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Management of Waste in the Building Design Process: The Ghanaian Consultants' Perspective

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Waste associated with building design is one of the causes of the high cost and slow progress of construction projects in Ghana. Proper management of waste at the design stage is therefore a fundamental step towards achieving speedy delivery of building projects at minimum cost. This paper seeks to examine the level of awareness of sources of waste and the application of waste reduction tools in the building design process by Ghanaian consultancy firms. Data on the design activities of the firms were collected by distributing questionnaires to consultants, while contractors and clients were interviewed. Involvement in various building design processes was also used to obtain data for the study. Results revealed a generally low recognition of sources of waste in the building design process and little awareness of waste reduction tools such as design structure matrix, batch size reduction and set-based design. It was also found that inadequate familiarity of the firms with lean thinking was among a number of limitations to the application of waste reduction tools in Ghana. This suggests that there is a need to improve the awareness of lean design management in both education and practice in Ghana.
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Keywords: Design management; Ghana; lean thinking; value; waste

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2011

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