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058 Lean Construction (PART 2) Construction productivity
In the past 50 years, manufacturing
industries have greatly improved their
This has been achieved through the use of
lean methods such as:
Supply Chain Management
Also, for several years lean methods have
been applied to the construction industry,
Lean construction is a process used to
maximizes value and reduces waste.
Lean construction comes from Lean
It captures these objectives through
the use of Supply Chain Management
(SCM) and Just-In-Time (JIT)
Also, by sharing information between
all the parties involved in the
It is based on lean manufacturing,
of the Toyota Production system.
developed by Taichii Ohno in the
Ohno learnt from mass production at
Ford Motor manufacturing facilities
in the U.S. and witnessed high level
of waste during production.
Ohno identified several
wastes in mass production
systems in car industry such
2. waiting time
also, in other areas such as:
1. processing methods;
2. unnecessary stock on hand;
3. unnecessary motion;
4. defective goods;
5. failure to meet customers’ needs;
6. high waste through out the
The Toyota Production System was
based on the “Just –In – Time (JIT)
The main objectives were:
continuous improvement from
inception to completion
with highly motivated work force
The outcome was:
better equipment utilization
shorter lead times
Highly motivated workforce
with higher morale
JIT is a pull system that responds
to actual customer demand.
products are “pulled from ” the JIT
JIT only considers the resources
required to meet the customer’s
In the mid – 1970’s Toyota
reduced the time needed to
produce a car from fifteen days to
one day, by using JIT.
Applying Lean Thinking in construction
Using experienced design teams
The same design team working on the design
of the project from beginning to end.
Speed up the design process.
Use innovative approaches to speed up the
Innovative ideas in design and assembly.
The use of pre-fabricated building elements.
Manufactured off site and pre-assembled on
Supporting sub-contractors in developing
tools for improving processes.
In order to keep up with Leanconstruction
It is important to follow the work of
Construction Lean Improvement
CLIP operates across the whole
construction supply chain, from raw
materials processors to clients.
Researchers believe that project cost
will increase up to ten percent because
of poor supply chain design.
Supply Chain Management (SCM)
analyzes the impact of design on the
Through SCM, all parties are kept
aware of commitments, schedules, etc.
All the parties work for high quality
product with minimal lead-time,
eliminating delays and disruptions.
Ballard and Howell designed the
Last Planner System as one
method for applying lean
techniques to construction.
Womack and Jones (1996) suggested
that there are five key principles that
need to be monitored when lean
construction systems are applied in
construction. Those are:
Value-clarifying the customer’s needs;
the supply chain involvement in all
stages, from inception to completion;
By clarifying activities or products
that signify value.
Value stream: By mapping the
whole value stream
establishing cooperation between
all parties involved;
identifying and eliminating waste;
From taking such steps the
construction process can be
Business flow includes project
information such as:
3. plans, etc.
Job site flow involves the activities and
the way they have to be carried out.
Supply flow refers to the materials
used in a project.
The efforts of all participants
provides smooth pulls during the
Use of best methods of work
instructions and best procedures.
Introduction of best quality
Current practice V lean construction
management is either
activity or contract
organizations or crews is
primarily controlled from
a central plan
that central plan
establishes sequence and
determines when an
in lean production, the
production is managed
in a manor that the
main objective is best
product at lowest cost
Project duration and
cost are considered in
project total cost and
duration are more
important than the cost
or duration of an
Current practice V lean construction
costs, errors, and
learning occur while
work in progress
cost savings results
Often not achievable
resulting in cost, time
project duration is cut
short by increasing
by adding additional
activities to reduce time
general by the central
the details of work
flow are managed
people who are
Time, cost, quality,..
due to waste
which could have
could have been
could have been
all add to total
time of the
disrupt in critical
Lean thinking forces attention on
how value is generated rather
than how any one activity is
An overall success.