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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

AicE-Bs 2012 Cairo


ASIA Pacific International Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies
Mercure Le Sphinx Cairo Hotel, Giza, Egypt, 31 October 2 November 2012
-Cultural and

Lean Construction: Towards enhancing sustainable


construction in Malaysia
Mohd Arif Marhani*, Aini Jaapar, Nor Azmi Ahmad Bari
Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam 40450, Malaysia

Abstract

Lean Construction (LC) is aimed at reducing waste, increasing productivity and health and safety in fulfilling the
of the construction industry. This paper provided the fundamental knowledge of LC and
highlighted its implementation in the construction industry. It was discovered that the knowledge of stakeholders are
reasonably significant as the principles of LC is widely implemented in the work field. However, the stakeholders are
indifferent in their understanding on the basic terminologies of LC hence unable to reap its full potential. It was
proven that by implementing LC, the construction industry benefits by maximising value and improved sustainability.

©
© 2012
2012 The Authors.
Published byPublished by Elsevier
Elsevier Ltd. Open
Ltd.and
Selection access under
peer-review CC BY-NC-ND
under license.
responsibility of the Centre for Environment-
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs),
Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA,Faculty of
Malaysia.
Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
Keywords: Lean construction; health and safety; sustainable construction; Malaysian construction industry

1. Introduction

Egan (1998) proposed the United Kingdom construction industry to improve its capabilities and
efficiency in modernising the industry and increasing user satisfaction. As a result of the statement, LC
is a way forward to design production systems in minimising waste of materials, time and effort which
leads to possible generation of maximum amount of value. Koskela and Howell (2002), insisted that the
various parties involved in the industry such as the construction firms, non-profit organisations, and
overseeing administrative bodies to have greater efforts towards sustainability and greener environment
for better sustainable construction leading to the better future of the country.The Construction Industry
Master Plan 2006-2015 (CIMP, 2006) highlighted one of the challenges facing by the Malaysian

*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-03-55444376; fax: +6-03-55444353.
E-mail address: arif2713@salam.uitm.edu.my.

1877-0428 © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies (cE-Bs), Faculty of Architecture,
Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.12.209
88 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

construction industry is the availability of cheap foreign labour which encourages labour intensive
construction methods over the use of more innovative methods. This hampers
increase productivity and quality in the long run. Accordingly, the CIMP has recommended the industry
to extend the use of modern construction methods and information technology. Specifically, the use of
Industialised Building System (IBS) related systems may help to ease the pressures of labour
requirements whilst boosting quality and productivity. The wider adoption of IBS is also encouraged as a
means to overcome environmental issues associated with conventional methods.
From the reviews of the literatures, LC is able to overcome the challenges highlighted previously.
Womack and Jones (1996) suggested that lean production is able to reduce the overall cost especially the
indirect cost while still maintaining the quality standards and reducing manufacturing cycle time. Ballard
and Howell (1998) added that LC is different from other construction management due to its clear set of
objectives. Its aimed for the delivery process, concurrent product design and process, and production
control throughout the life of the project. Black (2008) stated that LC extends from the objectives of a
lean production system, which are maximising value and minimising waste; to specific techniques and
applies them in a new project delivery process.
Having said that, Lim (2008) concluded that the Malaysian construction level of
knowledge on LC were high. However, they are unable to fully understand the terminology of LC even
though its principles is applied in their work field. This scenario was proven from the preliminary
investigation done earlier on tw sation. LC principles are claimed being applied in the
construction process, yet the technical methodology of LC was not fully utilised in the production
process. The main objective of this paper is to provide a basis of fundamental knowledge and
understanding on LC for Malaysia construction stakeholders. An extensive literature review was
conducted in order to achieve the objectives of this paper. This paper is also aimed at highlighting on how
to incorporate the LC concept in the construction industry to promote sustainable construction.

2. The Historical of Lean Construction

Basically, LC is a big scale of adaptation from the Japanese manufacturing principles and the concept
is implemented to the construction process (Bertelsen, 2004). Cullen et al. (2005) stated that the
principles of LC, which arose from adapting the concepts of lean production had been developed by

leadership of Taiichi Ohno. Starting from efforts to reduce machine set up time and influenced by total
quality management, he developed a simple set of objectives for the design of the production system,
which is to produce a car to the requirements of a specific customer, deliver it instantly, and maintain no
inventories or intermediate stores (Lim, 2008). Lean production methods have been applied in the
Japanese car industry as a key to success from
According to Murman et al. (2002), lean production or manufacturing concept comprises a variety of
production systems that share certain principles, including waste minimisation, responsiveness to change,
just-in-time, effective relationships within the value stream, continuous improvement, and quality from
the beginning. This concept continues to evolve but the basic outline is clear, which designs a production
system that will deliver a custom product instantly in order but maintain no intermediate inventories
(Howell, 1999).
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98 89

3. The Evolution of Lean Construction

3.1. Global evolution

LC has been introduced as a new management approach to the construction industry by Koskela and
Howell (2002). It is hoped the successful adaptation of this concept will not only be beneficial to the
clients but also to the communities and environment itself. According to Howell (1999), there were many
barriers in implementing lean concepts in the construction fields. This point of view is affirmed by
Senaratne and Wijesiri (2008), which stated that if a company successfully implements the concept of LC,
it would be able to gain significant cost advantage by eliminating cost-consuming flow activities and
become a cost leader.
Furthermore, based on Johansen and Walter (2007), construction industries all over the world such as
Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, Peru, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States of
America and Venezuela have implemented the lean concepts within the industry and have reaped its
benefits. Moreover, according to Salem et al. (2005) the LC approach is different from the normal
practices as LC is based on production management principles and it gained better results in complex,
uncertain and quick projects. In addition, Jorgensen and Emmitt (2008) said common elements as
tself have expressively shown focus on specific aspects which are
proven to be capable of bringing benefits.

3.2. The current evolution of lean construction in Malaysia

needs
without compromising the opportunity and ability for future generation needs (WCED, 1987). In
materialising this effort, the construction industry is urged to move from traditional, labour consuming,
energy inefficient and waste generated method of construction to more environmentally friendly, energy
efficient and less waste generation of the construction environment. Pratt (2000) stated that Malaysian
projects in the last decade, especially the magnificent monuments were not cost and function effective.
On certain construction projects, the budgets were overstepped, longer construction period and quality of
the end products were poor (Ibrahim et al., 2010). Furthermore, due to health and safety issues, according
to the statistics reported by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) the numbers of fatality cases in the
construction industry are among the highest in the 10 categorised industries in Malaysia (SOCSO 2004).
The fatality rate of cases in the Malaysia construction industry was more than 3 times of other workplace
with 3.3% as compared to 1.1% for other workplaces such as manufacturing and mining and quarrying
(SOCSO, 2000).
In Malaysia other than Lim (2008), among other pioneer researches on LC was conducted by Abdullah
et al. (2009). The study concluded that the application of LC is limited due to the nature of the
construction industry, which is very unique, high risks and one-off. Lim (2008) added earlier that its
knowledge has been widely accepted by the stakeholders. From the literature research, it was indicated
that there is a need for more holistic approaches such as incorporating the other important aspects to the
LC key concepts towards sustainable and better future environment. According to Bashir et al. (2011),
health and safety has been considered in the implementation of lean principles. Through proper health and
safety assessment implemented on construction project, it will assist a construction company in dealing
and assuring their health and safety risks and improving their performance e.g. Occupational Health and
Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001. By implementing OHSAS 18001, which is for health and
safety management systems, it will provide improvement in worker safety consciousness and morale,
90 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

reductions in accidents, claims and lost work days, and better prepare for regulatory inspections (National
Quality Assurance USA, 2012).

4. Definitions and Concept of Lean Construction

4.1. The Definitions

From the literature reviews conducted, many definitions of LC have been discovered indicating the
positive evolution of lean methodology as well as its diversity. The definitions stated below would best
describe the methodology and application of LC:-
Koskela (1992)
Advantages of the new production philosophy in terms of productivity, quality, and indicators were
solid enough in practice in order to enhance the rapid diffusion of the new principles
Howell (1999)
Lean construction is much like the current practice as the goal of better meeting customer needs while
using less of everything
Lukowski (2010)
Lean construction is the practical application of lean manufacturing principles, or lean thinking, to the
building environment
Yahya and Mohamad (2011)
Lean construction is about managing and improving the construction process to profitability deliver
what the customer needs by eliminating waste in the construction flow by using the right principle,
resources and measure to deliver things right first time
The first definition can be considered a concise definition of LC which acknowledges the key
essentials of LC. The second and third definition by Howell (1999) and Lukowski (2010) reflected the
first definition, as well as it provides a linkage between them. The fourth definition by Malaysian
researchers (Yahya and Mohamad, 2011) emphasised on the key features of LC which is eliminating
construction waste. The evolution of the LC definitions is elaborated further by the Lean Construction
is a production management-based approach to project delivery - a new
way to design and build capital facilities. Lean production management has caused a revolution in
manufacturing design, supply and assembly. LC extends from the objectives of a lean production system -
maximise value and minimise waste - to specific techniques and applies them in a new project delivery
A
in Malaysia would be:
LC is a concurrent and continuous improvement to the construction project by reducing waste of
resources and at the same time able to increase productivity and secure a better health and safety

greener environment.

4.2. The concept of lean construction

The core concept behind lean production is to enable the flow of value creating work steps while
eliminating non-value steps e.g. waste by focusing on fast cycle times. When waste is removed from the
production process, cycle times drop until physical limits are reached. Value-adding activities are
however, first improved through internal continuous improvement and fine-tuning of existing machinery.
Only after these improvement potentials are realised, major involvements in new technology are
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98 91

Japanese term for the activity that is to avoid waste of time, money, equipment etc. (Shingo, 1992).
LC accepts Ohno's production system design criteria (Cullen et al., 2005) as a standard of perfection
(Howell, 1999). Waste is defined by the performance criteria for the production system and failure to
oskela,
1992). Waste in construction and manufacturing arises from the same activity centered thinking.
However, Howell (1999), argues that there is a need to maintain pressure on every activity to ensure
continuous improvement through the reduction of cost and duration of each activity. Lean theory,
principles and techniques, taken together, provide the foundation for a new form of project management.
LC recommends the simultaneous consideration of product and process development. According to
Howell (1999), managing construction under lean is different from typical contemporary practice because
it has a clear set of objectives in the delivery process, which is aimed at maximising the performance for
the end user at the project level. By implementing the lean concept, production control should be done
throughout the life of the project.
Walter and Johansen (2007) described the application of the lean concept in the construction industry
was still restricted and sluggish. In addition, many ideas from manufacturing have been rejected by the
stakeholders because of the belief that both industries were not alike (Howell, 1999). The uniqueness of
the construction project with deficiency of repetition and doubt in the environment (Koskela, 1992) under
great time and schedule pressure was fundamentally in contrast to manufacturing industry (Ballard and
Howell, 1998).
From the discussion, the authors highly suggested LC concept to be applied extensively in order to
manage and enhance the process of construction not only to cater with the client s need but beneficial to
the environment and communities. This is in accordance to Howell (1999), which emphasised continuous
improvement should be carried concurrently in the construction process and the participation of all
stakeholders will influence whether a construction project is successful or not in implementing the
concept.

5. The Lean Construction Principles

From the literature research, in order to implement the LC, Koskela (1992) identified eleven LC
principles to be implemented to the total flow process and its sub process in the construction industry (see
Table 1). The principles are to reduce the share of non value-adding activities, increase output value
through systematic consideration of customer requirements, reduce variability, reduce cycle time,
minimise the number of steps, parts and linkages, increase output flexibility, increase process
transparency, focus control on the complete process, build continuous improvement into the process,
balance flow improvement with conversion improvement and benchmarking.
On the other hand, Womack and Jones (1996) discovered there were five principles of lean
construction, which are specify
value-creating flow, achieving customer pull at the right time and pursue perfection for continuous
improvement. In addition, Lim (2008), Lean Enterprise Institute (2009) and Bashir et al. (2011) have the
same point of view with Womack and Jones, but Lean Enterprise Institute used different keywords:
(see Fig. 1).
Meanwhile, Cain (2004) described six principles of construction best practice on LC (see Table 2).
The principles are delighted end users, end users benefitting from the lowest optimum cost of ownership,
elimination of inefficiency and waste in the use of labour and materials, the involvement of specialist
suppliers to achieve integration and buildability, a single point of contact for the most effective co-
ordination and clarity of responsibility and establishment of current performance and improvement
92 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

achievements by measurement. On the other hand, Salem and Zimmer (2005) suggested the five lean
principles that applicable in the construction industry are customer focus, culture/people, workplaces
standardisation, waste elimination and continuous improvement/built-in quality.

Table 1. Lean construction principles

Authors LC Principles
Koskela (1992) Reduce non value-adding activities
Increase output value
Reduce variability
Reduce cycle time
Minimise the number of steps, parts and linkages
Increase output flexibility
Increase process transparency
Focus control on the complete process
Build continuous improvement into the process
Balance flow improvement with conversion improvement
Benchmarking
Womack and Specify value
Jones (1996),
Identify the value stream
Lim (2008) and
Bashir et al. Flow
(2011) Pull
Pursue perfection
Lean Enterprise Identify value
Institute (2009) Map the value stream
Create flow
Establish pull
Seek perfection

Table 2. Lean construction principles in construction

Authors LC Principles in Construction


Cain (2004) 1. Delighted end users
2. End users benefitting from the lowest optimum cost
3. Elimination of inefficiency and waste
4. The involvement of suppliers to achieve integration and buildability
5. A single point of contact for the most effective coordination and clarity of
responsibility
6. Establishment of current performance and improvement achievements by
measurement
Salem and 1. Customer focus
Zimmer (2005) 2. Culture/people
3. Workplaces standardisation
4. Waste elimination
5. Continuous improvement/built-in quality
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98 93

1. Identify value
2. Map the value stream

5. Seek perfection 3. Create flow

4. Establish

Fig. 1. Lean construction principles. source: lean enterprise institute (2009)

From the discussion, the authors agree with Womack and Jones (1996), Lim (2008), Lean Enterprise
Institute (2009) and Bashir et al. (2011) on the five principles of LC but believe that LC as stated by
Koskela (1992) should be focused on value rather than on cost only and as well as seeks to remove all
non-value adding components and processes. Lean principles can only be applied fully and effectively in
the construction industry by focusing on improving the whole process, integration among the stakeholders
of a project and increase transparency especially on health and safety issues. With continuous
improvement (Japanese: Kaizen) done and with waste eliminated along the flow process, perfection is the
ultimate sweet reward that companies can achieve (Womack and Jones, 1996).

6. Incorporating Lean Construction in Construction Process

It is important for the stakeholders to incorporate LC in the construction process. Koskela (1992)
expressed lots of benefits when implementing LC in construction projects. The greater benefit is
construction companies can reduce the construction cost by using precise materials and fewer waste. In
addition, by having a proper strategic planning, the construction period will be shortened. There were
many of key concepts of LC that can be implemented by the stakeholders. Alinaitwe (2009) described the
concepts included Just-In-Time (JIT), Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Re-
engineering (BPR), Concurrent Engineering (CE) and Last Planner System (LPS); Teamwork and Value
Based Management (VBM) (Harris and McCaffer, 1997); and OHSAS 18001. The authors believe that
most of these concepts are interconnected and it is important to understand all the key concepts of LC,
which may improve performance while minimising construction waste. (see Table 3)
The authors suggest OHSAS 18001 as one of the key concept of LC that can be implemented in the
construction process. OHSAS 18001 is a series of Occupation Health and Safety Assessment Series for
health and safety management systems, which is intended to help a construction company to manage their
occupational health and safety risks (OHSAS 18001, 2012). Although OHSAS 18001 is not a legal
requirement, it is proven and internationally recognised. In addition, OHSAS 18001 is a combination of
the management organisational systems that can improve health and safety performance by having
planning and review, the consultative arrangements and the specific program elements (Biggs et al.,
2005).
94 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

Table 3. Key concepts of lean construction

Key concepts Essential Factors Authors


Just-In-Time Three methods linked with JIT: optimise inventories according to backward Salem et al.
(JIT) requests (Japanese: Kanban), construction leveling and decreasing the (2006)
number of setup activities.

Related to the waste concept. Koskela (1992)


Continuous improvement of procedures, equipment and processes in order
to eliminate waste.
Total Quality As an integrated management thinking and actions encouraged an Small et al. (2011)
Management organisation-wide focus on quality.
(TQM)
An George and Jones
quality of goods and services. (2008)
Effective organisations needed an accurate understanding of customers' Summers (2005)
expectation.
Business Improvement through rapid and substantial gains in organisational Small et al. (2011)
Process Re- performance by starting from scratch in designing or redesigning the
engineering foundation business development.
(BPR)
Business process involved any activity that was fundamental for fast George and Jones
delivery of goods and services to customers, or that promotes high quality (2008)
and low cost.
Concurrent Deal primarily with product design base, incorporating the constraints of Koskela (1992)
Engineering subsequent phases into the conceptual phase and tightening of change
(CE) control towards the end of the design process
Last Planner To achieve lean goals of reducing waste, increasing productivity and Seppanen et al.
System decreasing unpredictability mainly throughout a social process, by trying to (2010)
(LPS) make planning mutual attempt and by increasing the reliability of
commitments of team members
In construction, LPS was a method that forms workflow and deal with Salem et al.(2005)
project variability.
Teamwork Teamwork was complementary skills groups of people with who were Excellence (2004)
committed to a common purpose and hold themselves mutually accountable
for its achievement, in which they develop a different identity and work
together in a co-ordinated and mutually supportive way
Value Based Value based management approach in which indicate that product value for Bertelsen (2004)
Management the customers is considered product value while value for the workers and
(VBM) project participants was termed process value.
OHSAS Steps taken to improve existing features, or the consistency of their Mohd Yunus
18001 application and elimination in frequency if particular undesired incidents (2006)

By having an efficient implementation in construction projects, OHSAS 18001 will provide a safe and
conducive working environment at workplaces and all workers will feel secure and comfortable (Khalid
1996). As a key concept of LC, fewer accidents will occur and it will increase the rate of safety in
workplaces. Hence, it will increase the productivity, profit and job satisfaction of the client due to the
commitment of all workers.
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98 95

Table 4. Key concepts of lean construction in construction process

Authors Just-In- Total Business Concurrent Last Teamwork Value Based OHSAS
Time (JIT) Quality Process Engineering Planner Management 18001
Management Re- (CE) System (VBM)
(TQM) engineering (LPS)
(BPR)
Small et Pre-construction Design
al. (2011)
Construction Pre-
construction

Construction

Seppanen Construction
et al.
(2010)
George Pre-construction Pre-
and Jones Construction
construction
(2008)
Construction

Salem et Construction Construction


al. (2006)
Mohd Construction
Yunus
(2006)
Summers Pre-construction
(2005)
Construction

Use

Excellence Construction
(2004)
Bertelsen Construction
(2004)
Koskela Construction Design Construction
(1992)
Pre- Use
construction

Construction

Table 4 explains the interaction of key concepts of LC in regards to the construction process.
Construction process included preparation: appraisal and design brief design: concept, design
development and technical design pre-construction: product information, tender documentation and
tender action construction: mobilisation and construction to practical completion use: post practical
completion (RIBA Plan of Work, 2012). The researchers such as Koskela (1992), Salem et al. (2006),
George and Jones (2008), Small et al. (2011), Summers (2005), Excellence (2004), Seppanen et al.
(2010), Bertelsen (2004) and Mohd Yunus (2006) described how to incorporate the key concepts of LC in
the construction process.
The majority of the researchers suggested pre-construction and construction are the best time to
synergise the LC concepts. Both of these stages are crucial due to determination of material, equipment
and labour during pre-construction (Koskela, 1992) and elimination of construction waste during
construction (Yahya and Mohamad, 2011). The authors agree with the researchers but believe that some
96 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 68 (2012) 87 – 98

of the key concepts of LC should be introduced at the earliest stage e.g. JIT, teamwork, LPS and OHSAS
18001. By doing so, competent workers and project team can identify the waste and diminish volatility as
well as able to control health and safety risk of construction project. In addition, the authors suggest that
the end requirements should be taken into consideration (Jorgensen and Emmitt, 2008) and their
involvement should be throughout the whole construction process starting from the preparation until use
stage.

7. Discussion and Conclusion

Based on the literature review, it can be concluded that the current application and implementation of
LC in the Malaysian construction industry is still in its infancy or in a very early stage even though it is
known to provide a good platform for the stakeholders to achieve value for money for their projects. Its
full implementation in the Malaysian construction industry in particular is not an easy task as it will need
more effort from all related parties such as the education system, the practitioners, related authorities as
well as the clients of the industry. By incorporating health and safety in LC principles, the chances of
success in achieving maximum value in construction projects will be very high.
From the above discussion, it was clearly shown that LC as well as the process safety and health
shared the same perspective, which is safer and conducive working environment will increase workers'
performance at workplaces. Hence, it will increase the productivity of the project. LC principles have
been applied by local construction players such as SSE Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. and PLB-KH Bina Sdn. Bhd.
From the investigation, it was found that the understanding of lean is merely an academic knowledge
even though lean approaches can be applied in the construction process.
More information on how LC to be implemented to construction project should be provided in order to
improve the lean practices among construction players. It is suggested that the government of Malaysia
should initiate an official website to facilitate this LC concept. Besides, in order to make the LC concept
to be more popular, the Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) should provide more
opportunity for industrial training sessions to the practitioners.
Moreover, lots of alternatives shown to the stakeholders on how to implement the LC in the
construction project. Key concepts of implementing LC such as JIT, teamwork, LPS and OHSAS 18001
should be adapted, through research and further analysis as to familiarise the methods inclusively to the
construction process. On the other hand, this area is believed to have potential for further research since
many aspects can still be explored. The process of maximising value in the construction process from
start to finish of the project must be observed. Moreover, there is a need for an indicator to measure LC
performance. The indicator is prudent for continuous improvement.
It is hoped that by having the process of LC to be implemented in the local construction management
processes e.g. design process, material process and work process, it will be able to assist the industry to
move away from the traditional construction and method of doing things, which is beneficial to
stakeholders towards a more synergistic, sustainable and greener future hence resulted to a better value of
future construction project. Future research in similar area, will be conducted on companies that have
implemented LC concept by observing their practices on site.

References

Abdullah, S., Abdul Razak, A., Abu Bakar, A. H. & Mohammad, I. S. (2009). Towards Producing Best Practice in the Malaysian
Construction Industry: The Barriers in Implementing the Lean Construction Approach. Retrieved 26 August 2011 from
http://eprints.usm.my
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect
Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643

Conference on ENTERprise Information Systems / International Conference on Project


MANagement / Conference on Health and Social Care Information Systems and Technologies,
CENTERIS / ProjMAN / HCist 2016, October 5-7, 2016

The Integration of Lean Construction and Sustainable Construction:


A Stakeholder Perspective in Analyzing Sustainable Lean
Construction Strategies in Malaysia
Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamila,b,*, Mohamad Syazli Fathia
a
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra, 54100 Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia
b
Faculty of Industrial Management, Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Lebuhraya Tun Razak, 26600 Gambang, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Abstract

The simultaneous implementations of Sustainable Construction (SC) and Lean Construction (LC) concepts/practices are feasible
in a strategic approach to accomplish improvement in reducing waste, which resulted in both positive environment and economic
outcomes. Although both concepts/practices are capable of attaining significant environmental and economical benefits,
organizations still experiencing difficulty to integrate the concepts successfully. The literature indicates that the construction
industry in many countries have encountered poor implementation and integration of both concepts. Therefore, this paper aims to
lay the groundwork for future empirical study by investigating on various dimensions of SC and LC, where the theoretical and
practical findings provided a foundation for integrating the two initiatives to yield the efficient use of valuable resources.

©
©2016
2016TheTheAuthors. Published
Authors. by Elsevier
Published B.V. B.V.
by Elsevier This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of CENTERIS 2016.
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of CENTERIS 2016
Keywords: Lean construction; sustainable construction; stakeholder involvement; strategy

*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +603-2615 4524; fax: +603-2180 5130
E-mail address: ahmadhuzaimijamil@gmail.com

1877-0509 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of CENTERIS 2016
doi:10.1016/j.procs.2016.09.205
Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643 635

1. Introduction

Lean construction (LC) promises outstanding results in managing the construction process and achieving the
project’s goals by eliminating waste. In the case of Sustainable Construction (SC), systematic training and research
are crucial to provide proper interaction and collaboration with the stakeholders, thus enhancing the quality of life
for the future construction industry55.
Usually, LC and SC practices are two separate and independent strategies, where Lean’s process goal is to
improve economic standards, while sustainability aims to improve the environmental objectives. However, through
enormous research and industry practices, it is found recently that the two practices are interdependent and shares
the exact basics of waste elimination39. Therefore, components related to SC can be integrated into the concept of
LC to enhance and preserve the natural resources, economic growth, and environment without compromising the
future. This is possible because the integration of concepts will enhance the performance and the impact of building
construction by realizing hidden cost reductions towards the environment 56,74
It is clear that the global construction industry will significantly benefit from adopting both SC and LC concepts,
however the literatures revealed that the implementation process is fairly poor with slow or no progress. 16,22,67
Furthermore, lean process is problematic for the construction industry in many countries within the past
years.9,10,16,25,49,57,72 Due to the actual scenario in the construction industry, many applied researchers have become
increasingly interested in exploring the context of sustainable development, LC, and innovation. Despite these the
heavy interest, a study by Common et al.,19 revealed that the emergence of lean culture within various European
construction companies is actually lower than the expectation.
Considerable gaps are found at the level of development as identified in the previous studies on LC within the
context of structural and cultural aspects, namely human attitudinal, lack of adequate lean awareness and
knowledge, and lack of top management commitment that hinders the successful implementation of LC in the UK
construction industry19,67. Apart from the aforementioned aspects, some of the other factors that are hindering the
successful implementation of SC were also discussed in the literature, namely inefficient strategy, improper
management and leadership styles, inadequate stakeholder engagement, and reluctant to foster sustainability as
cultural values.7,22,31,46 Koskela and Howell35,43 highlighted that the involvement of various stakeholders in the
industry is essential to deliver successful projects, which will reflect towards substantial effort in achieiving a
greener environment28,61.
Based on the above explanation, our study aims to provide the insights of the theoretical integration of LC and
SC for the application and practice of Sustainable Lean Construction (SLC). The research work herein will
contribute new ideas on the implementation of LC and SC, and concurrently enhances the performance and the
productivity of construction projects. The central research question of the proposed research is:
What are the fundamental characteristics of SC and LC, how can SC and LC be integrated strategically into SLC?
The structure of this paper is as the followings, section 2 introduces the research methodology that details out the
various aspects of the proposed research. Section 3 aims to provide a comprehensive review that supports the
contextual settings of SC, LC, and the disputes of integrating the SC and LC concepts into an overall concept of
SLC. Subsequently, section 4 analyzes and synthesizes the literatures in the area of SLC to develop a framework on
the strategy of SLC integration.

2. Research approach

The focus of this paper is on SLC conceptualization and implementation, and the paper consists of an integrative
literature review50,65, and a coding framework15. In the literature review, the aim is to provide a better understanding
of the SLC concept in both theoretical and practical aspects, hence the concepts of SC and LC are explored,
discussed, and synthesized into an SLC concept. Theoretically, sustainable construction emphasizes reductions in
building energy use, water use, materials employed, and pollution4. On the other hand, lean construction emphasizes
reductions in the waste present in the processes used to design and construct buildings in producing products
valuable to the customer, while eliminating all other unnecessary activities, defined as waste34,42. SC and LC both
636 Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643

exhibit significant synergies on minimizing resource use as both “strive for the efficient use of resources through the
reduction of waste”64, while the practical contribution to the current practice and the future empirical work are
explained in the findings section and future work section within this paper. In a nutshell, this paper improves the
existing literature by integrating SC and LC concepts, where the major research highlight is that the integrative
approach adopts the stakeholder approach. The importance of choosing the stakeholder approach is to understand
and analyze the project stakeholders’ environment, consequently enabling to determine the right type of approach
according to the stakeholders1,21, where approaches can be either SC, LC or an integrated SC and LC concepts.

3. Findings of the review

The systematic literature review of the previous empirical studies is presented in Table 1, where all three aspects
of SC, LC, and SLC will be discussed, namely the theoretical foundations of the literature, the principles that
underlie these foundations, and the sources in the literature that reports these foundations and principles. Under the
subsections within this section, the contents of Table 1 will be explained in detail.

Table 1. SC and LC practices.

Theoretical foundations Principles Sources


Sustainable construction
practices
-The integration of Social, -Innovative business strategies that improved the lifecycle of the production 8,14,17,59,70
Economic, and Environmental with additional focus on the waste reduction.
attributes
-Design & Procurement -Improved the project’s lifecycle value through green design and the 23,66,71
promotion of best construction procurement practice throughout the supply
chain
-Technology and innovation. -Enhanced the company’s capacity towards technology & innovation to 22,38,40,76
empower sustainability concept throughout the construction process.

-The organizational structure & -Reorganized the organizational process to facilitate the implementation of 30,53
process. sustainable policy and strategy

-Education and training -Increased organizations’ commitment to SC through better education and 18,24,58
training for project stakeholders.
-Measurement and reporting -Development of existing benchmarks that evaluated the companies’ 63,77,81
environmental and social performance and consequently identified the areas
for improvement

Lean Construction
-The revolution of manufacturing -LC was designed as a production management based approach for project 5,12,43,52,54,80
principles in building delivery: a new method to design and build capital facilities.
environment and meeting -New production philosophy to maximize value, minimize waste and 26,35,56,57,68,82
customer needs. resources to enhance customer values.

