heights in multiples of standard material sizes a substantial reduction in off-cuts had been achieved (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Stock control measures to avoid the over ordering of materials
Over-ordering of materials emerged as a particularly significant area of site management control leading to materials wastage. Tighter stock control measures coupled to the careful monitoring of on-site progress had helped to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste. Merely raising awareness of this issue amongst site managers had demonstrably shown to reduce waste levels in several of the case study projects (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Improved education of the workforce
All of the informants agreed that the attitudes of operatives accounted for a significant proportion of on-site wastage. "Toolbox talks" were a strategy used on most of the case study projects to educate operatives in the benefits of waste minimisation (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Supply chain alliances with suppliers/recycling companies
This measure aimed at dealing with waste in the most effective manner to reduce the impact produced. Partnerships with suppliers had led to excess materials being removed, reprocessed and in some cases, reused. Such practices were supported with financial incentives for waste minimisation (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Provision of waste skips for specific materials
Centrally controlling skips for materials had helped to promote a culture of material segregation and recycling. Retaining responsibility for waste management also allowed the principal contractor to maintain control over removal of waste and recovering costs through recycling. (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Just-in-time delivery strategy
Reducing the time that materials were stored on site reduced the potential for damage from poor handling and elements. Adopting a just-in-time delivery strategy had eliminated long-term site storage as well as reducing the potential for over-ordering materials on several projects (Andrew R.J. Dainty, 2004).
Implementation of a waste reduction framework plan
The Hong Kong Government launched a Waste Reduction Framework Plan (WRFP) in 1998 (WDO, 2003). The plan aims to improve public awareness on waste reduction. The WRFP sets out programmes to avoid and minimise waste; promote recovery, recycling and reuse of waste materials; prolong the life of existing landfills and reduce the increasing costs of waste transportation, treatment and disposal. The WRFP also provides suggestions on how different economic sectors can incorporate various waste reduction measures into their business practices. The plan is expected to bring a change from the traditional attitude of collecting and transporting waste to the prevention and reuse of waste materials (Vivian W.Y. Tam, 2007). WRFP specifies six objectives (WRFP, 1998):
Extending the useful life of the strategic landfills;
Minimising the amount of waste to be disposed;
Helping conserve the earth's non-renewable resources;
Increasing the waste recycling rate;
Minimising the costs of collection, treatment and disposal of waste; and
Improving institutional arrangements (WRFP, 1998).
Implementing recycling scheme
Whilst waste recycling has been adopted in Hong Kong, the practice is mainly promoted among commercial and industrial sectors. Recycling has not been effectively promoted among construction practitioners (EPD, 2001). To promote recycling in the private construction sector, a Demonstration Scheme (DEMOS) has been introduced to encourage the adoption of new technologies in waste minimisation and recycling. In order to further improve recycling awareness, the government intends to provide incentives for people to set up recycling plants. Intermediate sorting plants for construction waste are being provided as a means of ensuring that the minimum amount ends up in landfills and that the majority is recycled or reused for land reclamation sites (Vivian W.Y. Tam, 2007).
The method to minimize the construction waste
The 4Rs Concept
The definition of "4R" concept can be referring to reduce, reuse, recycle and replace which is well-known and common using in most of the developed countries. The meaning of 4Rs Concept is that reducing the use of materials and goods so that the potential of waste on site will be reduce. The next solution will be using the reuse and recycle of the raw materials and recyclable materials turn into useful materials that can be continue use in construction site. Other than that, replace such as replacement of another material that has a longer lifespan. For examples, replacing timber formworks as IBS system formworks that cannot be easily turn up to waste.
The 4Rs Concept can be categorise as:
Reduce can be defined as reduce the use of the construction materials and goods in order to minimize or reduce waste. This will ensure that less usage of construction materials and thus ensure less waste being produce on site. (Alam, 2012).
Reuse can be defined as use construction materials that can be reuse as many time to avoiding the use of disposable goods that only used once. Use of materials that can be reuse and this can hopefully pro-long the use of materials and goods before they degradation into waste (Alam, 2012).
Recycle can be defined as recycle the recyclable materials into goods that can still be used in the construction industry. Unfortunately, not all construction waste can be used to recycle but the many of the construction industry has started to practice in United States. When waste materials are recycled, these provide industry with an alternative source of raw materials. This results in less demand for virgin materials whose extraction, transport and processing are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also minimizing the construction waste as well (Alam, 2012).
Replace can be defined as replacement of an alternative material that has a long lifespan which can be used for a long period and hardly turn into waste. For examples, replacing timber formworks as IBS system formworks that is durable enough to stand for longer period.
The types of recycling construction materials
Bricks and blocks
The lifespan of the Bricks and blocks can be last for almost over hundred years. The bricks and blocks that have been previously used in the construction industries can be used to reuse and recycle.
Most of the sources of brick and block turned up to waste mainly cause by damage during on and off loading, excessive of over ordering and so on. The waste of brick and block are mostly come from walls, column, existing building which include of common clay bricks, aerated blocks and precast concrete.
The undamaged brick and block can be reused in the other new project. Other than reusing the brick and block, the brick and block that is damage can also be used to recycle as (Business Gateway, n.d.):
To make aggregate for the use of general fill or highway sub-base in landscaping.
