Building materials occupy a large proportion of construction costs, comprising of nearly 50%, although the exact percentage varies from project to project. Given how important building materials are, due attention must be given to the strategies for procuring them. This study investigates building material purchasing practices and examines significant factors that could impact the optimum building materials for a specific project selection. This paper is an outcome of a PhD study conducted to improve supply chain practices relating to building materials for residential buildings in New Zealand in such a way that delivers the highest possible value to all stakeholders. The broader PhD study employed both qualitative (subject matter expert interviews) and quantitative (questionnaire survey) methods to gather information from those who supply and manufacture building materials, architects, builders, and homeowners. It found that the facilitation of effective materials management processes is reliant on the collaborative efforts of the entire supply chain in any construction project. When determining “best buy” decisions for key material inputs, the roles of the contractor, clients, and suppliers cannot be disconnected. Decisions relating to building materials were categorized into demand-side or supply-side choices, and a framework was developed to support supply chain stakeholder decisions in selecting appropriate materials for residential construction projects.
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