-Balanced use of resources -A balanced use of people, materials, and resources. 51


-Reduced costs, eliminated waste and delivered projects on time. 27,34,42

Disputes to integrating SC and


LC concepts.
-Lack of focus to environmental - An enormous number of construction projects suffered due to the 72
elements. inadequate attention on environmental issues.
-The integration of team -The crucial elements to the success of SLC implementation that affected 6,10,32,37,44,47,54,55
accountability, base organization, the structural relationship between cultural values and coping behaviors in
cultural issues, and leadership implementing SLC concept.
management
-Inadequate commitment and -Limited experience and knowledge led to the significant amount of waste. 41,79
Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643 637

knowledge integration. -The effects of contractual arrangements design-build (DB) on 36


communication.
-Transparent communication. -The commitment to open, frequent and genuine communication at all 6,37,44,62,74
levels of the integrated design team.

3.1. Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction is a comprehensive integration of environment, social and economic issues. The aspects
that are important in this matter are the quality of life, work efficiency, and a healthy work environment. The
practices in the concept of SC enables to enhance the capacity of technology and innovation, which directly
improves the strategy and practice of construction business right from the start and up to the end process that
manages the waste.22,76
By implementing a clear sustainability strategy, contractors will be enable to identify and select their specific SC
practices that focuses on their commitments and improves their knowledge. Most related researches reported that
proper education and training will increase stakeholders’ commitments and knowledge at every level. Furthermore,
according to Abdullah et al.,3, commitment and knowledge were the vital elements to a successful implementation
of sustainable concepts.22 The case studies so far have justified that firms will benefit more from the sustainability
implementation if it is holistically applied throughout the organization rather than only in the projects.11,41 Meng et
al.,56 argued that insufficient commitment and knowledge had led to one of the common factors that produced the
current barriers.37 Apart from that, adequate knowledge will boost stakeholders’ performance and motivation,
especially in an increasingly technology-savvy environment with more transparent workforce that provides an
enhanced communication medium and sharing of knowledge.76,77
Despite the benefits of SC, unsustainable design and construction processes, and constant degradation of the
environment due to the construction process still exist in most developing countries, and Malaysia is part of the
negative processes.54,55 In line with this issue, Lam et al.46 explored factors impeding to the successful execution of
sustainable specification in construction. Some of the factors are cultural barriers, lack of green technology and
techniques, reliability, quality of specification, leadership and responsibility, stakeholder involvement, and guide
and benchmarking systems.22,67,68 On the other hand, both developed and non-developed countries struggle with the
SC concept.
Although several efforts have been carried out by developed nations to fully transform into sustainable
construction practices, however a large number of empirical studies reported that many barriers prevent the
development of sustainable construction in these countries.7,13,31,67 Many sustainable practices that comprised of
topics on safety, efficiency, productivity, and waste minimization, are actually interlinked.27,41 and difficult to be
implemented. Accordingly, Houvila and Koskela34 strongly suggested that a concrete methodology for implementing
all these sustainable construction topics was imperative for a sustainable development.

3.2. Lean Construction

The major concern related to the ‘rethinking construction’ as reported by Egan 24 is the development to improve
the culture, organizational and managerial style of the industry to breakthrough the hurdles, attitude, roles,
relationships, actions and communications among the project stakeholders.43,68 Likewise, the culture, and the
organizational and managerial styles are the crucial pillars for a continuous improvement, which implied a constant
delivery of greater value and increasing mutual competitive advantages.3,43 Through stakeholder collaboration and
continuous improvement, the team members can identify opportunities to eliminate the activities that do not add
value.56,68,82 Conversely, Lim51 suggested that Lean is all about achieving a balanced use of people, materials, and
resources. In other words, lean implementation facilitates an organization to reduce costs, eliminate wastes, and
deliver projects on time.27,34,42
According to Bertelsen12, LC is similar to the current practice that aims of to enhance customer satisfaction and
performance of the firms. The primary objective is to minimize the waste to improve and support the new
638 Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643

production philosophy.26,35 Howell35 characterized LC as a conceptual foundation and understanding of waste


resource, which explains the projects that are managed on a traditional basis experienced adversaries and difficulty
in controlling the outcome. In traditional case, the practice is to optimize the piece, while lean aims to optimize at
the project level, and it requires a different approach towards managing work. 79 Though LC efforts could have been
proven to be highly rewarding for the construction industry, it does not seem to be adopted in the global construction
industry.67,68 Furthermore, there appears to be some significant structural and cultural barriers towards the adoption,
namely inadequate lean awareness, knowledge and skills, and lack of top management commitment, technology
limitation, poor implementation strategy, inefficient stakeholder relationship management, the lack of supportive
organization and teamwork, inefficiency communication in sharing vision and consensus, and other minor problems
that consequently hindered the construction industry from following the objectives of lean concept. 3,16,54,55,68
Malaysia, as a developing country, the concept of lean construction in the industry is still considerably new and
fresh.55 A major reason that Malaysia has limited implementation and scarce research framework of lean concept is a
concomitant factor with the developed nations that similarly hesitate to adopt the concept. 3 According to Johansen
and Walter79, the implementation of the lean concept in the construction industry is still restrained and sluggish.
This issue had been supported by Common et al.,18 based in the United Kingdom and by Johansen and Walter79
based in the Netherlands, where these authors clearly stated that there has been a slow progress in the construction
industry in promoting lean concepts.
Although many companies employed skilled professionals that are well versed in the construction processes and
aware of the changes and improvements within the industry, there are still issues hindering the implementation of
lean concept. In the literature, it was evident that applying the lean principle or tool will be insufficient without a
consistent strive for a lean culture.16,54,68 Therefore, it is essential to extensively engage in the lean concept in a
balanced approach throughout a system with the following characteristics, namely personal focus, collaboration, and
motivation in delivering value to customers.33,79 Therefore, our study strives to improve these lacking areas to
enhance the performance of construction projects, which consequently will provide a better implementation platform
for SLC.

3.3. Integrating SC and LC into SLC

Some literatures contend that the theory of lean construction is already offering a conceptual basis and potential
for novel methods and tools that foster sustainability concept at various perspectives. 3,34 Integration efforts are
required for further development with the objective of enhancing the quality of life through the integration of SC
and LC.47,54,55
The Pentagon and Toyota South Campus are two practical cases that have been thoroughly examined on the
integration process of SC and LC concepts. 41,47 A study of the Pentagon renovation project showed that the
integration process saved both money and time by demonstrating a strong relationship between sustainability and
lean concepts. These projects have been completed by using an innovative contracting strategy and delivery process
designed to eliminate many contractual barriers. As a result, the projects were able to build highly efficient facilities
that are completed within project budget and schedule. 41,47
Due to the significant impacts from the construction activities toward the society and environment, global
government bodies have introduced various policies and regulations to control the relative impacts. 76 However, it is
found that the majority of the projects have suffered due to lack of consideration towards the environment. 72
Similarly, Scherrer-Rathjea et al.,69 stated that although the significant benefits offered by LC relative to waste
reduction and improved business profit, the integration of LC and SC may result in better cost saving, waste
reduction, and environmental impact.34,37 Therefore, there are actually synergies between lean and eco-sustainability.
The strengths and weaknesses of lean and eco-sustainability revealed the significant opportunities for integrating
initiatives to potentially achieve the LC and SC objectives.41,48
In order to effectively achieve the implementation of SLC, commitment and knowledge are the crucial
elements.41,79 An empirical study conducted by Koranda et al.,41 investigated the relationships among worksite,
design, environment, and SC and LC in perspective of small construction projects. The empirical evidence justified
that many project managers were found to have insensibly applied lean concepts (such as the reduction of on-site
inventory), and have limited experience and knowledge on sustainable and lean projects that led to a significant
Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643 639

amount of waste. Moreover, Koranda et al.41 ascertained that contractual arrangements were found to limit the
interaction and the integration knowledge between designers and contractors. Frequent communication between
parties helped to integrate knowledge and information related to, for example, regional conditions, materials,
practices, and uncertainties.6,44 In the case of a Design-Build (DB), the project owner provides contract to DB firm
during the early stage of the project development process, therefore the communication between the designers and
contractors occurred frequently and openly than it does in conventional DB projects.36,74 Such communication
helped the designers and contractors to align their project objectives and reduced design construction conflicts,
which further facilitated the application of LC and SC.37,62

4. Discussion: Future work for improvement

Fig.1. A simplified model for integrating SC and LC in a Construction Project. Koranda et al., (2012)

It is widely acknowledged that developing countries have experienced great challenges in finding a holistic
approach to guarantee sustainability in the construction industry. An enormous framework of literatures is available
on the problems encountered by the global construction industry that is discussed in the previous sections. However,
limited research has been carried out by academics and practitioners on the challenges faced by the local countries
specifically in the Malaysian construction industry (MCI). 3,4,22,51,54,55,67 Abdul Rahman et al.,2, found 45.9 percent of
delays actually occurred in the completion dates during the construction stage, and the construction projects were
not cost effective.56 Another significant challenge in the MCI is an inadequate consideration of the important
component of economic growth and social development,3,4,31,55 which has been the source of significant negative
impact on the physical environment, such as soil erosion and sedimentation, flash floods, destruction of vegetation,
dust pollution, noise pollution.43,56,68,75 There is an urgent need to address these issues in the MCI, where
sustainability challenges have been taken into consideration. Since, the LC has demonstrated as sustainability, the
adoption of LC in construction practices may lead to pollution reduction.20,54 Based on the literature review of the
crucial elements on integrating SC and LC, our future empirical study will innovate a new operational framework by
utilizing the model of integrating LC and SC practices. The similar model is shown in Fig.1 that was proposed by
Koranda et al.,41 which will be an interpretation system in the context of project stakeholder analysis.
The objective of the model attempts to simplify the process by integrating the findings of the study with the
existing techniques and literature on the implementation of SC and LC concepts. The components of sustainable
construction bearings that have value, focus on waste elimination, which are part of a process that will affect project
schedules and costs will be documented extensively hence to integrate with lean construction. The components
640 Ahmad Huzaimi Abd Jamil and Mohamad Syazli Fathi / Procedia Computer Science 100 (2016) 634 – 643

mainly emphasize the fundamental contribution of the flow view (eliminating waste). 42,43 The primary concerns of
this model are two key issues, namely conflicts of delivering values and project stakeholder collaboration for
integrating the SC and LC concepts. Every stakeholder should concentrate on maximizing the gains from a
construction project,21,35 thus, the project team needs to clearly define the values for their project, identify waste, and
unnecessary processes in their project.43 These values should be identified in the early stage of the project, which
should be eliminated during the planning, scheduling, and construction stages. 41 The involvement of project
managers from planning until project completion is vital in ensuring the materials are delivered efficiently.
Therefore, lean process should be applied by all parties at all stages, aspects, and activities of the end-to-end project
cycle.3,37,56 As a result, SC and LC implementations may be easier if the stakeholders are able to determine the right
type of action at a various stages.1,21 The performance indicators are also highlighted in the bottom of the column of
Fig.1, these indicators are the essential conditions for the designers and contractors to be able to integrate the LC
and SC concepts. By checking these indicators, stakeholders may have a better understanding of their position in the
integration progress of LC and SC.5,21,68,71
On the contrary, the model proposed by Koranda et al.,41 was derived from the case studies of small and medium
construction projects, which only involved the architects, engineers, and contractors from the construction
organizations. However, our study will extensively engage the project stakeholder analysis, simply because
stakeholder engagement is highly regarded as part of the dimensions of SC practice. 29 In other word, stakeholder
engagement is important because each stakeholders can have different perceptions of what constitutes the success of
a project.1,21,61 The improved version of the model enables the project team members to recognize each LC and SC
functions and priorities, therefore LC and SC are effective when all of the construction stakeholders involve
holistically. The extensive collaboration is crucial among general contractors, construction managers,
subcontractors, and material suppliers, of whom are committed to the concept that will result in an optimistic flow of
the activities at different phases of the project.37,44,47
In future study, our empirical framework will also include constraint analysis as part of the activity , process and
practice within the end-to-end production or project process that prevents inefficient flow. The analysis can be a
useful feedback and gauging system for review and correction, which enables the stakeholders to identify the
problems and provide continuous improvement effort because each constraint will add time and cost. 1,76 Once
problems are identified, performance improvements should be carried out to eliminate or minimize each constraints
to accomplish greater value.3,43 The improved model aims to apply an integrated stakeholder approach by using the
Aaltonen1 themes with incentives to address the challenges of integrating SC and LC practices. The approach
increases our understanding on the variance of the project stakeholder analysis, because previous literatures have
provided limited attention to the project stakeholder analysis.1,61 Accordingly, the proposed model can be a
comprehensive guideline for each stakeholder to articulate their performance requirements (the real value they
desire in their new buildings), and allow their teams to develop solutions 21,55,68 by analyzing and understanding the
nature of the issues related to LC and SC. As a result, organizations will have an understanding of the required
improvement efforts, where these efforts should be focused on obtaining the best results to maximize value with
fewer resources utilized throughout the integration process of LC and SC concept. 16,47,64

5. Conclusion

This paper discusses what the characteristics of lean construction (LC) and sustainable construction (SC) are and
how sustainable lean construction (SLC) serves to be effective strategies in establishing the linkage between LC and
SC. The fields are at the forefront of rapidly emerging construction management strategies, as considerable
publications exploring sustainability and lean construction date from recent years. Our future studies envision the
main opportunities and challenges in extending the proposed model by incorporating Building Information
Modeling (BIM) and Industrialized Building System (IBS) as the common tools that act as catalysts in developing
conceptual framework for lean and sustainable integration. A simplified model as shown in Fig.1 can be used as a
benchmark or reference for lean and sustainable improvements with the help of industry experts, project
practitioners, project owners and stakeholders. The model demonstrates how the strategic implementation facilitates
in LC and SC integration from design phase to the completion phase of a project. It indicates a systematic approach
of LC and SC concepts that can be extensively used to achieve LC and SC integration.
Jestr
Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review 10 (4) (2017) 170- 177

Review Article
JOURNAL OF
Engineering Science and
Technology Review

www.jestr.org

The Practical Relationships between Lean Construction Tools and Sustainable


Development: A literature review
M. S. Bajjou*, A. Chafi, A. Ennadi and M. El Hammoumi

Science and Techniques, Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University, B.P. 2202 - Route d’Imouzzer – FES, Morocco

Received 16 February 2017; Accepted 14 September 2017


___________________________________________________________________________________________

Abstract

The construction industry is considered among the largest consumers of natural resources (non-renewable
materials, fossil fuels, water...). It is also an important source of generation of solid waste and greenhouse gas
emissions. In addition to its negative impacts on the environment, most construction projects are characterized by
the non-respect of the triptych (Cost, Time, Quality) and a high accident rate compared to other sectors. Lean
construction (LC) is a new production philosophy which has the potential of bringing innovative improvements in
the construction sector. It is a systemic approach to meeting customer expectations by maximizing added value and
reducing all forms of waste. Based on international standards (AFNOR, GRI, UNEP, ISO 26000...) and recent
researches published in the most reliable databases, this study aims at exploring the concept of sustainable
development in the context of the construction industry and examines how the LC tools (Prefabrication, Value
Stream Mapping, Poka-Yoke, visual Management, and 5S) can have an impact on the three
dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economy, society). This work brings a new reflection by
constructing an interaction matrix between the Lean Construction tools and sustainable development.

Keywords: Lean Construction, Sustainable development, Interaction matrix

____________________________________________________________________________________________

1. Introduction layer; it is a source of 45 million ton of CO2 (in 20 years,


CO2 emissions have increased by more than 200 %) [7].
The sector of construction represents an integral part In addition to its negative impacts on the environment,
contributing tangibly to the economic growth of developing most construction projects are characterized by high
countries. At the national level, the sector of construction is variability and high accident rate compared to other sectors
considered amongst the most dynamic and the most [8]. According to the last studies carried out by Lean
promising of the Moroccan economy, it contributed by 6.3% Construction Institute (LCI) [9], the sector of construction is
of total value added created in 2014 with an increase of 4% characterized by a ratio production/waste higher than that of
compared to 2013 [1]. It employs nearly a million people the manufacturing sector as could be seen in Fig. 1.
(9,3% of the active population) [2].
On the other hand, even if the construction industry
participates in strengthening the national economy and
reducing the unemployment rate, this sector also has a huge
impact on the environment compared with other industries,
and it is considered within the most polluting sectors [3, 4].
The construction industry is a very large consumer of
non-renewable resources. Similarly to its damaging effects,
it is also an important source of natural resources waste
(non-renewable materials, water...), solid waste generation Fig. 1. Comparison of Production\/waste ratios between manufacturing
and greenhouse gas emissions. sector and construction sector
In Morocco, almost 9 million tons of solid waste are
dumped every year in nature [5]. Besides that, the Moroccan It has become crucial to seek creative and innovative
construction industry is considered as the largest consumer solutions that ensure better and more optimized modes of
of energy; it accounts 36% of final energy consumption and management. Because of its great potential in achieving
32% for the manufacturing sector [6]. Moreover, it is customer expectations in terms of increasing the value and
considered among the sectors of activities having a great reducing all forms of waste, the Lean Construction
impact on air pollution and the deterioration of the ozone philosophy is considered an alternative approach which can
______________ bring revolutionary changes to the construction industry.
*E-mail address: mohamedsaad.bajjou@usmba.ac.ma The LC is a concept that derives from the manufacturing
ISSN: 1791-2377 © 2017 Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology. All rights reserved. industry, adopted in the industry of construction with its
doi:10.25103/jestr.104.20 objectives to minimize waste and maximize the value added
M. S. Bajjou, A. Chafi, A. Ennadi, and M. El Hammoumi/Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review 10 (4) (2017) 170-177

in construction projects. LC is a proven method for the Economy Innovation/R&D4 [3, 4, 14, 15]
management and optimization of the construction process, 1 [3, 4, 11, 14, 15,
Cost saving
hence the requirements of customers can be reached using 16]
good resources and as well its ability to provide the best Increase added value5 [3, 11, 13, 14]
quality from the first time. Time reduction1 [3, 11, 14, 15]
Various lean tools for achieving sustainable development Partnering3 [3, 13]
have been discussed by several authors. However, in the Competitiveness2 [6, 11]
literature, there are only a very few studies that have [3, 11, 13, 14,
Waste Reduction1
explored various issues of sustainability by means of lean 17]
construction initiatives and established the benefits that can Measure customer
[11,15, 16]
be derived by applying the lean tools. The purpose of this satisfaction5
study is to analyze the concept of sustainability in the Responsiveness3 [15, 18]
context of the construction industry based on a literature Flexibility2 [4, 14, 15]
review of scientific contributions published in reliable Increase workers
[11, 15]
journals. productivity1
This work brings a new reflection focusing on the [3, 4, 16, 18, 19,
Material and resources6
relationship between lean construction tools and the three 20]
challenges of sustainable development (environment, [3, 4, 16, 18, 19,
Energy efficiency6
economy, society). 20]
Emission of greenhouse [3, 4, 16, 18, 19,
gases8 20]
2. The concept of sustainable development Water efficiency6 [3, 4, 19, 18, 20]
Environment
Solid wastes9 [3, 16, 20]
2.1 Sustainable construction Resource depletion6 [16, 18, 20]
Sustainable construction is mainly defined by the industry Pollution Prevention7 [4, 16]
that ensures the conservation of natural resources throughout Production of toxic
[3, 4, 16, 21]
the life cycle of the building (energy, water, non-renewable products7
9
materials), optimizing the consumption of raw materials in Solid waste treatment [19, 22]
purpose to reduce the deterioration of the environment and Use of land6 [3, 4, 18]
to ensure social and economic comfort [10]. Working conditions10 [3, 4, 16]
A sustainable and ecological construction project must Health and safety (e.g.
necessarily take into account the objectives of sustainable employees injuries, [3, 11, 16]
development at every stage of decisions: design, fatalities) 10
construction, use, and demolition. In addition to these Labor/Management
[3, 11, 16]
earnings to the level of socioeconomic development and the Society Relations10
11
protection of the environment sustainable construction Employment contribution [3, 4, 16]
practices ensure other intangible benefits such as Education/training11 [3, 4, 16]
strengthening the company's name in the market, the human resource
[3, 16]
resistance to global competition, improving the quality of development11
12
infrastructure and creation of working conditions Employment [3, 4, 12, 16, 23]
guaranteeing motivation and employee satisfaction [11].
The analysis of the data in Tab. 1 has allowed us to
2.2 The main factors of sustainable development identify twelve main factors, as shown in Fig. 2, spread over
There are several definitions of sustainable development in the three dimensions of sustainable development (Economy,
the literature, especially that sustainable development is a Environment, and Society). These main factors encompass
broad concept that has been adopted and interpreted in many the thirty factors that were found in the literature and
contexts. The most popular definition of sustainable international standards. They are identified in Tab. 1 by the
development is that given in the Brundtland report [12]: exhibitors ranging from 1 to 12 depending on the correspond
issue. These main factors will be used in the development of
“Development that meets the needs of the present a matrix of interaction between LC tools and the three
without compromising that ability of future generations to dimensions of sustainable development.
meet their own needs”
3.1 Origin
In order to assess the impact and contribution of the lean The study carried out by Pappas [24] in 1990 noted that
construction philosophy in sustainable development, we only 11.4% of the time on construction site created added-
have clarified the key factors of the three dimensions value. Other Swedish studies in their turn, have observed
(economy, environment, and society) based on international that the operations which create added value represent only
standards (AFNOR, GRI, UNEP, ISO 26000...) and on 30% of time spent on a construction site [25, 26].
recent research published in the most reliable international LC is a new philosophy of production, representing the
journals. The most common factors of sustainable adaptation of the concept Lean manufacturing with the
development are shown in Tab. 1. peculiarities of the construction industry. Due to its great
potential in fulfilling objectives in term of increasing the
Table 1. The factors of sustainable development added value and productivity LC has gradually interested
Dimensions factors References stakeholders of the construction industry.
Productivity/profitability1 [3, 4, 13, 14, 15] The discussions relative with the concept of LC began in
Quality1 [3, 4, 11, 15, 16] 1992 when Koskela thought of introducing Lean philosophy

171
M. S. Bajjou, A. Chafi, A. Ennadi, and M. El Hammoumi/Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review 10 (4) (2017) 170-177

in the management of construction projects [27]. While The most common definitions used in the literature are cited
taking as a starting point the model of Toyota Production in Tab. 3.
System (TPS), Koskela invented theory TFV
(Transformation, Flow, Value) [13] as is shown in Tab. 2. Table 3. Definitions of Lean Construction
Researchers Year Definitions
Dupin [28] 2014 LC aims to create value for the
customer by the elimination of
the waste, supported by
collaborative project
management tools, as part of a
systematic and rigorous approach
of continuous improvement.
Howell and 1998 The LC is designed to better
Ballard [29] meet the needs of customers by
using fewer resources.
Koskela [27] 1992 A way to design the production
system to minimize waste of
materials, time and efforts, in
order to generate the maximum
possible value of the end
product.
Fig. 2. The main factors of sustainable development
Overall, it can be concluded that LC is a new way to
organize the management of construction projects in such a
3. Lean Construction way as to reduce the sources of waste and generate the
maximum value for the customer using the least resources.
Table 2. TFV (Transformation-Flow-Value) theory of lean
construction 3.3 Waste in the construction sector
The seven forms of wastes in the construction industry are:
Transforma
Flow Value waiting, motion, over processing, overproduction,
tion
transportation, inventory and defects [30]. Many scientist
Concept of A A flow of A process and professionals consider that the negligence of the seven
production transformatio materials, where the form of waste by stakeholders during the construction phase
n of inputs composed value for the is the main cause of the problems of cost overruns and
into outputs of customer is delays in the construction industry [11, 28].
transformati created by LC considers the construction process as a process flow,
on the combined with transformation activities, contrary to the
processes, realization method of traditional construction which focuses only on the
inspection of its
improvement of the steps which create the added value.
processes, requirement
According to Dupin [28], value-added activities (Direct
movements s
and waiting work) don’t exceed in most of the time 32% of time spent on
site, as shown in Fig. 3.
The main To have an Elimination Elimination
Principle efficient of waste of the losses
production (non-value- of value
added (value
activities) obtained by
report to the
best possible
value)
Practical Take care of Take care Take care to
contributio what must be that what is meet
n done non- customer’s
necessary requirement
should be s in the best
reduced to possible
the way
maximum

3.2 Definitions of Lean Construction


LC philosophy doesn’t have a single definition in the
scientific references, it’s still evolving as the academic
Fig. .3. Proportions of activities generating waste in the construction
research, in particular doctoral research, feed this concept. industry

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Most searches are focused more on the economic issues


3.3 Lean Construction tools of the construction industry and optimization of the triptych
Many researchers have confirmed the usefulness of the LC (quality, cost, time). Various lean tools and techniques for
concept for projects of construction [4, 15, 31]. The main enabling sustainability have been discussed by several
advantage that companies could reduce the costs invested in authors. Some studies have explored various issues of
construction projects by using fewer resources and reducing sustainability by means of lean initiatives and established the
waste on production sites. In addition, by having a proper benefits that can be derived by applying the lean
project planning, it would shorten the duration of the principles/tools.
construction project. Based on an analysis of the scientific This work follows the new paradigm of sustainable
research conducted in several countries, we found that the management of the construction projects as illustrated in
most appropriate LC for the construction industry are as Fig.4.
follows : Last Planner System (LPS), Visual management
(VM), 5S, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Building
Information Modeling (BIM), Prefabrication, Analysis of
roots causes (5 Why, the Ishikawa diagram , PDCA…), Just
In Time, Poka-Yoke, as shown in Tab. 4.

Table 4. Lean Construction tools most used in the


construction industry
Prefabricatio

Just In Time
Last planner

Poka- Yoke
Root cause
analysis
system

Researche
VSM

BIM
VM
5S

rs

[32] × × × ×
[9] × × × × × × ×
[28] × × × × × × × × Fig. 4. The new paradigm of sustainable management of the
[33] × ×
construction projects

[34] × × 4.1 Prefabrication


The existing literature has identified some modern methods
[35] × × × × × as a means of reducing the production of waste in the
[30] construction industry.
× × × × × ×
Prefabrication is one of the new techniques to ensure that
[31] × × × × × × the components are manufactured and assembled off-site.
Several practical cases have shown the efficacy of this
[11] × × × × × technique in reducing waste. For example, the two studies
[37, 38] show that the tendency of the waste in the
In this study, we will focus on the direct interaction construction projects can be reduced to 52% and 84.7%
between five LC tools (Prefabrication, Value Stream respectively, compared to the traditional construction.
Mapping (VSM), Poka-Yoke, Visual Management (MV), The contribution of prefabrication in promoting the
and 5 S) and twelve mains factors of sustainable sustainability of construction projects, according to the three
development. facets of sustainable development, is illustrated in Tab. 5.

4. The contribution of LC tools in sustainable Table 5. The contribution of prefabrication in sustainable


development development

The promotion of the economy without taking into account Dimensions Practical contributions Ref
other dimensions of sustainable development will certainly
generate adverse effects on the environment and social Reduces the impact on the [34]
comfort (health, safety, employment...). As well, the environment due to the transfer
availability of natural resources on our planet (fossil fuels, of a large part of the
water, steel, wood...) continues to decrease. construction process to a
Sustainable development is a development that meets the specialized factory in
needs of the present without compromising the ability of prefabrication.
future generations to meet their own needs. Indeed, Environment All these facts can be translated
Sustainable construction is the response of the construction into many benefits such as less :
industry to meet the challenge of sustainable development storage of raw material, noise,
[31, 36]. air pollution (dust), waste and
In the literature, there is very little research which takes energy consumption
into account the contribution of LC philosophy on the three
aspects of sustainable development (economy, environment, Prefabricated components are [14]
society). more likely to be easily

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disassembled in the demolition Table 6. The contribution of Value Stream Mapping in


phase which facilitates their sustainable development
treatments (reuse, recycling, Dimensions Practical contributions Ref
etc) and reduces solid waste
Allows to measure the consumption of any [40]
Selection of non-toxic, reusable [39] type of resource (water, energy,
Environment materials...), and quantify the sources of
and recyclable materials during pollution (waste, emissions released into
the design phase. the atmosphere)

Reducing waste on site reduces [38] The detection of the sources of waste [14]
construction cost, allows to allows to reduce the financial burden of
Economy
respect the deadline and to the project and to shorten the time of
completion of the project.
increase the quality of the
Economy project. Facilitate workflow (load balancing, [28]
Society reducing the complexity of the process,
The development of new [14] minimizing unnecessary travel ...)
materials

Flexibility and adaptability [14] 4.3 Poka-Yoke


Poka-Yoke, a Japanese word, is simply a mechatronics
Provides safer working [37] device that operates as a mistake-proofing to automatically
conditions (e.g., Reducing prevent defects from flowing through the process (Fig. 5).
dangerous tasks such as Although this technique was used for the first time by
welding, cutting that may Toyota to improve the quality of its products, the ideas
threaten the worker's safety) behind this concept could be used to improve the
productivity, quality, and safety of staff on construction
Society The strengthening of a [34] sites. A typical example, such as controlling the addition of
prefabrication industry will water during the production of mortar, as could be seen in
certainly contribute to the Fig. 6.
creation of employment
opportunities and the
development of the technical
skills of the staff.

