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Use of PC elements for waste minimization in the Sri Lankan construction industry

Nayanthara De Silva (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
S.B.K.H. Vithana (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)

Structural Survey

ISSN: 0263-080X

Publication date: 11 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

In the construction industry, it is well known that there is a relatively large volume of material being wasted due to a variety of reasons. The problem of material waste on construction sites is not an isolated issue and is of environmental concern. Therefore, waste minimization has become an important issue in the construction industry. The aim of this research was mainly to identify the pre‐cast contribution to the construction waste minimization in the Sri Lankan construction industry, through a comparison of material waste arising from pre‐cast, ready‐mixed and site‐mixed concrete.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 27 building construction projects and three concrete elements: slabs, beams, and columns, were considered to quantify construction waste. To compare the wastage due to pre‐cast involvement with other types, three categories of building projects were used, including projects using pre‐cast concrete elements, in situ concrete elements – site mix, and in‐ situ concrete elements – ready mix.

Findings

The study found that mean wastages of cement, sand and metal in PC elements amounted to 5.34 per cent, 13.86 per cent and 7.62 per cent respectively showing lower values compared with the material wastages in the other two technologies (in situ concrete elements – site mix, and in situ concrete elements – ready mix). Further, statistical t‐test and ANOVA were carried out to ascertain whether these results were significant. Results revealed that there is a significant waste reduction when pre‐cast concrete is used.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information on pre‐cast contribution to the construction waste minimization in the Sri Lankan construction industry.

Keywords

Citation

De Silva, N. and Vithana, S.B.K.H. (2008), "Use of PC elements for waste minimization in the Sri Lankan construction industry", Structural Survey, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 188-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/02630800810887081

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited