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Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Waste Management
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/wasman

Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design


validation: Case studies in South Korea
Jongsung Won a, Jack C.P. Cheng a,, Ghang Lee b,
a
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China
b
Department of Architectural Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Waste generated in construction and demolition processes comprised around 50% of the solid waste in
Received 28 May 2015 South Korea in 2013. Many cases show that design validation based on building information modeling
Revised 23 September 2015 (BIM) is an effective means to reduce the amount of construction waste since construction waste is
Accepted 28 December 2015
mainly generated due to improper design and unexpected changes in the design and construction phases.
Available online xxxx
However, the amount of construction waste that could be avoided by adopting BIM-based design valida-
tion has been unknown. This paper aims to estimate the amount of construction waste prevented by a
Keywords:
BIM-based design validation process based on the amount of construction waste that might be generated
Construction waste
Building information modeling (BIM)
due to design errors. Two project cases in South Korea were studied in this paper, with 381 and 136
BIM-based design validation design errors detected, respectively during the BIM-based design validation. Each design error was cate-
Quantification gorized according to its cause and the likelihood of detection before construction. The case studies show
Prevention that BIM-based design validation could prevent 4.315.2% of construction waste that might have been
Likelihood generated without using BIM.
2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction which are designed by different project participants and are cor-
rected only after the construction work has started on site, which
The amount of waste generated in construction and demolition can lead to rework and construction waste. Improper design
(C&D) processes is enormous. C&D waste comprised of 26% of the (Craven et al., 1994; Gavilan and Bemold, 1994) and unexpected
solid waste in the United States in 2007 (USEPD, 2009) and 48% changes in design (Craven et al., 1994; Gavilan and Bemold,
of the solid waste in South Korea in 2013 (Ministry of 1994; Jaillon et al., 2009) were identified as major causes of con-
Environment and Korea Environment Corporation, 2014). C&D struction waste generation. Especially, inappropriate design deci-
waste issues have received increasing attention from both practi- sion making and unexpected design changes may lead to an
tioners and researchers around the world (Lu and Yuan, 2011). increase of up to 33% of the volume of construction waste (Innes,
However, the amount of C&D waste is still growing continuously 2004). These causes of construction waste can be resolved through
and is not effectively managed in most of the countries in the integrated building design that can avoid design problems and
world (Cheng and Ma, 2013). Therefore, it is vital that the architec- changes, thereby reducing construction waste generation (Cheng
tural, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry strives to et al., 2015). Integrated building design can be facilitated by build-
reduce and manage C&D waste more effectively (Cheng and Ma, ing information modeling (BIM), which is a modeling technology
2013). Many previous studies proposed methods to minimize and associated set of processes to produce, communicate, and ana-
C&D waste by reduction, reuse, and recycling of C&D waste lyze building models (Eastman et al., 2010). BIM technology has
(Hewage and Porwal, 2011; Jaillon et al., 2009; Meibodi et al., been widely utilized to reduce cost and time and improve produc-
2014; Yu et al., 2012). Reduction of construction waste is the first tivity in the AEC industry in the last decade. The potential uses of
step to minimize C&D waste by eliminating the root causes of con- BIM technology to minimize construction waste has also been
struction waste generation. Design errors are commonly detected introduced by Rajendran and Gomez (2012), Liu et al. (2011),
in the AEC industry because a building consists of components Ahankoob et al. (2012), and Cheng et al. (2015). Various BIM uses
like design validation, quantity take off, and prefabrication were
Corresponding authors. proposed for minimization of construction waste. Especially, they
E-mail addresses: jongsungwon@ust.hk (J. Won), cejcheng@ust.hk (J.C.P. Cheng), have claimed that clash detection and design review have high
glee@yonsei.ac.kr (G. Lee). potential to reduce construction waste generated on construction

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
0956-053X/ 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
2 J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

