Lean construction focuses on minimizing waste during a building project’s duration by identifying new techniques to increase productivity and efficiency. Resource scarcity is continuing to alter building patterns and will have an impact on how the sector evolves over the next decade.
Going lean could mean setting yourself up for industry success by creating a culture focused around innovation and efficiency as environmental standards change and building materials improve. The lean technique provides significant benefits for organizations in various industries that strive to fully commit to its principles, αντιστηριξη. It is no longer confined to the realm of manufacturing.
What Is Lean Construction and How Does It Work?
Lean construction is a value engineering-like process. Across the construction industry, this methodology utilizes the concepts of lean manufacturing, an efficient system credited to post-World War II Japan.
Kiichiro Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation’s second president, perfected the lean technique. In order to capitalize on Toyoda’s massive success, modern thinkers applied lean ideas to a variety of businesses. His management philosophy, dubbed the “Toyota Way,” was so influential in the automotive sector and beyond that Toyota Motor Corporation still follows its key ideas.
The Advantages of Lean Construction
On its own, lean is a construction management and implementation approach that aims to improve how personnel solve problems, measure achievement, and view morale in order to achieve long-term corporate success.
Adapting to a lean construction style can provide a number of advantages, including:
• Process waste has decreased
• Reduced financial loss
• Increased innovation capacity
• Enhanced resiliency in the face of adversity
• Employee morale has improved
These advantages are linked, thus one advantage may lead to another (decreasing process waste can also directly reduce monetary loss, for example). With enough planning and execution, lean thinking can transform a company into a self-sustaining innovation machine.
Six Fundamentals of Lean Construction
The allure of lean construction is that it has the potential to be self-sustaining. Each employee will approach their task with these four phases in mind if the process is correctly implemented:
• Plan: Make a list of any areas where you can improve.
• Do: Make adjustments that will have a beneficial impact.
• Investigate: Determine the magnitude of the effect.
• Make changes and share what you’ve learned.
Because of the focus on positive results and their consequences, these cyclical processes show additional potential for progress. Every project in a lean operation should be guided by the following six principles:
Identify client values, establish value stream, remove waste, streamline workflow, adopt pull scheduling, and achieve continuous improvement are the six steps of lean construction.
1. Emphasize the client’s values
The first basic principle exemplifies how lean construction can be regarded as a more compassionate approach to the business model. At the start of a project, connecting with the client on their values will establish significant trust.
2. Create a Value Stream Map
Flowcharts are used in value stream mapping to discover possibilities inside a process to enhance returns and reduce waste. When the process is contained within a single, bare-bones chart, it is easier to highlight the value to the client. These maps also show unproductive parts in the construction project cycle more clearly, increasing efficiency and cutting costs.
3. Reduce the amount of waste that accumulates
The goal of lean construction is to remove waste in eight different ways:
• Errors occur when project steps or components are not performed appropriately.
• Tasks are accomplished ahead of schedule or in excess of specifications, resulting in downtime or material waste.
• Time waste: because of a supply scheduling error or overproduction/production waste, involved parties are left waiting for the next step.
• Waste of talent: information is squandered because a specific person is underutilized.
• Wasted effort occurs when building supplies or equipment are transferred too early, or project information is disseminated unnecessarily.
• Construction materials that aren’t needed right away end up cluttering a site or a pipeline.
• Wasted movement: successive steps aren’t physically structured in the order they should be performed, resulting in personnel traveling to different portions of the jobsite.
• Process waste occurs when stages added to a project do not offer value to the client.
Eliminating these waste sources can increase efficiency and value. Streamlining opportunities become more evident as wastes are reduced.
4. Make Work Processes Flow More Effortlessly
In building projects, sequence flow is a key cause of delays. Each step has prerequisites that must be completed in order to proceed. Preparing for predictability and practicing good communication are essential in this situation. There are fewer chances of project setbacks or revisions if all parties are kept informed.
5. Make Pull Scheduling a Reality
Pull planning or scheduling establishes a project completion timetable by announcing work on a downstream schedule. When one task is accomplished, the procedure moves on to the next step. This improves workflow by establishing clear expectations for roles and points of contact for handoffs. As a result of the sequential process, there are more opportunities for communication between the participants (typically subcontractors).
6. Continue to Improve
Continuous improvement, which is central to the lean mindset, sets in motion the self-sustaining potential of the other five fundamental principles, ensuring that they are internalized across the business.
Construction’s Future Is Lean
In many industries, sustainability and resource preservation are at the forefront of the national discourse. It’s not unreasonable to believe that optimizing just one aspect of a current construction project may save waste.
Lean construction takes proven, decades-old ideas and applies them to an industry that is seeing average costs fall for the first time in decades. Many factors will influence construction patterns in the coming decade and beyond, but enhancing efficiency while avoiding waste remains the most consistent focus point in the process of continuous improvement.
Standing out in a crowded industry becomes a step-by-step process with these tools and ideas.