Submitted by: -
B. Arch. V Yr. 9th Sem.
The term ‘materials’ denotes all purchased items utilized at the project site including
construction materials, supporting plant and equipment, and administrative facilities
and stores. It is an important element in project planning and control. Materials
represent a major expense in construction, so minimizing procurement or purchase
costs presents important opportunities for reducing costs. We can also say Materials
management is a process, which tells how:
Materials are estimated.
Materials are acquired.
The packaging is specified.
The delivery schedule is designed.
The contractors plan materials use and how they manage previously used
materials and cuts.
It is also how the customer expects the contractor, and contractor its
subcontractors, and the subcontractors its workers -- to care for and properly
manage the materials provided.
Materials planning, which is the key function of the materials
management is closely linked with project planning.
Both these together develop a plan for procurement and stocking of construction
materials so as to provide at the site materials of the right quality in the right
quantity at the right prices from the right sources at the right time.
Poor materials management can also result in large and avoidable costs during
First, if materials are purchased early, capital may be tied up and interest charges
incurred on the excess inventory of materials.
Materials may deteriorate during storage or be stolen unless special care is taken.
For example, electrical equipment often must be stored in waterproof locations.
Second, delays and extra expenses may be incurred if materials required for
particular activities are not available.
Materials broadly divided into: repetitive and non-repetitive items.
Repetitive items include raw materials and other stores consumed regularly for
production, maintenance and administration.
Materials management is not just a concern during the monitoring stage in which
construction is taking place. Decisions about material procurement may also be
required during the initial planning and scheduling stages. In turn, this group would
maintain inventories of standard items to reduce the delay in providing material or to
obtain lower costs due to bulk purchasing.
A Materials Management Plan, formulated through the process of the guidelines, consist
of procedures guiding all the professionals and trades involved in the entire process of the
building creation from design through finish.
It is a two-phase plan corresponding to the Design Phase and the Construction Phase of
any project. Within each of these phases are four sections -Review, Reduce, Reuse and
Recycle. The process and results of the planning done in the Design Phase corresponds
directly to the site materials management plan. The Plan that should be design should
consider the "Four R's": -
Review: Reconsider your design philosophies and practices. Review your company's
policies regarding estimating and purchasing and your site construction practices. And
review the sources of those policies and are they valid in today's economy or procedures:
Reduce: Reduce quantities purchased as well as waste. A way of looking at the
estimator's and purchaser's "fudge factor" is that they are actually specifying the waste
amounts. More care taken on the jobsite and different cleanup practices could
dramatically reduce waste. You could probably create a substantial list of waste-reducing
Reuse: Form lumber is used more than once, but generally for another concrete form.
Used plastic film can be stored and used to cover exposed work in case of inclement
Recycle: Plan the recycling of your construction waste before the project starts at the site.
Once the project is underway, treat the waste recycling as rigorously as you would the
quality of your construction.
Need For Materials Management And Control
Small % of savings in materials can reduce the construction / production to a fair
Main object of material management is to cost reduction &
efficient handling of materials at all stages.
Economy: Considered most important parameter for any civil engineering
project. Materials alone constitute 60-70% of the project.
Materials Usage Standard:
Materials and labor costs are conceptualized during the inception stage by using
While contracting the quantities of work involved in a project are detailed in the
contract bill of quantities.
But there is an inherent material wastage associated with all types of materials.
Standard wastage of the construction materials depends upon many variables such
as the nature of the work, type of materials, method of application, etc.
Main causes of controllable wastage at various stages can be due to following:
(a) Wastage on account of designers specifying non-standard materials having
(b) Wastage due to incorrect purchasing resulting in over buying, wrong buying,
unnecessary buying and untimely buying.
(c) Wastage in transportation, breakage, etc.
Materials received at construction site and are to be stored properly till they are
consumed on works or disposed of otherwise.
Objectives of store management
a) Minimum utilization of the space for storage.
b) Easy handling during the process of receipt, inspection storage and issue and to
ensure undisturbed flow.
c) Preservation of stores against spillage, breakage, deterioration and theft.
d) Proper maintenance of store accounts to have control over receipts and issues and
to fix accountability of any deficiency.
Functions of store management
Receiving materials, goods and equipments and checking them for identification.
Proper recording to receipts of goods.
Placement of right materials at right place.
Issue of items to the users only on the receipt of authorized store requisitions.
Recording and updating receipts and issue of materials.
Making sure that stores are kept clean & in good orders.
Preventing unauthorized persons from entering the stores.
Planning of storage space.
Location and layout of store
Should be carefully decided and planned to ensure maximum efficiency.
Location that minimizes total handling costs and other costs related to store
Nature and value of the items to be stored and the frequency with which the items
are received and issued.
Minimum wastage of space.
Max. Case of handling.
List of various storages space are:
Floor space, platform, racks, shelves, bins, trays, bunkers, and tankers.
Storing & stacking materials
Cement and lime must be stored in covered sheds.
Reinforcing bars are to be stacked in moisture free area.
Timber must be stacked in a well-ventilated shady space.
Coarse aggregate and fine aggregates must be stacked on hard clean surface.
Bricks, tiles & concrete / stone blocks are stacked on g.l unto 2 meters.
Door / window frames &framed panels are to be stacked vertically and fully
Water supply pipes and drainpipes are to be stacked on timber.
Sheet glass should be stacked with an inclination of 3 – 6 degree on hard bed.
Highly inflammable materials should be stacked separately.