sites by virtually identifying during design phase those con- ing a questionnaire survey. Prefabrication and procurement man-
structability issues that can be resolved ahead of time (Ahankoob agement were identified as the most recommended methods for
et al., 2012; Cheng et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2011; Rajendran and minimizing concrete waste (Meibodi et al., 2014). Jaillon et al.
Gomez, 2012). Detecting building-element clashes and other (2009) analyzed the impact of prefabrication on waste reduction
causes of rework were chosen as the most beneficial way of using in Hong Kong in which the average wastage was reduced by 52%.
BIM by owners (Young et al., 2009), now becoming a common BIM Lawton et al. (2002) estimated a reduction of 70% in concrete waste
practice (Lee et al., 2012) called the BIM-based design validation by using prefabrication. However, there are insufficient techniques
process. BIM-based design validation can improve design quality and tools for reducing construction waste during the design and
by reducing the number of design errors, change orders, and procurement stages (Liu et al., 2011). To minimize and manage
rework in the planning, design, preconstruction, and construction C&D waste, an integrated building design process is required
phases (Anumba et al., 2010; Khanzode et al., 2008; Williams, because C&D waste is mostly generated by improper design and
2011; Young et al., 2009). Whereas 12% of electrical work costs unexpected changes in building design (Poon et al., 2004;
are generally incurred in rework due to design changes in similar Yeheyis et al., 2013). Lean strategies have proven effective in
projects, rework costs were reduced to 0.2% of the work costs by improving processes and performance (Song and Liang, 2011) by
using BIM in a hospital project (Khanzode et al., 2008). Williams eliminating waste from the process (Nahmens and Ikuma, 2012).
(2011) documented that the number of mechanical change orders Lean construction resulted in a significant environmental effect
that occurred in BIM-assisted projects of the Messer Construction by reducing material waste by 64% (Nahmens and Ikuma, 2012).
Company was reduced by 47%. Consequently, design validation Recently, BIM has been also identified as an effective means to
can reduce the amount of construction waste since construction minimize the amount of C&D solid waste by improving the quality
waste is mainly generated due to improper design and unexpected and accuracy of design and construction, thereby reducing design
changes in the design and construction phases. However, these errors, rework, and unexpected changes. To this end, several previ-
previous studies have not quantified how much construction waste ous studies have proposed BIM-based systems or methods to man-
could be avoided by reducing design errors, change orders, and age C&D waste effectively (Cheng and Ma, 2013; Hamidi et al.,
rework through BIM-based design validation. 2014; Hewage and Porwal, 2011; Park et al., 2014) and have intro-
This paper aims to quantify the construction waste reduction by duced potential uses of BIM to minimize C&D waste (Ahankoob
a BIM-based design validation process. Two projects in South Korea et al., 2012; Cheng et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2011; Porwal and
were analyzed to quantify the amount of the reduced construction Hewage, 2012; Rajendran and Gomez, 2012). Park et al. (2014)
waste in the preconstruction and construction phases because BIM developed a demolition waste database system based on BIM and
models in the two projects were created after their design pro- Hamidi et al. (2014) proposed a BIM-based demolition waste man-
cesses were completed. Some practitioners argue that experienced agement system. Cheng and Ma (2013) leveraged BIM technology
construction engineers can find most design errors before or dur- to develop a system for demolition waste estimation, disposal
ing construction without using BIM and that the number of errors charging fee calculation, and pick-up truck planning. However,
is meaningless because many design errors found using BIM may these studies focused more on C&D waste management than min-
have little impact on a project (Lee et al., 2012). To avoid such imization of fundamental causes of C&D waste (i.e., design errors
arguments, Lee et al. (2012) proposed a BIM return on investment and rework). To minimize C&D waste, they are required to elimi-
(ROI) analysis method in design error detection that considers the nate the causes of C&D waste and focus more on the reduction of
likelihood to detect errors without using BIM. This paper adopted C&D waste than reuse and recycling of C&D waste.
this likelihood-based BIM ROI analysis method in analyzing the Hewage and Porwal (2011) developed a system dynamics
amount of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design val- model and integrated it with BIM models to predict the generation
idation. If the likelihood of detecting an error without BIM is high, of construction waste. Later, Porwal and Hewage (2012) proposed
the effects of BIM on reducing construction waste associated with a BIM-based method to analyze reinforced concrete structures to
the error is low, and vice versa. This study compares and reports on reduce reinforcement waste by selecting proper lengths of rebars
the differences in the amount of calculated construction waste and considering available cut-off lengths. BIM was utilized to sim-
when the likelihood of detecting errors without BIM is either not ulate architectural and structural design requirements and to com-
considered or considered. pare results in order to make the necessary changes in the design
This paper is organized as follows. The next section reviews var- to reduce and reuse rebar waste.
ious previous studies on minimization of construction waste and Similarly, Rajendran and Gomez (2012) claimed that waste
BIM implementation. Section 3 describes the two projects that could be minimized through designing-out-waste by using BIM
are analyzed in this paper and discusses the data collection pro- tools. They defined waste minimization as a technique which
cess. Section 3 also describes the distribution of design errors avoids, eliminates or reduces waste at its source. Liu et al.
detected by BIM-based design validation by their cause and the (2011), Ahankoob et al. (2012), and Cheng et al. (2015) explored
likelihood of detection without BIM. Section 4 quantifies the con- a potential application of BIM to minimize waste on a construction
struction waste prevented by the BIM-based design validation pro- site by conducting an in-depth literature review and analyzing
cess. Section 5 concludes the paper. causes of construction waste and current practices of waste mini-
mization. These studies suggest potential uses of BIM for reducing
the amount of C&D waste by avoiding design errors, rework, and
2. Literature review C&D waste. They claimed that clash detection, design review,
quantity take-off, and prefabrication could be used for minimiza-
Many research studies have been conducted to minimize the tion of C&D waste. Among them, BIM-based design validation,
amount of C&D waste by introducing new technologies and pro- including clash detection and design review, was an approach
cesses (Jaillon et al., 2009; Lawton et al., 2002; Meibodi et al., commonly proposed in previous studies in order to reduce the
2014; Nahmens and Ikuma, 2012; Yu et al., 2012). Yu et al. amount of C&D waste including concrete, glass, as well as rein-
(2012) developed a checklist to be considered in residential build- forcement. In summary, previous studies have focused on develop-
ing projects to reduce construction waste on sites. Meibodi et al. ment of BIM-based waste management systems, reduction of
(2014) explored various methods to minimize concrete waste on specific types of waste using BIM, and general BIM-based waste
site and identified key factors for waste minimization by conduct- reduction methods. The amount of construction waste that can

