An application of bar-code system for reducing construction wastes

Zhen Chen, Heng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a group-based incentive reward program (IRP) to encourage workers to minimize avoidable wastes of construction materials by rewarding them according to the amounts and values of materials they saved. Bar-code technique is used to facilitate effective management of construction materials. An IRP-integrated construction management system is also introduced to avoid jerrybuilding and solve reschedule problem due to rework of quality failure. An experiment is conducted on a residential project in Hong Kong and results from the experiment demonstrate the effectiveness of the IRP in motivating workers to reduce construction wastes. Discussions on the relationship between construction waste reduction and time and cost performances are also presented. Difficulties and challenges of applying IRP are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-533
Number of pages13
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number5
Early online date14 Jun 2002
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • bar-code system
  • construction wastes
  • incentive reward program


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