WIT Press

An Investigation Of Design Waste Causes In Construction


Free (open access)





Page Range

491 - 498




324 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Osmani, J. Glass & A. D. F. Price


The construction, demolition and excavation waste arising in the UK is estimated at 109 million tonnes per year. Much had been published on ways to improve on-site waste management and recycling activities but very few attempts made to address design generated waste. This paper examines previous studies on architects’ approach towards construction waste minimisation; and by means of a postal questionnaire sent to the 100 top UK architectural practices, investigates: the origins of design waste; waste minimisation design practices in the UK; and barriers to design out waste. The findings reveal that architects consider that waste is mainly produced during site operations and rarely generated during the design stages. However, about one third of construction waste could essentially arise from design decisions. Results also indicate that a number of constraints, namely: lack of interest from clients and attitudes towards waste minimisation are seen as disincentives to a proactive and sustainable implementation of waste reduction strategies during the design process. Keywords: UK, design waste, construction, architects, waste minimisation. 1 Introduction The construction sector in the UK generates around 109 million tonnes of waste each year [1]. As the rate of construction in the UK is set to increase, there is a pressing need to reduce waste at all stages of construction by considering the long-term impacts of design, build and waste management. There is a consensus in literature that a substantial amount of construction waste originates as a result of poor design [2–5]. The architect therefore has a decisive role to play in helping to reduce waste in construction at all levels by focussing on designing


UK, design waste, construction, architects, waste minimisation.