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The Different Types of Waste You’ll Encounter on a Construction Project


In the field of construction, there are all sorts of things that can go wrong with your project. In fact, there are even different kinds of things that can go wrong, and they fall into several categories. This article will tell you about the different kinds of things that can go wrong on a construction project and how to deal with them in the most cost-effective way possible.

Non-value added waste
Time is money, so anything that’s not contributing to progress and success should be considered waste. Examples of non-value added waste include excess inventory, unnecessary movements (e.g., walking from one location to another when there’s another path), or waiting (e.g., standing around while other tasks are being completed). Your best way to eliminate non-value added waste is by creating processes and systems that ensure no one stands around doing nothing – except when taking their lunch break or working out. Processes should also ensure materials are used efficiently and productively throughout all stages of construction.

Value-added waste
This refers to anything produced by adding value to raw materials that wasn’t present in its original form. For example, asphalt is produced when crude oil (which doesn’t have any structure) is transformed through high-pressure distillation into bitumen (an ingredient that can be used to produce a sealant or glue). The difference between bitumen and crude oil is valuable, but it wouldn’t exist without adding value at every step of production. Value-added waste is necessary for many industries: construction isn’t one of them. When planning your project, try to eliminate any steps that don’t add value in some way. Remember: removing waste streamlines processes and increases profit margins.

Defects in materials
When you have poor-quality materials to work with, you’re bound to run into waste during your project. Many companies that sell building materials attempt to pass off low-quality products by labeling them as standard or commonly used. It is up to you as a builder or architect to do your research and ensure that you are purchasing quality materials that will not require repairs or replacement. Defects in material waste can be easily avoided by setting proper expectations for suppliers and learning about building codes in your area before breaking ground.

Equipment defects
Defects can be caused by external forces such as moisture or heat, but they’re most often caused by wear and tear. Defects often require unscheduled downtime, which results in wasted time and wasted money. To prevent defects, work to reduce wear and tear during daily operations. Planning projects more effectively can also help reduce waste through planning defects out of your project entirely. In order to avoid creating defects in equipment, you have to first know what those wastes are

Defects in labor
The most common way for labor to become defective is through non-conformance, or workers failing to do something according to plan. For example, if you’re building a deck and one of your carpenters installs a board in backwards, it’s a defect. In other words, defects are when your job doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes defects can be avoided by doing extra work upfront; for example, you could inspect every single piece before it’s installed. Other times defects are unavoidable – say your carpenter has never worked with that type of wood before and they accidentally screw up while learning how to use it properly. Inspections may prevent some defects but not all – there’s only so much you can anticipate in terms of human error.

Waiting/Inventory/Excess processing capacity
Having excess inventory is never good for a business, but sometimes it’s necessary. Think about it: Building materials and raw goods are purchased months in advance, so every time you buy something, it has to stay somewhere until construction begins. What do we do with that stuff? On big projects, we have storage facilities where materials are kept until they’re needed; that means rented space and extra workers keeping track of everything, which really adds up over time. This all adds up to waste! Even if you have those expenses covered (rent and labor), having too much stuff hanging around is still wasting your money because you could use that capital elsewhere in your business—or invest it in other financial assets like stocks or bonds.

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