Material waste in the Northern Ireland construction industry: on-site management causes and methods of prevention

Marina Marinelli, Matthew Dolan, John Spillane, Ashwini Konanahalli

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry in Northern Ireland is one of the major contributors of construction waste to landfill each year. The aim of this research paper is to identify the core on-site management causes of material waste on construction sites in Northern Ireland and to illustrate various methods of prevention which can be adopted. The research begins with a detailed literature review and is complemented with the conduction of semi-structured interviews with 6 professionals who are experienced and active within the Northern Ireland construction industry. Following on from the literature review and interviews analysis, a questionnaire survey is developed to obtain further information in relation to the subject area. The questionnaire is based on the key findings of the previous stages to direct the research towards the most influential factors. The analysis of the survey responses reveals that the core causes of waste generation include a rushed program, poor handling and on-site damage of materials, while the principal methods of prevention emerge as the adequate storage, the reuse of material on-site and efficient material ordering. Furthermore, the role of the professional background in the shaping of perceptions relevant to waste management is also investigated and significant differences are identified. The findings of this research are beneficial for the industry as they enhance the understanding of construction waste generation causes and highlight the practices required to reduce waste on-site in the context of sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event30th Annual ARCOM Conference - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Sept 20143 Sept 2014


Conference30th Annual ARCOM Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • construction planning
  • design management
  • recycling
  • waste management


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