Design for construction waste minimization: guidelines and practice

Vikrom Laovisutthichai*, Weisheng Lu, Zhikang Bao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Design for Construction Waste Minimization (DfCWM) advocates the proactive minimization of potential construction waste from the design or earlier stage. Numerous DfCWM practices have been recommended, but they are hitherto in a piecemeal fashion without an integrative guideline to enable designers to consider DfCWM in a systematic manner. Their practice examples and application results have also been rarely investigated. This study aims to amalgamate DfCWM recommendations, develop practicable guidelines, and implement in real-world settings. It adopts a design thinking method to develop the guidelines from literature, brainstorming, action research, case study, and most importantly, dynamic iteration thereof. The results affirm the impact of DfCWM on not only preventing construction waste generation effectively but reducing the construction cost without jeopardizing the design. However, its implementation is not merely a simple linear process and requires coordination from all stakeholders. For practitioners, this research also provides the DfCWM guidelines to be a design companion, encouraging deliberation of an entire building and material life cycle with special consideration given to waste minimization. Further studies are suggested for two areas: (a) modelling DfCWM into a multi-criteria optimization problem, and (b) integrating it with other design for excellence considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-298
Number of pages20
JournalArchitectural Engineering and Design management
Issue number3
Early online date22 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


  • architectural design
  • construction waste management
  • Design for construction waste minimization
  • Designing out waste
  • façade design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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