Do a trip around construction sites throughout Europe and you will see sand and cement being mixed in a silo, delivered to site and put in a wheelbarrow, a few buttons pressed and a perfect mix of render, mortar or cementitious slurry coming out, with bricklayers and plasterers using only what they need and none going to waste.

Too often in Australia, by contrast, a three-tonne truck arrives on site and dumps it all on the floor, with maybe two tonnes at most being used and the remainder wasted. This, University of Newcastle conjoint professor John Smolders FAIB NBPR-1 said, is but one example where practices within the…