Despite the great advantages of prefabrication, this


technique shows some disadvantages. At the economic and
social level, less labor is requested for projects based on
prefabrication, thus fewer employment opportunities
especially for staff working on construction sites.
At the environmental level, this process can consume
more energy for the transport of prefabricated products and
emit more air pollution [14, 39]. A contractor applying
prefabrication technique in its project should absolutely
identify the best method of supply by using a holistic
approach during the life cycle of the project. Fig. 5. Using the Poka-Yoke devices in the construction process

4.2 Value Stream Mapping


Value Stream Mapping (VSM) allows to graphically
representing the set of steps constituting the construction
process in such a way that the user of this technique can
easily understand the circulation of the flow (materials,
information). According to [14], in contrast to traditional
methods the VSM helps to identify activities adding value
for the customer and those without added value (non-value
added activity).
By analyzing the consumption of certain materials
(brick, wood, concrete) in the walls construction process
Rosenbaum [40] has verified the usefulness of the VSM in
promoting the three dimensions of sustainable development.
The contribution of the VSM in the promotion of the
sustainability of construction projects is shown in Tab. 6.

Fig. 6. Using Poka-Yoke devices during mortar production process

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M. S. Bajjou, A. Chafi, A. Ennadi, and M. El Hammoumi/Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review 10 (4) (2017) 170-177

Generally, this activity is carried out manually, without Make easier the sorting of the solid waste [43]
any strict control of water consumption which affects the
quality of produced mortar. According to Dos Santos [41], Reduce the variability of the construction
the cost lost to solve the problems of non-compliance, errors process
and changes in construction projects are approaching 10% of Economy
Strengthens the company position [44]
the total project cost. The contribution of Poke-Yoke in the amongst competitors and gives
promotion of the sustainability of construction projects is confidence to the customer
shown in Tab. 7.
A well-organized workplace allows to [8]
Table 7. The contribution of Poka-Yoke in sustainable security and productivity among
Society employees that the main cause of
development
accidents on construction site is due to
Dimensions Practical contributions Ref disorder noticed in site of construction

Reduces the consumption of resources


(water, materials, energy)
Environment
[41]
Control emissions of pollutants
(greenhouse gas, solid waste)

A positive impact on the triptych [41]


(quality, cost, time), therefore
Economy
companies can better respond to
customer requirements.

The Poka-Yoke devices could also [8]


protect workers against excessive heat,
noise, and some other dangers. In some
Society cases, these devices are used as alarms
to prevent labor from approaching or
cross (e.g. Fall of objects, concrete in
waiting for drying…)
Fig. 7. The traditional method of organizing construction sites

Besides these advantages, the implementation of this


technique in construction projects will definitely contribute
to the reinforcement of a specialized industry in developing
Poka-Yoke devices, so more employment opportunities will
be created. Training on this new technology will be
necessary to improve the skills of the workforce working on
construction and familiarize them with these new devices
which lead to ongoing staff development and continuous
improvement of the process of construction.

4.4 Visual Management and 5S


5S is the acronym for Sort (Seiri), Simplify (Seiton), Sweep
(Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), and Self-discipline
(Shitsuke). It helps to make a suitable site for the flow of
value-added activities by holding everything in its place. The
5S process is considered among the first steps that an
organization should take in implementing the LC
philosophy. Visual management makes the construction Fig. 8. Organization of construction sites based on visual Management
process transparent, simple and safe for all stakeholders on and 5S
site through digital billboards, signs of security and
graphical dashboards. These tools allow to facilitate
enormously the construction process and to improve the 4.4 Synthesis & Discussion
performance of the communication between the coordinators Sustainable construction is a new concept that requires
of the project. The comparison between Fig. 7 and Fig. 8 checking the objectives of sustainable development at all
shows the usefulness of the visual management for the stages of decision making (design, construction, use, and
organization and transparency of construction projects [42]. demolition).
The contribution of the visual management and 5S in the In this study, we were based on the analysis of concrete
promotion of sustainability of construction projects results that have been observed during the execution of
according to the three facets of sustainable development is several projects of sustainable construction in many
shown in Tab. 8. countries (United State, United Kingdom, China ...), and
especially those adopting a strategy of resources
Table 8. The contribution of Visual Management and 5S in optimization according to the LC philosophy.
sustainable development The objective of this study is to examine the practical
Dimensions Practical contributions Ref
relationship that may exist between the LC tools
(prefabrication, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Poka-yoke,
Environment Reduce the waste of materials in stock visual management (VM), and 5S) and the sustainable
development issues, which allows to have a feedback on the

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M. S. Bajjou, A. Chafi, A. Ennadi, and M. El Hammoumi/Journal of Engineering Science and Technology Review 10 (4) (2017) 170-177

level of impacts, either positive or negative, related to the both positive and negative. At the environmental level,
application of the techniques of LC in sustainable prefabrication brings great benefits for sustainable
construction projects. construction by the use of non-toxic, recyclable, and easily
Tab. 9 represents an Interaction matrix that allows removable materials during the phase of the demolition of
identifying the impacts of the different LC tools studied in building structures. However, this technique requires more
this work. These impacts are divided into three categories: energy resources for transportation of prefabricated
environmental, economic, and social. products, therefore more greenhouse gases will be emitted
into the atmosphere. At the social level, the strengthening of
Table 9. The Practical Relationships between Lean a structured prefabrication industry will certainly contribute
Construction Tools and Sustainable Development to the creation of employment opportunities, the
development of technical skills of staff and the improvement
Prefabrication

5S and visual
of working conditions as a result of the transfer of a large

Management
Poka Yoke
part of the process of construction to plants specialized in
VSM prefabrication. Even so, there are some problems related to
the reduction of certain manual workstations that
characterize the traditional construction system, so fewer
employment opportunities will be created especially for the
Environment staff working on construction sites.

Resources consumption
(materials, water, + + + + 5. Conclusion
energy...)
Pollution Prevention The construction industry represents an integral part that
+ + + + contributes tangibly to the strengthening of the national
Emission of greenhouse economy and the reduction of unemployment. Nevertheless,
± + + this sector is considered among the main sources of
gases
Solid waste treatment greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste generation. Thus,
+ + + it is one of the largest consumers of natural resources. Lean
Construction is a way to design production systems in order
Economy to generate the maximum value for the customer by reducing
the waste of materials, time, and efforts. It is a new concept
Productivity & Respect of which can bring revolutionary changes and great benefits to
the triptych (cost, quality, + + + + the construction industry. In this study, the practical
time) relationships between lean construction tools and sustainable
Flexibility + have been extensively explored. It has been established that
the LC tools (Prefabrication, Value Stream Mapping, Poka-
Reactivity + Yoke, visual Management &5S have a direct impact in
promoting the main factors of sustainable development.
Innovation / R&D + + Indeed, we have demonstrated that Lean Construction not
only contributes to creating the economic value to the
Customer satisfaction + + + + construction process but can also contribute to promoting the
environmental and social issues. This philosophy represents
Society a strong conceptual basis to achieve the objectives of
sustainability. More empirical studies should be conducted
Working conditions & in the future to quantify the influence of LC practices on the
+ + + + sustainable construction.
Safety
Employee involvement /
Human resource + + Acknowledgement
development The authors acknowledge the Laboratory of Industrial Techniques,
Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Fez-Morocco, for the provision
Employment ± + of research facilities -This work has been supported by CNRST
cooperation

Tab. 9 shows the practical relationships between the This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the
studied LC tools and the three dimensions of sustainable Creative Commons Attribution Licence
development (environment, economy, society). Generally,
we can notice that most of these tools generate positive
impacts on the majority of the issues of sustainable
development, except for the prefabrication which could have
______________________________
References

1 Principaux Indicateurs du Secteur du Bâtiment et des Travaux 4. A.A.E. Othman, M.A. Ghaly, and N. Zainul Abidin, Manag.
Publics, Ministry of the habitat and city Policy. (2015) 2 p. Constr. An Int. J. 6 917 (2014).
2. Tableau de bord sectoriel, Ministry of economy and finance. (2015) 5. H. Challot , BTP: 9 millions de tonnes de déchets déversées chaque
88 p. année dans la nature
3. S. W. Whang and S. Kim, Energy Build. 96 76 (2015).

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APPLICATION OF LEAN CONCEPTS IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY


Madushan S.T.K, Hathurusinghe H.D.D.C, P.B.G.Dissanayake
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka

Abstract: Sri Lanka is a developing country experiencing a huge construction boom. All
construction use various types of resources and waste of resources occur at all construction
sites. These wastes include not only material resources but also labour, equipment, time,
space, etc. The basic idea of lean is to create more value for the customer with fewer resources.
Lean construction projects are easier to manage, safer, complete sooner and cost less and the
end product is of better quality. The aim of this study is to understand the level of awareness
on lean concepts in the construction industry of Sri Lanka, identify the wastes and classify
using lean concept, identify barriers and difficulties that may be encountered in the
implementation of lean concepts and propose effective and efficient means of lean
construction management techniques to be adopted by the Sri Lankan construction industry.

Keywords: Lean, Construction, Waste minimization

1. Introduction “backward” and being static parallel to the


changes in the manufacturing industry.
The simple idea of lean is creating more
Coupled with various environmental
value for customers with fewer resources.
dynamics, these criticisms have been
Reducing waste along entire value streams,
turning into searches for a suitable
less capital, and less time, creates processes
improvement framework for the
that need less human effort, less space, to
construction industry. (Low, 2013)
make products and services at far less costs
and with much fewer defects, compared The construction industry has wasteful
with traditional business systems. practices and struggles to satisfy the parties
Companies are able to respond to changing involved. It is also an important and
customer desires with a wide variety, high fundamental industry that its shortcomings
quality, low cost, and with a short period. create huge baneful effects. The people, who
Also, information management becomes strive for a better construction context, set
more accurate and much simpler (Gilbert, their eyes on the manufacturing industry.
2008). One of the revolutionary practices, rooted
from the car manufacturing industry is lean
Lean principles were originally derived
production. Just after the 2nd World War,
from the Japanese auto industry, the Toyota
lean production helped the Japanese car
Corporation. Lean Construction is a
manufacturers to compete against their
combination of operational research and
Western competitors and spread rapidly in
practical development in design and
other countries. These days most of the
construction with an adaption of lean
companies are trying to apply the lean
manufacturing principles and construction
manufacturing methodologies/tools for
process. Unlike manufacturing, construction
their companies. There are many books,
is a project based-production process.
papers, societies, technical reports about
(Remon, 2013).
lean production (Koskela, 1992).
In the past several decades, the
From the early 1990s, lean production
manufacturing industry changes with some
techniques have been adopted by the
technical and managerial levels. Once being
researchers in the construction industry and
the symbol of industrialization and
the name “Lean Construction” originated
development, the construction industry has
from “Lean Production”. Especially via the
been increasingly criticized for remaining
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universities located in the American its production system. The concept of Jidoka
continent and Northern Europe, lean was the very first part of Toyota production
construction is developing and lean system and it was created in 1902 by
practices are diffusing into the construction Toyoda founder. After that they were
industry. Lean concepts suggest to created a number of other tools and new
construction industry to change their ways, such as seven Wastes and eliminated
conventional management in to both flow techniques, kaizen, Andon, 5S, Error
and value management projects (Koskela, proofing, etc. (Meier, 2008).
1992). It also attempt to adapt the practical
2.2 Lean manufacturing
tools/ methodologies of lean production to
the construction industry. Unlike other The idea behind lean manufacturing is to
countries the Sri Lankan construction enhance the value of the customer mean
industry is yet to adopt lean construction while eliminating the waste. Lean
management techniques. The main focus of manufacturing lead the company to achieve
this study is on the implementation of lean high performance by generating more value
concepts and to analyse and propose using minimum resources. Waste is a non-
effective and efficient means of lean value adding activity for a company. By
construction management techniques to Sri reducing and eliminating waste in the
Lankan construction industry. manufacturing process, organizations could
focus more on processes that need
1.1 Research objectives
minimum human participation, minimum
1. What percentage of leading contractors is floor area and minimize lead times high
aware of lean construction techniques? quality manufacturing with a significant
low cost than the traditional manufacturing.
2. What extent has lean construction been
(Nilmini Thilakarathna, 2012).
accepted into practice by the construction
industry 2.3 Applying lean concepts in construction
industry
3. Identify the wastes sources classified
under lean construction industry. As a result of Lean construction, a new form
of production management system came in
4. Study, analyse and propose effective and
to construction. Essential features of lean
efficient means to improve lean construction
construction include a clear set of objectives
management techniques to Sri Lankan
for the delivery process, aimed at
construction industry.
maximizing performance for the customer
2.0 Literature review at the project level, construction, and the
2.1 Beginning of the Lean Concept application of project control throughout
the life cycle of the project from design to
After the end of the Second World War delivery. The lean concept has emerged and
Taiichi Ohno an engineer in the Toyoda has been successfully applied to complex
Spinning and Weaving Corporation was and simple construction projects. In general,
called to the automotive side of the lean construction projects are safer, easier to
company. He was asked to improve manage, completed on time and cost
operational productivity and drive in effective and are of better quality. This
concepts of Just-In-Time and Jidoka. He was research discussed the implementation
appointed as the machine shop manager of phases of lean construction showing the
an engine plant and had to experiment waste in construction and how it could be
many concepts in production in middle 90s. minimized (Remon, 2013)
His work and effort was resulted in what is
now achieved in the Toyota Production Projects are not permanent production
System. There are other people inside the systems, they are temporary production
company who contributed to the overall system. Therefore those systems are
development of the Toyota Company and planned to complete the product while
maximizing value and minimizing waste.
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Lean project management differs from The survey included eight types of wastes.
traditional project management (Senaratne, The total outcome of this study was to find
n.d.). out whether the above mention wastes did
occur at construction sites and whether
3.0 Methodology
there was a conventional procedure in
The research methodology was used to eliminating those wastes. The questionnaire
achieve the objectives of the project. survey was focused on comparing
Basically we can identify the following evaluating merits and demerits of
steps. comparing conventional and lean
3.1 Sample selection construction management concepts.

The method of the data collection for the The survey was also used to analyse for
project was through a questionnaire survey. possible barriers and difficulties in
The questionnaire was distributed among implementing Lean concept in construction
construction industry professionals working industry in Sri Lanka.
in the building construction industry. The questionnaire results were ranked
3.2 The survey according to Likert scale. The rank results
were analysed according to the mean value
Survey questionnaire was divided in to calculation using equation 3.4.1.
three sections. The first, section was titled
“Questions regarding the experience and Mean value =∑ (ni×xi) ∕ ∑ni equ (3.4.1)
the about company” xi= Likert scale for item, where
The second section of survey was titled I = 1,2,3,4,5
“Questions regarding the waste
management of sites” These questions n = frequency of item
attempted to find out whether the company 4.0 Results and Discussion
had proper management system to
Extracted information from questionnaires
eliminate the waste and identified whether
and direct interview can be present as
they use lean principle or any another
follows.
method.
Survey questionnaire was designed in three
The final section of this survey titled
sections. The first section included questions
“Questionnaire regarding lean concept in
regarding the experience and background of
construction industry”. The questions
the respondent and his company. This
attempted to find barriers to implementing
section helps to get an idea about
lean concept in construction industry in Sri
responder’s position in this field.
Lanka, suggestion for implementing Lean
concept and get an idea about their 4.1 Type of the company in responder work
knowledge on lean principles.
The questionnaire survey was carried out
using three methods. The questionnaire
form was distributed among construction
industry professionals by hand and via
email. Face to face interviews were
conducted with selected project managers,
site managers and site engineers on a
several projects.
3.3Analysis of responses Fig 4.1 Type of the company in responder work
After the survey responses were received, According to above result most of
analytical examination was carried out. responders work as a contractor. Less
number of persons works as a client.
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4.2 Position of the responder Table 4.1 Analysis results of the difficulties in
implementing of waste minimization

Mean
Rank
value

Lack of
promotion of
waste 3.877 4
minimisation
Fig 4.2 Position of the responder
extent
Working experience in construction Low financial
industry responders experience was most 3.456 7
incentive
effecting factor when doing this kind of
survey. Therefore in this questionnaire form Expectations
2.964 8
responder’s experience was categorized as from client
follow. Competitive
3.714 5
1. <5 years 35 market
Complicated
2. 5-10 years 17
sub-contraction 3.56 6
3. 10-15 years 3 system
4. >15 years 2 Lack of training
4.316 1
awareness
Lack of effective
management 4.192 3
tools
Change of
culture and 4.246 2
behaviour

Fig 4.3 Working experience in construction


industry
The second section of survey included
questions regarding the waste management
of sites.

Fig 4.5 Responder’s familiarity with the word


“lean construction”

Fig 4.4 Wastes in the construction sites


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Table 4.2 Analysis results of the effective ways construction techniques in the construction
to improve the construction waste management industry from
plan
Mean
Rank  It’s better to introduce new legislation
value
related to lean construction for Sri
Proper training and Lankan construction industry.
4.263 1
education
Employ  Attitude is the most important factor for
prefabricated in this industry
3.281 5
building  Improving waste management process
components does not result in extra consume extra
Implementing cost but it will improve the quality of a
contracts with sub- 3.649 4 particular activity which will ultimately
contractors help to increase quality and minimize
Apply information the rework
4.07 3
technology
Top management  Client consultant and Contractor need to
support and 4.193 2 work more closely when applying this
commitment concept for a project. Basically client
Appropriate site needs to pay attention to lean
4.263 1 construction from the beginning for
layout planning
Recycle waste example in the preparation of the
4.07 3 specifications and other requirements.
operation on-site
Consultant need to include the facts of
Table 4.3 Difficulties in implementing of Lean the concepts in their checklists and must
concepts in the construction industry Sri Lanka monitor regularly, the contractor need to
Mean include the facts related to Lean concepts
Rank in their methods statements etc.
value
Peoples and  Lean concept is already use for some
3.596 4
partner issues extent in precast fabrication to innovate
Managerial and implement new trends to the
and industry.
3.789 1
organizational
 Need to arrange a system for removing
issues
waste from site as beneficial.
Lack of
3.701 2
support issues  This is a good concept to be adopted in a
Cultural and third world developing country like Sri
philosophy 3.667 3 Lanka.
issues  Proper planning prior to ordering of
Government materials and careful handling are also
2.982 6
issues important
Procurement
3.316 5  Need awareness programme in advance
issues
4.3 Comments and suggestion from the  People behavior is the major issue
industry 5.0 Conclusions
From the google document and face to face  Most people don’t know the word “Lean
interviews (with questionnaire) with some Construction”.
site Engineers, project managers, Residence
Engineers, Quantity surveys and Planning  People use another waste minimization
Engineers. Implementing of lean technique.
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 Identified the extent of difficulties in This should eventually percolate to the


implementing lean concepts in the lower level of the construction field.
construction industry of Sri Lanka. References
 There should be a proper mechanism to [1] Koskela, L., 1992. Lean Production In
educate the people about lean Construction, finland: s.n.
construction principles.
[2] Low Sui Pheng, T. H. F., 2013.
 Communicate the benefits of lean Modern-day lean construction
construction through seminars & principles. pp. 523 - 541.
conferences to the construction industry
practitioners. [3] Remon Fayek Aziz *, S. M. H., (2013).
Applying lean thinking in
 Government should enact policies which construction and performance.
appreciate effort by firms which adopt Alexandria Engineering Journal, p.
lean principles. 679–695.
International Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering & Technology (ISSN: 2180-3242)
Vol 4, No 2, 2013

A REVIEW OF LEAN CONCEPT AND ITS APPLICATION TO


SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION IN THE UK
Oyedolapo Ekundayo Ogunbiyi*, Adebayo Akanbi oladapo and Jack Steven Goulding

University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom

*Corresponding E-mail : oogunbiyi@uclan.ac.uk

Received 18 June 2013; Revised 26 September 2013; Accepted 6 November 2013

Abstract
The UK Government has recognised the importance of the construction industry in achieving the overall
goals of sustainable development. Therefore the Government has put several policies and strategies in place
to achieve a more sustainable construction. Sustainable construction is considered as the application of
sustainable practices and sustainable development principles to the activities of the construction sector.
Lean construction is a new production philosophy which has the potential of bringing innovative changes in
the construction industry. The Lean principles focus on the minimisation of both material and process
wastes which in turn contribute to sustainable construction in terms of energy consumption and
improvement in health and safety etc. This study aims at exploring the concept of sustainable construction
and examines how the lean approach can impact on the sustainability practices within the construction
industry. The study uses literature review to achieve the stated aim. The findings revealed that the
application of lean construction principle, tools and methods have direct contributions to the attainment of
sustainable practices within the construction industry. However, the study postulates that the better
understanding of lean concept, proper implementation and integration of lean and sustainability concepts
are required for lean construction to contribute to sustainable construction.

Keywords: Lean construction, Sustainable Construction, Sustainability

1.0 Introduction

The UK construction industry is noted for its economic contribution with an output worth
over £100billion a year. It provides employment for over three million workers and accounts for
eight per cent of gross added value [1]. Nonetheless, the construction industry is also noted for its
poor safety record evident from high rate of accidents on construction sites leading to workers
injury or loss of lives [2]. This suggests the reason why more attention is paid to the sector.
However, there are other benefits to be gained from a more sustainable construction industry. The
adoption of a sustainable approach was suggested to lead to important business benefits and
address the shortcomings of the construction industry identified in the Rethinking Construction
report. This reflects that becoming more sustainable could lead to efficiency, profit-orientated
practice and achieving value for money, as it is about helping society and protecting the
environment. There is a growing awareness as to the competitive advantages that can be convened
by businesses taking a sustainable approach [3].
Lean construction is a new production philosophy which has the potential of bringing
innovative changes in the construction industry. The concepts and principles of lean is to
generally make the construction process leaner by removal of waste which is regarded as non-
value generating activities [4]. The removal of waste (process and material) and value generation
in terms of adding value to the customer are the major contributions of lean construction to
sustainable development [5]. This is achieved by the use of lean principles: pull system, flow,
value stream mapping, continuous improvement and involvement of employees.
There are several key factors to be taken into action by the construction industry. These
factors have been suggested by the UK Government in its strategy for more sustainable
construction [6]. These factors include:

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1. Design for minimum waste


2. Aim for lean construction
3. Minimum energy in construction and use
4. Pollution reduction
5. Preservation and enhancement of biodiversity
6. Conservation of water resources
7. Respect for people and local environment
8. Setting targets
9. Monitoring and reporting in order to benchmark the performance
Among several factors, the lean construction principles will be focused on, as the main area
of this study is to critically review the concept of Sustainable Construction (SC), and examine
how the application of lean principles can impact on the sustainability practices within the
construction industry. Accordingly, this study pulls from two main bodies of literature: i.e. the
literature on sustainable development and lean construction in the broader context of the
construction industry (see Figure 1). As earlier mentioned, the construction industry is considered
as a key sector for achieving sustainable development goals because it plays a vital role in the
drive to promote sustainable growth and development.

Construction Industry

Lean Construction Sustainable


Construction

Figure 1: Literature review focus


The potential of lean to contribute to sustainable construction has been raised for discussion
[5]. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to examine the possibilities of lean contributing to
sustainable construction. Several studies have been carried out on lean and its application within
construction at project level with great benefits achieved and there are many studies that have
investigated lean construction and sustainability separately [7, 8]. However, studies that highlight
the contributions of lean construction towards sustainability are few. The insufficiency of
literature addressing this issue and the absence of research-based papers are assumed as a lack of
awareness of the potential of lean construction as a means of achieving sustainability and an
unrecognised relationship between sustainability and lean construction objectives. For instance,
Forbes et al.[9] proposed a framework for providing technical support for lean methods
application in some environments in developing countries. Sacks et al. [2] developed a research
framework for analysis of the interaction between lean and BIM. However, there has been little or
no study done to look at the impact of lean on sustainable construction in terms of developing a
framework at the organisational level. Against this background, this study aims to examine the
contributions of the implementation of the lean approach in sustainable construction.

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2.0 Sustainable Construction

It is difficult to describe sustainable construction without defining or describing sustainable


development. There are several definitions of sustainable development given in the literature [10,
11]. Sustainable development is a broad concept which has been adopted and interpreted in
numerous contexts. For example many authors have seen the concept as vague and fuzzy [12, 13].
According to Sage [14], sustainable development refers to the fulfilment of human needs through
simultaneous socio-economic and technological progress and conservation of the earth's natural
systems. However, the most popular definition of sustainable development is the one given in the
Brundant report “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising that
ability of future generations to meet their own needs” [15]. Nevertheless, there are some areas of
agreement in the various definitions. This reflects that the goal of sustainable development is to
enable humanity all over the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life
without compromising the quality of life of future generations. The concept of sustainable
development has been described with three dimensions: economic, social and environmental
aspect. Sustainable development and social responsibility have become increasingly important
strategic issues for companies in virtually every industry [16].
The term sustainable construction means different things to different people as there are
multiple definitions, and variance in terms of scope and context as well as practices [11, 12, 17].
Bourdeau et al. [17] stated that sustainable construction practices are widely different depending
on how the concept of sustainable construction is developed in various countries. Therefore,
simply put, sustainable construction is the response of the building sector to the challenge of
sustainable development [5].
The implementation of sustainable construction is still under explored. The decision
making process and the actors as well as the inter-relationship has to be understood when
implementing sustainable construction [18]. The issues of sustainable construction are divided
into 3 aspects: the environmental, economic and the social issues. CIEF [19] suggests sustainable
construction as a solution for significant cost savings, to bring innovations and to enhance
competitiveness for long time survival of any organisation. Sustainable construction practices not
only provides increased market share and profitability but also brings many other intangible
benefits such as visible brand name to the organisation in the industry, quality in construction,
employee motivation and satisfaction, improved customer’s satisfaction, and complements /
awards from regulatory authorities and improved shareholder relations [19, 20].

3.0 Lean Thinking in Construction: Lean Construction

The application of lean thinking in construction was pioneered by Koskela who suggested
that construction production should be seen as a combination of conversion and flow processes
for waste removal. The concept of lean is attributed to the manufacturing industry and was
introduced to construction [4].The use of lean concept has been advocated in the UK, several
seminars and initiatives have been undertaken in an effort to encourage its uptake. The
Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), Construction Productivity
Network (CPN), Construction Lean Improvement Programme (CLIP) and the Lean Construction
Institute UK (LCI-UK) are some of the examples of institutions established. Seminars and
conferences have been organised to tease out the main issues in the development and awareness of
lean construction principles with real life case studies of some construction organizations
presented [19]. In spite of these efforts, there seems to be some barriers to the successful
implementation of lean construction. Generally the rate of lean implementation within the UK
construction industry is relatively low and the application of lean in sustainable construction is
still under explored [21]. Some studies have identified the barriers to the implementation of lean
construction. These barriers need to be overcome in order for construction industry to reap the
benefits of implementing lean construction. The application of lean principle to construction has

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been presented to result in benefits such as improved quality, improved safety, waste reduction,
increased productivity, more client satisfaction, increased reliability, and improvements in design.
A study carried out by Sarhan and Fox [22] reveals that there seems to be positive trends in
the development of a lean culture among UK construction organisations. Lack of understanding of
how to successfully apply lean thinking principles to specific construction processes was also
revealed. This study of lean culture within the UK construction organisations was carried out after
the study of Common et al., and Johansen and Walter [22]. Lean thinking has become an
important concept within the UK construction industry following the Egans report. There has
been significant improvement in the agenda for change in the UK construction industry. Few
studies have been carried out in order to establish the current levels of awareness and
implementation of lean thinking within the UK construction industry. An example of such studies
is the application of the Last Planner into a UK construction project. Last Planner is one of the
lean tools and techniques and perhaps the most developed tool. The tool was applied to a UK
construction project to ascertain its value and its possible barriers. However, the study raised a
number of important structural and cultural problems for the success of Last Planner in the UK
[23].
Shah and Ward [24] pointed out that it is essential to differentiate between those studies
considering lean from a philosophical perspective related to guiding principles or overarching
goals, and those analysing the concept from a practical perspective as a set of management
practices, tools, or techniques that can be observed directly. The implementation of lean
construction have been targeted towards some specific tools and principles without a full
integration on different aspects such as supply chain, safety, planning and control, production
design and management, culture and human aspects [25-27]. Framing an encompassing definition
that covers all aspects of lean is seen as a difficult task [28]. Alves et al., [26] stated that there are
many meaning of lean when applied to construction. Therefore, this study deems it fit to
scrutinize various definition of lean as applied to construction. Table 1 presents various definition
of lean.
Lean offers significant benefits in terms of waste reduction and increased organisational
and supply chain communication and integration. The elimination of waste leads to cost benefits
advantage, however these are pre-requisite for creating a lean process. The lean implementation
effort stage one focus on waste elimination from a technical and operational perspective [29].
Process Mapping, Value Stream Mapping, and 5S (Workplace Organisation) are some of the tools
for achieving such processes. There are 7 types of waste identified under lean: overproduction,
overstocking, excessive motion, waiting time, delay and transportation, extra-processing, defect
and rework. In the same manner, there are various methodologies for attaining lean production:
just in time (JIT), total quality management, concurrent engineering, process redesign, value
based management, total productive maintenance and employee involvement.

Table 1: Definitions of Lean


Sources Definition

Manrodt[30] Lean is a systematic approach to enhancing value to the customer


by identifying and eliminating waste (of time, effort and materials)
through continuous improvement, by flowing the product at the pull
of the customer, in pursuit of perfection

Ballard et al. [31] Lean is “a fundamental business philosophy – one that is most
effective when shared throughout the value stream”

Lean Construction Lean construction is a production management-based project


Institute [32] delivery system emphasising the reliable and speedy delivery of

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value

Radnoret al. [33] Lean is a philosophy that uses tools and techniques to create a
change of organisational culture in order to implement the ‘good
practice of process/operations improvement that allows the
reduction of waste, improvement of flow, more focus on the needs
of customers and which takes a process view’

Construction “The continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding


Industry Institute all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream and
[34] pursuing perfection in the execution of a constructed project.”

