Rethinking Waste Definition to Account for Environmental and Social Impacts

Paz Arroyo1 & Vicente Gonzalez2

1Assistant Professor. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile. Phone +56 22354-4244,
2Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. E-Mail:


Onho´s types of waste have been used in lean construction as guidelines. However, we argue that the lean construction community should question and rethink the definition of waste, and update the types of wastes in order to account not only for the production/economic impacts from design and construction, but also their environmental and social impacts. This paper provides insights about this issue and a literature review pertaining types of environmental and social waste derived from the construction industry. We think that the transformation and value flow also needs to account not only for the products derived from the design and manufacturing process, but also needs to account for the inputs, such as energy and water as well as the by-products, such as air emissions, contamination of water, and soil. Finally, we think that more research is needed in this area, in order to extend the positive impacts of applying combined lean and sustainable principles in construction.


te, sustainability, lean.



Arroyo, P. & Gonzalez, V. 2016, 'Rethinking Waste Definition to Account for Environmental and Social Impacts' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

Download: BibTeX | RIS Format