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx 3

be generally prevented by BIM-based design validation is still communication. BIM models were developed using Autodesk Revit
unknown. This paper analyzes the amount of construction waste 2013 (Fig. 2). BIM-based design review and 3D design coordination
prevented by using a BIM-based design validation process through were mainly used and BIM-based phase planning and quantity
two case projects. take-off were partially adopted in the preconstruction and con-
struction phases. Through BIM-based design validation, 136 design
3. Material and methods errors were detected. The design errors were captured and catego-
rized according to the likelihood based BIM ROI analysis method
The research consisted of case studies based on quantitative proposed by Lee et al. (2012). However, a method for calculating
and qualitative data from construction waste generated on site the construction waste from the errors was newly developed. Sec-
and prevented by BIM-based design validation during the precon- tion 6 describes the construction waste calculation method in
struction and construction phases of two projects in South Korea. detail.
Case study is a useful tool for the preliminary, exploratory stage Fig. 3 shows a process to detect and resolve design errors
of a research project because they are suitable in early stages of through BIM-based design validation in the preconstruction
research on a topic or when a fresh perspective is needed and construction phases. There is no methodological difference
(Eisenhardt, 1989; Rowley, 2002). between BIM-based design validation in the preconstruction and
construction phases. Each design error identified during the pro-
cess was recorded using a BIM issue report template with screen
3.1. Overview of the case studies
shots and short descriptions of the problem. Processes for the data
collection and estimation of construction waste prevented by BIM
Both case projects analyzed in this paper deployed BIM-based
are described in detail in the following sections.
design validation in the preconstruction and construction phases
because BIM models in the cases were created after design pro-
3.2. Data collection process
cesses were completed. The first case involved two residential
buildings, which are reinforced concrete structures with a total
The amount of construction waste in the two cases were esti-
floor area of about 120,000 m2 (Fig. 1). The final design of the first
mated based on the amount of rework caused by each error
case was handed over to the main contractor in the form of a set of
detected by the BIM-based design validation. This paper classifies
drawings and documents. Since the project was very large and
and analyzes design errors according to the level of impact. The
complex, the contractor decided to adopt BIM to effectively man-
level of impact was subcategorized into the cause and the likeli-
age the project. The first step was to develop BIM models using
hood of identifying an error before construction using the tradi-
ArchiCAD from the drawings from the architectural firm. BIM-
tional drawing-based approach. Table 1 summarizes the indexes
based design validation was conducted to improve the design qual-
and the classification. Six project participants in case 1 and three
ity. Practitioners found 381 design errors by conducting BIM-based
in case 2 classified the errors following the authors guidance, as
design validation in the first case.
specified in Table 1, and estimated the likelihood of identifying
The second case involved a sports complex composed of a base-
each design error without using BIM before construction based
ball training facility and a clubhouse. The total floor area was
on their experiences and BIM issue reports with screen shots and
9995 m2 and the construction duration for this project was
short descriptions of each error. All the respondents in the first
11 months. An architectural firm did not provide BIM models to
case had more than 15-year work experience in general contrac-
a general contractor and the contractor decided to use BIM
tors and the average work experience of respondents in the second
for error reduction, constructability improvement, and better
case was ten.
Through an iterative process, the causes of the errors were cat-
egorized as one of the following three types (Table 1) based on pre-
vious studies (Lee et al., 2012; Park, 2011; Publich Procurement
Service and Ministry of Finance and Economy, 2014): (1) illogical
design, (2) discrepancies between drawings, and (3) omission.
Common examples of illogical design are clashes between different
building elements as well as drafting errors (Fig. 4). An example of
discrepancy between two drawings is that a wall is represented as
a solid wall in an architectural drawing, while the wall is repre-
sented as steel beams without a solid wall in a structural drawing
(Fig. 5). Omission includes missing identifier numbers, lines or
symbols for stepped floors, schedules, dimensions, details, and fin-
ish materials (Fig. 6) (Lee et al., 2012). Project participants also
considered additional errors that came after effects of the detected
design errors as well. For example, if a discrepancy between draw-
ings is detected by BIM-based design validation, a BIM coordinator
will ask relevant project participants to modify the BIM models to
eliminate the detected discrepancy. However, as a building con-
sists of various components which are designed by different pro-
ject participants, such as architect, structural engineers, and MEP
engineers, additional design errors, such as clashes between mod-
ified building components, can be detected. These additional
design errors were also included within the total numbers of
design errors in cases 1 and 2, because they can generate construc-
tion waste additionally.
The likelihood considered in this paper is probability to identify
Fig. 1. A BIM model of the first case. each design error, which was identified through BIM-based design

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
4 J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

Fig. 2. A BIM model of the second case.

Fig. 3. A process to detect and resolve design errors through BIM-based design validation.

Table 1 value, not a definite value. Value 2 indicates that the likelihood is
Classification of design errors (Lee et al., 2012). about 50% (between 25% and 75%). Value 3 indicates that the error
Index Definition Classification is likely (the 75% or above likelihood) to be identified even in the
Cause Type of the error by cause 1: Illogical traditional, non-BIM, drawing-based approach. Since very obvious
design errors can also be missed, a 100% or 0% likelihood of detecting
2: Discrepancy errors before construction was not considered.
between In addition to Lee et al.s approach (2012), this paper collected
drawings
the volume of the actual construction waste in the two cases to
3: Omission
compare the volumes of the actual and prevented wastes and to
Likelihood of Likelihood of identifying the error 1: 25% or
identifying before construction without using below
measure the quantitative effects of BIM technology on construction
the error BIM (i.e., in the traditional drawing- 2: about 50% waste minimization.
based process) (2575%)
3: 75% or above
4. Results and discussion

