Institutional waste within the UK construction industry: an exploratory study

Sarhan, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-0105-2350, 2018. Institutional waste within the UK construction industry: an exploratory study. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The construction industry is often criticised for being wasteful compared to other industries, confrontational, and for lacking capacity for learning and improvement. Numerous industry reports have been commissioned by the United Kingdom (UK) Government and industry organisations, over the past eighty years, with the aim of highlighting concerns and calling for industry reform. In 2013, the UK Government challenged construction to achieve 50% faster delivery and a 33% reduction of clients' capital costs by 2025. In 2016, the Government Construction Strategy 2016-20 was produced with an ambition of achieving efficiency savings of £1.7 billion over the course of the current Parliament. It is however suggested that prevailing business models are unlikely to meet these targets.

Eliminating (process and physical) waste from construction design and delivery is a necessary step towards achieving the aforementioned targets. However, waste-reduction understood simply as the improvement of current processes rather than fundamental system redesign is insufficient. Obtaining a wider understanding and conceptualisation of waste in construction is crucial, in order to prepare the industry for the radical change demanded of it. This research was, thus, undertaken to explore the institutional, procurement and commercial environments surrounding the design and delivery of construction projects, and reveal the consequential wastes. A reflexive grounded-theory methodology was adopted to explore the institutional factors influencing construction procurement, and to facilitate an in-depth understanding of the impact of prevailing construction procurement arrangements on project performance and outcomes. Data were primarily collected through in-depth and iterative interviews with 24 senior professionals withinthe UK construction industry, including a review of supporting documentations provided by the interviewees.

Consequently, a conceptual model of 'institutional waste in construction' was developed by the author of this study, which was then evaluated by various UK industry experts to assess its quality and rigour. This model is a novel contribution to knowledge providing innovative perspectives to the generation and persistence of waste in construction projects. The model also provides novel explanations as to why wasteful procurement practices prevail in the construction industry. It is concluded by stressing that any industrywide initiatives for improvement (e.g. BIM and Partnering) will stall or at least fail, to achieve its full potential, unless the prevailing institutional factors, identified within this study, are addressed.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Sarhan, S.
Date: January 2018
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the Author, Saad Sarhan. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any reuse of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level, and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 10 Jul 2018 10:18
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2018 15:19

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