Construction chute at a site

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What is a Chute in Construction?

A chute is a type of equipment that is widely used in tall structures to conveniently and safely remove or convey debris, bricks, wood, metal, plastics, or other similar material from the upper levels to the ground level or basement level (which is utilized for building construction). Installed in a safe, accessible location on building sites, these chutes provide an easy solution for workers to manage site debris. This gadget is made up of a chain of cylindrical or conical tubes connected by chains. It can be round, square, or rectangular, and constructed of materials such as stainless steel, plastic, and others. It functions as a funnel, accepting items from the top aperture and directing them downward down its tube. This is used to transport all unwanted construction trash and garbage to a collecting location, from where it is transported or discarded.

Types of chute in construction

Laundry Chute

Clothes chutes are commonly seen in hotels and households to efficiently transport soiled washing from one spot to the laundry facility. These chutes are located on each floor and have an openable gate via which users can access them. These chutes are often constructed of stainless steel or aluminum. This chute saves us time by avoiding the need for elevators and stairs for the vertical transfer of dirty clothes. It is simple to use and free of flaws. Because of construction bye-laws and other requirements, such as fire safety, these chutes were less popular in prior structures. It is capable of causing a fire to spread directly from floor to floor, putting the residents in danger.

Linen chutes or laundry chutes are used in hotels, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to transfer and collect dirty linen and laundry.

Garbage Chute

Garbage chutes, or refuse chutes, are constructed in high-rise residential buildings. Residents can use these chutes to dispose of garbage from their floors without leaving the building. Every floor has an opening from which they can dispose of their waste through this chute. These chutes lead the waste to the composter or dumpster at the lower level.

Garbage chutes and rubbish chutes are used in office buildings, high-rise apartments, condominiums, and other buildings with multiple floors.

Chutes can be constructed with different materials, shapes, and sizes (diameters).


Most Chutes consist of:

  • An intake section with a door installed at the front
  • A long expansion duct, tube, section through which material passes
  • Floor braces to provide support
  • And an outlet door at the exit. It also act as a barrier in fire related situations [1]

Construction Chute

Construction chutes are most commonly found on construction sites or at demolition sites to easily transfer construction waste, rubble, debris, etc. from the upper floors to the ground. These chutes are conical or cylindrical in shape and act as funnels. When the construction waste is dropped in it, the waste comes down through it because of gravity and is collected in a big bin. These chutes are placed outside the building.

Concrete chutes, it is also used on the construction site to pour concrete easily on different construction elements.

Concrete Chutes: In construction, a concrete chute is a specially designed trough used to pour and distribute freshly mixed concrete into forms or molds with precision. It help control the flow of concrete, reducing spillage and ensuring even distribution in various construction applications, including foundations, walls, and slabs.

Materials used for chute

Most of the chutes are made of strong and durable metals like aluminum, iron, or steel, or durable plastics like polyethylene (PE). Aluminum chutes come with great advantages as they are light weight and have good corrosion resistance. Most of the products that are used are cast, wrought, extruded, forged, cold-finished, hot-rolled, or formed by compacting powdered aluminum or aluminum alloys.

Steel chutes are produced with a metalworking process called cold rolling. Often, these material handling products are made of commercial-grade steels that are then coated with aluminum or zinc to make them corrosion-resistant.

High-density polyethylene chutes are also available. Typically, PE chutes are UV-stabilized to prevent degradation caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. High-density polyethylene resists abrasion and cracking at high temperatures. [1]

Advantages of Chute

  1. The laundry and rubbish chute allows users to gather all soiled clothes and waste from different levels and store it all at once.
  2. A construction chute expedites the evacuation of construction trash.
  3. Chutes may readily replace the usage of elevators and steps for rubbish collection.
  4. Garbage chutes make it easier for everyone to gather the trash from floor to floor. It substitutes extra staff and saves the owner time and money.
  5. It is simple to set up and easy to carry it from one location to another.
  6. It provides convenience and makes it easy to dispose of construction waste.
  7. It creates a safe and efficient environment at the site for the workers to deal with this kind of construction waste easily.
  8. It increase safety by mitigating the risk of injuries associated with manual waste handling, such as carrying debris down ladders or stairs.
  9. These chutes keep building sites clean and tidy, promoting a safer and more productive work environment.
  10. The efficient and controlled movement of materials often results in cost savings. Both in terms of labor and reduced material waste.

Guidelines for the installation of Chute

  1. All material chutes, or sections thereof, at an angle of more than 45° from the horizontal shall be entirely enclosed. Except for openings equipped with closures at or about floor level for the insertion of materials. The openings shall not exceed 48 inches in height measured along the wall of the chute. At all stories below the top floor, such openings shall be kept closed when not in use.
  2. Any chute opening into which workmen dump debris shall be protected by a substantial guardrail. With approximately 42 inches above the floor or other surface on which the men stand to dump the material. Any space between the chute and the edge of openings in the floors through which it passes shall be solidly covered over.
  3. Where the material is dumped from mechanical equipment or wheelbarrows, a securely attached toeboard or bumper, not less than 4 inches thick and 6 inches high, shall be provided at each chute opening.
  4. A substantial gate shall be installed in each chute at or near the discharge end. A competent employee shall be assigned to control the operation of the gate and the backing and loading of trucks.
  5. The materials and design used for the chute should be constructed in such a way that they eliminate failure due to the impacts of materials or debris loaded therein. It has that strength and durability.
  6. When the chutes are not in use or there are no operations in progress. The area surrounding the chute should be entirely secured, and the openings should be closed. [2]

NBC Guidelines for Refuse Chute

If a building has refuse or garbage chute, they must have an opening on the roof that’s at least 1000 mm high for ventilation. These chutes should be surrounded by walls made of non-flammable material that can withstand fire for at least 120 minutes. They shouldn’t be placed inside staircases, service shafts, or air conditioning shafts. The doors and inspection panels of these chutes must fit tightly and resist fire for 60 minutes. To keep them safe, sprinkler systems should be installed in the chutes. They also need to be at least 6 meters away from exits. (Source: NBC Volume 1, Part-4)

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Ar. Raju Kumar
Ar. Raju Kumar

Ar. Raju Kumar, a proud graduate in architecture, is making strides in the professional world. With a deep love for both writing and architecture, Raju brings a unique view to his designs. His journey, enriched by a diploma in architecture, shows his commitment to learning and growth. As a dedicated professional, Raju always looks for ways to improve his skills, aiming to make a lasting impact in the architectural field.

Raju Kumar (Asst. Architect)
Raju Kumar (Asst. Architect)

Raju Kumar is a talented 5th-year undergraduate student currently pursuing adegree in architecture. With a strong passion for both writing and architecture,Raju brings a unique perspective to the field. Holding a diploma in architecture,he actively seeks opportunities to enhance his skills and broaden his expertise as an aspiring architect.

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