4.1. Data classification


validation, without using BIM (i.e., only using drawings-based
design review). The likelihood applied to each design error. For This section discusses the characteristics and distribution of
example, 100% likelihood does not mean a chance to identify all errors by the cause and likelihood of identifying errors without
design errors, but means a 100% chance to find a specific error. BIM (Tables 2 and 3). Since a BIM-based design validation process
The likelihood of identifying each design error without using BIM in the preconstruction phase is the same as that in the construction
was categorized into three groups according to the method pro- phase, the type of design errors detected and their causes were not
posed by Lee et al. (2012): 25%, 50%, and 75% (Table 1). These val- influenced by a difference between project phases using BIM-based
ues were determined by conducting a set of questionnaires with design validation.
six experts with more than 15-year work experience. According Discrepancies between drawings accounted for 47.8% of design
to the results of the survey, low and high probabilities of identify- errors, followed by omission (35.4%) and illogical design (16.8%) in
ing each design error without BIM were 28.3% and 73.3%, respec- the first case, while illogical design (57.4%) was the first cause of
tively (Park, 2011). Value 1 indicates that the error is unlikely to design errors in the second case. Design errors categorized by
be identified before construction without using BIM. The 25% or cause and likelihood could not be generalized because of different
less likelihood is given as a general guideline for defining un- project types and characteristics of the two cases. The first case
likely to the project team. Here the 25% likelihood is a figurative was residential buildings, while the second case involved a base-

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx 5

Fig. 4. Example of illogical design: conflict between ducts and pipes.

Fig. 5. Example of a discrepancy between drawings: Two drawings represent different floor levels.

Fig. 6. Example of omission: Wall identifier numbers are missing.

ball stadium and clubhouse. However, omission was likely to be design errors cause rework and construction waste. Therefore,
identified without using BIM in both cases (85.9% and 83.3%, design errors that had potentials to generate rework and construc-
respectively) and illogical design was relatively difficult to be tion waste should be identified to measure the amount of construc-
detected without using BIM in the two cases (86.0% and 61.6%). tion waste prevented through BIM-design validation.
Although design errors detected by the BIM-based design vali- Table 3 shows detailed analyses of the errors with a potential
dation process can lead to rework and construction waste, not all impact on construction waste generation by indexes. All design

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
6 J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

Table 2
Errors categorized by cause and likelihood of identification without BIM.

Cause Likelihood of identifying errors without BIM Case 1 Case 2


# of errors % of total % of grand total # of errors % of total % of grand total
Illogical design 1 38 59.4 16.8 2 2.6 57.4
2 17 26.6 46 59.0
3 9 14.1 30 38.5
Total 64 100.0 78 100.0
Discrepancy 1 52 28.6 47.8 3 7.5 29.4
2 98 53.8 11 27.5
3 32 17.6 26 65.0
Total 182 100.0 40 100.0
Omission 1 10 7.4 35.4 0 0.0 13.2
2 9 6.7 3 16.7
3 116 85.9 15 83.3
Total 135 100.0 18 100.0
Grand total 381 n/a 100.0 136 n/a 100.0

errors did not require rework or additional work to resolve errors. two cases (49% and 40%) and design errors with around 50% likeli-
Therefore, six project participants identified that 108 (28%) out of hood (38% and 22%) and more than 75% likelihood (8% and 9%)
381 total errors had a potential impact on rework generation based were followed. Rework with more than 75% likelihood (11%) and
on their experience to resolve each design error; 273 errors (72%) less than 25% likelihood (10%) of identifying them were the small-
had practically no impact on rework generation in the first case. est percentages of total numbers of errors that led to rework and
In the second case, 21 errors had potential effects on rework gen- construction waste in cases 1 and 2, respectively. The detected
eration (15%). There are design errors that do not cause a demoli- design errors with less than 25% likelihood had the lowest impact
tion process but increase the volume of construction waste to on the volume of construction waste prevented by BIM-based
resolve errors. For example, a discrepancy between drawings design validation in both cases (17% and 2%) although the number
may increase the volume of construction waste due to the of errors that led to rework and construction waste in case 1 was
increased amount of required materials; however, it may not the largest. In case 1, design errors with around 50% likelihood of
increase the volume of demolition waste in the construction phase identifying them without BIM accounted for the largest percentage
because the demolition process may not be required to resolve this of total volume of construction waste prevention (60%). More than
error. The numbers of the design errors in cases 1 and 2, which may 75% likelihood were the largest in case 2 (84%); however, design
increase the volume of construction waste without the demolition errors with more than 75% likelihood of identifying them without
process, were 6 and 9, respectively. Quantification of construction BIM accounted for 29% of total number of errors that can cause
waste prevented by BIM-based design validation in the two cases rework and construction waste. When construction waste was
was estimated based on the errors that generate construction grouped by the likelihood of identifying errors, the errors that
waste. could be easily detected had potentially higher impacts on the
Of the design errors categorized, omission was not the main waste (41.6 m3 and 37.9 m3 per rework) than the errors with lower
errors that had impact on construction waste generation in the chances of being detected (7.7 m3 and 2.4 m3).
two cases (5.2% and 0.0%), as shown in Table 3. Discrepancies
between drawings were the most critical error type that led to 4.2. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM
rework and construction waste in case 1 (41%), while illogical
design (19%) was critical in the generation of waste in case 2. Dis- The amount of construction waste prevented by BIM-based
crepancies between drawings (69%) and illogical design (71%) design validation was analyzed in two ways according to building
accounted for the largest percentages of total number of rework element and material types: (1) without considering the likelihood
in case 1 and case 2, respectively. Waste potentially caused by dis- of detecting each design error in the traditional drawing-based
crepancies between drawings accounted for most of the amount of design review and (2) applying the likelihood of detecting each
construction waste prevented in cases 1 and 2 (98% and 94%, design error (25%, 50%, and 75%) in quantifying construction waste
respectively). Although the number of illogical design was 71% of prevented by BIM. Quantity information extracted from BIM mod-
the total number of design errors that can cause rework in case els and separate spreadsheets were used to calculate the volume of
2, the volume of construction waste caused by illogical design prevented construction waste. Since BIM software cannot directly
was only 5.6% of the total volume of the construction waste pre- estimate the amount of construction waste prevented by BIM-
vented. When the amount of construction waste prevention per based design validation, the volume and weight of prevented con-
rework was analyzed, the waste per rework due to discrepancies struction waste were analyzed using separate spreadsheets.
between drawings ranked the highest in both cases (28.5 m3 and Building elements were categorized into the following 14 types
42.5 m3). However, the volumes of construction waste prevention in this paper: beam, cable tray, catwalk, ceiling, column, duct,
per rework, which were caused by illogical error and omission, foundation, frame, pipe, ramp, slab, stair, truss, and wall according
were small in cases 1 and 2. to their functions in a building. The total number of design errors
Detected design errors with more than 75% likelihood (41% and by the element category in the first and second cases were 114
52%, respectively) were the largest percentage of total design and 40, respectively (Table 4). The total number of design errors
errors detected by BIM-based design validation and those with in Table 3 was different from the total count of elements in Table 4
around 50% likelihood (33% and 44%) and less than 25% likelihood because one design error could affect multiple building elements
(26% and 4%) were followed. More than 40% of design errors with and some design errors could refer to the same building elements.
less than 25% likelihood of being identified had relatively high For example, as shown in Fig. 4, a conflict between pipes and a duct
impact on the numbers of rework and construction waste in the can be regarded as one design error, which is illogical error. The

