Attributes of design for construction waste minimization

Saheed O. Ajayi, Lukumon O. Oyedele, Olugbenga O. Akinade, Muhammad Bilal, Hafiz A. Alaka, Hakeem A. Owolabi, Kabir O. Kadiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the consensus that waste efficient design is important for reducing waste generated by construction and demolition activities, design strategies for actual waste mitigation remain unclear. In addition, decisive roles required of designers in designing out waste remains inadequately addressed. As such, this study aims to map out attributes of waste effective design and design documents. Drawing on series of semi-structured focus group discussions with experts from the UK leading design and construction companies, this paper employs qualitative approach to explore design and design document qualities for waste efficient construction projects. The study suggests that for a design to assist in reducing construction and demolition waste, it needs to fulfil five key requisites, while its documentation is expected to fulfil four key requisites. A waste efficient design would incorporate standardization and dimensional coordination, employ principles in modern methods of construction, provides measures for spatial and components flexibility, make provisions for end of life deconstruction and employs techniques in BIM for design coordination. Waste efficient design documentation, on the other hand, is characterised by completeness and clarity, certainty and timeliness, freedom from error, and incorporation of set of plans and schedules that are waste militating. A validation of these findings in a case study of waste-to-energy project confirmed that the strategies are essential to preventing construction waste. Measures through which design and design documents could achieve the identified waste effective attributes are highlighted and discussed. Findings of this study could assist in understanding a set of measures that should be taken at project planning and design stages in order to mitigate waste intensiveness of the construction industry. It would as well assist designers in understanding a set of attributes that must be possessed by design and design documents in order to design out construction waste.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1341
Number of pages9
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date10 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Buildability
  • Construction waste
  • Deconstruction
  • Design documents
  • Design out waste
  • Waste-to-Energy


Dive into the research topics of 'Attributes of design for construction waste minimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this