An Investigation Into Materials Wastes on Building Construction Projects in Kampala-Uganda

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An investigation into Materials Wastes on Building Construction Projects in Kampala-Uganda L. Muhwezi *1, L. M. Chamuriho2 and N. M. Lema2
*1Department

of Civil and Building Engineering, Kyambogo University, P.O Box 7181, Kampala, Uganda 2Department of Structural and Construction Engineering, University of Dar-es-salaam, P.O. Box 35131, Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania *1Corresponding author: email-lmuhwezi@hotmail.com

Abstract Increased economic growth and urbanization in developing countries has led to extensive construction activities that generate large amounts of wastes. Materials wastes on building projects have not only caused financial setbacks to contractors but also caused significant impacts on health, aesthetics and the general environment. Management of these wastes is still a problem in Uganda and their causes need to be ascertained in order to pave way for their proper management. The objectives of this study were to identify the major attributes of construction wastes on building projects in Uganda and to propose the possible measures of minimizing their occurrences. The study was conducted using a structured survey questionnaire. From literature review, waste attributes that lead to wastes generation on building projects were identified and they include: Design and documentation attributes; Site management and practices; Procurement attributes; Materials handling, storage and transportation; Operational attributes and Environmental and other conditions. T-test statistical technique of comparing means was used in the analysis of data with SPSS version 12.0 software to determine the major construction waste generation attributes. The study revealed that: Changes made to the design while construction is in progress; Lack of skills of workers/tradesmen or sub-contractors’ skills; Purchased products that do not comply with specifications; Inappropriate storage facilities at site leading to damage or deterioration; Changing orders/instructions by supervisors; and Severe weather conditions were the leading significant factors each in their respective categories of waste generation. A simple construction waste management system that can provide data on waste quantities, identify areas that are problematic in waste generation, and be able to analyze the causes of these wastes is recommended. Keywords: Construction materials waste, building projects, waste minimization, waste attributes, waste management system. INTRODUCTION The construction industry, one of the vital constituents of any country’s economy contributes about 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP). This showed a growth rate of 1.8% worldwide in 2001 (Cousins, 2002). The United States of America, Europe, Japan and Asia are the largest construction markets, controlling more than 70% of the market. This growth in construction activities increases the amount of construction waste generated (Chandrakanthi et al., 2002). According to Ganesan (2000), construction materials account for the largest input into construction activities, in the range of 50-60% of the total project cost. Unfortunately, this large portion of materials is not wholly utilized by the industry. Evidence shows that approximately 40% of the waste generated globally originates from the construction and demolition of buildings (Holm, 1998) and this forms a major portion of the solid waste discarded in landfills around the world. Due to lack of consideration given to waste generation reduction strategies during planning and design stages, estimators often plan for extra construction materials (Shen and Tam, 2002). Construction managers have often failed to identify or address waste problem in the construction processes because of lack of appropriate tools for measuring them (Lee et al., 1999). The cost of waste affects the competitive edge of contractors, making their survival more difficult in a competitive environment (Macozoma 2000). The generation of wastes means loss of profits to...
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