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx 7

composition of the prevented construction waste by element cate-


gory in case 1 was different from that in case 2. In case 1, the main

rework (C/B)
Volume per
building elements in the construction waste generation avoided by
BIM-based design validation were structural elements like col-

12.9

12.9
42.5

37.9
2.4
2.9
1.0

0.0
umns (36%), slabs (11%), beams (10%), and walls (9%) as well as
MEP elements like ducts (11%) and pipes (11%) in case 1. In case

100.0

100.0
94.4

14.8
84.1
5.6

1.8
0.0
C/RC
(%) 2, the main building elements in the avoided construction waste
mostly included MEP elements like ducts (25%), cable trays
(23%), and pipes (20%).
The total volume of construction waste prevented by BIM-based
prevented waste

design validation in cases 1 and 2 in considering the likelihood of


detecting design errors without using BIM were 1062.0 m3 and
Volume of

(m3) (C)

270.2
79.5 m3, respectively. Without considering the likelihood, the total

270.2
15.2

38.1
4.8

227.3
255.0
0

volumes of construction waste prevented by BIM in the two cases


were 2184.6 m3 and 270.2 m3 and reduction rates considering the
100.0

100.0
71.4

28.6

61.9
28.6
9.5
0.0
B/RB

likelihood were 51.4% and 70.6%. Since the second case is less com-
(%)

plicated and smaller than the first case and the percentage of
design errors that could be easily detected without BIM in the sec-
15.4

15.4
19.2

21.7
8.5
15.0

40.0
0.0
B/A
(%)

ond case was larger than that in the first case, the reduction rate by
considering the likelihood in the second case was larger than that
rework

in the first case. From the perspective of the volume of construction


# of

(B)
15

21

13

21
6

6
0

waste prevention, the main elements that led to construction


waste were related to building elements like slabs (41%), walls
100.0

100.0
57.4

29.4
13.2

44.1
52.2
3.7
A/RA

(40%), beams (8%), and columns (7%) in case 1, while the amount
(%)

of avoided construction waste related to MEP elements was small


compared to the structural elements (less than 1%). The amounts of
Case 2

errors

construction waste related to slab and wall were 438.1 m3 and


# of

78

18

71
40

5
60
136

136
(A)

422.7 m3, which were 0.74% and 0.88% of total volumes of each
building element used in the construction site. Although the num-
rework (C/B)
Volume per

ber of foundation-related design errors found in the first case was


two, the waste volume was larger than those of MEP-related ele-
20.2

20.2
28.5

27.8
41.6
1.5

7.7
0.4

ments. The number of elements related to MEP was larger than


those related to architecture and structure in the second case.
100.0

100.0
1.8
0.4

97.8

17.3
59.8
22.9
C/RC

However, the volume of construction waste prevention associated


(%)

with architecture and structure was larger than that of MEP. Espe-
cially, the volume of avoided construction waste related to beams
and walls (68.0% and 27.7%, respectively in considering likelihood
prevented waste

to detect the error without using BIM) were larger than other ele-
ments. Reduction rates related to MEP including cable trays, ducts,
Volume of

(m3) (C)

and pipes in the two cases were smaller than those of architectural
2184.6

2184.6
9.5

2136.7

378.1

499.5
38.4

1307.0

and structural elements. This means that detecting design errors


associated with MEP is more difficult than those related to archi-
100.0

100.0
24.1

69.4

45.4
43.5
11.1
6.5

tectural and structural issues.


B/RB
(%)

Building elements were categorized in this paper according to


Detailed analysis of impacts of design errors on rework occurrence by indexes.

their material types. One element can be composed of one or more


28.3

28.3
5.2

7.6
41.2

37.9
40.6

49.0
B/A
(%)

materials. For example, a window can be composed of stainless


steel, glass, etc. The material types included concrete, metal, fin-
rework

ishes, plastic, and stone in this paper. Main material types such
# of

26

75

49
47
12
7
108

108

as metal were further divided into aluminum, carbon steel, copper,


(B)

stainless, steel, and tin.


