A BESPOKE APPROACH FOR RELATING MATERIAL WASTE TO COST OVERRUN IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The problems of material waste and cost overruns are common in the construction industry. These problems occur at different stages of a construction project, from planning, design to project completion. The argument on how to eliminate cost overrun has been on-going for the past 70 years as on-site wastage of materials leads to increase in the final project cost. This paper examines the relationship between the causes of material waste and those of cost overrun at the pre-contract and post-contract stages of a project. The desktop methodological approach was firstly adopted in comparing the causes of material waste and those of cost overruns from the literature, in order to determine the possible relationship. Subsequently, interviews were purposively conducted with construction professionals within Abuja, Nigeria, in order to verify the literature based information. The result reveals that all the causes of material waste also cause cost overrun at the pre-contract and the post-contract stages of a project. 96.88% and 81.81% of the causes of cost overrun also cause material waste at the pre-contract and post-contract stages respectively. Other causes which are not related are mostly, the micro-economic and macro-economic factors. These results are not different from those of the interviews conducted with professionals and summarised in the tick box. It was also found that to achieve Effective Construction Material Waste Management (ECMWM) for any construction project, material waste must be controlled at its sources and causes, and at different stages of a project. Based on these findings, it can be concluded that effective management of material waste would translate into a reduction in the level of project cost overrun. The study recommends that construction-project managers, as well as the construction practitioners should encourage the management of material-waste causes, as it has the potential to minimise cost overrun for projects.
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