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Title: Reducing material waste with the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Authors: Mall, Ayesha 
Keywords: Building Information Modelling;Construction industry;Elimination;Material waste;Prevention
Issue Date: 2019
Every year approximately 13 million tonnes of unused materials go to waste from
construction sites. Construction professionals should strive to reduce wastage through
the principle of right-first-time. Material waste directly affects the profitability of the
contractor and it is a measure of competency and competitive advantage. The
construction has a great influence on several industries by procuring products, as well
as by providing products to other industries, therefore, by reducing waste there could
be great cost savings to the construction industry. The Building Information Modelling
(BIM) tool can be used in a construction of a project to motivate the design,
construction, and operation of a project from start to finish. Therefore, the 3D BIM
model can assist the construction industry in reducing material waste.
The aim of this study is to identify the main causes of waste in the South African
construction industry and develop a flow chart through the application of BIM to reduce
waste. The objectives of the study include the identification of causes and sources of
material waste on construction and the use of BIM to aid in waste minimisation.
The tools used for data collection included questionnaires and site observations. The
sample population for data collection included architects, project managers, quantity
surveyors, and engineers. A programme called Statistical package for social scientists
(SPSS) was employed to analyse the data. Mean score rankings, factor analysis, and
Cronbach alpha test were adopted for data analysis. The structured questionnaire
indicated whether construction professionals in South Africa have sufficient knowledge
of BIM.
Key research findings indicate that BIM has the ability to assist in reducing material
waste. BIM enhances practices such as collaboration, detailing, visualisation and
simulation, clash detection and improved communication. BIM has a strong influence
on the reduction of waste material. BIM has the potential to address the causes of
waste, relative to design changes, ineffective coordination and communication, and
improvements towards waste minimisation through the construction stage of a project.
The results from the data analysis, revealed that the most common contribution to
waste on a construction site included material handling and storage factors, design
and documentation factors, procurement factors, site management and practice
factors and operation factors. The use of the developed flow chart on the application of BIM in the delivery of a
project will minimize material waste. The model developed is recommended to be
adopted for use in the South African construction industry for the delivery of projects
with minimal wastage costs.
Submitted in fulfilment for the requirements of the Degree of Master of Built Environment: Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2019.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Engineering and Built Environment)

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