Shah and Ward ‘‘an integrated socio-technical system whose main objective is to
[24] eliminate waste by concurrently reducing or minimising supplier,
customer, and internal variability.’’

3.1 Lean Approach in Sustainable Construction

Lean construction is one of the strategies for improving the sustainability of construction, in
other words one method of achieving sustainable construction. Lean approach in sustainable
construction focuses on the removal of all forms of wastes from construction processes to allow
more efficiency. Existing studies have suggested theories to support that lean is a method for
optimising resources, improving safety, productivity, working condition and overall, the social,
environmental and the economic bottom line [35]. There are several forms of waste under the lean
terminology: processes, material and poor safety are considered as a potential wastes that hinder
flow of value to the client. Construction should be seen as flow processes (consisting of both
waste and conversion activities), not just conversion processes [4]. The promotion of health and
safety practice can contribute to sustainable construction by enhancing workers’ social life and
minimising direct and indirect cost of accidents. Material waste elimination has been identified as
the most efficient and cost effective approach to promote sustainable practice on construction sites.
Similarly, the principles of lean construction focus on creating a sustainable change by stressing
on efficient, waste-free and safe flow, storage and handling of materials to minimise cost, energy
and resource consumption, and provide value for clients and end users [7].
Some of the key issues of sustainability identified in the literature include: global warming
and climate change which is seen as one of the main threats to the environment as a whole [36].
Peng and Pheng [37], investigated the contribution of the lean concept to achieve low carbon
installation in the construction sites using precast concrete products and found that the lean
concept can be adopted to reduce carbon emission in terms of re-designing the site layout,
improving the supply chain and installation work flow. Many studies have highlighted the
contributions of lean construction towards the environmental aspect of sustainability. For example
Huovila and Koskela [5] presented minimisation of resource depletion, pollution and matching
business and environmental improvement as the contribution of lean construction to sustainable
development. However, the contribution of lean construction to sustainable development is not
limited to the environmental aspect but also to the social and economic aspect. The different lean
applications might have different results on the three pillars of sustainable development.
The lean impact has been described to cover the economic, social and environmental aspect
of sustainable construction. This include more value to client with less waste of time and
resources, process improvement and overall project delivery, productivity improvement, cost
reduction, improved quality and safety as well as promotion of continuous improvement. A good
example of this is the case study of the modular home building by Nahmens [29] which was

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carried out to evaluate the use of lean construction to improve sustainability. Lean construction
strategies serves as a platform for improvement in the delivery of the sustainable modular houses.
Figure 2 presents the main effect of the application of the lean concept for the purpose of
sustainability in the aforementioned example.

Figure 1: Conceptual model: effect of lean on sustainability


Source: (Nahmens and Ikuma, 2009)

As much as adopting lean concept has been attributed to positive influence on sustainable
construction in terms of improved safety, many research works have shown both negative and
positive effects of lean on safety. However, in terms of sustainability, lean and safety influence
economic sustainability by reducing costs and increasing productivity, environmental
sustainability by reducing or improving materials and social sustainability by affecting the well-
being of workers.

3.2 Sustainable Practice and lean concept

According to Tan et al., [38], Sustainable construction practices include five major areas:
compliance with sustainability legislation, design and procurement; technology and innovation;
organisational structure and process; education and training; and measurement and reporting. The
successful implementation of lean and sustainable concepts by an organisation depends on the
level of commitment and knowledge. The implementation of sustainability throughout the
organisation including the organisation’s project will yield more result than when implemented
only on the project [39]. Different company characteristics can influence the choices in
sustainable construction practices. The selected sustainable construction practices should be
consistent with the overarching strategy. The benefits of implementing sustainable practices
include improved regulatory compliance requirements; reduction of liability and risk; enhanced
reliability among customers and peers; reduction of harmful impacts to the environment;
prevention of pollution and waste (which can result in cost reduction); improvements in site and
project safety (by minimising injuries related to environmental spills, releases and emissions);
improved relationships with stakeholders such as government agencies, community groups, and
clients [40].
The benefits of implementing sustainable practices in construction can be grouped under
environmental, economic and social aspects. Hall and Purchase [41] stated that numerous

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sustainability and lean practices, such as productivity, safety, efficiency, and waste minimisation,
are interconnected. The conceptual relationship between lean and sustainability has been
presented in the literature. Lean practices can be adopted in a construction project at design phase
to reduce costs and enhance sustainability [42, 43]. Few studies have been carried out to
investigate the application of sustainability and lean concept. Despite the pressure on the
construction industry to adopt the concept of sustainability to improve the current unsustainable
pattern of project delivery, its uptake is relatively slow i.e. the adoption of sustainable practice in
construction project. Koranda et al., [8] developed a framework for implementing lean techniques
and sustainability in a construction project as shown in figure 3. This framework captured the
major sustainability issues at project level.

Figure 3: Framework for implementing lean techniques and sustainability in a construction


project (Source: Koranda et al. 2012)

There is need for leadership participation in the quest for attaining a more sustainable
construction as the leadership role in construction organisation is one of the paramount factors
that can provide an overall vision, direction and vision towards the attainment of a sustainable
construction. Therefore, it is highly essential that leaders have full knowledge of the concept of
sustainability to be able to guide their organisations effectively [44]. Likewise, top level
leadership commitment has been identified as one of the success factors for the implementation of

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lean. This suggests that thorough understanding of lean and sustainability concepts as well as
principles are necessary for proper application on a construction project.

3.3 Lean Tools and Methodologies for Sustainable Construction

Various lean tools and techniques for enabling sustainability have been discussed by
several authors. Some studies have explored various issues of sustainability by means of lean
initiatives and established the benefits that can be derived by applying the lean principles/tools
[42, 45]. Lean design methods such as Integrated Design, Design for Maintainability (DFM), Set-
based Design, Target Costing and 3D Modelling can be used during the construction of
sustainable project. Many studies have suggested integrated design method to be one of the most
critical methods for sustainable construction [46-48]. Just-in-time (JIT) is a major component of
the lean construction concept, the principle of just in time is to ensure that the correct quantities of
materials are delivered as at when needed in the right quantity to the exact location in good
condition [49-51]. Bae and Kim [43] carried out the quantitative assessment of lean methods and
sustainability impacts of construction project. This was based on the lean project delivery phases
which include: lean project definition, lean design, lean supply, lean assembly and whole delivery
process. It was revealed that most lean construction methods provide positive economic impacts
for sustainable projects while there are few negative impact as well as the combination of both
impact (positive and negative) on the social and the environmental aspects.
There are many lean tools and techniques/principles among which 5S, value stream
mapping, just in time, visualisation tool, last planner, value analysis, pull approach and
continuous improvement appears to be the commonly adopted lean tools and
techniques/principles [45]. Value stream mapping (VSM) is the mapping of wastes throughout the
organisation. 5S and value stream mapping are commonly noted for environmental improvement.
5S helps companies to look at their workplace in a new dimension. Companies use 5S to clean
and streamline areas within their works, removing unwanted parts, tools and general debris and
setting a new standard for cleanliness and tidiness. It also helps in organising construction site,
thereby resulting to environmental improvement and health and safety improvement.

4.0 Conclusions

The study has drawn from literature on both lean and sustainability reflecting the principles
of lean and how it impacts on sustainable construction. Better understanding of lean concepts by
the construction industry can contribute to improvement in all aspect of sustainable construction.
The concept of lean and sustainable construction both seeks to minimise waste, but this is
achieved through different approaches. There is need for construction stakeholders to set their
priorities before the start of a project for better integration of the two concepts. More emphasis
should be laid on lean approach in sustainable construction framework. There should be more
level of commitment and knowledge by an organisation in order to successfully implement and
derive maximum benefits from the concept of lean and sustainability. However, the application of
lean in sustainable construction is not only possible on the operational level; it could also be
applied at the strategic level. Therefore, this study will go on to further present the application of
lean and sustainability at the strategic level and also explore the benefits that can be achieved.

References
[1] Construction Industry Research and Information Association CIRIA, “Guide to sustainable
procurement in construction. London” Construction Industry Research and Information Association
C695, 2011.
[2] R. Sacks, B. Dave, L. J. Koskela, and R. L. Owen, “Analysis framework for the interaction between
lean construction and building information modeling,” Proceedings of the 17th annual conference of
International Group for lean Construction, 2009.

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KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering (2012) 16(5):699-707 Environmental Engineering
DOI 10.1007/s12205-012-1460-5
www.springer.com/12205

An Investigation of the Applicability of Sustainability and Lean


Concepts to Small Construction Projects
Collin Koranda*, Wai Kiong Chong**, Changwan Kim***, Jui-Sheng Chou****,
and Changmin Kim****
Received January 20, 2011/Accepted September 13, 2011

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Abstract

Sustainability and lean concepts can both be applied to the construction industry to help minimize waste. Although both concepts
work to alleviate similar problems, organizations struggle to integrate the concepts. This paper examined projects of different sizes and
in different environments within the Midwestern United States to determine what aspects hinder the integration of sustainability and
lean concepts within the region. Professionals associated with the industry were interviewed to identify sources of waste for lean and
sustainable projects. From the case studies, various aspects of waste that exist in construction projects were recognized, and a
comparison of the interaction of lean and sustainable concepts was documented. A process for planning throughout the entire
construction process was determined so that waste can be reduced and the integration of lean and sustainable concepts is more
achievable.
Keywords: lean, sustainability, LEED, sustainable construction, lean construction
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1. Introduction premier green building programs in the USA and has become the
international accepted benchmark (Huang and Hsu, 2010; US
The World Commission on Environment and Development's Green Building Council, 2011). LEED follows a scorecard
report (World Commission on Environment and Development, methodology with four levels of certification for the completion of
1987) outlined the concepts of sustainable development and has various tasks in the categories of Sustainable Sites, Water
become the foundation for sustainable construction. The Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, and
objective of sustainable development can be summarized as, Indoor Environmental Quality (U.S. Green Building Council,
“development that meets the needs of the present without 2011). Although green building standards are not the only facet of
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own sustainable construction, their relationships are extremely close.
needs.” The sustainable development concept has expanded to The concept of lean construction is similar to that of sustainable
encompass the sustainable construction concept, which is more construction in that both concepts seek to minimize waste during
technically oriented and includes methods to improve energy construction. Lean construction is a constantly evolving concept
efficiency, reduce life cycle cost, and enhance the environmental that rejuvenates the effectiveness of the construction process.
responsibility of existing buildings. Kibert (1994) defined the six The concept of lean is to identify, reduce or, wherever possible,
key principles of sustainable construction as: 1) minimization of completely eliminate waste from the production process (Wang
resource consumption, 2) maximization of resource reuse, 3) use et al., 2009; Lonngren et al., 2010). Just-In-Time (JIT) is a major
of renewable or recyclable resources, 4) protection of the natural component of the lean construction concept (Mao and Zhang,
environment, 5) creation of a healthy, non-toxic environment, and 2008; Eriksson, 2010) the objective of which is to ensure that the
6) pursuit of quality in creating a built environment for sustainable correct quantities of materials are delivered to the exact location
construction. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental in good condition at the time when the material is needed (Low
Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is one of the and Choong, 2001; Birdi et al., 2008).

*Construction Engineer, Black & Veatch Corporation, Kansas City, MO, 64114, USA (E-mail: Koranda@bv.com)
**Associate Professor, Dept. of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA (Corresponding
Author, E-mail: oswald@ku.edu)
***Member, Associate Professor, Dept. of Architectural Engineering, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea (E-mail: changwan@cau.ac.kr)
****Professor, Dept. of Construction Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, 106, Taiwan, R.O.C. (E-mail: jschou@
mail.ntust.edu.tw)
*****Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Architectural Engineering, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea (E-mail: changmin@wm.cau.ac.kr)

− 699 −
Collin Koranda, Wai Kiong Chong, Changwan Kim, Jui-Sheng Chou, and Changmin Kim

The fundamental difference between lean manufacturing and lean experience, and (5) alignment of team member and project goals.
construction lies in production line assembly. In manufacturing, Lapinski et al. (2006) also noted that the processes used in
products move along the conveyor system while the equipment Toyota’s delivery method are very similar to LEED approaches,
stays stationary; as a result, correction of a defect within the and that Toyota could achieve higher standards without going
production system will eliminate any defect from the following through LEED certification. Though both projects are excellent
products. The construction process, by contrast, requires equipment examples of the success of integrating lean and sustainable
to be moved in order to produce a product. As such, the benefit concepts, not every organization has the resources and knowledge
from eliminating a defect from the production system cannot of Toyota or the Department of Defense. Most projects have
easily be repeated in another location. Thus, the construction limited resources to implement and limited knowledge of the
industry’s most common approach to eliminating defect is to concepts of lean and sustainable.
rework. As lean construction continues to evolve, some identifiable The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationships
features have emerged. Howell (1999) suggested that the among worksite, design, the environment, and sustainability and
fundamental concepts of lean construction should include: (1) lean concepts from a perspective of small construction projects.
identifying and delivering value, (2) organizing production into a This paper also examines the current state of application of
continuous flow process, (3) perfecting products and increasing sustainability and lean practices on these projects and examines
flow reliability by integrating inventory management, information how such practices could potentially be mainstreamed. The other
distribution, and decision making, and (4) continuously improving focuses of this research are to establish the relationships between
the products and processes. sustinability and lean concepts and to develop a framework in
Commitment and knowledge are the keys to the successful which small projects can integrate and implement both practices.
implementation of lean and sustainable concepts. Research has In this study, information was collected from six small and
shown that an organization will benefit more from sustainability medium-sized construction projects in the Midwestern United
implementation if it exists throughout the organization rather States and from 35 architects, engineers, and contractors. These
than only in their projects (Beheiry et al., 2006). Many lean and projects represent the kinds of projects that are commonly
sustainability practices, such as safety, efficiency, productivity, performed in the region: a mix of small- and large-sized projects,
and waste minimization, are interconnected (Hall and Purchase, as well as LEED and non-LEED projects. The conditions for
2006). As such, Pulaski et al. (2006) identified the principles for each project were unique and were representative of these types
combining sustainability and constructability at the design and of projects. During data collection, many project managers were
construction stages, such as simple construction details and the found to have unconsciously applied lean concepts (such as the
use of structural elements as finishing materials. reduction of on-site inventory). Descriptions and details of the
The Pentagon and Toyota South Campus are two case studies projects are listed in Table 1.
that thoroughly examined the integration between sustainability
and lean concepts. Study of the Pentagon renovation project 2. Qualitative Analysis
showed that the integration of sustainability and lean concepts
saved both money and time. The Toyota South Campus project in This study qualitatively analyzes information that was collect-
Torrance, CA demonstrated a strong relationship between ed from 35 selected architects, engineers, and contractors who
sustainability and lean concepts (Lapinski et al., 2006). Lapinski et worked on the designs and construction of six lean and LEED-
al. (2006) explained that the lessons learned from the Toyota project certified projects. Interviews were conducted with the project
included: (1) early evaluation and adoption of environmental managers of the involved general contracting firms and three
considerations, (2) business case imperatives, (3) sustainable subcontracting firms, as well as the architects and engineers.
compatibility, (4) early selection of team members with sustainable Phone interviews were also used to gather and verify information.

Table 1. Project Summaries of Preliminary Selected Projects


LEED Storage for Change order (H-Higher than other
Environ- Storage Square Cost Delivery
Project Certifi- $/S.F Recycled projects, E-Equal to other projects,
ment Constraints Feet (Million) Constraints
cation materials L-Lower than other projects)
A Rural No Minimal 62,000 $9.00 $145.16 No H No
B Suburban Yes Minimal 129,000 $30.00 $232.56 Yes L No
C Suburban Yes Minimal 178,000 $30.00 $168.54 Yes L No
D Urban No Very High 730,000 $114.00 $156.16 No H Yes
E Metropolitan No Very High 770,000 $200.00 $259.74 No E Yes
F Urban Yes High 1,200,000 $180.00 $223.41 Yes E Yes
Pentagon Urban Yes Unknown 6,600,000 $1,060.00 $160.61 Unknown ? Unknown
Toyota South
Urban Yes Unknown 640,000 $87.00 $135.90 Unknown ? Unknown
Campus

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An Investigation of the Applicability of Sustainability and Lean Concepts to Small Construction Projects

2.1 Impediments to Lean Concept Implementation and for lean and sustainable projects because it encouraged earlier
Complications with Sustainability Concepts communication and allowed for better knowledge integration
The materials and systems used in a project pre-determine the between the designers and contractors. Earlier and more frequent
constraints of the project. The materials and systems specified in communication helped integrate knowledge and information
these projects normally impact (1) the lead time of material and regarding, for example, regional conditions, materials, practices,
system delivery, (2) the reliability of shipments, (3) the delivery and uncertainties. Such communication helped designers and
distance, (4) the reliability of source material, (5) the reliability and contractors to align their project objectives and reduced design-
working relationships among the designers, contractors, subcon- construction conflicts, which further facilitated the application of
tractors, and material suppliers, and (6) worker productivity. lean and sustainable concepts.
Certain green materials were available for JIT delivery, and
their use generated more waste due to worker unfamiliarity with 2.3 Knowledge, Design and Construction Integration
the materials. For example, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- Feedback from the designers and contractors stressed that
certified wood had to be delivered from an alternative source in knowledge of sustainability and lean concepts significantly
many Midwest regions and tended to be less reliable. Moreover, affects the success of implementation. Unfortunately, most of the
bamboo flooring (a highly recyclable material) had to be shipped designers and contractors involved in the small projects were not
from China and Southeast Asia, thus demanding a longer lead knowledgeable in these areas. In addition, four of the six projects
time. Some materials became more “costly” as a result of the studied indicated a lack of alignment between design and site
amount of waste incurred during installation, and contractors practices as the major cause of material waste. Designers of the
often combined both green and non-green materials to control small projects rarely communicated with the contractors when
project cost escalation and improve schedule reliability when developing their designs. In addition, there were many small
implementing sustainable concepts. To minimize the impacts on firms that did not have experience with sustainable or lean
delivery and reliability, contractors normally ordered sustainable projects. Poor knowledge of the region was another important
materials in larger quantities and scheduled for longer lead times. cause of waste. For example, the contractor for Project A tried to
Hence, a longer lead time for delivery and higher rates of earn a recycled content credit by procuring and using flooring
allowable damage were normally permitted. material that contained recycled content and then used it
The use of regional material may be the best way to achieve alongside other material that did not have any recycled content.
JIT delivery in lean concepts since the material for the project As a result, the flooring installation was delayed because the lead
can be timely used without the need for stocking. Moreover, time of the delivery was affected.
sustainable construction can be realized by avoiding long- It was nearly impossible for designers to integrate their designs
distance shipments, thereby reducing carbon emissions for the and eliminate waste in a lean and sustainable manner if they did
project. However, the use of regional material is not always not know much about the region. The small and more commonly
possible or desirable. Local suppliers may be unreliable because built projects faced more challenges than the large projects
they have a relatively small-scale production system and a limited because they normally involved fewer management resources
supply capacity. Thus, purchasing material from long-distance since each team was involved in several simultaneous projects.
providers may be better to assure timely project completion. This case study shows that communication is vital to the success
Designers had to consider how the materials affected the schedule of a project. In Project B, which was LEED-certified, 85% of its
and quality of their projects. Contractors normally used the least waste was recycled because the project planners made special
expensive materials from the most reliable sources, as long as they efforts to discuss ways to increase the amount of recycled waste.
could meet the product specifications.
2.4 Conflicting Priorities
2.2 Contractual Arrangement, Design and Specifications Conflicting priorities between designers and contractors were
Contractual arrangements were found to limit the interaction found to negatively affect the successful implementation of
and thus the knowledge integration between designers and con- sustainability and lean concepts. Feedback from the contractors
tractors. Communication between the designers and the contractors highlighted that they were more concerned with eliminating
in a traditional project delivery method, a Design-Bid-Build (DBB), wasted time from idle laborers than with eliminating material
started much later since the owner separately contracts with the waste. The designers, on the other hand, were more concerned
designer and contractor (Hwang et al., 2011). In the case of a with the performance of their designs and compliance with
Design-Build (DB), the owner contracts a DB firm early in the “quality” and “sustainability” requirements. The concepts of lean
project development process; thus, communication between the manufacturing do not separate the design from the production
designers and contractors occurs more frequently than in it does process and consider the designers and manufacturers as one
in DBB projects (Imbeah and Guikema, 2009). The feedback from entity; however, designers and contractors work independently
the interviews highlighted that more changes during construction in most construction projects. As a result, conflicting objectives
and relatively more waste were generated in DBB projects. The and priorities often occur. Sustainability and lean concept
study also suggested that DB was the best contractual arrangement implementation may be easier if stakeholders determine their

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Collin Koranda, Wai Kiong Chong, Changwan Kim, Jui-Sheng Chou, and Changmin Kim

priorities before the start of a project. the large projects. In addition, the small projects required smaller
quantities of materials, which led to earlier material shipments.
2.5 Uncertainties, Contingencies and Risks Because less equipment and fewer activities were involved at the
Another factor that reduced the efficacy of the implementation work sites, more space was generally available for storage. The
of sustainability and lean concepts was risk. For Project A, an small projects involved more down time between activities
additional 10% of concrete was ordered to ensure that all pours because these projects were normally one of the contractor’s
could be completed on time and to minimize labor downtime. many projects. Many subcontractors moved between sites and
Project managers often had to balance the impacts on project did not dedicate much time to each site. Hence, materials had to
cost and schedule for pouring versus not pouring. Project D be ordered and delivered for several projects at the same time,
consisted of a concrete, ground-level parking garage for which and the contractor could not dictate the exact time for delivery at
the finishing on the concrete surface was not critical, so concrete any one specific site. The percentage of labor costs over the total
pouring continued even during rain. In Project E, concrete was project costs was higher for the small projects, and thus, it made
also poured in the rain but had to be refinished in areas that are sense for the contractors to concentrate on labor costs rather than
visible to the public. A certain amount of waste was unavoidable, material costs. In contrast, the larger scope of work for the large
and thus, there was a need to examine the balance between risk projects increased the material quantities needed, thereby
and waste. Thus, the manner in which to balance those risks making the need for lean concepts greater and more justifiable.
should be addressed in future research.
3.2 Relationship between Storage Space and Sustainabil-
3. Quantitative Analysis ity and Lean Concepts
This study found that materials were stored on site for a shorter
This study analyzes quantitative information collected from amount of time if there was less storage space because turnover
six case studies. The survey included a set of 18 questions, and was needed to make space for incoming materials. The increased
each question was broken down into the appropriate CSI Master- amount of equipment and activities also constrained space
Format divisions. This study attempts to quantify the relationships availability. The two case studies with the highest storage
between various project variables and the implementation of lean constraints, Projects D and E, were located in urban and
and sustainable concepts. The variables are analyzed and pre- metropolitan environments, respectively. The average time that
sented in Table 2. materials were kept on site was less than three days, and many
materials were installed on the day of delivery. Projects D and E
3.1 Relationships between Project Size and Sustainability strived for JIT deliveries to reduce the amount of materials being
and Lean Concepts stored. The projects located in urban environments did not have
Project size seems to have an impact on the need and ability to as many space constraints. The project manager thus preferred to
implement sustainability and lean concepts. Small projects have a truckload of material delivered at a time that would
needed relatively more storage space (by percentage) than did minimize defects and cost. The average storage time for Project

Table 2. Comparison of Small, Large, LEED and Non-LEED Projects


Variable Smaller Projects Larger Projects LEED Projects Non-LEED Projects
Storage space availability (%) Higher Lower Higher Lower
Total amount of equipment Less More No impact No impact
Number of activities Fewer Higher Higher Lower
Material variety Less More Higher Lower
Labor costs (% of other cost) Higher Lower Slightly higher Slightly lower
Management costs Lower Higher No impact No impact
Priority for lean concepts in single projects Lower Higher Slightly higher Slightly lower
Ability to integrate lean and green concepts Difficult Easier Not relevant
Avg. lead time for larger items More Lower More Lower
Avg. lead time for smaller items About the same
Avg. time that materials stay on-site Lower Higher Higher Lower
Quantities of materials delivered and installed the same day Higher Lower Lower Higher
Justification of recycling and reusing for lean implementation Lower Higher About the same
Impact of suitable materials on project Higher Lower Higher Lower
Knowledge of lean concepts Slightly lower Slightly higher Slightly higher Slightly lower
Knowledge of sustainability Slightly lower Slightly higher Higher Lower
Change order (by percentage) compared to project cost Slightly lower Slightly higher Slightly lower Slightly higher
* The benchmarks in the table are comparative and apply only to the six case studies.

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An Investigation of the Applicability of Sustainability and Lean Concepts to Small Construction Projects

F was about seven days, and the amount of materials being and 10%. However, because the owner of the building was not
installed on the day of delivery was not as high as those in trying to achieve any sort of certification, there was no additional
Projects D and E. use of resources to monitor the amount of recycled content. Even
More frequent on-site monitoring of materials is critical if a for those projects in which waste recycling was required, the
project implements the JIT concept. For Projects D and E, the stakeholders felt that they were spending too much money
quantities of materials on site had to be checked and balanced with simply to obtain LEED credits.
the future demands. Hence, the project managers deliberately The most frequently recycled materials in this study were
controlled the procurement process, material production, and wood, drywall and cardboard. Ironically, these were the waste
offsite storage. However, for Project F, with fewer constraints, materials that were generated by mismatches between the designs
managers concentrated on monitoring the available spaces for and manufactured material sizes. In addition, the total quantity of
storage rather than the quantities of materials. waste generated at the small sites did not justify the use of several
The construction sites with less storage space tended to have recycling dumpsters because most of the dumpsters were not full
tighter restrictions for unloaded materials. Projects D and E had by the time of collection. Although this study found that there
only two gates. Both of these projects were further constrained were slightly fewer change orders (by percentage) for the large
when materials had to be delivered on time. As a result, material and LEED-certified projects, it is difficult to conclude that LEED
delivery for these projects generally affected other activities. For and size affected the total number of change orders. Instead, the
instance, several activities had to be postponed to unload large smaller number of changes may have been due to the DB
materials such as structural steel. As another example, in Project method of the projects, in which the designers and contractors
D, some deliveries had to be returned when they arrived at the communicated much earlier in the design phase. As a result,
wrong time. This process was further complicated when multiple design-construction conflicts were minimized.
subcontractors had to coordinate their delivery schedule times.
For some deliveries in Project D, a lane closure had to be 4. Summary of Findings
requested from the city, further limiting the possible delivery
times. In contrast, this problem did not occur with Project F. 1) Examine whether sustainability, particularly LEED, could
Projects A, B, and C had fewer limitations on storage space, affect the implementation of lean concepts in small construction
and managers were able to order materials in larger quantities. projects
However, in Project C, JIT techniques were attempted for This study suggests that the implementation of sustainability
structural steel, although the average storage time was still nearly concepts can affect the implementation of lean concepts for
five days. In addition, because they were working on multiple small-sized projects, especially with knowledgeable project
projects, the contractors for Projects A and B could not control teams. As a project becomes larger, the impact of the use of
the delivery times for all of their projects. Therefore, they had to sustainable materials may decrease, and recycling/reusing may
save space for storing materials that had to be delivered earlier become more justifiable. It was found that it is also more difficult
than they were needed. The longest storage time encountered for to integrate lean concepts with sustainability concepts in small
Project C was for the glass, which was on site two weeks earlier construction projects. Furthermore, this study also shows that the
than it was needed. The project managers ordered the glass in a implementation of lean concepts in small construction projects
larger quantity to reduce the delivery cost. Project B was similar may not be cost effective or relevant if the project managers
to C in that the managers tried to minimize the overall material simultaneously control several projects. In small construction
storage time, although this was not a major focus. These projects projects, managers are less able to efficiently control the schedule
only applied lean concepts if the project cost would be reduced. of material deliveries and do not have sufficient materials to
recycle. However, project managers reported that this limitation
3.3 Impacts of Recycling and Reuse on Sustainability and could be overcome by simultaneously managing several small
Lean Concepts construction projects and treating all of the projects as one. The
The practices of recycling and reusing waste had a major increases in the number of activities and material varieties had a
impact on the projects. Projects F, C, and B diverted 50%, 75%, stronger influence on the small projects than the larger projects,
and 85% of the waste from landfills, respectively. However, although the locations and storage space availability seemed to
additional space was needed to store the recycled waste. For be important as well. This study also provides some evidence
Projects D and E, recycling could not be implemented due to that the application of lean concepts is less justifiable for projects
extremely limited space. Consequently, Projects D and E were in rural and some urban areas where congestion is not a problem.
not LEED-certified. Over the life of Project B, 75 dumpsters However, this relationship tends to be weaker and was found to
were sent to recycling, while only 10 to 12 dumpsters were sent be mainly driven by the amount of space available for work,
to a landfill. For Project C, a similar placement was used to storage and equipment.
encourage recycling. For Project A, due to the lack of emphasis 2) Examine whether lean concepts are easier to implement in
on recycling, even without limitations on site storage, the non-LEED projects
recycling rates of concrete and masonry were only between 5% Materials tended to stay on site longer for the medium-size and