100.0

100.0
16.8

47.8
35.4

26.2
32.5
41.2
A/RA

There were three factors considered in calculating the volume


(%)

of construction waste that was avoided by BIM-based design vali-


dation. The first one was the likelihood not being able to identify
Case 1

errors

the error in the traditional drawing-based approach, and catego-


# of

182
135
381

124
157
381
64

100
(A)

rized into 25%, 50%, and 75% by project engineers. The second
one was the increased volume factor (Fvol) that could transform
Classification

Discrepancy

the amount of construction waste into apparent volume (Llatas,


Omission
Illogical

2011). The values of the increased volume factor were determined


design

with reference to the demolition increase factors that Llatas (2011)


1
2
3

adopted from the Andalusian Construction Costs Database


(Andalusian Government Dwelling Counseling, 2010). Construc-
identifying

tion waste volume was calculated using the following Eq. (1).
Likelihood of

errors

V dw V ow  P  F v ol 1
Cause
Index

Total

Total
Table 3

where V dw is the demolished volume of construction waste pre-


vented by BIM-design validation (m3); V ow is the volume of pre-

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
8 J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

Table 4
Volume of construction waste prevention by BIM-based design validation by element category.

Element Case 1 Case 2


category
Count Volume of Volume of Reduction rate (by Count Volume of Volume of Reduction rate (by
waste (without waste (with likelihood) waste waste (with likelihood)
likelihood) likelihood) (without likelihood)
likelihood)
# % m3 % m3 % % # % m3 % m3 % %
Beam 11 9.6 143.0 6.5 80.6 7.6 43.6 1 2.5 216 79.9 54.0 68.0 75.0
Cable tray 8 7.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 26.8 9 22.5 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 29.5
Catwalk 4 10.0 4.3 1.6 1.1 1.3 75.0
Ceiling 1 0.9 8.0 0.4 2.0 0.2 75.0
Column 41 36.0 125.7 5.8 71.1 6.7 43.4
Duct 12 10.5 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 25.0 10 25.0 0.7 0.2 0.4 0.5 39.6
Foundation 2 1.8 135.5 6.2 37.4 3.5 72.4
Frame 1 2.5 2.0 0.7 0.5 0.6 75.0
Pipe 13 11.4 0.4 0.0 0.3 0.0 27.4 8 20.0 1.3 0.5 1.0 1.3 25.0
Ramp 2 1.8 12.1 0.6 6.1 0.6 50.0
Slab 12 10.5 798.9 36.6 438.1 41.3 45.2
Stair 2 1.8 7.2 0.3 3.6 0.3 50.0
Truss 1 2.5 0.7 0.3 0.3 0.4 50.0
Wall 10 8.8 953.6 43.7 422.7 39.8 55.7 6 15.0 45.0 16.7 22.0 27.7 51.1
Total 114 100.0 2184.6 100.0 1062.0 100.0 51.4 40 100.0 270.2 100.0 79.5 100.0 70.6

vented construction waste without considering the likelihood (m3); struction waste avoided by using BIM in the first case was 2.4
P is the likelihood of not being able to identify the error in the tra- times of the demolition volume, while in the second case was 2.6
ditional drawing-based approach; and F v ol is the increased volume times. This difference was caused by the percentage of metal that
factor (dimensionless). has higher density values than other materials. Density values for
Since V ow was based on preventable errors, which had not most metals like copper, stainless steel, steel, and tin, except alu-
occurred actually on site, practitioners who participated in each minum, are more than three times of the density for concrete
case estimated work scopes to resolve each design error, which (2.4). Consequently, percentages of metal in the two cases by the
was detected by BIM-based design validation, based on their expe- demolished weight were more than three times of those by the
rience and recorded BIM issue reports with several screenshots and demolished volume due to high density values of metals.
descriptions. Based on the predefined work scope of each error, V ow This paper compared the volumes of construction materials and
was calculated using volume information extracted from BIM construction waste prevented by BIM in the two cases using BIM
models. models to measure a quantitative BIM effect on construction waste
Based on the saved volume of construction waste considering reduction (Fig. 7). The volumes of construction materials used in
likelihood in detecting an error without using BIM, concrete waste both cases were extracted from the BIM models used in the pre-
comprised the largest portion of construction waste prevented by construction and construction phases. The avoided construction
BIM-based design validation in the two cases (98.3% and 95.6%), waste was estimated based on the volume of construction waste
as shown in Tables 5 and 6. Stone (1.4%) and finishes (0.2%) fol- by considering the likelihood of identifying errors without using
lowed in case 1, while metal (4.1%) followed in case 2. BIM. The volume of construction waste avoided by BIM-based
As shown in Tables 5 and 6, the values of volume change factor design validation was 0.8% of total volume of construction materi-
range from 1.02 (metal) to 2.00 (plastic). The total demolition vol- als in the first case.
umes of construction waste avoided by using BIM in the two cases Concrete (67%) was the main material used in case 1, followed
were almost 1.1 times the volumes of waste avoided by using BIM by masonry (18%), finishes (11%), metal (4%), etc., because this case
and considering the likelihood. This rate was similar to the volume involved reinforced concrete structures. Concrete was also the
change factors for concrete because concrete was the main sources main material that was saved by BIM-based design validation
of construction waste in both cases. However, the percentages of and its percentage was almost 98%, with stone and finishes follow-
each material by demolition volume in the two cases were similar ing. The BIM-based design validation process did not impact on
to those by volume of construction waste. reduction of construction waste of glass, metal, plastic, and
The third factor that was considered is a unit conversion factor masonry in the first case. The volume of construction waste
as formulated in Eq. (2). Since some waste management planning avoided by BIM-based design validation was 0.6% of total volume
processes like waste disposal charging fee calculations are based of construction materials in the second case. In case 2, concrete
on weight information rather than volume, density information is (80%) was also the main material used, followed by masonry
needed to calculate material weight. Default density values are (8.2%), plastic (4.7%), finishes (3.1%), metal (1.7%), and glass
assigned to various material categories, as shown in Tables 5 and (1.3%). On the other hand, the materials that were not wasted by
6 (Cheng and Ma, 2013; SI Metric, 2014). BIM was different from that of the construction materials used.
Construction waste avoided by BIM-based design validation was
W dw V dw  q 2 concrete (96%), metal (4%), and plastic (0.3%).
where W dw is the weight of prevented construction waste (ton); and This paper compared the volumes of construction waste dis-
q is the default density of the waste material (ton/m3). posed at landfills and that avoided by BIM-based design validation
Although density values of each material depend on many fac- to analyze the quantitative benefit of the BIM-based design valida-
tors, the default density values of materials were used in this tion process on construction waste reduction. This paper used the
paper. The range of density values was from 1.1 (finishes plaster demolished volumes of avoided construction waste (1168.3 m3
board) to 9.0 (metal copper). The total demolition weight of con- and 87.3 m3) by considering the likelihood of detecting errors

