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The Canadian construction industry generates 30% of the total municipal solid waste deposited in landfills. Ample evidence can be found in the published literature about rework and waste generation due to ambiguity and errors in contract documents. Also, the literature quotes that disclaimer clauses in contract documents are included in the contractual agreements to prevent contractor claims, which often cause rework. Our professional practice has also noted that there are several disclaimer clauses in standard contract documents which have the potential to cause rework (and associated waste). This article illustrates a comparative study of standard contractual documents and their potential to create rework (and associated waste) in different regions of the world. The objectives of this study are (1) to analyse standard contractual documents in Canada, the USA and Australia in terms of their potential to generate rework and waste, and (2) to propose changes/amendments to the existing standard contract documents to minimise/avoid rework. In terms of construction waste management, all the reviewed standard contract documents have deficiencies. The parties that produce the contract documents include exculpatory clauses to avoid the other party's claims. This approach tends to result in rework and construction waste. The contractual agreements/contract documents should be free from errors, deficiencies, ambiguity and unfair risk transfers to minimise/avoid potential to generate rework and waste.


Daylath Mendis, Kasun N Hewage, Joanna Wrzesniewski. Reduction of construction wastes by improving construction contract management: a multinational evaluation. Waste management & research : the journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA. 2013 Oct;31(10):1062-9

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PMID: 23836104

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