Vol. 16, No. 5 / July 2012 − 703 −


Collin Koranda, Wai Kiong Chong, Changwan Kim, Jui-Sheng Chou, and Changmin Kim

LEED projects, and the average lead time for larger items tended
to be longer for the small-size and LEED projects. In short, it is
more difficult to implement lean concepts for LEED projects
because the time for which the larger items stay on site and the
average lead time increase. In addition, this study also found that
it is more difficult to integrate lean concepts with sustainability
concepts in small-size projects.
3) Examine how lean concepts can be more effectively
introduced into both LEED and non-LEED projects, especially
small-size projects in regions where practices of sustainability
and lean concepts have yet to become mainstream
This study shows that the following variables influence the
implementation of lean concepts in LEED or small-size projects: Fig. 1. Determining Use of Lean Concepts
(1) average lead times of the larger items, (2) storage space
required for large materials, (3) mixing of sustainable and non- project’s need for lean concepts and the impact of implementing
sustainable materials, (4) the use of recycled materials and sustainability concepts. To utilize lean concepts such as JIT
recycling on site, (5) failure to design for sustainability and lean delivery, an accessible location and reliable supplier are required.
concepts and to integrate design with construction processes, (6) In addition, shipping smaller quantities over longer distances
quantities of materials delivered and installed on the same day, results in a less sustainable project. Fig. 1 highlights the relation-
(7) site congestion involving storage space, equipment, activities, ship between the need for lean concepts and storage constraints.
and material varieties, (8) the alignment of values for both Case studies on the need for lean concepts in a construction
sustainability and lean concepts, (9) perceived lean level of work project showed a positive relationship with relation to storage
productivity as part of the “green” requirements of green constraints: as space constraints increase, there is an increased need
buildings, (10) incorporation of personal choices and market- for resources to be dedicated to lean construction management.
driven demands in green requirements, (11) sustainable materials The size of a project may also likely have an effect on the need
that may affect labor productivity and site delivery methods, (12) for lean concepts. The projects in this study that most frequently
sequencing of work operations to be considered at the design utilized lean concepts were the three large-size projects;
stage, (13) designs that match industry supplies, and (14) however, the largest project did not have a significant focus on
appropriate contractual arrangements. lean concepts. For the large Projects D and E, more emphasis
This research also concludes that sustainability and lean was placed on lean concepts than was in the small Project F. This
concepts differently define waste and value. While most large reflects the fact that the size of a building is not as significant as
projects and those that have long-term ownership can easily is the amount of free space (in terms of percentage) on the site. In
justify additional costs, the small projects with shorter ownership Project C, one of the small projects, the managers endeavored to
lives cannot. Hence, these projects first need economic justifica- partially incorporate JIT methods. For Projects A, B, and C, there
tion, then simpler approaches, and finally, a clearer direction in were low storage constraints, and thereby, the added cost for the
which to implement both sustainability and lean concepts. The management of lean construction was less justifiable.
benefits of sustainability and lean concepts cannot be achieved if These case studies also clearly define a positive and linear
only a small number of projects use both concepts. relationship between the need to focus on recycling and JIT
Value has different meanings to the owners, designers and delivery. The decision matrix shown in Fig. 2 compares JIT
contractors. The reduction of idle labor hours is more valuable to delivery with a focus on recycling for each project. The points
contractors, while designers do not consider labor. Hence, lean used were determined based upon the constraints faced by each
work scheduling so that the labor force remains productive may project. For both JIT delivery and focus on recycling, the points
be more meaningful to a contractor than is lean material ranged from 0 to 5, with 0 being no focus on either concept and 5
consumption. A lean workforce schedule, on the other hand, has being a high focus. The need for JIT delivery depends on the
no value to the designers. Sustainability also has yet to identify allowable time and space available for material storage on site.
labor inefficiency as a component of waste. The interviewees The results seem to suggest that an increase in an emphasis on
agreed that sustainability and lean concepts can both help to recycling may potentially increase the need for JIT delivery.
reduce waste and can be employed simultaneously. However, as The designs for Projects D and E were considered more
shown in Table 1, there are also other variables that may dictate challenging than those of the other projects in the case studies. As
whether these concepts actually reduce waste and increase the a result, perhaps there was more waste generated during
value of a project. construction. These two projects also did not focus on recycling
The setting and location of a project also affect its focus. but instead concentrated their efforts on lean concept implementa-
Costly land in an urban area makes JIT delivery justifiable. The tion. For Projects D and E, with a higher percentage of waste
project proximity to required resources also characterizes a generated during construction and without a focus on recycling,

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An Investigation of the Applicability of Sustainability and Lean Concepts to Small Construction Projects

Fig. 2. Focus of Recycling vs JIT Delivery


Fig. 3. Generic Design and Construction Process Map to Smooth
managers struggled to incorporate sustainability concepts with the Implementation of Lean Techniques and Sustainability
their lean processes. Table 3 compares the projects based on (Adopted from BNIM Architects, Kansas City, Missouri)
constructability, storage constraints, waste management focus,
and JIT delivery. The table also provides a comparison of small materials can have a major impact on project costs and schedules.
and large projects and LEEDTM- and non-LEEDTM-certified For example, in one of the projects, the lead time for glass panels
projects. was one year. Certain sustainable materials come from distant
The interviewees helped to develop a generic model and locations because many such materials are not available in the
process maps (Fig. 3) that further enhanced the results of this local market. Additionally, some energy-efficient systems had to
research. The interviewed designers reported that a meeting be specially manufactured and configured.
between designers and owners is needed in which the owner can
convey the project goals to the designer. The designer then needs 5. Framework to Integrate and Implement Lean
to examine the constructability of the project to determine what and Sustainable Concepts
changes should be made so that a poor design does not lead to
excess waste. It is very helpful to consult a contractor during this The final objective of this study is to investigate the co-
process to obtain in-depth advice on the needed design changes. implementation of sustainability and lean concepts in a construc-
To make this process as successful as possible, it is best if the tion project. The integration of these two concepts when project
owner and designer select a contractor to work with during the team members have a limited knowledge of sustainability and
design stage (thus using the DB approach). The contractor can lean concepts can be a challenge. To ease this challenge, this
help identify specific design flaws that may create complications objective attempts to simplify the process by integrating the
during construction. findings of this study with existing techniques and literature on
The successful implementation of sustainability and lean sustainability and lean concept implementation. The process
concepts depends heavily on the owner’s ability to finance such integrates the BNIM Architects’ design and construction process
endeavors. Feedback also highlighted that the price of a project map for sustainable projects (Fig. 3), lean concepts, and the
increases when implementing sustainability and lean concepts. findings from this study, as shown in Fig. 4. The first column
For example, the incorporation of certain LEED credits could identifies the five bearings of sustainable construction. Only the
result in an additional 5-10% of the project cost. Sustainable factors of the five sustainable construction bearings that have
Table 3. Project Comparisons
Variable Project A Project B Project C Project D Project E Project F
LEED Certified No Yes Yes No No Yes
Size Small Small Small Large Large Large
Constructability Easy Moderate Moderate Difficult Difficult Moderate
Storage Constraints low Low Low High High Medium
Waste Management Focus Low Very High Very High Low Low Medium
Just-in-time Delivery None None None High High Medium
Variable Small project Large project LEED Non-LEED
Constructability Moderate Difficult Moderate Difficult
Storage Constraints Low High Low High
Waste Management Focus High Low High Low
Just-in-time Delivery Low High Low High

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Collin Koranda, Wai Kiong Chong, Changwan Kim, Jui-Sheng Chou, and Changmin Kim

Fig. 4. Framework for Implementing Lean Techniques and Sustainability in a Construction Project

value, generate waste, are part of a process, affect project systems, etc., and significantly impacts the contractors due to
schedules and/or costs, involve on-site manpower, and can be novelty, space consumption, and less reliable suppliers. On-site
documented can be integrated with lean construction. These renewable energy can affect productivity if it produces a
factors include: significant amount of energy on site (e.g., solar panels installed
1) Sustainable Sites, Credit 1 (Sustainable Sites), Credit 5 (Site over entire rooftops).
Development), and Credit 7 (Heat Island Effect): Decisions on 4) Materials and Resources, all credits: These credits are self-
credits 1 and 5 affect the amount of on-site space that will be explanatory.
available for storage and construction, thus affecting site 5) Indoor Environmental Quality, Credit 3 (Construction
congestion and productivity. Decisions on credit 7 affect the types Indoor Air Quality), Credit 4 (Low Emission Materials), Credit 6
of construction materials, techniques, and systems that will be (Controllability of Systems), and Credit 8 (Day Lighting and
used on site and thus affect schedules and costs. Decisions on Views): Credit 3, which requires additional work for venting air
credit 7 also affect space availability and thus affect site conges- quality, may affect the schedule during construction, and Credits
tion and productivity. 4, 6 and 8 affect the types of materials used during construction.
2) Water Efficiency, Credit 2 (Innovative Wastewater Thus, both have an impact on productivity and the waste
Technology): Decisions on innovative wastewater technology generated during construction.
may actually double the amount of piping needed, and additional The last column highlights the two key issues of integrating
water storage may affect site congestion and productivity. lean concepts with sustainable concepts. The first (the top
Because most contractors in the United States are very familiar portion of the column) includes the issues on which the
with the use of efficient water systems such as faucets and toilets, stakeholders should concentrate. The focuses change throughout
decisions to use such systems have very little impact on site the development phase. Implementing sustainability may mean
productivity or congestion. achieving environmental goals; unfortunately, it results in higher
3) Energy and Atmosphere, Credit 1 (Optimize Energy initial costs and a longer project duration. Thus, the project team
Performance) and Credit 2 (On-site Renewable Energy): The needs to clearly define the values for their project. The
optimization of energy performance may result in changes to the stakeholders will then use these values to identify waste and
façade system, the orientation of the building, mechanical unnecessary processes in their project. These aspects should be

− 706 − KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering


An Investigation of the Applicability of Sustainability and Lean Concepts to Small Construction Projects

identified in the early stages and then be eliminated during the Hall, M. and Purchase, D. (2006). “Building or bodging? Attitudes to
planning, scheduling, and construction stages. From planning to sustainability in UK public sector housing construction development.”
the end of construction, the managers have to ensure that materials Sustainable Development, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 205-218.
Horman, M. J., Riley, D. R., Pulaski, M. H., and Leyenberger, C. (2004).
are delivered and managed effectively. Finally, throughout the
“Lean and green: Integrating sustainability and lean construction.”
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are well known and understood. The second issue relates to the Howell, G. A. (1999). “What is lean construction?” Proc., 7th Conference of
performance indicators and is noted in the bottom portion of the the International Group for Lean Construction, Berkeley, CA, USA
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conditions for the designers and contractors to be able to integrate state-level appraisal indicators of sustainable construction.” Civil
lean and sustainable concepts. By checking these indicators, Engineering and Environmental Systems, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 143-
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Hwang, B. G., Liao, P. C., and Leonard, M. P. (2011). “Performance and
are in the lean and sustainable concepts integration progress.
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using the advanced programmatic risk analysis and management
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materials and operations and targets the value stream of projects. and Management, Vol. 132, No. 10, pp. 1083-1091.
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Vol. 16, No. 5 / July 2012 − 707 −


RELATION BETWEEN THE SUSTAINABLE
MATURITY OF CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF LEAN
CONSTRUCTION
Ivna B. Campos1; Deborah M. de Oliveira 2; Sarah B. M. Carneiro3; Ana Beatriz
Luna de Carvalho4 and José P. Barros Neto5

ABSTRACT
In the current economic context, the influence of globalization on business requires
the entrepreneur to adopt competitive posture in market. Thus, in the civil
construction industry, it is known that companies seek new processes, products and
tools to maximize efficiency. The Lean philosophy and the environmental
management are considered strategic practices and seek to reduce waste due to the
organizational efficiency. The application of these philosophies requires investments
by companies, making substantial to measure it continuously. This study aims to
analyze the relationship between Lean Construction (LC) concepts and sustainable
construction, by the use of assessment tools that show maturity indicators of the
companies involving both approaches. About the methodological procedures, this is a
qualitative research with an exploratory approach. The multiple case study was used
as research strategy in two construction companies located in Fortaleza, Brazil. As
results, was observed that application of Lean and Green have similarities and
complementarities. Therefore, the main contribution of this research is the fact that
companies could achieve their process more efficient and with more quality when
they implement Lean and sustainable principles simultaneously.

KEYWORDS
Sustainability, Lean Construction, Construction Industry, Indicators.

INTRODUCTION
The relationship between the Lean Construction (LC) principles and the sustainability
are the study objects in this paper. Horvath (2004) consider that the civil construction
industry is one of the most polluting, because of the waste generated during the
building life cycle. Several business organizations seek to avoid waste and pollution,
1
Engineer, M.Sc. Student, Department of Structure and Construction Engineering
(www.deecc.ufc.br), Federal University of Ceará, Campus Universitário do Pici, Bloco 710, CEP
60455-760, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, Phone +55 85 3366-9607, deborahmo@gmail.com
2
Architect, M.Sc. Student, Department of Structure and Construction Engineering, Federal
University of Ceará, Brazil, ivnabaquit@gmail.com
3
Architect, M.Sc. Student, Department of Structure and Construction Engineering, Federal
University of Ceará, Brazil, sarah_bmc@yahoo.com.br
4
Engineer, M.Sc. Student, Department of Structure and Construction Engineering, Federal
University of Ceará, Brazil, an.abc@hotmail.com
5
Professor Ph.D Professor from the Civil Construction and Structure Engineering Department,
Federal University of Ceará, Brazil. jpbarros@ufc.br
considered forms of inefficiency (Rao and Holt 2005). It can be stated that the
implementation of LC can ensure competitive advantage for construction firms
(Lewis 2000), as well as the search for sustainability.
The LC emerged from the work of Lauri Koskela (1992), with the adaptation of
Lean Production principles to civil construction. These principles seek to optimize the
flows of production, considering the activities of conversion, inspection, moving and
waiting, reducing the waste of time and resources (Koskela 2000). The concept of
value with focus on customer needs and the continuous search for quality are
prioritized.
Kibert (2007) determines the principles required in green buildings: reduce, reuse
and use recyclable resources, protect nature, eliminate toxic elements, apply life-cycle
costing and focus on quality. Asiedu et al. (2009) consider the sustainability in
construction as a process that reaches harmony between natural and built
environments in four attributes: social, economic, biophysical and technical.
The theory of LC and sustainability practices in construction shows that they are
able to reduce waste for organizational efficiency, been adopted as strategic practices
(Yang et al 2010). The adoption of such practices depends on the manager of each
organization. There are companies that adopt the exclusively the LC, while others
focus on sustainable practices. There are also companies that do not intend to adopt
any of the two practices, while others seek to adopt both the LC and the principles of
sustainability in construction projects, generating positive effects on AEC industry
(Yang et al. 2010; Mao and Zhang 2008; Gutiérrez 2007; Kohler and Lützkendorf
2002).
Some authors believe that the LC has a positive impact on the sustainability of
buildings (Horman et al. 2004; Huovila and Koskela, 1998; Lapinski et al. 2006; Luo
et al. 2005; Riley et al. 2005). On the other hand, other authors state that not always
lean practices generate positive impacts, because the adding value by the customer's
needs does not always result in reduction of environmental impacts (Cusumano, 1994;
Rothenberg et al. 2001). Bae and Kim (2007) claim that LC interferes in
sustainability considering the following prospects: economic, due to the economy of
resources, social, by allowing health, safety, communication and loyalty between the
employees and environmental, by eliminating waste and resource conservation.
To understand the level of LC and sustainability application in companies and
their possible interactions, it is important to use models that are able to quantify
concretely the degree of Lean and sustainability implementation. However, some
authors highlight the difficulty of measuring the implementation of these philosophies
(Oliveira et al 2010; Bellen 2006). It is important to state that during the development
of this work, weren't found models that measure both the LC and the level of
sustainability.
This paper analyses the relationship between Lean and Green by the application of
two tools and consider the assumption that the methodology proposed by Hofacker et
al. (2008) is able to assess the degree of LC implementation in construction
companies and that the measurement model of corporate sustainability proposed by
Farias Filho et al. (2009) is sufficient to quantify the sustainable maturity of the
organization researched. Other factors may influence the evaluation of performance
on companies, but they will not be considered.

Proceedings for the 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
The Relation Between the Sustainable Maturity of Construction Companies and the
Philosophy of Lean Construction

Thus, this study aims to analyze the relationship between the concepts of LC and
sustainability through the application of assessment tools that show indicators of
maturity on companies regarding the two approaches. It is intended to test the
following hypothesis: the application of LC on itself contributes to sustainable
maturity of the company, as well as application of sustainable procedures would
make the building production more Lean.
LEAN CONSTRUCTION EVALUATION TOOL
The LC implementation by itself doesn't guarantee the quality of building. It's
necessary to evaluate its progress. Considering the difficulty of measuring and
evaluating and the advantages of LC concepts in construction companies, many
methodologies have been created, such as the Rapid Plant Assessment, developed by
Goodson (2002) the model for assessing the level of lean manufacturing firms,
created by Soriano-Meier and Forrester (2001), and The Lean Construction-Quality
Rating Model (LCR), proposed by Hofackeret al. (2008). The last one is the
tool adopted in this work.
The LCR proposes a model to evaluate the quality and application degree of LC in
building companies. The development of this tool involved a brainstorm phase, which
were defined its categories and assessment points.
The evaluation of LCR was based in a questionnaire with thirty questions to be
answered by the researchers. This model was developed considering the five
principles of Lean Thinking established by Womack and Jones and the eleven
principles of LC from Koskela's theory. The questionnaire has six categories: (1)
Client Focus, (2) Waste, (3) Quality, (4) Material Flow, (5) Organization, planning
and information flow, (6) Continuous improvement.
The evaluation of buildings indicates scores from zero to six for each issue. The
final score provides the obtaining of an average which indicates the company
classification according to the application degree of the lean construction. The
buildings can reach twelve levels on a classification scale which goes from level D
(the lowest one, the least Lean) to level AAA (the most elevated, the most Lean),
according to Figure 1.

SUSTAINABILITY EVALUATION TOOL


Considering the sustainable development that involves the balance between the
socially desirable, economically viable and environmentally friendly, it is perceived
that the implementation of its principles provides advantages to the corporate
environment. There are some tools for measuring sustainability in companies, such as
Global Reporting Initiative, the IChemE Sustainable Development Progress Metrics;
DowJones Sustainability Index World, Guide to the Multinational Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Ethos Social Responsibility
business (Delai and Takahashi 2008).
The application of these tools requires investments by the companies, making
necessary its continuous mensuration. Given this, Farias Filho et al. (2009) developed
a self-assessment tool to perform the sustainable measurement, focusing on
companies of the construction industry that adopted sustainable strategies, but have
few resources to invest in other instruments.

Environment, Sustainability, and “Green”


The tool is a matrix with three dimensions, 3x4x4 order. Each axis has one of
three dimensions of evaluation, described below. In the contents, are 48 elements,
with sustainable features that should be achieved by companies, coming from
relationship of these dimensions, namely:
• The sustainability tripod: consider the economic, environmental and social
dimensions.
• Strategic themes of Balanced Scorecard: addresses the most important
performance indicators of organizations, considering the “financial” aspects, to
observe the generation of impacts and economic values; “customers”, which
assesses the sustainable practices considering the public of the organization;
“internal processes”, whose goal is to analyze the companies' actions
considering the optimization of processes and “learning and knowledge”,
which evaluates the training and learning of stakeholders.
• Corporate Sustainable Index (ISE): characterize the organization through the
“perspective of policy and planning”, analyzing if corporate policies are able
to consider the three dimensions of sustainability tripod, “perspective of
management”, which evaluates the interference of strategic planning in
sustainability, the “perspective of performance”, involving performance and
the “perspective of legal compliance”, which intends to verify the agreement
between the company and the law.
The general manager of the company should evaluate all the elements from matrix,
assigning a value in each sentence that varies between zero to four. Higher values
indicate more sustainability. It is important to state that each element interferes
differently in organizational sustainability, requiring the determination of relative
weights which must be multiplied to results of self-assessment. Thus, a final score is
generated, allowing to rank the company in a level of sustainable maturity as defined
in Figure 2:

RESEARCH METHOD
This present work is a qualitative research which presents as strategy research the
multiple case study with an exploratory approach. According to Yin (2005),
qualitative studies are used when researchers use sentences like "how" and "because",
when they have weak control of the events and when the research focuses in a
contemporary phenomenon inserted in a real context.
About the research goals, Gil (2009) states that exploratory approach have the
main intention to make the problem more explicit. Therefore, procedures are used, as
literature survey, interviews with people who had practical experience with the
problem, and the analysis of examples that will support the scope of the problem.
Therefore, it makes possible the consideration of several aspects related to the fact
studied.
In accordance to the goals of the research, the following steps have been taken to
the work development: (1) Literature review involving the principles of LC based on
the work carried out by Koskela (1992), and the study of insertion the environmental
management in companies. (2) Selection of evaluation methodologies used in the
research: Rapid Lean Construction-Quality Rating Model (LCR) from Hofacker et al.
(2008), to evaluate how much the LC philosophy has been applied in construction;

Proceedings for the 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
The Relation Between the Sustainable Maturity of Construction Companies and the
Philosophy of Lean Construction

and the tool for evaluation of the sustainability maturity level in civil construction
corporations, developed by Farias Filho (2009). (3) Application of the methodologies
in two case studies (4) Analysis and discussion about the relationship between the LC
concepts and the sustainable maturity of companies.

Figure 1: Comparison between the Figure 2: Levels of maturity


classification of the works of companies sustainable of companies (Figure 3 in
(Figure 6 in Oliveira et al. 2010). Farias Filho et al. 2009).

The assessment tool proposed by Farias Filho et al. (2009) does not propose to
examine the ways of sustainability implementation in the company, but the
sustainable strategy already implemented in a place. Therefore, the use of this tool is
justified because it allows companies of all sizes to evaluate in an easy and complete
manner their sustainability performance, providing improvements for them.
Hofacker et al (2008) developed a model for assessing the quality and degree of
LC implementation in building companies, offering a categorized assessment with
easy viewing and interpretation of results. Oliveira et al (2010) applied the LCR in
four construction sites: two in Curitiba (Brazil) - where did not apply the philosophy,
one in Porto Alegre (Brazil) and one in Sindelfingen (Germany)- both implemented
the LC philosophy on site. The use of LCR is justified due to its characteristics,
namely: application in a short time, in less than one hour; items organized by
categories; simple and complete interface. It is necessary to researchers only the
direct observation of the building and a conduction of an interview with the engineer
responsible for building.
Besides the advantages mentioned above, these instruments were selected because
of their specific use in civil construction sector.

SAMPLE CHARACTERIZATION

This research was carried out through two case studies that took place in construction
companies which had one of their works each analyzed. The Company A, which is
classified as medium sized company, started its activities in 1989. It has 20 completed
buildings, among them commercial and residential constructions and their clients are
from A and B social classes. This company’s philosophy aims to meet their clients’
needs with efficient products at a very fair price. The considered building is in a
certification process, aiming the Leed Silver level.
The case study from Company A is a commercial building, which is located on a
very wealthy area of Fortaleza-Brazil. It is made of four underground levels with

Environment, Sustainability, and “Green”


nineteen flooring types. This construction was at a structural stage, having its last
underground level being concreted.
The company B, which is also a medium sized company, initiated its activities in
1988. It also has 20 concluded buildings, among them commercial and residential
constructions for the A and B social classes. Its work philosophy is based on the good
quality of services provided. This company aims to please clients, associates, and
employees through innovation, continuous improvement, a more closely relationship
regarding honesty and mutual trust. This company applies the LC philosophy
concepts to its entire works.
The building of the company B is also a commercial construction located in the
city of Fortaleza, Brazil. It is made of two underground levels with eighteen floors
types. The construction was at a structural stage, with ten flooring types already
concreted and with its masonry under execution.

RESULTS

RESULTS OF COMPANIES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF LEAN CONSTRUCTION


The companies A and B presented distinct scores during the application of LCR. The
six characteristics presented by both companies are analyzed, briefly explained and
displayed in Table 1.
In the analysis of category “Client Focus”, the company B had an advantage by
using a program of construction site cleaning (5S). The company A should implement
a 5S program for LEED certification requirement, but had not been contemplated
until the end of the study. Other requisites under the consideration of clients’ wishes
in terms of sales, marketing, strategic focus, and flexibility did not make the two
companies score, for considering as client the developer rather than final user. Thus,
both companies showed their worst performance in the client focus category.
As for the waste, the company B presented excellent scores, making it far ahead
of company A. It is wise to say that both companies have Waste Management Plan,
which is required by Brazilian law by resolution 307/2002 of CONAMA. However,
the company B goes beyond in this matter for the application of LC principles, and
this reflects specially on its effective and organized use of construction site layout.
As for the “Quality”, the company A overcame the company B. In this category
the company A presented the highest score for its high degree of mechanization
through the use of crane and rack lift, and the elaboration of reports that would show
the cause of possible mistakes. This last action was not present in company B. The
two analyzed companies have quality management systems, the company A was
certificated by PBQP-H and ISO9000, whereas the company B has ISO9000
certification and has also developed its own quality system, called PS37. At last, the
visual management as guarantee of quality exists in the two companies, but it happens
by deficient way.
By considering the “Material Flow and Pull” category, both companies presented
an average performance, being the company B a bit better than company A. This last
one reached scores due to the use of ready-mix concrete, a system to organize the
material weekly orders, support and standardization of transports, use of cranes and
pallets. About company B, besides meeting the same requisites as company A, it

Proceedings for the 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
The Relation Between the Sustainable Maturity of Construction Companies and the
Philosophy of Lean Construction

implemented the Just-in-Time concepts, with daily measurements of the amount of


storage and use of Kanban cards in a preliminary way.

Table 1: Characteristics evaluated by the LCR (The authors)

COMPANIES A B
Detecting what is value for the client, in terms of sales, marketing, strategy
Client Focus 8,3% 25,0%
focus, project flexibility and cleanliness of the construction site.
The process to reduce the wastes and losses in theirs construction site,
Waste
stimulating waste management, space organization and reduction of wasted 50,0% 93,3%
Consciousness
time

Search the quality through the certifications, good performance of services,


Quality safety on the construction site, prevention of rework, standardization of 85,4% 70,8%
processes, visual management systems and mechanization

Evaluate the implementation of LC tools, such as: Kanban, Just in Time, ready-
Material flow &
pull mix concrete, system application with replacement time of the materials, 50,0% 63,3%
mechanization and transport standardization

Organization, Knowledge of the top management about Lean Construction, motivation and
planning, self-responsibility of the employees and the Last Planner System applied with 19,4% 52,8%
info flow daily hurdle meetings.

Kaizen Striving for perfection and for continuous education for the employees 50,0% 66,7%

With respect to “Organization, Planning, info flow” category, company A


presented a non-satisfactory performance, while company B presented an average
performance. The scores achieved by company B were granted due to the application
of LC principles, by using versatile employees, vertical and horizontal information
systems, and payment through work packages. Company A seems to be unaware
Lean tools by taking conventional actions, using employees with specific tasks and a
deficient communication system. Although the two companies seek the kaizen,
company B reached the best scores, for it promoted improvements in a more adequate
manner with incentive to the education of its employees through training courses.
Based on this evaluation, Company A reached a CC level, with 43.6% of the
requisites fulfilled. Company B reached a B level with 62% of the requisites fulfilled
as it can be observed in Figure 3:
Even that the company A was unaware of the Lean principles, it was still able to
reach average results, because the search for LEED certification involves the
consideration of LC strategies, such as: waste management, search for quality, and
employee training. Company B reached scores expected of a company that really
applies the LC principles. However, improvements still can be made, especially in
terms of meeting the clients’ needs, improved signal, rework analysis, and higher
level of mechanization.
RESULTS OF COMPANIES FOR THE SUSTAINABLE MATURITY
By analyzing the level of sustainable maturity of the two companies, it was observed
that company A had a better performance than company B, by reaching a result
almost the double score. This can be observed in Figure 4:

Environment, Sustainability, and “Green”


AAA
AA
A
BBB
62,0% BB
B
43,6% CCC
CC
C
DDD
DD
D

Figure 3: Levels of LEAN construction Figure 4: Levels of sustainable maturity


application of A and B companies (The of A and B companies (Adapted to Farias
authors). Filho et al. 2009).
Company A reached 242.1 scores and was classified as "Voluntary", explained by the
intention in certifying the construction according to the LEED Silver, encouraging
managers and employees to have a proactive attitude. In order to reach the LEED
certification, it is necessary to fulfill a series of criteria and requisites that demand
integrated learning and taking advantage of existent sustainable opportunities.
Company B presented a maturity level classified as “Reactive”, reaching 123.3
scores because that company doesn’t have a sustainable approach in their strategies.
However, the implementation of LC principles and requirements of urban laws makes
sustainable measures to be adopted, such as: optimization of production processes,
waste management measures, work organization, and waste reduction.
It is important to highlight that out of the three sustainability pillars considered by
the tool, the economic pillar presented the best performance for both companies if
compared to the environmental and social pillars. This reinforces theories that state
that the economic sphere should be of top priority in developing nations.

CONCLUSIONS
Considering the goal of this research, it can be observed that both methodologies have
points in common, like the reach of quality, the reduction of waste, the information
flow between employees and managers and the search of continuous improvements.
Some civil construction companies use the LC and sustainability as a competitive
advantage. However, to achieve results, is necessary the awareness and commitment
of all employees involved, even as the processes must be transparent.
During the development of this research, it was found that Company B reached
reactive level in sustainable tool, even without the focus on environmental issues.
This company presented good results in sustainability because it seeks to reduce
waste, to optimize production processes and to raise the level of interaction among
employees.
About Company A, it reached a median level on LCR tool. This is a reasonable
score, considering that the top management and employees ignored the importance of
applying the LC principles. This company presented a good rating in Lean evaluation
because implemented sustainability guidelines in pursuit of LEED certification.