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx 9

Table 5
Volume of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation by materials (case 1).

Material Material type Volume of Volume of Increased volume factor Demolished Density values Demolished
prevented waste prevented waste volume of weight of
(without (with prevented waste prevented waste
likelihood) likelihood)
V ow V ow  P F v ol V dw q W dw
m3 % m3 % m3 % ton %
Case 1 Concrete Concrete cast-in-place 2071.1 94.81 1002.2 94.37 1.10 1102.4 94.36 2.4 2645.8 94.33
Concrete plain 84.0 3.85 42.0 3.95 1.10 46.2 3.95 2.4 110.9 3.95
Total 2155.1 98.65 1044.2 98.32 1148.6 98.31 2756.7 98.29
Metal Metal aluminum 0.1 0.00 0.0 0.00 1.02 0.0 0.00 2.7 0.1 0.00
Metal copper 0.0 0.00 0.0 0.00 1.02 0.0 0.00 9.0 0.1 0.00
Metal stainless 0.1 0.01 0.1 0.01 1.02 0.1 0.01 7.9 0.9 0.03
Metal steel 0.1 0.01 0.1 0.01 1.02 0.1 0.01 7.2 0.5 0.02
Metal tin 0.1 0.00 0.0 0.00 1.02 0.0 0.00 7.1 0.3 0.01
Total 0.4 0.02 0.3 0.03 0.3 0.03 1.9 0.07
Finishes Plaster board 8.0 0.37 2.0 0.19 1.10 2.2 0.19 1.1 2.4 0.09
Total 8.0 0.37 2.0 0.19 2.2 0.19 1.1 2.4 0.09
Plastic Plastic CPVC 0.1 0.00 0.0 0.00 2.00 0.1 0.01 1.5 0.1 0.00
Plastic PVC 0.2 0.01 0.1 0.01 2.00 0.3 0.03 1.7 0.5 0.02
Total 0.3 0.01 0.2 0.02 0.4 0.03 0.6 0.02
Stone Stone granite 1.1 0.05 0.6 0.05 1.10 0.6 0.05 2.6 1.6 0.06
Stone marble 18.8 0.86 14.1 1.33 1.10 15.5 1.33 2.6 40.3 1.44
Stone mock marble 0.9 0.04 0.7 0.06 1.10 0.7 0.06 1.8 1.3 0.05
Total 20.8 0.95 15.3 1.44 16.8 1.44 43.2 1.54
Grand total 2184.6 100.00 1062.0 100.00 1168.3 100.00 2804.8 100.00

Table 6
Volume of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation by materials (case 2).

Material Material type Volume of Volume of Increased volume factor Demolished Density values Demolished
prevented prevented volume of weight of
waste (without waste (with prevented prevented
likelihood) likelihood) waste waste
V ow V ow  P F v ol V dw q W dw
m3 % m3 % m3 % ton %
Case 2 Concrete Concrete cast-in-place 261.0 96.60 76.0 95.60 1.10 83.6 95.76 2.4 200.6 89.04
Total 261.0 96.60 76.0 95.60 83.6 95.76 200.6 89.04
Metal Metal aluminum 0.2 0.07 0.1 0.13 1.02 0.1 0.11 2.7 0.4 0.18
Metal carbon steel 0.2 0.07 0.1 0.13 1.02 0.1 0.11 7.9 1.0 0.44
Metal stainless 0.6 0.22 0.4 0.50 1.02 0.5 0.57 9 4.1 1.82
Metal steel 7.0 2.59 1.9 2.39 1.02 2.0 2.29 7.2 14.1 6.26
Metal tin 1.0 0.37 0.6 0.75 1.02 0.6 0.69 7.1 4.5 2.00
Total 8.9 3.29 3.2 4.03 3.3 3.78 24.0 10.65
Plastic Plastic PVC 0.3 0.11 0.2 0.25 2.00 0.4 0.46 1.7 0.7 0.31
Total 0.3 0.11 0.2 0.25 0.4 0.46 0.7 0.31
Grand total 270.2 100.00 79.5 100.00 87.3 100.00 225.3 100.00

