Waste in Turkish Construction: Need for Lean Construction Techniques

Gul Polat1 & Glenn Ballard2

1Research Assistant, Construction Management Program, Department of Civil Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey, Tel: +90-212-285-37-37; fax: +90-212-285-65-87; gpolat@ins.itu.edu.tr
2Research Director, Lean Construction Institute, 4536 Fieldbrook Road, Oakland, CA 94619. 510/530-8656, gballard@leanconstruction.org and Associate Adjunct Professor, Project & Engineering Mgmt. Group, Dept. of Civil and Env. Eng., University of California at Berkeley


Waste has been considered to be a major problem in the construction industry. Not only does waste have an impact on the efficiency of the construction industry but also on the overall state of the economy of the country. Contractor firms have begun to seek ways of increasing their competitive advantage in global markets by removing all kinds of waste inherent in the construction process by means of implementation of lean construction techniques. The Turkish construction industry also encounters severe problems resulting from huge amounts of waste. This paper aims to identify the main waste causes in the Turkish construction industry in order to establish an initial framework for future studies to develop methods for prevention and elimination of waste causes inherent in the construction process. For this purpose, a survey of 116 contractors, 30 of which are also project consultants, was conducted. The survey revealed the types and frequencies of waste in the Turkish construction industry. Once the main waste causes are identified, a set of recommendations are proposed for eliminating waste inherent in the Turkish construction industry.


Materials waste, time waste, waste causes, lean construction techniques



Polat, G. & Ballard, G. 2004, 'Waste in Turkish Construction: Need for Lean Construction Techniques' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.

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