Proceedings for the 20th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction
The Relation Between the Sustainable Maturity of Construction Companies and the
Philosophy of Lean Construction

Given the above, this research hypothesis was confirmed: the LC application
contributes to sustainable maturity of the company, as well as the implementation of
sustainable procedures can make the building more lean.
Therefore, through the evidence provided by this study, it was observed that both
concepts have similarities and complementarities. The application of sustainability in
a building does not guarantee the full range of Lean benefits, but reinforces a good
performance on the issues that the two philosophies have in common. The same goes
for Lean Construction in relation to sustainability. However, the companies may
present more efficient process and higher quality if the LC and sustainable principles
were applied at the same time.
This paper presents the following limitations:
• The research conducted two case studies in construction companies, analyzing
one work of each. A larger amount of companies evaluated could presents
more detailed results about the relation between Lean and Green.
• One of the buildings uses Lean principles, while the other seeks environmental
certification. The inclusion of a company that did not use any of these
strategies on research could be a reference, contributing to the comparison of
case studies.
• The measurement model proposed by Farias Filho et al. (2009) consists on a
self-assessment tool developed based on sustainability indicators. It was
applied directly to the company directors of companies. For this reason, there
is an upward trend of the ranking, differently if the evaluation was performed
with other people.
Thus, it is suggested future works to overcome these limitations. Besides these, it is
suggested the proposition of a theoretical study joining the two assessment tools,
resulting in a unique methodology of analysis. The case studies considered only
commercial buildings. It would be interesting contemplate residential buildings in a
future research, where there more focus on customer needs.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank CAPES and FUNCAP for the financial support to this research, GERCON
for making their data available, and to the managers and employees of both
companies evaluated, for their collaboration enabled this research to happen.

REFERENCES
Asiedu, W.G., Scheublin, F.J.M. and E.L.C. Van Egmond De Wilde De Ligny,
(2009). “The Elements in Sustainable Const. Industry: Building Criteria and
Indicators for Performance Assessment”. Proc. 3rd CIB Int’l Conf. on Smart and
Sustainable Built Env., Delft, Netherlands.
Bae, Jin-Woo and Kim, Yong-Woo (2007). “Sustainable Value on Const. Project and
Aplication of Lean Const. Methods”. Proceedings IGLC-15, Michigan, USA.
Bellen, H. M. van. (2006) “Indicadores de sustentabilidade: uma análise comparativa”.
Rio de Janeiro: FGV Editora.
Cusumano, M.A. (1994). “The Limits of ‘Lean’,” Sloan Mgmt. Rev., v35 (4), 27-32.
Delai, I. and Takahashi, S. (2007) “Uma proposta de modelo de referência para
mensuração da sustentabilidade corporativa”.Proceedings Encontro Nacional
sobre gestão empresarial e meio ambiente, Curitiba.

Environment, Sustainability, and “Green”


Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Ain Shams Engineering Journal


journal homepage: www.sciencedirect.com

Architectural Engineering

Examining the interaction between lean and sustainability principles in


the management process of AEC industry
Laila M. Khodeir ⇑, Reem Othman
Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is classified as a huge consumer of natural
Received 28 May 2016 resources. It consumes 50% of natural material resources, 40% of energy and is responsible for 50% of total
Revised 27 November 2016 waste. Subsequently, different sustainability indices and environmental certifications have been intro-
Accepted 18 December 2016
duced to AEC. As a result, most construction firms turn to green building designs and acquire different
Available online 29 December 2016
environmental certifications. Recently, the concept of lean management has been introduced to AEC after
succeeding in manufacturing. This paper aims at examining the interaction between lean and sustainabil-
Keywords:
ity principles on the management process of design and construction projects. Towards achieving this
Sustainability
Lean
aim, two approaches were employed, namely literature review, and a correlation matrix to verify the area
Architecture, Engineering and Construction of interaction between both lean construction and sustainability principles. Findings took the form of
guidelines for AEC companies to help in applying the integrated lean and sustainability principles on
managing design and construction processes.
Ó 2016 Ain Shams University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under
the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

1. Introduction Sustainability through reduction of resources wastes and


increase processes efficiency is the main goal of all sectors. For
Sustainability has caught a great attention in all industries and instance, agricultural sector consumes about 92% of the water
researches worldwide, after the publication of the report of World resources in Iran [4], which driven researchers to try to search
Commission of Environment and Development (WCED), ‘‘Our Com- for more effective way of irrigation. Architecture, Engineering
mon Future” in 1987, which was the first to bring sustainable and Construction (AEC) industry was among the industries that fol-
development to the international discussion. It highlighted the lowed the principles of sustainability. AEC industry is consuming
relation between society, resources and environment through a about 50% of the material resources coming from nature, 40% of
long-term environmental perspective to achieve sustainable devel- energy consumed and responsible for 50% of total waste generated.
opment [1–3]. In addition, the recognition of the problem of So, it is one of the prime industries that should care about sustain-
resources and the effect of all industries on the surrounding envi- ability [5]. Thus, different rating systems were developed to mea-
ronment was emphasized in 1992, Agenda 21 of the United sure sustainability in quantified methods and provide guidelines
Nations Conference on Environment and Development or ‘‘Earth to achieve sustainability in the building operation or through on-
Summit” stated that: ‘‘sustainability should have some standard site processes. Among those methods are the Building Research
indicators to control and monitor the sustainability development Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM)
in all levels”. Since that time, many efforts have been exerted in in Europe, the Building Environmental Performance Assessment
order to track and test sustainability and provide guidelines to Criteria (BEPAC) in Canada and the Leadership in Energy and Envi-
achieve sustainability development in different disciplines [2]. ronmental Design system (LEED), which was introduced by the
green building council in USA [2]. Nevertheless, those rating sys-
⇑ Corresponding author. tems focused mainly on achieving sustainability in Construction,
E-mail addresses: drlailakhodeir80@gmail.com, Leila.Mohammed@eng.asu.edu. in operation of a process or on site processes, paying less attention
eg (L.M. Khodeir). to applying sustainability principles on the design or in office pro-
Peer review under responsibility of Ain Shams University. cesses that have tangible wastes (see Tables 1–3).
At the time AEC industry raised attention to embracing sustain-
ability principles into its processes, the emerging concept of ‘‘Lean”
has proved to be feasible when applied on AEC as well. The Lean
Production and hosting by Elsevier concept has actually originated from Toyota production system

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.asej.2016.12.005
2090-4479/Ó 2016 Ain Shams University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
1628 L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634

Table 1
The impact of applying ‘‘Kaizen” tool to sustainability tri bottom line.

Sustainability pillars Case (1) Case (2) Case (3)


Gypsum board hanging Interior painting Base framing
Environmental sustainability 64% Material waste reduction
Economic sustainability 1st Coat:83% savings in man-hours 55% cycle time reduction
2nd Coat:71% savings in man-hours
31% savings in total man-hour
26% savings in overall cycle time.
Social Eliminate hazards
Sustainability Increase worker safety
Conclusion 15% improvement in value-added activity 16% improvement in value-added activity

Table 2 Table 3
The Researchers’ opinions on Lean and sustainability interaction. Lean principles.

No. The relation between lean and sustainability Lean principle Description
Lean achieves sustainability agenda Reduce non value-adding Reduce any activity that consumes any type
1 Lean is the way to achieve a new holistic view of sustainability as an activities of resource or time and adds no value to the
integration of process efficiency (i.e. cost, time and quality) and customer
sustainability concept (i.e. environmental quality, social equity, health Increase consideration of The clear identification of all customers and
economy) [19] customer requirement their needs in each activity from the start
2 Lean construction achieves sustainability in its tri pillars: economic due point, and achieve their values
to the reducing of resources and cost; social by allowing health, safety, Reduce variability Reduce the uncertainty through the well-
working environment and loyalty between the stakeholders; and known of everything from the first point,
environmental by eliminating waste, reducing pollution and resource and identify standards and values clearly for
preservation [17,18] each participant from the start
3 Lean construction and sustainability share the same agenda of waste Reduce cycle time Reduce the total time in which the activity
reduction and increase efficiency, but with different approaches. Lean is took place from processing till finishing.
short term as it affords high performance process, while sustainable Reduction of cycle time consequently led to
construction is a long term through the whole building life cycle [10] minimize the possibility of interruption of
4 ‘‘Sustainability dimension is inseparable of lean, since reducing energy process and maximizing the customer
consumption and preserving the environment is one of the ultimate delivery
longtime waste reductions” [20] Simplify by minimizing the Simplify the processes which lead to the
number of steps and parts product through removing any non-added
Lean does not match sustainability main agenda especially ‘‘Environmental Pillar”
value activities, allowing easy information
5 Lean is not green as its main objective is to maximize the customer
flow, etc.
value. It is not necessary that customer value matches the
Increase output flexibility Do each activity in its last allowable time
environmental issues. They believe that lean achieves sustainability by
(Just-In-Time principle), which increases
accident, not because it is its main concern [13]
the ability for catching any change orders
6 Implementing Lean practices only has a very low effect on the
Increase process transparency Allow all the production process activities
environmental performance of company [11]
and the information anytime for all the
Lean and sustainability integration employees and participants. This helps in
7 ‘‘The lean thinking is the first step towards a sustainable future”. They reducing errors and allows easy monitoring
proclaimed that environmental sustainability is the next step of lean and improving of the process
philosophy to reduce the negative effect of product on the environment Focus control on the complete The holistic monitoring and controlling of
and safe resources, as the Japanese auto-manufacturing industry starts process the production process
with lean towards the currently hybrid engines and vehicles with Build continuous Implement a continuous improvement to
recycled components [21] improvement into the the whole process and employees through
8 ‘‘Sustainable practices are the normal extension of lean philosophy in process allowing employees to improve themselves
the operational phase” [11] and the whole process and make reward
9 ‘‘The applications of Lean and sustainability have similarities and system to encourage employees. Pass from
complementarities”, so companies could achieve more efficient the monitoring of the process to the
performance, if they concurrently implement Lean and sustainable improvement of the process
principles [17,11] Balance flow improvement Improve both flow and conversion of
with conversion activities. High controlling of the flow will
improvement lead to conversion improvement
(TPS) in automobile manufacturing in 1950s in Japan, where Lean Benchmark Study your competitors and compare your
was intended to deliver the customer value instantly and without process with the best in the world. It is
inventory [6]. Since then, Lean has focused on both maximizing about the self-evaluation of your
customer value and minimizing all types of wastes. Afterwards, production process to improve yourself
TPS passed by various evolutions and succession in manufacturing
industry before it has been introduced to AEC industry. In his
report to Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) at Stan-
ford University in1992 [7], Koskela studied the philosophy of lean Most of the researches whether in lean and sustainability trends
production and the deficiencies of the traditional system in AEC either in manufacturing or AEC sector identify how applying lean
industry. He concluded that to apply lean concept in AEC processes, principles and tools achieve sustainability, or study the relation
it needs to increase the efficiency of conversion activities and between lean and sustainability while sustainability is always a
reduce the flow activities. Thus, he proposed eleven principles to passive element. On the contrary, this paper examines the role of
apply lean in the construction context that implies solutions for sustainability to achieve lean main objectives. The objective is ful-
the AEC problems [7]. It was only after the publication of Koskela filled through literature review of the recent previous studies in
report that Lean concept has started to be a common trend that lean and sustainability trends in AEC industry. The paper also aims
captured the attention of all researches in the AEC sector. Fig. 1 to verify the ability of sustainability to match lean in the manage-
shows the timeline for both sustainability and lean. ment process of AEC industry.
L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634 1629

Mass Innovation of - Coining the Term Koskela report Launching of


production TPS in “Lean” that introduced International Group
(Henry Ford) Manufacturing - Translating TPS into lean to AEC of Lean
five main principles. industry Construction

Automobile 1908-1913 1950s 1987 1990 1992 1993 To AEC


Manufacturing Industry

“Our common Future” “Earth Summit” Lunching of US


Bringing sustainability sustainability should Green Building
development to have some standard Council
international discussion pillars and indicators (USGBC)

Figure 1. Timeline for sustainability development and Lean Progress. Source: Authors, based on extant literature.

2. Introducing concepts of lean and sustainability in AEC by allowing health, safety, working environment and loyalty
industry between the stakeholders and environmental dimension by elimi-
nating waste, reducing pollution and preservation of resources.
Since sustainability and lean construction have originated as
trends that were introduced to AEC industry in a separate manner, 2.2. Case study of the role of lean in achieving sustainability
researchers studied the effect of both trends on AEC industry inde-
pendently and observed their benefits. Then Researchers have A case study [15] lately studied the contribution of lean in
shifted towards studying the relation between Lean and sustain- achieving sustainability practically. They observed the impact of
ability, and how lean principles and techniques can achieve sus- one of the lean tools called Kaizen1 on achieving sustainability in
tainability in AEC industry. Actually, the relation between lean its triple dimensions, where three case studies of the construction
and sustainability is debatable among extant literature. This of modular housing were analyzed. The researchers concluded that
debate can be categorized as: (1) studies advocate the absolute using this tool can affect the environmental sustainability by reduc-
relation between lean and sustainability, (2) Studies claimed a con- ing material waste by 64% in gypsum board hanging process, and the
ditional relation between those two trends. (3) Studies that seeking economic dimension by reducing working hours by 31% in the inte-
the integration between lean and sustainability. The next part will rior painting process. Social dimension was accomplished by
detailed demonstrate these arguments. increasing worker safety and a 15% improvement in value-added
activities.
2.1. Lean achieve sustainability theoretically Similarly [16] claimed that implementing lean tools signifi-
cantly achieve environmental benefits through a case study; in
Most of research studies have proven that lean principles match which reducing material wastes was translated as reduction in
sustainability’s main objectives and achieve its main agenda the raw material waste. Consequently, the reduction in the nega-
regarding processes, owing to the potential of lean in eliminating tive effect of production and transportation processes on the envi-
wastes, improving the whole process and reducing the negative ronment. Also decreasing the labors hour through reducing the
impact of construction projects. Firstly researchers studied the rework, leads to decrease the transportation trip of labor and mate-
relation between lean and sustainability theoretically to conclude rial that consequently reduces the percentage of greenhouse gas
that lean achieve the main agenda of sustainability while, lean is produced by transportation vehicles. They verified this claim
considered a short-term concept as it affords high performance though comparing the insulation of drywall panels in two phases
process, while sustainable construction is classified as a long term of heath care project, and observed the percentage of CO2 gas emis-
through the whole building operational cycle [8,9]. sion through the production process of drywall panels, the labor
Similarly, Golzarpoor and González [11] have stated that ‘‘sus- hours, duration and Cost of each phase. They concluded that apply-
tainable practices are the normal extension of lean philosophy in ing Lean tools as BIM, pull planning, IPD (Integrated Project Deliv-
the operational phase”. Furthermore, Environmental Protection ery), and all participant involvement in phase II; lead to reduction
Agency (EPA) claimed that lean produces an operational and cul- the labor hours by 20% and the Material wastes by 6% compared to
tural environment highly conducive to waste minimization and phase I. In addition this reduction in material wastes reduced 7.5
pollution prevention which promotes sustainability in processes tons of CO2 emission during the production, transportation, and
[11]. Also, [12] proclaimed ‘‘Sustainability dimension is insepara- insulation of drywall panels on site.
ble of lean, since reducing energy consumption and preserving
the environment is one of the ultimate longtime waste reductions”. 2.3. Lean and sustainability conditionally
By another mean, [13] proclaimed that lean concept wasn’t origi-
nated to protect the environment as sustainability, However, both A third group of researchers tried to trace the relationship
concepts sharing close objective of reducing wastes for different between lean and sustainability principles in an objective way.
purposes. Sustainability eliminates material wastes going to land- They put specific conditions that could support the relationship
fill to reduce its impact on environment, the negative effect of its between both concepts. Among them are Kim et al. [17] who
production process on the environment and the CO2 emissions, assumed that lean could be considered as a sustainability practice,
while lean eliminates tangible and intangible wastes to increase only when customer values are sustainable. This turned the rela-
the process efficiency and satisfy the customer. Thus, lean focuses tionship between lean and sustainability into a conditional one,
on the production process while sustainability focuses on the prod- where it depends on the nature of the customers’ main values
uct. They added that lean have some tools that help achieving the and how they understand Lean Values. Similarly, [18] claimed that
sustainability.
Recently, some researches supported the vast role that lean can 1
Kaizen is a tool that seeks continuous improvement of the whole process
play to achieve sustainability, where Campos et al. [14] have stated performance based on team work management through leadership and employee
that Lean achieves sustainability in its tri dimension, economic involvement to reduce wastes and any non-added value activity and increase process
dimension through reducing resources and cost, social dimension efficiency [15].
1630 L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634

lean tool, like Just in Time (JIT), support sustainability in case of the first who proposed an integrated framework for lean and sus-
large lot delivery order and committed suppliers. As JIT might tainability concepts. They studied how to achieve the values of all
cause increase in CO2 emission in case of the small lot delivery stakeholders in sustainability manner by considering the environ-
order or uncommitted suppliers. While both researches ended ment as one of lean customers and achieve its values. Similarly, in
their research by concluding that lean tools have a clear positive 2006 US EPA tried to imbed sustainability into lean to achieve the
impact on social, economic and environmental sustainability if most benefit through adding the environmental values to the tra-
the previous mentioned conditions were considered. ditional value stream mapping through identifying the amount of
the raw material totally consumed in the process and the percent-
2.4. Lean does not achieve sustainability age of the material that appeared finally in the end product to cal-
culate the wastes. They also added the safety pillar to the
On the other hand, another group of researchers argued that traditional 5Ss tool [11].
lean concept does not support achieving sustainability. Among There is shortage of information about the integration of Lean
those researchers are Kim et al. [19], who claimed that most stud- and sustainability in processes. In 2014, Ahuja et al. [24] proposed
ies in lean construction field concentrate on lean principles and a framework using Building Information Modeling (BIM) to inte-
tools, as a method to reduce wastes, time and the initial cost, not grate both Lean principles and Green Rating Integrated Habitat
as an approach to reduce environmental impact or improve the Assessment (GRIHA) evaluation system for the environmental
social dimension of processes. In addition, Rothenberg et al. [20] aspect of sustainability (green). According to [24], BIM characteris-
claimed that lean does not achieve sustainability as lean is not tics allow the integration between lean and sustainability through
‘‘Green”, according to their research. From the perception of this the project design and construction. The main results were
research, the main objective of lean is to maximize the customer observed through testing the proposed frame work on three case
value, which should not necessarily match environmental values. studies. These results took the form of ‘‘problem detection and
They also added that lean could only achieve sustainability by acci- problem solving ”approach which leads to reduction in rework
dent, not because it is its main concern. and delays that subsequently save time and cost.
In 2015, Vasconcelos et al. [25] developed a correlation matrix
2.5. The relation between lean and sustainability indices between management actions that elicited from integrating Lean,
Green and Wellbeing concepts and the tri bottom line of sustain-
On the other hand, some researchers studied the relation ability in building construction sites. He studied the impact of
between lean principles or tools and different sustainability the integral management strategy on the sustainability of con-
indices. For instant, [8] studied the correlation of Lean tools and struction sites in three different sites A, B, and C. He concluded that
sustainability indicators of the sustainable construction index of applying the integral management actions offer 79%, 64% and 49%
a Portuguese company. Soares da Costa Company adopted their of sustainability on sites representatively.
own Sustainable Construction Index (SCI) to track their sustainabil- Similarly, Wu et al. [26] compared the effect of Lean, Green and
ity performance. They concluded that applying 5S, Kaizen, Value Social Responsibility (LGS) practice separately, in pairs and all
Stream Mapping (VSM), last planner tools can mostly affect the together on the sustainability performance of companies in their
accidents, total waste production indicators of SCI. In addition by tri bottom line (economic, environment and social). He concluded
comparing the performance and productivity of the company in that applying Lean practices in firms achieves above medium in
general after implementing lean tools. They concluded that imple- Economic and social sustainability and very low in the environ-
menting lean tools enhances the company performance above its mental sustainability. While integrating all of LGS practices get
normal average. the most benefits compared to implementing each separately, as
In addition [21] studied the correlation between the eleven lean shown in Fig. 2. He concluded this correlation through an open
construction principles proposed in Koskela report [7] and envi- and semi-structured questionnaire to a three Auto-parts compa-
ronmental pillar of sustainability (i.e. LEED criteria’s). They com- nies in China. The questionnaire was about the implementation
pared the total number of all the possible relations to the actual of each practice separately and the sustainability performance of
relations to proclaim that lean construction principles match LEED the company.
criteria’s by 12.68%. They argued that this low interaction occurred In conclusion, most of the researchers studied the ability of lean
due to the natural of each approach, in which LEED focuses mainly to achieve sustainability in the construction phase where wastes
on the environmental performance from the project definition to are measurable and tangible. While there is lack of knowledge in
the operation and ignore the improvement of working conditions the interaction of those trends in managing of the design phase.
and safety, or layout configuration for waste reduction. In contra- In addition all the researchers who claimed the disability of lean
dict, lean focuses on the production system and process, and cost to achieve sustainability through the process are biased by the
and time reduction. Finally, they added that both Lean and LEED environmental pillar of sustainability, or studied the effect of single
have obvious benefits to construction industry such as waste lean tool on the one sustainability pillar. While all the studies that
reduction, continuous improvement, and competitive issues; in study holistically the relation between lean and sustainability con-
which lean focuses on the short term processes while LEED focuses cede that lean and sustainability have the same agenda of waste
on the long term operational process. Thus, applying both reduction, improvement, and customer’s satisfaction. Where lean
approaches maximize the benefits to the construction industry. focuses on a short term and narrow vision improvement and
Finally, Since Campos et al. [14] stated that Lean and Sustainability reduction processes; in which lean seeks reduction in the wastes
applications have some similarities and complementarities, com- of the process and the improvement of the process and workforce.
panies should implement sustainability and lean principles con- In addition lean considers the project stakeholders as its customer.
currently to achieve more efficiency in the processes. On the other hand, sustainability covers a long term and wide
vision of waste reduction and improvement, where It focuses on
2.6. Integration of lean and sustainability into the whole building life the long run waste reduction not just a certain process, and the
cycle improvement of the whole society and environment. While this
environment problem are vanished by researchers suggestion to
Some studies tried to imbed sustainability into lean concept to introduce the environment as one of lean costumer as suggested
integrate their benefits. For instant, Kosklea and Huovila [23] was by [23,8,27].
L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634 1631

Figure 2. The effect of Lean, Green and Social responsibility separately, in pairs and all on the sustainability performance of company [11].

To sum up, the role of lean towards achieving sustainability, 3.1.1. Social indicators
whether it takes place intentionally or non-intentionally, is proven The social sustainability in the process focuses on both the labor
clear. On one hand, lean principles could be considered according force and the whole society.
to findings extracted from extant literature as a subset of the sus-
tainability process. On the other hand, the review concludes that (a) Indicators for the participant of the process:
all researchers studied the ability of lean to achieve sustainable – Offer equal employment opportunities and diversity in
benefits. Thus the next part of paper takes another turn which is workforce among Minors, Women, international.
verifying how implementing sustainability in AEC corporates can – Enrich employee’s skills through training.
match lean principles and philosophy of management. – Provide a health and safety educational training for staff.
(b) Indicators for the whole society:
– Develop the concept of employee volunteering, which
3. Verification of the relation between lean and sustainability means to work for the society in working hours.
principles – Allow the participation of the community in the decision
making in design phase.
This section will verify that applying sustainability agenda in – Participation in local community programs (i.e. Dona-
managing AEC process can help in achieving lean construction tions, Education programs, Building infrastructure for liv-
main principle in the processes of AEC organizations, which is able communities, or supporting sustainable community
the second objective of this paper. This verification will take place development).
through studying the common attributes between lean construc- – Offer Training for the undergraduate or help in the aca-
tion principles and sustainability. The research adopts the eleven demic researches.
principles of lean proposed by Koskela in his report to Center for – Combat the bribery and corruption in your industrial
Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE)., as well as the sustainability sector.
indicators and guidelines in process of organizations that have
been published by Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI).2 3.1.2. Environmental indicators
It focuses on the achievement of the environmental sustainabil-
3.1. Sustainability indicators ity development in the process through reducing all types of
wastes in the process and product.
Sustainability in operational phase can easily be monitored
through the sustainability indicators and certified standards. How- (a) Guidelines on design and construction process of the
ever, it is different in the management process. So far there are no building:
certain certified standards, but there are efforts to offer guidelines – Reduction of the energy use and greenhouse gas emis-
to organizations on how to manage their processes in a sustainable sions generated during the construction process, through
manner. GRI generally publishes guidelines that help organizations reducing the wastes going to landfills, or using different
achieve sustainability development in their work and reporting transportation types.
their sustainability. This paper relies on the sustainability develop- – Reduce the pollutant as noise.
ment guidelines published in the report of GRI under the title of ‘‘A – Use comprehensive building modeling during design
Snapshot of Sustainability Reporting in the Construction and Real phase (i.e. BIM).
Estate Sector” [28]. The researcher chooses this report as it con- – Use Sustainable or renewable energy technologies.
cludes the data from reviewing the sustainability reports of 16 – Energy-efficient building design that leads to reducing
organizations in eleven different countries in the construction energy consumption after the building occupation.
and real estate sectors. Thus, most of the guidelines match the – Adoption of green construction materials in building
AEC industry. This sector will classify the sustainability develop- design.
ment guidelines as: – Intelligent selection and use of raw materials.
(b) Guide lines on managing the whole organization:
2
GRI is a non-profit organization that was held in 1997. It aims to achieve
– Recycling the office material (i.e. papers, cans, etc.).
sustainable development in organizations. It is publishing some general guidelines to – Offer and monitor the indoor comfort and the environ-
achieve sustainability and help in writing the sustainable reports for all industries. mental quality in the office.
1632 L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634

Table 4
The Interaction Matrix between Lean construction principle and Sustainability criteria in management process.

L10

L11
L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L8

L9
Lean Construction
principles in design phase

Focus on the whole process


Increase output flexibility
Principles

Continuous Improvement
Stakeholder requirements
Reduce non value-adding

Simplify the process

Flow and conversion


Reduce Cycle time
Reduce variability
Sustainability Pillars

activities (wastes)

Transparency

Improvement

Benchmark
Sustainability
Criteria

S1 Consult local people


S2 Diversity in teamwork
S3 Equal employment opportunities
S4 Health and Safety education programs
S5 Health exams for staff
S6 Enhance employee skills
Social

S7 Employee retention
S8 Participation in local community programs
Intelligent selection and use of raw
E1
materials
E2 Office recycling for paper, bottles and cans.
E3 Reduction of office energy and water usage
E4 Minimization of resource wastes
E3 Reduced emissions of pollutants
Global warming prevention (CO2
E4
emissions)
Sustainable or renewable energy
E7
technologies
Using Green construction material in
E8
building design
Environmental

E10 Using Comprehensive building modeling


Measure and report your environmental
E11
performance
E12 Indoor comfort and environment quality
E13 Energy efficient design
Sustainable values of properties and tracts
C1
of land
C2 Tax Contribution
C3 Use of local resources
C4 High return on investment for developers
C5 Combating bribery and corruption
Economic

Creating employment during and after


C6 construction
C7 Marketing and compotation issues.

