Tools to prevent waste in material flow in housing projects
Paper in proceedings, 2014

There is a lack of apartments in major Scandinavian cities. At the same time, there is a general opinion in media that the costs for housing production are too high. Studies indicate that waste, in the lean perspective, is in the range of 30-35% of the project cost, excluding costs for land. Among initiatives for reducing waste are tools to prevent waste in material flows. This paper presents a case study in which a logistics company, a medium-sized contractor and a material supplier collaborated to develop tools for improving the material flow on the construction site. Initially, nine tools used for preventing waste in material flow is presented; logistic analysis, demand profile, process map, specifications for building hoist, delivery plan, responsibility during material handling, location in apartments, quantification of materials and control of deliveries. Then, each tool is evaluated concerning what kind of waste is reduced. Examples from a residential building project with 163 apartments are given. The costs associated with enhanced material logistics in this specific project were approximately SEK 130 per m2, which is equal to RMB 115 per m2. This covers the enhanced handling of 80% of the materials. It’s expected within the case project that enhanced logistics with support by the nine tools has a potential of giving a 2-5 times return on the investment. The conclusion is that material logistics requires good planning and structure in order to be effective and succeed in minimizing waste.


Tobias Karlsson

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Per-Erik Josephson

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate (CRIOCM 2012)


Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Transport Systems and Logistics

Construction Management

Other Civil Engineering



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