Monday, December 23, 2013


Storage of Materials ~ this can be defined as the provision of adequate space, protection and control for building materials and components held on site during the construction process. The actual requirements for specific items should be familiar to students who have completed studies in construction technology at an introductory level but the need for storage and control of materials held on site can be analysed further:-

1. Physical Properties - size, shape, weight and mode of delivery will assist in determining the safe handling and stacking method(s) to be employed on site, which in turn will enable handling and storage costs to be estimated.
2. Organisation - this is the planning process of ensuring that all the materials required are delivered to site at the correct time, in sufficient quantity, of the right quality, the means of unloading is available and that adequate space for storage or stacking has been allocated.

3. Protection - building materials and components can be classified as durable or non-durable, the latter will usually require some form of weather protection to prevent deterioration whilst in store.

4. Security - many building materials have a high resale and/or usage value to persons other than those for whom they were ordered and unless site security is adequate material losses can become unacceptable.

5. Costs - to achieve an economic balance of how much expenditure can be allocated to site storage facilities the following should be taken into account:-

a. Storage areas, fencing, racks, bins, etc.
b. Protection requirements.
c. Handling, transporting and stacking requirements.
d. Salaries and wages of staff involved in storage of materials and components.
e. Heating and/or lighting if required.
f. Allowance for losses due to wastage, deterioration, vandalism and theft.
g. Facilities to be provided for subcontractors.

6. Control - checking quality and quantity of materials at delivery and during storage period, recording delivery and issue of materials and monitoring stock holdings.

Site Storage Space ~ the location and size(s) of space to be allocated for any particular material should be planned by calculating the area(s) required and by taking into account all the relevant factors before selecting the most appropriate position on site in terms of handling, storage and convenience. Failure to carry out this simple planning exercise can result in chaos on site or having on site more materials than there is storage space available.

Calculation of Storage Space Requirements ~ each site will present its own problems since a certain amount of site space must be allocated to the units of accommodation, car parking, circulation and working areas, therefore the amount of space available for materials storage may be limited. The size of the materials or component being ordered must be known together with the proposed method of storage and this may vary between different sites of similar building activities. There are therefore no standard solutions for allocating site storage space and each site must be considered separately to suit its own requirements.

Typical Examples ~

Bricks - quantity = 15,200 to be delivered in strapped packs of 380 bricks per pack each being 1100mm wide X 670mm long X 850mm high. Unloading and stacking to be by forklift truck to form 2 rows 2 packs high.

Areas for other materials stored on site can be calculated using the basic principles contained in the examples above.

Site Allocation for Materials Storage ~ the area and type of storage required can be determined as shown on pages 100 to 102, but the allocation of an actual position on site will depend on:-

1. Space available after areas for units of accommodation have been allocated.
2. Access facilities on site for delivery, vehicles.
3. Relationship of storage area(s) to activity area(s) - the distance between them needs to be kept as short as possible to reduce transportation needs in terms of time and costs to the minimum. Alternatively storage areas and work areas need to be sited within the reach of any static transport plant such as a tower crane.
4. Security - needs to be considered in the context of site operations, vandalism and theft.
5. Stock holding policy - too little storage could result in delays awaiting for materials to be delivered, too much storage can be expensive in terms of weather and security protection requirements apart from the capital used topurchase the materials stored on site.

Bricks ~ may be supplied loose or strapped in unit loads and stored on timber pallets

Drainage Pipes ~ supplied loose or strapped together on timber pallets

Gullies etc., should be stored upside down and supported to remain level

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