– Reduction of office energy and water usage. (a) Indicators for the developer and company:
– Measure and report your environmental performance. – Sustainable values of properties and tracts of land.
– Indoor comfort and environment quality. – High return on investment for developers.
– Marketing issues.
(b) Indicators for the whole society:
3.1.3. Economic indicators – Tax Contribution.
Economic pillar of sustainability focuses on the role the organi- – Use of local resources.
zation plays towards its own, and the developer’s, profitability and – Creating employment during and after construction.
the whole economy in the society as well. – Combating bribery and corruption.
L.M. Khodeir, R. Othman / Ain Shams Engineering Journal 9 (2018) 1627–1634 1633

4.3. Economic indicators


4. Findings of the area of interaction between lean and
sustainability All the economic criteria match the stakeholder value, while in
this case stakeholders are the developers for (C4) and the society in
The advantage of lean principles is its holistic view. The term all other indicators. In (C3) ‘‘the Use of local resources” as materials
‘‘customer” does not comprise the client only, but it should extend or work force is helpful for reducing the transportation or exporta-
to include the end-user and teamwork, as well as the whole society tion, acting as non-adding value activity in Lean concept. In addi-
and anyone benefitting from the process or the final product tion, this will reduce the cycle time of each activity and the
‘‘building”. Thus the customer, according to lean philosophy in whole, and finally simplify the supplying process.
the production process of Architecture project, is the project par- By analyzing the previous correlation table, the authors con-
ticipant, whether the Client (developer), work force (i.e. Engineers, cluded that generally most of sustainability guidelines help to
labors, suppliers, etc.) or the whole society. In addition, the match Lean construction main principle. The sustainability indictor
researcher recently ask for adding the environment to the list of that has the highest interaction with lean construction principles is
customers of lean to achieve more sustainable management pro- (E10) ‘‘Using Comprehensive building modeling”, in which it
cess [9,21]. Thus the precise term for ‘‘customer value” that should directly interacts with four of the lean construction principles.
be used in defining aim of lean instead is stakeholder’s value. The sustainability indicator that has the least interactions is (S2)
Table 4 shows the area of interaction between both lean and Sus- ‘‘Diversity in workforce”, in which it indirectly affects (L11) ‘‘the
tainability Principles, whereas refers to the direct impact and refers continuous improvement of the process”. Lean principle that has
to the indirect impact. the highest interactions with sustainability indicators are (L1,
L2), which are reducing the non-added value activity (wastes)
and Stakeholders’ Values. On the other hand, all the sustainability
4.1. Social indicators
indicators in tri pillars did not match (L6) ‘‘increase the output flex-
ibility” principle. It is clear that not every single sustainability indi-
The Consultation of local people (S1) leads to identifying the
cator matches all lean principle concepts. Moreover, if we study
end-users’ values from the start point. This subsequently reduces
the percentage of interaction through dividing the number of all
the ability of change after construction that leads to rework
possibilities by the real interaction number, the number of sustain-
(waste) and process improvement, while embodying the principle
ability indicators will be 31, whereas the number of lean construc-
of transparency. Though the Diversity in team work (S2) does not
tion principle will be 11. Since the total possible interactions are
affect any of lean principles directly, it will indirectly lead to pro-
341 and the real interactions are 46. So the percentage of interac-
cess improvement, which offers feedback from different experi-
tion between sustainability guidelines and lean construction prin-
ences and points of view. This conclusion is based on the case
ciples is 13.5%. Although it appears to be a low percentage, the
study that proclaimed that applying continuous improvement in
practice of analyzing sustainability and lean matching through
lean can be achieved through checking of the process by another
studying the sum of a single interaction isn’t that accurate.
team rather than the original to provide more feedbacks and
Rather, Consideration of all interactions and benefits should be
improvements [28]. Meanwhile, the Equal employment opportuni-
performed.
ties and Employee retention (S3, S7) will match the stakeholder’s
values by regarding the employees as the customer in this part.
Similarly, the practice of offering health exams for staff and
5. Conclusions
enhancing the employee skills through training (S5, S6) is one of
the employees’ needs; so achieving them helps in achieving stake-
Applying sustainability in management of process and organi-
holders’ value and will indirectly lead to increase the productivity
zations gives equal attention to the quality of life to all stakehold-
which is one of the process improvement issues. Participation in
ers and the contribution of the process to the society and economy,
local community programs (S8) also helps in achieving the needs
in addition to environmental conservation. Lean’s main goal is to
and values of the whole society.
maximize stakeholder’s value and reduce all wastes to improve
the whole process.
4.2. Environmental indicators The correlation Table 4 showed that the sustainability guideli-
nes have an impact on lean principles. Although the percentage
Most of the indicators of the environmental pillar will not of the interaction between lean construction principles and sus-
match lean principles unless we consider the environment itself tainability indicators is 13.5%, lean and sustainability development
one of the ‘‘Lean” costumers, as mentioned before in chapter 1. have nearly common agenda in improving process and stake-
In this case, most of the criteria (from E1 to E8, and E13) match holder’s quality of life, reducing all types of wastes, monitoring
the waste reduction and, subsequently, achieves the environment and self-evaluation for continuous improvement and marketing
main values. (E10) Using Comprehensive building modeling (i.e. issues. We should not look at sustainability and lean matching
BIM) matches four lean principles due to the characteristics of through studying the sum of a single interaction, but we should
comprehensive modeling programs as the automatic generation consider all interactions and benefits at the same time. For the bet-
of drawing and editing of information allows all the information ter benefits, however, companies should apply lean and sustain-
all the time and studies the whole process. These advantages ability principles concurrently.
achieve the transparency of the process, reduction in the cycle time Architecture and construction organizations should set their
through focusing on the whole process and improvement of both own clear sustainability development goals and initiatives that
conversion and flow of information. Measuring and reporting the go beyond the environmental sustainability towards the social
environmental performance (E11) achieve continuous improve- and economic sustainability, either in the process or in the product,
ment through getting the feedback and transparency for all the and focus on the continuous monitoring of their sustainability
project participant and society. The comparison between the envi- development through frequent reporting. In this research consider-
ronmental performance and the world which is the base of bench- ing sustainability in the management process of AEC corporates
mark will be simplified. Indoor comfort and environment quality acts as a vital step towards achieving lean philosophy and princi-
(E12) achieve the employee and work force values (L2). ples and gain its great potentials.
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FROM LEAN TO GREEN CONSTRUCTION: A NATURAL EXTENSION

Isabelina Nahmens, Ph.D.1


1
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Construction Management & Industrial Engineering,
Louisiana State University, 3128 Patrick F. Taylor Building, Baton Rouge, LA
70803-6419, e-mail: nahmens@lsu.edu

Abstract
One of the focuses of Lean construction is waste elimination from the construction
processes, while creating a culture within the company of continuous improvement.
Similarly the focus of Green construction is on the removal of waste from the
construction process and in addition it adds an environmental dimension to lean
construction. Lean and green construction share a common goal, to eliminate as much
waste as possible. Therefore, not producing waste is both the most efficient and cost
effective approach to sustainability. Current industry practice shows that lean
construction is already the dominant paradigm in factory built home manufacturing,
yet its impact on the environment is less understood. This paper uses a case study
approach which demonstrates that a natural byproduct of applying lean techniques is
the reduction of waste which overlaps with one of the key objective of green building.
This case study presents the application of lean production in the wall/partition
department of a HUD-code home plant which resulted in a 10% reduction of raw
material- reducing wallboard damaged during the construction stage. This paper
compares material wastes before and after a Kaizen event performed in the
wall/partition department. Lessons learned from this case study are discussed and
used to proposed guidelines to integrate lean methodology and green building.
Findings from this research will contribute to a better understanding of the
applicability of lean strategies in the housing industry and its impact on the
environment.

Introduction
The construction industry is one of the biggest contributors to pollution and waste
(through its life cycle) (Horvath 2004). As reported by the Environmental Protection
Agency (2004), in the U.S., buildings account for 39 percent of total energy use, 12
percent of the total water consumption, 68 percent of total electricity consumption
and 38 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions. The construction activities and the
built environment have an enormous impact on the natural environment, human
health and overall economy. Green building practices can reduce the impact of

1058

Copyright ASCE 2009 2009 Construction Research Congress


Building a Sustainable Future
1059
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construction on the environment and human health. Green building practices can be
introduced at any stage in construction, from design to deconstruction. Ideally, the
impact of the built environment should be addressed on a life cycle basis, from the
origins of the building material, through the manufacture and installation of these
materials, to their eventual demolition of the building. Each stage in this life cycle
raises questions of sustainability. Considering that construction waste comprises 40
percent of landfill material (Allen and Iano 2004), it is imperative that builders learn
to build in a sustainable manner. Green building principles are a good starting point,
by guiding builders to realize the kinds of waste that are generated during the
construction stage and how to reduce them.
Due to the vast environmental impact of the built environment, the
construction industry has a major potential to advance sustainability practices.
Combining lean and green building may be one approach to sustainable construction
by focusing on waste reduction that not only results in reduced environmental impact
but also increases the bottom line by reducing costs. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA 2003) found that the implementation of lean strategies
produces an operational and cultural environment that is highly conducive to waste
minimization and pollution prevention. Although, lean strategies as originally
documented by Womack and Jones (1996) do not explicitly incorporate
environmental performance metrics, lean production may have a significant positive
impact on the environment due to its focus on minimization of resource usage.
Current empirical evidence of this link is sparse and has yet to characterize the nature
of this relationship. This paper uses a case study example where a HUD-code home
manufacturer implemented lean, to explore the impact on the environment, as
measured by waste reduction, after the improvement implementation.
HUD code homebuilding is an industrialized approach to homebuilding,
which relocates many field operations to a more controlled factory environment.
HUD code homes are composed of three-dimensional sections that are typically 95%
finished when they leave the factory (Carlson 1991), then transported to site, lifted
and placed by crane. Due to their production method, HUD code homes produce less
waste because of reduced construction time, and less time needed on a site which
means less damage to the home site and surrounding environment (Wortman 2007).
This paper addresses the construction stage and explores ways to operationalize green
building through lean construction strategies for factory-build home manufacturers.
More specifically, explores waste reduction strategies in their production operations
resulting from lean implementation.

Overview of Sustainable and Green Building


Sustainable, green and terms alike have become common and part of everyday
dialogue among all parties of the construction supply chain- including supplier,
factory producers, builders and clients. However, despite the growing use of these
terms their definition is in some cases inaccurate and poorly understood. The most
widely accepted definition of sustainable construction is from the Bruntland
Commission’s report, Our Common Future (Bruntland 1987) which defines it as
“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs”. In a building context, this definition can

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be applied as: “a building that can be produced and continue to be operated over the
long term without adversely affecting the natural environment necessary to support
human activities in the future” (Building Science 2006). In order to fulfill this
definition, the entire supply chain needs radical changes, not only from a material
perspective but also from a production method perspective. Current construction
methods are very far from producing truly sustainable buildings, however moving
towards those goals is possible.
Considering how far the construction industry is from building a truly
sustainable building, a practical definition of green building is one that is more
sustainable than current practices (Building Science 2006). EPA (2008) describes
green building as the practice of creating structures and using processes that are
environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle.
Green building relates to sustainable development, as it promotes building practices
that conserve energy and water resources, preserve open spaces through brownfield
development, and are accessible to public transportation (EPA 2008).

Integration of Lean and Green Building


The lean production system has its origins in the automobile manufacturer industry
with the Toyota Production System (Ohno 1988). Lean means getting the right things,
to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantity while minimizing waste and
being flexible and open to change (Womack 2005). The overriding goal of a lean
production is to deliver value to all stakeholders- internal and external customers; and
to eliminate waste- all activities that do not add value. Lean production is based on
five fundamental principles: 1) identify what the customer values, 2) identify the
value stream and challenge all wasted steps, 3) produce the product when the
customer wants it and, once started, keep the product flowing continuously through
the value stream, 4) introduce pull between all steps where continuous flow is
impossible, and 5) manage toward perfection (Womack and Jones, 1996). In
Construction the application of the lean production model stems from a discussion of
Koskela’s work (1993), which emphasized the importance of the production process
flow, as well as aspects related to converting inputs into finished products as an
important element to the creation of value over the life of the project.
Kaizen, typically referred to as an event, is an intensive and focused approach
to process improvement. This lean method seeks operational perfection by
eliminating waste – non-value added activities from the perspective of the customer.
Green building can be operationalized by using a Kaizen approach and focusing on
environmental performance of the production processes. Conducting a Kaizen event
helps to eliminate waste by empowering employees with the responsibility, time, and
tools to uncover areas for improvement and to support change. This type of activity is
team based and involves employees from different levels of the organization.
Traditionally, the purpose of the Kaizen event is to continuously improve and install a
lean culture in the company through the use of lean principles and tools. A typical
framework for executing a Kaizen event is shown in Figure 1.

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Identification of Waste. After initial data collection and observations the lean team
concluded that the wall build department was a bottleneck to the main line flow
and restricted overall plant capacity. The identified source for this issue was the
incapability of the wall build area to consistently keep pace with the main
production line or takt time (the takt time on the main line was 48 minutes, while
the cycle time of the wall build department was 65 minutes). The takt time is a
representation of customer demand. The lean team also observed various forms of
waste, including labor, equipment and material, in the wall build process. Most of
the waste identified was due to the poor layout, which affected the overall
performance of the production system, in particular the activities in the wall build
department. As evidence from Figure 2, flows within the build area went in every
direction, many were lengthy, and they often crossed other flows, creating
congestion.

Process Description. This case study focused in the activities related to the
wallboard, because results from lean implementation showed great potential for
material waste reduction. Before the kaizen event, material handlers delivered the
raw material by loading the bundles of wallboard onto the roller bed or on the
floor. Workers in charge of prepping the raw material (e.g. supporting activities)
retrieved the wallboard from the bundles staged on the roller bed or on the floor
nearby. They carried the wallboard to one of two saws or to a slitter. The jig table
of the saw/slitter was set at the specified size and wallboard was cut to size,
labeled by hand, and placed in an adjacent staging cart. Workers on the framing
tables selected a panel to build, obtained the drawing and retrieved framing
components from the staging cart. After framing the wall, they then retrieved the
pre-cut wallboard from the staging cart, positioned it on the frame and attached it
to the frame using an adhesive gun and staples. The completed panels were then
staged upright adjacent to the tables awaiting transport to the line, sometimes
blocking the access to the wallboard roller bed (Figure 3). Completed walls were
moved to the line by two methods, depending on location of the framing table.
Panels staged next to the lower tables were transported by bridge crane, while
panels staged next to the central tables were dragged along the floor by hand. The
second method increased the chances of damaging the installed wallboard.

Figure 3. Wallboard Roller Bed Blocked by a Finished Wall

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Key Waste Drivers. The overriding issue with the wallboard activities was the
poor layout of the wall build area and improper staging equipment. Although, the
area had a wallboard roller bed, which was the designated area to properly stage
the raw wallboards, it was not fully used because of limited accessibility. The
rollers on the roller bed were designed to pull material from the ends and not from
the sides as required by the current layout. In addition to the orientation of the
rollers, the second level on the roller bed made the retrieving of the raw material
awkward (since required workers to pull material over their heads). Because of
these limitations, material handlers often staged bundles of wallboard on the floor
in any open space. Further congesting and blocking path ways in the area and
increasing chances for material damages. The staging area for the pre-cut
wallboard was close to two framing tables, but further form the other two and
framers had to travel longer distances and maneuver with load through other
workstations to retrieve materials. This situation increased the chances of
damaging wallboards. Before conducting the Kaizen event, workers were not
aware about how much wallboard was been wasted due to improper staging or
awkward maneuvers through the poor layout. This fact was discovered during the
Kaizen event.

The Solution. The objective of the wall build-Kaizen event was to rearrange the
layout to improve process flow as shown in Figure 4. Some of the layout changes
accomplished in the Kaizen event included (Nahmens and Mullens 2009):
• The two central framing tables were moved and aligned with the lower two
tables, allowing finished walls to be staged so that they were accessible by the
bridge crane that was used to deliver finished walls to the main line and
reducing the potential damage of installed wallboard.
• The stud cutting activity was rearranged to achieve a straight-line flow. The
lumber storage rack was relocated on the upper wall to provide in-line flow
for the material handler during delivery. Two chop saws were turned 90
degrees and relocated directly below the storage racks. New pre-cut
component staging bins were located directly adjacent to the framing tables
(each bin can hold studs for up to ten panels). Sawyers place cut components
directly in the bins, eliminating the need for framers to leave their tables to
obtain components.
• Wallboard cutting was rearranged to smooth flow. Raw material was staged in
a new rack that held six different colors of wallboard, two different sizes per
color. The new rack is easy to replenish from the front and puts less strain on
cutters as they pull material and transport it to the cutting tables (e.g. pulling
over their heads). The saws/slitter was relocated away from the traffic path,
facilitating wallboard handling. A dumpster was placed immediately behind
the saws/slitter for scrap. Next to the saws/slitter a staging area for the cut
wallboards was designated.
• Half of an existing mezzanine, used for insulation storage, was moved to open
up floor space for the improved layout.

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lean (e.g., efficient continuous flow, effective pull system, workload leveling,
defect-free processes, standard tasks, good visual controls, and reliable
technology) were also good concepts for material waste reduction. As a whole,
the implementation of lean strategies were shown to increase efficiency and
reduce variability of building operations, concurrently resulting in material waste
reduction a key objective of green construction.

Guidelines: Lean and Green Building


Findings from the case study are summarized in the following set of guidelines to
integrate lean construction methodology and green building, while minimizing
material waste.
1) Move related equipment and materials closer together. Utilize straight line, L or
U-shaped flows, to encourage efficient movement of people and materials. From a
lean perspective, this reduces travel waste such as excessive travel time, and
congestion delay. From a green building perspective, it reduces the possibilities of
related damage of raw material, work in process and completed components. This
strategy can be used in all the departments across the plant.
2) Designate and label each area within the production floor, forcing the material
handler to stack bundles of raw material in the designated rack or staging area,
since there is no unused space - all space is assigned to other activities or
designated as traffic paths. From a lean perspective, this facilitates the process
flow, standardizes the process and generates a lean culture among workers. From
a green building perspective, ensures sustainability of the green improvement
gains in the process related to waste reduction from the kaizen event, and
minimizes wasted spaces.
3) Use proper staging equipment that has easy access to replenish and retrieve
material from, putting less strain on workers. From a lean perspective, proper
stating equipment makes the process more efficient. From a green building
perspective, reduces the possibilities of damage of material due to awkward
maneuvers (e.g. pulling over their heads or against rollers) thus reducing rework
waste.

Conclusions
The transition to a sustainable society is not a trivial problem but rather a complex
endeavor. The construction process and the built environment represents a challenge
in this transition, which is likely to intensify given the increasing trends in population
and the aging infrastructures around the world. This paper explores the applicability
of lean strategies in the housing industry aiming to reduce material waste and
encouraging resource efficient processes. In general, there are some benefits to be
realized from the use of some lean principles as an approach to lessen the
environmental impact of construction activities. These results reflect the similarities
of both green building and lean production as far as their goal to reach resource
efficient operations- reducing waste. Environmental factors should be an integral part
of how business is conducted, not an afterthought or an add-in. Work processes are
inherently environmentally friendly or hazardous for the environment according to
the environmental hazards present in each step required to complete the construction

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process. By carefully planning processes to minimize environmental impact, building


processes can be made greener. In order to transition to a true sustainable society,
requires designers and builders to understand the problem and modify their
construction processes and business strategies. Only in this way current building
process can be improve, and our society can head towards a sustainable future.

References
Allen, E. and Iano, J. (2004). “Fundamentals of Building Construction, Materials and
Methods”. Fourth Edition, Publisher John Wiley & Sons Inc, New York, NY.
Bruntland, G. (1987). "Our Common Future: The World Commission on
Environment and Development". Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Building Science (2006). “BSD-005: Green Building and Sustainability”, last
updated 2006/10/27. Retrieved August 21, 2008, from BuildingScience.com
Carlson, D.(1991). “Automated Builder: Dictionary/Encyclopedia of Industrialized
Housing”. Automated Builder Magazine, Publications Division, CMN Associates,
Inc., Carpinteria, CA.
Chatterjee, B. (2008). “Applying Lean Kaizen: A catalyst for organization change”.
Pharmaceutical Processing. Feb2008, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p10-14.
Horvath, A. (2004). "Construction Materials and the Environment". Annual Review
of Environment and Resources. Vol. 29, pp. 181-204.
Koskela, L. (1993). “Lean production in construction”. Proceedings of the 10th
ISARC, Houston, Texas, May 24-26, 47-54.
Nahmens, I. (2007). “Mass customization strategies and their relationship to lean
production in the homebuilding industry”. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,
University of Central Florida.
Nahmens, I. and Mullens, M. (2009). “The Impact of Product Choice on Lean
homebuilding” Construction Innovation Journal, January 2009, Volume 9, Issue 1.
Ohno, T. (1988). “Toyota Production System”, Productivity Press.
Salem, O. and Zimmer, E. (2005). “Application of lean manufacturing principles to
construction”. Lean Construction Journal, Volume 2, Number 2.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2003).“Lean Manufacturing and
Environment. http://www.epa.gov/lean/performance/index.htm (Last updated on
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008).
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2004). “Buildings and the Environment: A
Statistical Summary Compiled by: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green
Building Workgroup”. December 20, 2004.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2008). “Lean in Government Starter Kit”.
Last updated on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008.
http://www.epa.gov/lean/toolkit/LeanGovtKitFinal.pdf (Retrieved August 21,
2008).
Womack, J.P. (2005). “Lean Consumption”. Harvard Business Review, March 2005.
Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T. (1996). “Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create
Wealth in Your Corporation”. Simon & Shuster: New York, NY.
Wortman, R. (2007). “Modular Homes Lead Industry Green Building Efforts”. Ezine
Articles, submitted October 19, 2007. <http://EzineArticles.com> (Retrieved
August 21, 2008).

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Lean Construction and Sustainability -


Complementary Paradigms? A Case Study
Alexandra Rueff Vieira1, Nuno Cachadinha2

Abstract
In times when Sustainability is a major concern in public opinions all around the
planet, it has become a constant issue for most Industries. The Construction Sector
is not an exception to this trend, and efforts have been reported on seeking to adopt
metrics that can measure Sustainability on site. On the other hand, the concept of
Lean Construction (LC) is becoming a reality more and more present in this sector.
Its effectiveness in controlling and eliminating wastes are becoming more and more
acknowledged. Both concepts appear to have significant principles in common,
hence this paper intends to examine and establish a relationship between LC and
Sustainability, and assess their complementarity.
This paper portrays a case study where LC tools and techniques where applied on a
construction site, in order to observe and assess the relationship and complementarity
between those and the Sustainability Construction Index (SCI) developed by a major
Portuguese Construction Company, Soares da Costa Construções, S.A. (SDC).

KEY WORDS
Lean Construction, Sustainable Development and sustainable metrics, Portugal,
Sustainability

Introduction
The concept of sustainable development was coined in the 1987 Brundtland Report
as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability
of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN, 1987). This document is part
of a sequence of initiatives that support a critical point of view of the development
model adopted by industrialized countries and reproduced by developing nations. The
report points out the incompatibility between sustainable development and the present
patterns of production and spending. Following the publication of this report, other
conferences were held in which other documents were created, but all with the same
objective, to contribute to the sustainability of a nation.
This goal sparked all sectors to the need of introducing the concept of sustainability
and sustainable development.

1 MS.c Student, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade


Nova de Lisboa, Monte da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal, Phone +351 914681379, xanarueff@
gmail.com
2 Assistant Professor, UNIDEMI, Departamento de Engenharia Civil, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia,
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Monte da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal. Phone +351 212948557,
n.cachadinha@fct.unl.pt

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612 Alexandra Rueff Vieira, Nuno Cachadinha

In the business sector, a number of organizations have recently focused on


Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility begins to emerge in a
growing way, indicating the integration of the concept of sustainability by this sector.
The first traces of sustainability logics in business companies have thus occurred by
reporting environmental, social and even sustainability progress (Pinheiro, 2006).
The construction sector has not been indifferent to this process of integrating
sustainability. It is, by nature, a sector that tends to be resource-intensive and a large-
scale waste producer, which often produces significant impacts on the environment
(Pinheiro, 2003).
This large-scale waste production needs to be taken seriously. According to
Grohmann (1998), the amount of materials and manpower wasted in three construction
sites allow the construction of another identical project, i.e., the waste would reach a
rate of 33%. These wastes are reflected in the work costs that can cause a 6% increase
in total cost (Pinto, 1995).
Against this backdrop, LC came to change the production management system
in the construction sector. This concept aims at eliminating all types of wastes, such
as costs, time, materials or equipment in order to reach a better final product, thus
increasing customer value.
This paper aims at contributing to the assessment of the relationship and
complementarities between Sustainability and LC concepts and principles. A review
of previous literature of both areas of knowledge is carried out. Lean concepts
and solutions are then presented and their possible contribution to Sustainability
discussed. A case study is then portrayed where LC tools and techniques were applied
on a construction site, in which practical observations were conducted, utilizing the
Sustainability Construction Index (SCI) developed by a major Portuguese Construction
Company. Finally, conclusions are drawn and future research is proposed.

Literature review

Sustainability in business sector


According to Cepinha (2007), “All companies, regardless of the sector in which
they operate, have a very important (moral) role in contributing to the sustainable
development of the planet”, thus it is necessary to incorporate the concept of
sustainability into planning systems corporate management.
Sustainability principles have been materializing in the form of voluntary
certification systems, such as the LEED system in the USA, the BREEAM system
in the UK and the LiderA system in Portugal. They share, as common basis, the
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) approach; social, economic and environmental. To prove
that a company fits the 3 principles of the TBL in its planning, variables have to be
measured and the results compared. This resulted in the need to search for ways of
linking sustainable performance to company value increase. The result of this demand
has been the development, in 1999, of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).
This was the first global reference to impartially supervise the financial performance
of sustainability leaders on a global scale (Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index,
s/d). That same year, another index linked to sustainability was developed, called

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Lean Construction and Sustainability - Complementary Paradigms? A Case Study 613

FTSE4Good. It influences investment decisions and defines how companies are


evaluated (FTSE - The Index Company, s/d).
Aware of this trend, construction companies have been adopting existing
sustainability indices or developing their own. In the Portuguese construction sector,
Soares da Costa has, since 2008, been developing and implementing a tool that monitors
the sustainable performance of their work sites, the Sustainability Construction Index
(SCI). This tool was developed by a multidisciplinary team, composed by several
elements with different functions inside the company, with the aim of monitoring
the impacts of the works site and their performance minimizing negative impacts of
economic, social and environmental activities, by seeking to transform good practices
in common practices (Soares da Costa, 2010).
The SCI is divided into 3 indicators: Environmental Performance, Systems
Management, and Economics and Value Chain, in which each is composed by
subcategories as shown in the table 1.

Table 1: Indicators evaluated in SCI (adapted from Soares da Costa, 2010)


General Work Workers on site; Worked Hours; Amount Budgeted for
Site Indicators Environmental Planning and Management of Health and Safety
Environmental Total Energy Consumption; Total Water Consumption;
Performance Total Water Reuse; Total Waste Production, detailed by type of
Indicators final destination; Material Reuse; Land Volume/Excavated Soils -
Total, detailed by type of final destination
Systems Accidents Indexes (Frequency and Severity); Awareness /
Management Information / Training Environment;
Indicators Awareness / Information / Education in Health and Safety at
Work;
Awareness / Information / Training on Quality;
Costs Management and Environmental Management Health and
Safety at Work ;
Number of Environmental, Health and Safety and Quality Non-
Conformances ;
Number of Health and Safety at Work Non-Conformances ;
Number of Quality Non-Conformances
Economics and Community Investments - Total;
Value Chain Local Suppliers - Volume of Purchases;
Indicators Fines and Penalties – Financial amount;
Internal Social Actions;
Number of Workers’ Claims;
Monthly Value of Production

Lean and Sustainability


From a positive perspective, the construction sector is one of the largest and important
industrial sectors. But it is simultaneously of the largest polluters (Horvath, 2004, cited
in: Bae and Kim, 2007). Therefore, the construction industry has a great potential for

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614 Alexandra Rueff Vieira, Nuno Cachadinha

promoting sustainable development. One of the possible approaches to this promotion


it is implementing LC principles through the introduction of social and environmental
values as new targets to achieve, rather than focusing on just accidental benefits of LC
to the environment (Bae and Kim, 2007).
Bae and Kim (2007) describe in their work how LC methods can contribute to the
sustainability of a project. Table 2 summarizes these methods; more specifically it
indicates which Lean tools can contribute to the sustainability of a project.

Table 2: Main contributions of Lean tools in sustainable development

Tools Main contributions for sustainable development


JIT Tool that may or may not be environmentally friendly; Reduces the
amount of materials and materials’ damages; Reduces the sources
that cause the extra stock; However, the frequent stock transportation
associated could cause increased emissions
5S Visual tool that could help in sustainable construction; Used to maintain
a workplace clean and organized
VSM Visual tool that shows the processes (products and information); Allows
for a better understanding of the generation of value streams and the
steps which enclose waste; this tool can be used not only for economic
purposes, but also for social and environmental ones, by adding
environmental information to the map
Kaizen “Continuous improvement”, in Japanese; It has a key role in improving
the current state towards sustainable development; All sustainability
indicators could be improved by Kaizen

On a more conceptual level, Martinez et al., (2009) apply the principles of Morphologic
Analysis and Cross-Impact Matrix, in order to find the relations between Lean and
Sustainability concepts. This study developed a methodology of conceptual integration
that has allowed sequentially disposing several construction activities in different
scenarios within the life cycle of a construction project.

Lean Tools
As the theory supporting Lean Thinking developed, a number of techniques that allowed
its principles to be put into practice were created, developed and adapted. These Lean
tools are numerous and their main objective is to certify on site what the theory itself
says,  i.e.,  eliminate waste and  streamline  processes  and resources. Seven of those
Lean tools were considered particularly adequate for the materialization of the TBL
and were looked at closely. They are listed and described below.

Value Stream Mapping (VSM)


This is a planning and communicating tool that enables to manage the material and
information involved in the process. Rother and Shook (1998) presented standardized
icons that make it easier to understand and apply this tool. It is composed of 5 steps

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Lean Construction and Sustainability - Complementary Paradigms? A Case Study 615

(Queiroz et al., 2009): identify a product, draw the current VSM, proposals for
improvement, create the future VSM and implement and monitor the changes.
This tool is very practice oriented and it is basic for the evaluation of where and how
in the production process other Lean tools and techniques can be applied.

5S
This is a set of Japanese techniques consisting in 5 steps that aim to organize and
standardize the work environment:
SEIRI (Sense of use): Distinguishes  useful from  not  useful  materials  and
tools, eliminating the unnecessary.
SEITON (Sense of organization): Refers to the organization of materials and tools.
This organization aims at the identification and placement of tools, materials and
equipment in the right spot, in order to allow a quick and easy access to them.
SEITO (Sense of cleaning): It consists of keeping the work area, surfaces and
equipment clean and restoring and checking whenever it is necessary. It must
be a daily procedure in order to achieve a working environment constantly clean and
organized.
SEIKETSU (Sense of standardization): It seeks to define  standard procedures  to
maintain the working environment clean and organized.
SHITSUKE (Sense of self-discipline): It has the aim of developing self-discipline by
maintaining the utilization of all the steps mentioned above in a continuous way.

