Lean construction is more than putting belt-tightening processes in place. It’s also about maximizing every phase; every task of a construction project. This can only be accomplished with above-average communication in which all stakeholders are included in lean construction collaboration.
Lean Construction Increases Efficiency
Higher-quality construction is the result when all workers are invested in a project. And make no mistake; every person contributing to a lean construction project is a “worker.”
Lean construction practices include:
- Early stakeholder involvement – Include trades/contractors in the design phase. Project-site clashes can be reduced 51%.
- Pull-planning – Work backwards from a successful milestone to create efficient schedules. Onsite conflicts can reduce by 45%.
- Weekly work – Once you’ve identified the week’s tasks, commit to completing them. This can reduce reworks by 52%.
As 70% of construction projects are delivered over-budget and late, we need to work smarter to reduce costs, reworks, and time. Lean construction can:
- Improve productivity by 77%
- Increase higher quality construction by 84%
- Raise customer satisfaction by 80%
- Reduce project over-schedules by 74%
Projects are three times more likely to come in ahead of schedule and twice as likely to be under-budget. Lean construction also lowers the “clash” factor. When changes are communicated quickly to everyone, onsite misunderstandings are greatly reduced:
- When was this altered?
- Where was the paint-change notice as I painted?
- Who changed the specs?
- Why didn’t someone notice the ___ was missing?
More than half of U.S. projects employ lean construction practices. But when broken down into statistics involving our like-countries (UK and France), we are trailing in lean construction implementation. The good news is, we’re leading in our willingness to invest in BIM (building information modeling).
Waste Not: Lean Construction Targets Excesses
Autodesk.com says when lean construction becomes the norm, you’ll target wastes and excesses including:
- Inventory – Wastes space; reducing movement
- Motion – Reduces circulation routes of people/equipment, etc.
- Transport – Saves time/carbon emissions
- Idle labor – Lowers wait times
- Overprocessing – Decreases admin/organizational processes
- Overproduction – Lowers excess inventory
- Poor talent utilization – Productivity degradation
- Product defects – Reworks and redundant work reduced
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