Materials handling management
Material handling management consists the use of proper techniques for moving,
transporting, storing or distributing materials with / without mechanical
Right material must be available at right places at right time and at the right cost.
Material movement planning must be economical in terms of time & labor.
Scope of material management:
Timely purchase of materials
Close coordination with the various construction sub-wings
Proper inventory control and storage of materials
Use of modern construction techniques
A good purchase man
Objectives of material management:
Economy in material costs
Efficient control of inventories
Ensure uniform flow of material
Ensure right quality at right price.
Establish and maintain good relations with the customers.
Economical consumption of important items.
Functions of material department:
Estimating the type of materials, their actual quantities and time at which they
will be required.
To ensure continuous material supply at reasonable rates.
Reporting changes in market conditions.
Providing proper storage and distribution systems.
Arranging transportation for incoming and outgoing materials.
Disposal of excess stocks, surplus and scrap items.
Coordination between various departments.
Training personnel in the field to increase operational efficiency
Common construction materials:
Cement and steel
Bricks, lime, stone chips
Steel window grills, handrails, and steel storage tank, steel fabricated items.
Sanitary and electrical materials
Fixtures and fastenings
Coal tar, bitumen, water proofing materials
Materials Provisioning Process:
Study contract documents to identify items for purchase.
Estimate quantities to be purchased.
Float inquiry indents to locate sources of supply.
Invite quotations from selected vendors.
Analyse quotations receive and vendors pre qualifications.
Submit proposals for technical, financial and client’s approval.
Negotiate with vendors finalize supply orders.
Place purchase orders monitor order execution.
Conduit pre-shipment inspections, where necessary.
Inspect goods received at site initiate action where warranted for in-transit
losses/theft/damages and rejections of sub-standard supply item.
Close materials supply contract after confirming no-further demand from
concerned site manager. Inform accounts, planning, costing and project manager,
Identification Of Materials Package:
Materials breakdown specially, of bulk materials, can be determined from the bill
of quantities, which contain work-items with quantities of work involved
generally, listed in the order of execution.
In case of electrical and mechanical items, a detailed scrutiny is required to
identify the item and its components.
Materials package include all types and qualities of materials needed to perform a
given activity or a work-item. Ex-the concreting of the foundation not only
requires cement, sand, agg. and water but it may also need polythene sheets to be
laid under the concreting surface. Further, each one of these items should meet the
Scheduling Materials Requirements:
After the quantity of materials required for the work is evaluated, a usage schedule at site
based on the project construction plan is prepared with view to evolve their delivery
schedules and the stocking policy.
Materials Procurement Enquiries:
Materials enquiry indents containing quantities, specifications and delivery times are
jointly prepared by the project planning cell and materials procurement department. The
materials department for inviting quotations with the samples of materials processes
these, where applicable.
Monitoring Materials Delivery Schedule:
After the purchase order is placed with the vendor, a number of steps are necessary to
ensure that the right quality and right quantity of materials arrive at the site at the right
time. These include:
Preparation and monitoring the materials movement schedule.
Conduct pre-transportation inspections where necessary.
Obtain periodic information on shipment/transportation status.
Keep ready the documents necessary for clearing customs and other formalities
Plan in advance for receiving materials at the site. This includes unloading place,
machinery for handling at site; persons for inspecting materials for correctness;
storage arrangement and the construction site/persons who are to be intimated on
Assisting the construction management in checking the materials when received
at the site for correctness of quality as per requirement and bringing out
discrepancies, if any, to the notice of the materials management for further action
including timely replacement/recording and claiming insurance/compensation if
Planning Materials Inventory
Need for planning inventory:
Materials need for each activity have to cater for lead-time necessary to procure
materials, build up sufficient working stock, hold safety stock, and at the same
time, exercise economy in procuring materials. All this results in materials stock
build-up at the project site.
Construction materials stock costs money, it locks up the capital invested for
making purchases, and occupies built-in accommodation and open storage space.
The magnitude of materials stock and inventory of each item will depend on
many factors, which are discussed in subsequent paragraphs.
The term ‘inventory’ implies the cost of materials in stock at a given time.
The stock of materials is held to act as a cushion between supply and demand.
The monetary value of inventory indicates the extent of investment required to
maintain minimum stock of materials for the smooth running of the project.
Higher inventory implies higher investment, and fewer inventories carry the risk
of supplies falling behind demand.
A balanced inventory acts as a cushion between supply and site requirement till
suppliers are received.
Safety stock to cater for slippages in delivery schedules.
Planning Inventory Of Non-Repetitive One-Time Purchase Materials:
These materials are purchased for a specific purpose such as architectural fittings
and fixtures, water supply and sanitation, HVAC and electrical and mechanical
works and moveable and fixed equipment.
It is important that these materials must be interlinked with connected
construction activities and specifications, and possibly, codified during the
Use Of Operations Research In Materials Planning:
Operations research and statistical techniques can be usefully employed to plan
procurement of materials. Some of the typical applications of these techniques in this
field are as under:
(a) Linear programming-for minimizing transportation costs and time.
(b) Allocation-for quantities to be purchased from each of the various sources of
(c) Make or buy decisions-for setting up materials manufacturing and fabrication
units at the project site.
(d) Materials inventory models-for meeting the given production schedule.
(e) Materials mix-for various end products and site manufactures items.
(f) Queuing problems-for inventory stocking and transportation.
(g) Statistical analysis-for various types of distribution and risks.
How the companies do the material management: -