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AuthorsAdjei, Solomon D.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe construction industry is considered the world over as a major contributor to the high rates of waste generation in developed countries. The negative influence of waste generation on the environment, natural resources, and the profitability of firms puts increasing pressure on the industry to reduce the waste it generates. The pressures to reduce waste are heightened by current trends demanding sustainable management of waste for the purposes of economic, social, and environmental gains. Literature on factors influencing waste management (WM) suggests government legislation is the most critical success factor for ensuring waste is sustainably managed. A review of the literature however indicated that researches holistically investigating the practices of construction firms and the extent to which these practices meet the intended outcomes of government legislation on waste are not present. Thus this research was undertaken to holistically investigate WM practices in the UK construction industry, to identify best practices and the extent to which they meet the intended outcomes of government WM legislation ad policy. The study adopted a multiple case study design to examine WM approaches, strategies and practices at both the corporate and project level within construction companies. Four construction companies who had won awards for their sustainability and environmental performance were purposefully selected to investigate best practice WM. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, passive observations, and documentary analysis. Analysis of the data revealed that the drivers for WM in the construction industry are: economic considerations; company sustainability agenda; company image; client requirements; environmental concerns; government legislation; moral and social demands; industrial benchmarking; environmental concerns; and the requirements of standards. Regarding the influence of legislation, the results revealed that government legislation plays a secondary role in influencing WM as clients are interested in using only compliant firms. Best practices targeting design to reduce waste through standardisation and prefabrication; on-site segregation through multi-skip provision; supply take back schemes; intensified site education; and the use of incentives were identified to lead to improved WM. The results also indicated that company sustainability agenda is the most influential driver for achieving sustainable construction, demolition and excavation (CD&E) WM. The findings highlighted the importance of having a clear vision and structure for WM at the corporate level alongside strategies to be implemented on projects to ensure sustainable WM is achieved. To help construction firms in achieving sustainable WM, which is the ultimate goal of government legislation, a best practice framework has been developed based on the findings from the study and evaluated using semi-structured interviews with selected target participants. The framework presents a coherent and systematic approach for achieving sustainable WM in construction companies by providing a roadmap for instituting measures at both corporate and project levels, taking into account factors that are likely to promote or inhibit the achievement of sustainable WM.
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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