Cutting construction costs

A new tool to help save the construction industry £100 million a year, and reduce the amount of waste material it produces, was announced by UK Construction Minister, Nigel Griffiths, today.

According to the DTI, the construction industry annually produces around 92 million tonnes of waste, including an estimated 13 million tonnes of unused material. The new guidance is designed to help building firms procure and use materials more efficiently and provides advice on re-use and recycling of materials.

DTI research shows that use of this guidance could help the industry save around 20% of its materials. The DTI is aiming to sign up at least 50% of the top 2000 contractors in the UK. The impact this code would have, in the aggregates sector alone, is estimated to be well in excess of £100 million a year.

“The estimated amount of waste in the industry is a grim figure. This new guidance offers a common sense, flexible and practical approach to cutting waste of vital building materials,” said Mr Griffiths.

The guidance covers information that will help provide significant efficiency savings for companies; reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill sites; and identify materials for re-use.

“The financial benefits are there for the taking and can provide a massive boost for companies of any size. With the expected expansion of the construction industry, and with hundreds of thousands of new homes being built over the next decade, this will have an increasing important role to play in improving the competitiveness of construction firms, added Mr Griffiths.

“The construction industry has made advances handling waste in recent years introducing better on-site logistics and lean-thinking principles to a number of projects, but there’s no doubt there is still significant progress to be made,” commented Dennis Lenard, chief executive of Constructing Excellence, the DTI-backed industry body tasked with developing and improving the UK construction industry.

The impact of the code will be assessed after a year and the DTI will consider options for its future implementation.

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