Client's guide to cutting waste from construction projects

Save costs from your construction projects


The waste created in a construction project can have a major impact on its overall costs, but is often overlooked as inevitable. If you are the client on a construction project, you should ensure that action is taken right through the project, starting at an early design stage, through to post-construction reporting. In particular, you should set clear requirements in the project brief and during design team and contractor procurement.

Construction waste cost saving

There are several areas and steps you can focus on to reduce the amount of waste generated and your overall costs.

  • The planning stages are a key area where you can reduce waste and costs. The 'wastage allowance', for example, can be reduced with better planning and design. If you are managing the project, or if you are the client of a project, you should play a key role in instructing your architects or designers about how they can reduce waste in as many areas as possible.
  • Using recycled materials in your project can have a significant impact on reducing waste and costs. It is often possible to reuse materials on site - such as excavated materials. These could replace expensive primary materials. Your design team should aim to use recycled materials as much as possible in the early project briefings.
  • Waste disposal can also be a significant cost on construction sites. Your design brief should consider the cost of waste disposal as a separate cost, and aim to reduce this as much as possible. By adopting minimum and stretch recovery rates and by forecasting waste quantities, you will be able to manage your waste much more effectively. Material costs can also be reduced by on site segregation and using a more efficient waste recovery service.