How to minimize material consumption
during construction

In times of material shortage and ecology concerns to preserve Earth (IPPC report), minimizing material demand is a pressing issue. This covers installation of the infrastructure as well as consumables. An example are gaseous emissions when welding pipes for fab infrastructure. In this context, waste can be both material losses and unnecessary work when two of them add cost and fail to add value to the product. By reducing material waste on projects, individual customers gain more value and the economy as a whole benefits too.

So what can contractors do to minimize their footprint?
Let us dive into the three areas that offer the highest gains.

Leveraging technology

Lack of knowledge about construction techniques during design, installation and operation can be wasteful and inefficient. Here are a few examples of the current developing technologies that help to address the issue:

BIM mastery. BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modeling, a process of 3D modeling that is highly collaborative, allowing architects, engineers, real estate developers, contractors, manufacturers, and other construction professionals to design, plan, and construct a structure or building in one model.

A negative example is when poor communication leads to mistakes and errors that might cause wasteful orders of material and re-working on site. On the other hand, the multi-participant collaboration enables quantities and shared properties of materials to be extracted easily. 

Moreover, subcontractors from every trade can input critical information into the model before construction begins, allowing some systems to be prefabricated or pre-assembled off-site. Thus, the on-site waste is reduced and products are delivered on a just-in-time basis rather than being stockpiled.

Better BIM models. Using models with higher levels of detail, to better predict material consumption. Let us first point out the cons of  using models with low levels of detail. Lack of attention paid to dimensional coordination of products, lack of information in the drawings and overall poor site layout cause significant errors and inefficiency. Using better BIM models effectively resolves those issues. That way less unused material enters the construction site to begin with.

Real-time Feedback. In the construction phase there will be changes. The layout will change and the connection points can be moved too. Having updated feedback from the on-site, like 3D scanners, provides actual information. Thus the construction professionals work with reliable information instead of an outdated one. The clear benefit is predicting clashes before they happen.


When it comes to inventory, there are two competing principles:
just-in-time vs. just-in-case. 

Just-in-time” (JIT) means having inventory arriving precisely when needed, no sooner, making storage costs much lower, and production much leaner. The downside is vulnerability when facing unexpected disruptions in the supply chain – especially like the mentioned shortages of raw materials. Delays in delivery due to bad weather or a political crisis might also hinder manufacturing.

Just-in-case” (JIC) inventory strategies are based on expected demand/sales and require companies to purchase supplies in advance to meet any level of demand based on defined parameters. If demand slows and inventories stagnate, these systems may be wasteful.

Since its outburst in the 1980’s the JIT lean approach began gradually dominating the industry due to its efficient and profitable nature. But COVID-19 and other recent factors have started creating new global trends. JIT is more susceptible to disruptions in the supply chain, which has become a global growing phenomenon. Surprisingly, the recent material shortages have caused many unexpected price changes which is a soft spot for the JIT method. 

More and more companies are adopting a Case-by-case basis approach. Each project or material should be examined separately to choose the most efficient delivery system. All considerations and construction levels should be taken into account.

Another option is shortening the delivery path. Finding a local supplier enables inventories to be less subjected to delivery problems, thus shortens the time from order to arrival. 

Considering that companies can’t control lead times and shortages with just-in-time, as we see with car makers suffering huge delays in production, we expect to see a more balanced way combining those methods.

Modular construction

Modular construction involves building structures off-site, under controlled conditions, using the same materials and following the same codes and standards as conventional construction, but it takes only a fraction of the time. When assembled on site,. In many ways, modularisation is greener, faster and smarter. 

Subcontractors or suppliers that per-fabricate parts of the project are usually experts in more specific fields. They select better quality materials, are familiar with all alternatives and latest updates, and work in a clean and supervised environment. All these are crucial in minimizing material consumption.

What can we do?

We (Lesico Process Piping or LPP) help fabs get their chips done earlier by providing industrial piping solutions. And we do this with passion and precision. we can support our partners with design, subcontracting, project oversight, parts manufacturing and inventory supply and management.

Interested in a collaboration with a reliable supplier?

We have capabilities and domain expertise from serving the semiconductor industry for the past 15 years. Furthermore, we are serving some of the biggest players in the industry. In addition, we are working with large inventories and have strong relationships with suppliers from around the world. To learn more, check out our services and material-supply offering. Or reach out to us at: [email protected]