A construction site has many materials at any one point. Most of these are usually in their raw state, meaning that they will undergo some process before they can be input into the building to form a part of the building. They come in different forms and can be categorized as below;
· Factory Goods: These are mostly off the shelf items, they are unique in the fact that they can easily be resold and are therefore easy targets for pilferage. They are also delicate in the fact that they have unique storage requirements. Examples here include;
o Cement: The most important attribute to consider in the storage of cement is the fact that it reacts chemically when in contact with moisture. For this reason, it should be kept under shade and on a platform, away from excessive moisture.
o Ceramics: These include water closets, wash basins, Tiles and the like. They are extremely delicate and will easily break. This attribute is also shared with glasses. They should therefore be properly packaged in padded cartons and away from areas of much activity, usually under lock and key.
o Ironmongery: These include locks, hinges, handles and the like. Owing to their small sizes, they are prone to pilfering. These should also be kept well locked and only issued under strict accountability.
· Raw materials: This category belongs to the main items like stone, ballast and sand. These are not prone to the previous problems like weather and pilferage. However, they have one attribute that is being bulky. They consume a lot of space on site and require a generous allocation of storage space. These are best stored in bays and contained using things like stones, in the case of sand.
· Workshop finished items: This category also includes semi-finished items, for example in the case of timber. Items here are usually ready for installing in the works and are mostly purpose made. Some may have been imported from overseas and in their exact measurements. This means that damage or loss of such will lead to a very expensive work of replacement. Examples here include Fixtures, timber, roofing materials et cetera.
Material storage is a very important part of site management. How materials are delivered and dispatched determines how easily things flow. In almost all cases, site space is usually restricted and as such, material storage should be very well thought out. One thing to consider is that only the important and requisite materials and items per time should be stored on site to minimize on the risks mentioned above. Records should be kept very in good accuracy of all materials required, ordered, delivered, accepted, stored, dispatched, put to the works and any deficits. Good material storage ensures the following benefits on site.
· Easy movement around site
· Reduction in waste and damages
· Reduction of loss by theft or otherwise