without using BIM to compare the disposed and avoided construc- works was huge compared to general buildings although the total
tion waste because construction waste disposed on construction floor area of two buildings was 9995 m3. Therefore, it was difficult
sites are usually demolished before being delivered. The volumes to directly compare construction waste data in the second case
of construction waste actually disposed of in cases 1 and 2, which with those general buildings.
were collected from a project management information system The volume of construction waste avoided by using BIM-based
of a general contractor in the first case and documents submitted design validation were 15.2% and 4.3% of the sum of the volumes of
to Korean government in the second case, were 6495.0 m3 construction waste disposed of in the first and second cases,
(0.129 ton/m2) and 1957.0 m3 (0.472 ton/m2), respectively respectively. In other words, the volumes of generated construc-
(Table 7). The construction waste rates in two cases were higher tion waste might be increased to 7663.3 m3 and 2044.3 m3 without
than those in residential and non-residential projects in South using BIM in two cases.
Korea, which were 0.0481 ton/m2 and 0.0349 ton/m2, respectively Innes (2004) and Osmani et al. (2008) estimated that around
(Kim et al., 2013). However, Kim et al. (2013) excluded several pro- 30% of total construction waste on site was related to design errors.
jects in calculating the average construction waste rate because The volume of construction waste related to design errors in cases
those projects had high construction waste rates compared to 1 and 2 could hence be estimated as 2299.0 m3 and 613.3 m3,
other projects. The average construction waste rate of the excluded respectively. Therefore, the volumes of construction waste pre-
projects, which was around 0.200 ton/m2, was higher than that in vented by BIM-based design validation in both cases were 50.8%
case 1 (0.129 ton/m2) and smaller than that in case 2. The second (1168.3/2299.0) and 14.2% (87.3/613.3) of the volume of construc-
case is a sports complex composed of a baseball stadium, club tion waste that can be associated with design errors.
house, and park. Since the size of the construction site was The difference between the prevention percentages in cases 1
79,507 m3, the amount of construction waste generated by earth (15.2%) and 2 (4.3%) was caused by project complexity and rework

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
10 J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx

Construction materials Construction waste prevented by BIM


Case 1 Total volume 131,396.3 m3 1,061.5 m3
Composition

Case 2 Total volume 12,852.0 m3 79.5 m3


Composition

Fig. 7. Comparison of compositions of construction materials and construction waste prevented by BIM in the two cases.

that generated by clients requests for design changes. The likeli- Table 7
hood to identify design errors detected in case 2 without BIM- The volumes of construction waste disposed at landfills and prevented by BIM-based
design validation.
based design validation was higher than that in case 1 because of
different project complexity in two cases. Consequently, the Notation Case 1 Case 2
amount of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design val- Volume of construction waste disposed at X 6495.0 1957.0
idation was decreased in case 2 when considering the likelihood. In landfill (m3)
addition, since a large number of rework was generated in case 2 Volume of construction waste prevented by Y 1168.3 87.3
BIM-based design validation (m3)
by clients request for design changes, the amount of construction Volume of expected construction waste X+Y 7663.3 2044.3
waste disposed was increased. without BIM-based design validation (m3)
Percentage of the volume of construction Y/(X + Y) 15.2% 4.3%
5. Conclusions waste prevented by using BIM

This paper provided a method to quantify the amount of con-


struction waste avoided by the BIM-based design validation pro-
cess and also to demonstrate the amount of construction waste with conventional construction. The construction waste reduction
that could be reduced using BIM-based design validation through rates in two cases were 15.2% and 4.3% when adopting BIM. In spite
two case projects. Considering the likelihood of identifying errors of the different construction waste reduction rates, positive effects
when BIM was not deployed and the traditional drawing-based on construction waste minimization through BIM-based design
approach, the amount of construction waste was analyzed in calcu- validation are also expected in another construction project
lating construction waste avoided by using BIM. because the decreased number of design errors and rework by
From two BIM project cases, 517 design errors, including illog- using BIM is one of major BIM benefits in most previous AEC
ical errors, omission, and discrepancies between drawings, were projects.
detected before construction through BIM-based design validation The avoided waste was concentrated in architectural and struc-
in the preconstruction and construction phases. Project partici- tural elements from the perspective of the volume of avoided con-
pants analyzed that 129 errors (25%) had potential impact on struction waste considering the likelihood of detecting errors
rework and construction waste generation. Construction waste without using BIM, although it was more difficult to detect MEP-
that could be potentially generated by discrepancies between related errors without using BIM than for architectural and struc-
drawings without BIM-based design validation accounted for more tural errors. Concrete waste comprises the largest portion of avoid-
than 90% of the total volume of construction waste prevented in able construction waste by using BIM in the two cases (more than
both cases. The errors that could be easily detected without BIM 95%).
had potentially high impact on waste generation in cases 1 and 2 By considering delivery and disposal costs for the generated
(41.6 m3 and 37.9 m3 per rework). Therefore, the amount of con- construction waste on site, BIM-based design validation can have
struction waste may be significantly increased if the errors cannot additional effects on construction waste planning and manage-
be identified with high likelihoods of identifying them without ment. Actual costs for processing construction waste disposed at
using BIM before construction. landfills in cases 1 and 2, which were measured based on the vol-
Construction waste reduction is one of the major benefits when umes of construction waste, were USD 133,267 and 24,203, respec-
design errors that can lead to rework and construction waste are tively. Since the construction waste reduction rates in the
detected by conducting BIM-based design validation compared preconstruction and construction phases were 15.2% and 4.3%, case

Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026
J. Won et al. / Waste Management xxx (2016) xxxxxx 11

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Please cite this article in press as: Won, J., et al. Quantification of construction waste prevented by BIM-based design validation: Case studies in South
Korea. Waste Management (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2015.12.026