To manufactured new bricks and blocks
To make such surface as tennis courts and athletics tracks as plant substrate
The glasses that have been previously used in the construction industries can be process into a useable material. Most of the glass waste can be found in the demolition projects such as the broken Fluorescent lighting, windows and mirror and also the Structural glasses such as the modern offices with high end glasses around the building.
The main causes of glass wastage are over ordering of materials, breakages during installation and damage during storage (Business Gateway, n.d.). The glass is a very fragile material which required careful handling. Therefore, the storage for glass materials should plan smartly and wisely in order to minimize or hopefully to prevent it from broken.
The glass waste in the construction industry can be used to reuse and recycle by going into a process of crushing, screening to remove contamination, air classification, and size classification, washing and drying of the glass waste. After the glass has been all of the process stages, the glass can be known as recovered glass. The recovered glass can be used as decorative materials, filtration medium, insulation, containers and so on.
Most of the woods that have been previously used in the construction industries can be used to recycle. Most of the wood waste can be found in the variety of forms in the projects due to the used of wood as timber formwork is common used in Malaysian construction Industries.
The main causes of wood waste are pallets, crates, beams, window and door frames, doors, floor boards, shuttering, fencing and panels, such as chipboard (Business Gateway, n.d.).
The wood waste that obtained in construction industry can be used to recycle by manufacturing wood wastes, reclaimable and recyclable wood materials from demolition and construction, including pallets, the wood is chipped for other uses.
Most of the plastic that have been used in the construction industries are mainly pipework, window frames, interior fittings and so on.
The main causes of plastic waste are over-estimated of ordering and disposal of off-cuts and unused materials, over-specified project design, poor storage and handling and so on.
The range of plastic waste that obtained in construction industry can be used to recycle as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and also ABS (a copolymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene) polymers.
Most of the gypsum plasterboard is manufactured into plasterboard, plaster and other specialist boards for fire protection.
The causes of gypsum plasterboard waste are damaged due to poor design, poor storage and handling, over ordering, disposal of unused materials and off-site cutting (Business Gateway, n.d.). The plasterboard wastage can be generated in the construction industry during the installation.
The options for recycling waste plasterboard produced on your construction site include (Business Gateway, n.d.):
Sending waste to independent plasterboard recyclers to make into new plasterboard and cement
Sending waste to household waste recycling centres
Using gypsum as a soil conditioner
Using gypsum to make bathroom furniture mouldings
The insulation that has been previously used in the construction industries can be used to recycle as well. Most of the insulation wastes can be found in the demolition and refurbishment projects. Insulation materials such as fibreglass, mineral wool, polystyrene, spray foam, polyurethane, fibreboard and so on. These insulation materials are very fragile which required careful installation.
The causes of insulation waste mainly due to over-estimate of ordering and damage of unused materials, ordering the wrong specifications or types of insulation, over-designed projects, poor pre-formed design, poor storage and handling. These are the main causes of wastage for insulation that Malaysian construction industry commonly faced.
The options for recycling waste insulation produced on your construction site include (Business Gateway, n.d.):
Direct reuse of off-cuts
Returning materials through take-back schemes offered by manufacturers
Compressed rock wool ceiling tile manufacture
Reclamation and reprocessing after removing impurities such as screws and nails
3.0 The benefits of minimizing the construction waste
According to El-Haggar (2007), proper construction waste management will provide economic benefits by decreasing the cost of the project through proper implementation of a waste management plan. Apart from economic benefits, waste management may positively contribute to the following aspects (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010):
Cost saving and profit maximization
An increased emphasis on waste reduction, reuse and recycling may produce favourable outcomes such as cost saving. Unnecessary purchase of new construction materials that may be substituted by reused or recycled ones results in additional costs. In addition, generating less waste from construction projects results in reduction in disposal costs and landfill charges; eventually cutting down the total project costs. Furthermore, the cost saving, in turn, can maximize profit (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010).
Reduced demand for landfill spaces
Minimizing the amount of waste sent to landfills for disposal can lead to less demand for landfill and reduction of negative environmental effects such as noise, pollution effects of landfill as well as emission and residues from incinerators (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010).
Improved resource management
Waste management also involves planning and control of resources committed to projects in order to control the amount of waste generated. Therefore, better control of resources may be achieved with reduction in waste as well as improvement of entire resource management performance (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010).
Implementing waste management as a company policy may allow companies to enhance their public images as "environmental-friendly companies" enhancing their impression on clients (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010).
Productivity and quality improvement
Productivity can be improved by avoiding delays caused by reordering and repurchasing of materials that have been wasted once. By selecting material of good quality and durability, significant amount of waste generation caused by replacement of poor quality material during the life cycle of facilities can be avoided (Bon-Gang Hwang, 2010).
In this chapter, the causes and impact of the construction waste has been carried out study to understand what is the causes and impact that the construction waste in the Malaysian construction industry. Therefore, there are several measures has been implemented to minimize the construction waste. In this chapter, the 4Rs Concept has been implemented whether it has the potential of to minimize the waste in the Malaysian construction industry. Other than that, the types of materials that can be used to reuse and recycle were identified in this chapter. Lastly, the benefits of minimizing the construction waste which also been discussed. The study of this research topic is to discuss whether Malaysian construction industry did practise of the 4Rs Concept or not.