Value

As Womak and Jones suggest in Lean Thinking the purpose of an organisation is to create and deliver value to customers and end users.  Value is defined as a capability defined by the customer/end user and provided to them at the right time and cost

As Ballard et al* note: Products have value only to the extent that they can be used to fulfil purposes.  A product may be said to be more valuable either if it allows greater fulfilment of purpose or fulfils purpose at less cost. A product that does not fulfil purpose has no value regardless of its cost. The cost of products is what must be sacrificed in exchange for their use and can be divided between cost to acquire and cost to use.

What construction owners/clients want is somewhere for people to learn, live, play, work, shop—or whatever the capability/end-use/purpose of the new or refurbished structure is.

Waste is anything that creates no value for the owner/client/end-user.  Notice that waste is defined in terms of value.  We can only know waste by knowing value first.  Thus, in theory at least, there is no absolute definition of waste, it is all relative.

from: Mossman, Alan (2009)
Creating value: a sufficient way to eliminate waste
in lean design and lean production?
Lean Construction Journal

*Ballard, Glenn, Lauri Koskela, Gregory Howell and Todd Zabelle (2001) Production System Design: Work Structuring Revisited LCI White Paper #11