A THEORY OF WASTE AND VALUE Institutional Repository Document uri icon


  • Waste and value are ambiguous concepts, making it difficult to visualize where and how they occur in construction. This paper visualizes waste and value in construction at three scales: systemic, synergistic and discrete and from the perspectives of stakeholders: owners (strategic), middle managers (logistics) and field personnel (tactical). This paper uses literature search, critical rationalism and theory building to graphically depict how waste is unknowingly embedded in construction design and production. This paper proposes that additional research is needed to measure synergistic and systemic waste and value. Visualizing waste in construction is the point of departure for those seeking to find and minimize or eliminate waste and create a theory for the discipline. The authors assert that the cost of waste + cost of value = total cost, implying that, as the cost of waste decreases, the proportion of cost of value, vis-√†-vis the cost of the project, increases. This paper is aimed at stakeholders who want to better understand how lean initiatives fit into the quest for value creation and waste elimination.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fern√°ndez-Solis, J., & Rybkowski, Z. K.

publication date

  • February 2015