Construction Projects’ Waste Prevention and Expected Minimization of Cost and Environmental Impacts through Adopting a Comprehensive System for Document Management
Keywords:Construction Project management, Document and Information Management, Resource Efficiency, Reduction of Environmental Impact, Waste Prevention
Waste originating from construction projects is the major source of pollution amongst all industrial sectors in the European Union (EU) as well as globally. It is estimated that more than 35% of all disposed waste in the EU has been a by-product of building activity. This significant loss of materials hinders project profitability, reduces competitiveness of companies involved in such projects and causes considerable environmental burden. An acceptable level of waste is inevitable; however, there are possibilities to minimize the waste through amendments of reducing problematic executive procedures. One of the most important reported factors that increase waste is ineffective document management that may lead to inadequate communication throughout the construction project. As such, the present paper focuses on estimating the possible environmental and economic benefits if a proper document management system is applied on construction projects. The research steps include the approximate calculation of the operational project cost, the volume of material waste related to inadequate information systems based on statistical data and the calculation of benefits from the establishment of adequate information systems using measurable indices. The findings suggest that significant waste reductions are feasible and that the volume of solid construction debris that usually ends up in landfills can be greatly reduced. The actual debris in every skip bin could be reduced to approximately two-thirds of the currently produced volume, for every 100 square meters (m2) of an industrial building floor area. Besides, the debris volume in a skip bin could be reduced to more than half of the currently produced volume for every 100 m2 of public and commercial retail building floor area.
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