Just in Time (JIT)


The main objective of this tool is to produce the right amount at the right time with
the right quality level (Chan, 2001). It is the ideal tool to fight one of the seven wastes
identified in MUDA: Stock excess. MUDA is composed by seven types of wastes
identified by Taiichi Ono including: overproduction, transportation, excess motion,
waiting, inappropriate processing, stock excess and defects.

Last Planner® and Percentage Plan Compete (PPC)


It essentially refers to the short and medium term planning and control, in which
the main objective is to ensure, through various procedures and tools, that all the
prerequisites and constraints of an activity are solved at its beginning, allowing
the activity to be carried out without disruption and being completed according the
planning (Peneirol, 2007).
The PPC is an index that calculates the percentage of activities completed each week,
which should follow the Last Planner® (Ballard and Howell, 1998c).

Map of Irregularities
This map was adapted from the Map of Fault proposed by Mendonça (2008) and it
consists in completing the information obtained from the PPC, i.e., every time an

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616 Alexandra Rueff Vieira, Nuno Cachadinha

activity is given as non-completed, the cause of failure is analyzed and recorded on


this map. The map indicates the type of work and the week, in which the assessment
is made, it identifies the activities that have not been completed, the detected failure
and its consequences and finally the suggested resolution.

Subcontracting Relationship
In recent years, the practice of outsourcing has been increasing and it often
encompasses for about 90% of the total project (Hinze and Tracey, 1994). Since close
relationships between firms can improve the performance of the construction process,
as well as eliminate waste and reduce efforts, evaluating this performance has become
an important factor (Vrijhoef and Koskela, 2001).

Kaizen
This Japanese word’s meaning is continuous improvement. It is based on the concept
of a cyclical process which can involve people, materials or equipments which seeks to
improve the processes performance involving all activities. Kaizen is a methodology
that seeks to achieve perfection.

REsearch method
This research study was carried out on a construction site from SDC, with the aim of
establishing a relationship between LC and the company’s SCI. To establish those
relations, Lean tools were applied in construction processes in order to optimize
them.
The site was directly observed during a period of 1 month, in which a data collection
was carried out through direct observation, document analysis (made available by the
company), meetings on site with the heads of the project.
The methodology used is based on the 5steps that compose the VSM:
• Identify a product or service that will be subject to the implementation of
improvement proposals. In this study case, 3 processes were chosen: Plasterboard,
steel and formwork material. These were the activities with the highest financial
and workload weight.
• A current VSM was drawn for each of these 3 processes, describing all the steps
that constitute each of the 3 processes, from the moment the order of the material
is made to the collection of the waste that resulted from these processes.
• An analysis was carried out to the 3 current VSM, in order to identify weaknesses
in the process and non-value-adding steps. Improvement proposals were made to
eliminate the weaknesses and Lean tools were selected that best fit the proposed
solution.
• The future VSM was then drawn based on the proposals made in the previous step,
and providing the bases to implement these.
• Finally, the fifth step is based on the proposals’ implementation and monitoring.
During the implementation, difficulties that may arise must be taken into account,
creating a new VSM in order to achieve continuous improvement.

Proceedings IGLC-19, July 2011, Lima, Perú


Lean Construction and Sustainability - Complementary Paradigms? A Case Study 617

The conclusions drawn were then validated through in depth interviews with the
company’s technical general director, its general production director and the senior
officer that lead the development of the company’s SCI, as well as the supervision of
its implementation in the job sites. This validation strategy results from the particular
characteristics observed in this case study and will be described and justified in the
next section of this article.

Main Results and Discussion


During the analysis made to the 3 current VSM, some steps of the processes were
identified as already optimized. This situation was found not only in these 3 processes,
but also in steps belonging to the planning and preparation of the work site. Following
the Kaizen methodology, improvement proposals were made to some isolated
weaknesses detected in the previous processes.
Interestingly enough, these optimized steps showed several characteristics that
were compliant to Lean principles, indicating that optimization efforts had already
been taken, intuitively utilizing Lean principles.
This observation led the authors to compare the SCI of this job with the overall
average in the company. Although the data compiled by the company was still
preliminary, this job’s performance was found to be above average. This was in line
with the observation that the job’s staff put particular care in optimization issues.
Due to these particular characteristics there was little room left for further
improvement in this specific project. This led the authors to carry out a reverse
validation strategy. The improvement proposals were brought together in a set of
tables, which were then presented to technical general director, its general production
director and the senior officer that lead the development of the company’s SCI. This
was carried out in meetings held at the company’s office in Lisbon, with two separate
objectives: the improvement proposals were to be validated, and the optimized
procedures which intuitively included Lean principles were to be analysed, in order to
determine whether they were common procedure at the company or if they were only
being applied in this specific job site.
The in depth interviews carried out determined that most of the optimized procedures
were specific to this job site. This was due to the joint effect of three reasons: the owner
was known for being strict about time or cost overruns and environment conscious,
the contractor’s staff on site were known inside the company for placing great interest
in process optimization and the scarcity of space available for the staging area. Thus,
it was concluded that having a demanding owner/client and rigorous deadlines and
budgets is an important motivator for the adoption of Lean methods and tools.

Safety, Quality and Environment


618 Alexandra Rueff Vieira, Nuno Cachadinha

Since the aim of this work was to establish a relation between Lean principles and
Sustainability, table 3 below was prepared based on the information and results
obtained. This table identifies the processes/steps, the Lean term and the corresponding
SCI metric, indicating also the possible relations between these two concepts.
Table 3: Parallelism between Lean and Sustainability
  Step Lean Term SCI metrics
Plasterboard Material displacement for MUDA and 5S Accidents Indexes
the application site (Frequency and Severity)
Formwork Placing of waste
material containers in the Accidents Indexes
immediate vicinity of the (Frequency and Severity),
shuttering/striking works 5S
Nonconforming HSW and
Plasterboard Send waste to appropriate Total Waste Production
location
Steel Option to buy pre cut and Eliminating
shaped steel activities in-
situ Total Waste Production
Plasterboard Waste collection 5S

Definition of durations Last Planner


and their maturities and PPC
Planning
Linking PPC to the Map Kaizen
of Irregularities
Monthly Production Value
Work Subcontractor hiring Subcontractor
planning relationship
and Site
Management

Table 3 was discussed with the senior officer in charge of the SCI development, in order
to determine whether the measures portrayed procedures have any impact on the SCI
metrics obtained for this job, when compared with the average SCI metrics in tall the
job sites of the company. According to this responsible, due to the recent development
of the SCI metrics, which started in 2008, it is not yet possible to determine whether
these procedures have any impact on the SCI metrics at this stage. However, it is the
company’s objective to develop the SCI to the point of being able to determine which
procedures impact it, and determine if it is a positive or negative impact.
The analysis made aimed at establishing a connecting bridge between Lean
principles and Sustainability metrics. Each of these steps is analysed and presented
bellow and they will be identified if they were an existing procedure present in the
construction or an improvement proposal made.
In the first step (existing procedures), it was possible to establish the elimination
of two types of wastes identified by MUDA (excessive transportation and handling)
and the use of the 5S methodology (work area organized). From a Lean Thinking
perspective, the benefit obtained was an increase of the workplace safety, which should
lead to a decrease in the number of accidents. There is a SCI metric that counts the

Proceedings IGLC-19, July 2011, Lima, Perú


Lean Construction and Sustainability - Complementary Paradigms? A Case Study 619

number of work accidents, called Frequency Index. It was then possible to establish a
relationship between this metric and a Lean procedure.
The second (proposal made) and third (existing procedure) steps correspond to the
use of the 5S methodology. The benefits resulting from this procedure are an increased
workplace safety and its easier reading by the workers, which translates into safer
work conditions for manpower. These procedures should lead to a decrease of non-
conformances, number of accidents and to a faster and more effective waste disposal.
The SCI presents metrics that quantify those parameters: Non-conforming HST,
Frequency Index and Production Waste (differentiated by type of final destination).
Thus, a relationship was established between these procedures and metrics.
The fourth (proposal made) and fifth (existing procedure) steps correspond to the
elimination of some in-situ activities and the use of the 5S methodology. The aim of
the fourth step proposal was to eliminate the workspace problem, since the steel yard
was located on top of a 2-story building. With this measure, the waste coming from
the steel work would be also eliminated. Both procedures lead to a decrease in waste
quantities and a faster and more efficient waste collection and disposal. SCI has a
metric called Waste Production that quantifies the waste dispatch, reuse and disposal
on site. Thus a relationship was identified between both metrics and procedures.
The last three steps correspond to the use of the Last Planner® and PPC (existing
procedure), Kaizen (proposal made) and Subcontractor Relationship (existing
procedure). These three procedures lead, each in its own way, to a better work
environment and better planning, increasing the productivity on site, with positive
reflects on present and future work progress and development. Hence a relationship
was established between them and the SCI metric, “Monthly production”, which
measures the monthly value produced.

Conclusions
In this work it was possible to conclude that there is a relationship between Lean and
Sustainability. Through the application of Lean tools in the construction processes of a
case study, it was possible to establish a parallelism between SCI metrics and Lean.
The proposed model was developed based on the VSM’s 5 steps, since it was identified
as having potential to contribute to sustainable development. Once the material flows
were drawn and the non-value-adding steps identified, the future state VSM was
created, which served as a basis to implement the proposed solutions. A relationship
was then established between the proposals and the SCI metrics.
Quantifying this relationship depends on two important factors:
• A successful model implementation that requires time, initial investment and
change efforts;
• A successful SCI implementation and consolidation that requires time and
dedication from all players.
Being  faced with a  growing  competition  between  companies  in the construction
sector and a growing awareness of the need to adopt a sustainable development within
businesses is expected, with this model and with this established relationship, open
new ideas and gateways between other Sustainability metrics and Lean.

Safety, Quality and Environment


620 Alexandra Rueff Vieira, Nuno Cachadinha

Future Research Fields


In order to complete this work, determining and quantifying the impact of Lean on
SCI metrics, once both this index and the measures proposed in this study are fully
implemented in the company and have become standard procedure. Once this stage
is reached, a cost-benefit analysis of the implementation of the proposed measures
would also be of great interest..
Another study of great importance should lead to the combination of Lean and
Sustainability and their integration in the whole of the company’s construction
procedures, so that the whole construction process would be optimized both from a
Lean perspective (minimizing waste, maximizing value to the customer) and in terms
of Sustainability performance, maximizing the TBL.

Acknowledgements
The authors wish to acknowledge the cooperation of Soares da Costa Construções,
S.A., for providing access to their SCI and to the case study project, as well as
assistance on several occasions in the course of this study.

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Safety, Quality and Environment


Lean Principles:
An Innovative Approach for
Achieving Sustainability in the
Egyptian Construction Industry

Ayman A. E. Othman Mayar A. Ghaly Nazirah Zainul Abidin


Architectural Engineering Architectural Engineering School of Housing, Building
Department, Faculty of Department, Faculty of and Planning, University
Engineering, The British Engineering, The British Sains Malaysia, USM 11800
University in Egypt (BUE), University in Egypt (BUE), Penang, Malaysia
El Shorouk, Cairo, Egypt El Shorouk, Cairo, Egypt nazirah_za@usm.my
ayman.othman@bue.edu.eg jspmayar283@hotmail.com

DOI 10.5592/otmcj.2014.1.2 In spite of the economic and social contributions of the


Construction Industry (CI) in terms of achieving national
Research paper and international development plans, offering employment
opportunities, increasing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as
well as providing community members with buildings and
infrastructure projects that meet their needs and fulfil
their requirements, it has a major impact on the environment.
The construction industry is a very large consumer of non-renewable
resources. In addition, it is a significant source of waste and pollution
of air and water as well as an important contributor to land dereliction.
Furthermore, it is responsible for 50% of the material resources
taken from nature, 40% of energy consumed and 50% of total waste
Keywords generated. Towards saving the planet, it became crucial to stop the
depletion of the natural capitals of the earth thorough developing
Sustainability,
creative and innovative solutions that achieve the objectives of present
Lean Principles, generations without compromising the ability of future generations to
Construction, Case Studies, meet their own needs. This paper aims to investigate the role of Lean
Egypt Principles (LPs) as an innovative approach for achieving sustainability
in the Egyptian Construction Industry (ECI). Towards achieving this
aim, a research methodology consisting of literature review, case
studies and survey questionnaire, is designed to accomplish five
objectives. Firstly, reviewing literature related to sustainability, (LPs)
and highlighting their relationship as well as discussing the ability of
(LPs) to achieve sustainability objectives. Secondly, presenting and
analysing four case studies benefited from applying (LPs) to deliver
sustainable projects. Thirdly, presenting and analysing results of a
survey questionnaire directed to a sample of Egyptian Construction
Firms (ECFs) to investigate their perception and application of (LPs)
towards achieving sustainability objectives. Fourthly, developing a
conceptual framework to promote the use of (LPs) as an innovative
tool for achieving sustainability in (ECI). Finally, summarising research
conclusions and recommendations useful to governmental authorities
and construction professionals.

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 917


INTRODUCTION resources efficiently called for the (CI) professional magazines, conference
In terms of its activities and outputs, to be more sustainable. Great improve- and seminar proceedings, disserta-
the (CI) represents an integral part of ments have been observed in manu- tions and theses, organisations and
the social development and economic facturing, especially lean automobile government publications as well as
growth of both developed and devel- industry which uses about 50% of man- Internet and related websites.
oping countries (Field and Ofori, 1988; ufacturing space, human effort in fac- 2. Presenting and analysing four case
Mthalane et al., 2007). Socially, it aims tories, product development time and studies to explore how (LPs) were
to fulfil community needs through pro- investments in tools (Koskela, 2004). applied to deliver sustainable proj-
viding users with facilities for hous- These improvements were the result of ects. These cases were extracted
ing, education, culture, medication, the development and implementation from literature review and covered
business, leisure and entertainment. of a new production philosophy called different project types in different
In addition, it constructs infrastructure “Lean Production”. This philosophy countries including: residential com-
projects comprising roads, water and aims to avoid waste of time, money, plex in Brazil (Mota at al., 2005),
electricity stations as well as telecom- equipment, effort and improving value industrial house builder in Sweden
munication networks to enable these through employing and combining (Jansson et al., 2009), health care
projects to perform their intended func- existing approaches such as Just in facility in Canada (Breen, 2011)
tions effectively (Friends of the Earth, Time (JIT), Total Quality Management and precast concrete production
1995). Economically, Lowe (2003) stated (TQM), time-based competition and in Singapore (Wu and Low, 2010).
that the value added of construction to concurrent engineering (Melles and Although there are many case stud-
the country’s Gross Domestic Product Wamelink, 1993). Adopting the “Lean ies about (LPs), the studied cases
(GDP) is in the range of 7% to 10% Production” philosophy is expected were selected as they are focused
for highly developed economies and to bring a revolutionary change to the on applying (LPs) to achieve sustain-
around 3% to 6% for underdeveloped way of work in every industry. In con- ability objectives. They were selected
economies. The construction outputs struction, lean production has been from different geographic areas,
can be classified as a major component adopted relatively quickly by contract- with diverse scope, nature, size and
of investment and part of fixed capital; ing companies which are keen to reduce construction phases which helped
both are essential factors for a continu- waste in their construction projects. accomplishing the study objectives
ous economic growth. Furthermore, Even if only a small fraction of the and its argument. These case studies
governments frequently use the (CI) as gains observed in manufacturing were were analysed qualitatively through
a driver to manage the local/national realised in construction, the incentive focusing on the application of (LPs)
economy through increasing public to apply these concepts would be tre- towards achieving the objectives of
expenditure to overcome the impact mendous (Emmitt et al., 2004). Hence, value, value stream, flow, pull and
of recession and decrease the ratio this paper aims to investigate the role perfection.
of unemployment (Ball and Wood, of (LPs) as an innovative approach for 3. Presenting and analysing results of a
1995). On the other hand, the (CI) is achieving sustainability in the (ECI). survey questionnaire conducted with
criticised for having negative impacts a sample of (ECFs) to investigate their
on the environment. It is a very large Research Methodology perception and application of (LPs) to
consumer of non-renewable resources, In order to achieve the aim of this achieve sustainability in construction
a substantial source of waste and pol- research, a research methodology, con- projects. The survey questionnaire
lution to air and water. According to a sisting of literature review, case stud- consisted of two sections. The first
study conducted by the U.S. Energy ies and survey questionnaire, is devel- one aimed to collect general informa-
Information Administration (EIA) in oped to accomplish five objectives. tion about the surveyed organisa-
2011, the building sector consumes 1. Building a comprehensive back- tions to form a profile of these firms,
nearly half (48.7%) of all energy pro- ground of the research topic by where the second section focused
duced in the United States. Globally, investigating the concepts of sustain- on investigating how (ECFs) perceive
these percentages are estimated to be ability and (LPs), highlighting their and apply (LPs) in order to deliver
even greater (Architecture2030, 2011). relationship as well as discussing sustainable projects. The second
Furthermore, the (CI) is responsible for the ability of (LPs) to achieve sus- section consisted of close ended
generating most of the CO2 emission tainability objectives. This objective (rating questions of 1 to 5 and mul-
worldwide. The increasing concerns was achieved through conducting an tiple choice ones) and open ended
towards saving the environment, in-depth literature review depending questions. After the questionnaire
minimizing waste and using natural on textbooks, academic journals and was developed, it was essential to

918 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


test its effectiveness and identify nature in "productive harmony" in the encourage the use of renewable raw
its problems. A preliminary test present and the future (USEPA, 2009). materials as well as eliminate toxic
was conducted with colleagues who Sustainability has become a wide-rang- substances.
agreed to take the questionnaire and ing term that can be applied to almost � A social sustainable society is one
answer the questions as if they were every facet of life on Earth, ranging from that is fair and accomplishes social
received from someone unknown and a local to a global scale and over vari- justice when it comes to distribut-
go through the questionnaire again ous time periods. The existence of more ing its resources within itself. It is a
to point out any problem they noted than 70 different definitions for sus- society that would not discriminate
with questions. After going over the tainability (Holmberg and Sandbrook, in the rights of its individuals based
responses of the preliminary test 1992) highlighted its importance and on their ethnicity, sex, religion, age
and making changes, the question- illustrated the efforts made by different or social background (BenzuJK, 2011).
naire was ready for formal testing academic and practical disciplines to These rights, which lead to a quality
(Baker, 1994; Czaja and Blair, 1996). define and understand its implications standard of living, include religious
Towards increasing the reliability and to their fields. However, all definitions rights, right to housing, right to
validity of the survey questionnaire, agree that it is of prime importance to social security, right to work, free-
content validity was used through consider the future of the planet and dom of speech, right to travel and
ensuring that the designed question- develop innovative ways to protect and right to own property.
naire was fully represent the under- enhance the Earth while satisfying vari- � A society with a high population
lying concepts of the subject being ous stakeholders’ needs (Boyko et al., under the poverty line cannot achieve
studied (Baker, 1994). In addition, 2006). Scientific evidence showed that sustainability as this is accompanied
a number of specialists were con- humanity is living unsustainably. This by high unemployment rate, lack of
sulted to assess the extent to which is obvious in the form of using non- education and low quality health
the questions relate to the subject renewable resources, land dereliction, care systems (Karlsson, 2009). An
being investigated (Nachmias and waste generation, water contamination, economically self sustaining society
Nachmias, 1996). Moreover, the same energy consumption, to name a few is one that is able to use the avail-
criteria used to analyse the case stud- (Othman, 2010). Returning human use able resources efficiently to pro-
ies were also adopted when develop- of natural resources to within sustain- vide its individuals with their needs
ing the survey questionnaire to help able limits will require a major collective without reaching out for help from
creating a correlation between the effort. Since the 1980s, sustainability neighbouring societies or countries.
case studies and the survey ques- has implied the integration of environ- Towards developing an economically
tionnaire and their data analysis. mental, social and economic spheres sustainable society, public and pri-
4. Developing a conceptual framework to to meet the needs of the present with- vate sector has to play a role towards
promote the adoption and application out compromising the ability of future investing in R&D, offering employ-
of (LPs) as a powerful approach for generations to meet their own needs ment opportunities, increasing pro-
achieving sustainability in the (ECI). (World Commission on Environment and ductivity, escalating market share,
5. Outlining research conclusions and Development, 1987). adding value, creating new markets,
recommendations useful to govern- reducing cost through improving effi-
mental authorities and construction Sustainability Aspects ciency and reducing energy as well as
professionals towards achieving sus- Sustainability has three main aspects: raw materials consumption.
tainability through (LPs). Environmental, Social and Economic.
The interaction between these aspects 6. The interaction between social and
Sustainability generated three new aspects, namely: environmental aspects generated a
Background and Definition Social-Environmental, Environmental- new aspect which revolves around
Sustainability, in a broad sense, is Economic and Economic-Social (see the right of all individuals to have
the capacity to endure. All the needs figure 1) (Rodriguez, et al., 2002). a fair share of the natural resources
of current and future generations for � The environmental aspect of sus- of the environment at national and
survival and well being depend largely tainability focuses on using natu- international levels. This ensures
on the natural environment, either in a ral resources efficiently; reducing that these environmental resources
direct or an indirect way. Sustainability waste, pollution, effluent generation are not exploited by a portion of the
aims to create and maintain the envi- and emissions to the environment. society leaving the rest of the society
ronmental, social and economic condi- In addition, it aims to reduce the with needs that cannot be met by the
tions that allow humans to exist with negative impact on human health, remaining resources.

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 919


Social - Environmental
Environmental - Economic
Environmental Justice Environmental Energy Efficiency
Natural Resources Stewardship Natural Resource Use Subsidies / Incentives for use
Locally & Globally Environmental Management of Natural Resources
(air, water, land, waste) Pollution Prevention
(air, water, land, waste)

Sustainability
Social Economic
Standard of Living
Profit
Education
Cost Savings
Community
Economic Growth
Equal Opportunity
Research &
Development

Economic - Social
Business Ethics
Fair Trade
Worker's Rights

Figure 1. Aspects of Sustainability (Rodriguez, et al., 2002)

7. The economic–social aspect is the Lean Principles b) The Value stream principle maps the
result of the interaction between By referring to Oxford dictionary (2010), activities that, when done correctly
economic and social aspects of sus- “Lean” means thin, lack in richness and in the right order, will produce
tainability. This aspect focuses on and quantity, economical, sharp and the product or service that achieve
delivering economic sustainability low content. The main idea beyond the the customer’s value. Activities
without compromising society needs. lean concept is to maximize custom- can be classified as (1) non-value
This could be achieved through pro- er’s delivered value while minimizing adding activities which should
moting business ethics, ensuring fair waste. The lean theory can be summed be eliminated; (2) supporting the
trade and preserving workers’ rights. up into five principles (Womack et al., value-adding activities that should
8. The interaction between environmen- 2003; Brookfield, 2004; Björnfot, be reduced as far as possible; and (3)
tal and economic aspects of sustain- 2006; Jansson, et al., 2009). value-adding activities which should
ability generated a new aspect which be continuously improved.
focuses on achieving environmental a) The Value principle focuses on identi-
objectives of sustainability in an fying customer values and understat- c) The Flow principle aims to ensure that
economic way. This requires the ing his/her requirements and con- flow of work is steady and without
reduction of unnecessary costs and straints. In addition, it aims to define interruption from one value adding or
efficient use of energy and natural the internal and external factors that supporting activity to the next. Flow
resources. In addition, it offers sub- may affect the customer decision and of work speeds the development pro-
sidies and incentives for encouraging find alternative solutions and most cess and hence, every effort should
research centres and construction appropriate way to fulfil customer be made to eliminate obstacles that
organisations to develop creative requirements at the most-cost effec- prevent such flow.
solutions to achieve economical tive manner.
sustainable environment. d) The Pull principle establishes to pro-
duce only, products that have been

920 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


Sustainability Aspects

Social- Environmental
Economic-Social
Environomenatl

Environmental-
Contributions of (LPs) Towards Achieving
Lean Principles

Economic

Economic
Sustainability in the (CI)

Social
Identifying the project customer and understanding his/
X X X
her values, requirements and constraints.

Removing or reducing the influence of waste as it is


X X
observed.

Identifying the impact of internal and external factors that


affect the customer decision and looking for alternative
Value X X X X X X
solutions that adapt to changes without losing much time,
money or effort.

Maximizing the utility/outcome and benefit


X X X
of the project.

Deciding the most appropriate way to deliver the


X X X X X X
customer’s requirements.

Defining all activities and recourses required for


X X X
production.

Optimising work content through work standardization,


X X
repetition and preassembly and pre-fabrication.
Value Stream
Defining and locating key component suppliers. X

Organising and structuring job site materials, equipment,


X X X X X X
tools, and resources for efficient project execution.

Adopting the concept of work sequencing, crew balancing


X X X X X X
and work in progress reduction.

Reducing process cycle time through increasing work flow


X X
and task organization.

Identifying key performance indicators and measuring


X X
Flow performance

Posting relevant information concerning schedule, cost,


safety, and productivity about the job in a location that is X X X X
convenient for all managers and crafts.

Incorporating all aspects of just-in-time delivery and


X X X X
minimising materials’ movement and relocation.

Keeping the production system flexible and adaptable to


X X X
customer requirements and future changes.

Exercising a conscious effort at shortening lead and cycle


Pull X X
times.

Optimising work content through managing the impact of


X X X
design on the ability to achieve lean performance.

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 921


Involving project participants through empowering them
towards delivering best value to the customer, reducing
X X X X X X
waste and continuous improvement for organisational and
project performance.

Training and educating project personnel to execute the


X X X X X X
designated role of delivering customer requirements.

Assimilating, retaining and transferring of knowledge


throughout the organisation to enhance continuous X X X X X X
process improvement.

Perfection Taking corrective actions to respond to defects and


X X X X X X
retaining those solutions for use in the future

Obligating all levels of management and supervision


to the principles and practices of lean execution and X X X X X X
continuous improvement.

Adopting the 5s’s (Separate/Scrap, Straighten, Scrub,


Sustain, and Systematize) to improve delivering lean X X X X X X
projects

Documenting and understanding all critical work


X X X X X X
processes performed by the project team.

Table 1. Relationship and Role of (LPs) towards Achieving Sustainability in the (CI)

ordered. In non-lean organisations, The Relationship and the authors, to generate a matrix to
work is pushed (i.e. the system pro- Potentials of (LPs) towards explain the relationship between both
duces outputs that are not required). Achieving Sustainability in disciplines and the role of (LPs) towards
Most lean services react to customer Construction achieving sustainability in construc-
demand, adapt to his/her changes Current generations have the right to tion (see Table 1). For example, through
and so pull the work through the use the natural resources to achieve applying the Value principle, proper
system. their goals and meet their needs. But identification of the project customer
using these resources inefficiently and understanding of his/her require-
e) The Perfection principle seeks to compromises the ability of future ments helps the project team to deliver
deliver exactly what the customer generations to meet their own needs. a product that satisfies the customer
needs, when needed and at the most Therefore, there should be a trade-off needs and reduces waste of materials,
cost-effective manner. In a perfect pro- between high comfort modern build- time or effort. In addition, this helps
cess, every step is valuable-adding, ings versus resource consumption adapting to the internal factors (i.e.
capable (produces a good result every and environment degradation. The (CI) changing customer needs) and exter-
time), available (produces the desired needs to be more sustainable and learn nal factors (i.e. global economic reces-
output, not just the desired quality, from other industries, such as manu- sion) that affect the customer decision.
every time), adequate (does not cause facturing, that succeeded in maximis- Furthermore, the Value principle helps
delay), flexible, and linked by continu- ing customer’s values and minimising select the most appropriate way to
ous flow. If one of these factors fails waste of resources, time and effort deliver the customer requirements in
some waste is produced. Perfection is (Williams, 2000; Huovila and Koskela, a lean manner. Another example that
a journey of continuous improvement 1998). This will encourage the (CI) to explains of the role of (LPs) in achiev-
and Lean organisations have to strive adopt (LPs) as a powerful approach to ing sustainability in construction is
for perfection and develop strategies increase its efficiency and effective- the Perfection principle. This principle
and procedures to set up quality con- ness. Analysis of the objectives of (LPs) focuses on empowering project teams,
trols and achieve perfection. and aspects of sustainability enabled training them to execute the designated

922 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


Value Value Stream Flow Pull Perfection

Analysing work flow


activities according to
the construction rate
Reducing the waste
that was defined in the
of environmental Improving
traditional model.
resources as the firm organisational
Adopting the Line of
purchased only the performance and
Recognising that Time Balance (LOB) as a tool Ensuring and
amount of materials finding solutions to
is the most important to assure and maintain maintaining workflow
needed with minimal problems through
value to the customer. continues work flow. through moving workers
leftover. encouraging workers
who completed a
to contribute their
Completing the project Motivating workers to certain task in a unit to
Developing a opinions towards
one month earlier which maintain and increase do the same task in the
procurement system meeting their needs
allowed the investor to their productivity rates following unit until the
to alert the purchaser and increasing work
recover his investment by providing incentives, last house is finished.
when materials are productivity as well as
sooner than expected. a win-win situation.
needed to ensure reporting any errors and
Ascertaining that all
that workflow is not obstacles may arise.
materials needed to
disturbed because of
complete a certain task
deficiency of materials.
are available at the
work stations before the
workers shifts’ begin.

Table 2. Achieving Sustainability through (LPs) Application in the Residential Complex Project

role to deliver the customer’s product. adopted in construction projects and meaning of sustainability practices
In addition, it helps improving perfor- the involvement of multitude of vari- among academics and construction
mance through adopting the appropri- ous project participants with diverse professionals.
ate delivery techniques, assimilating, objectives, skills and interests tended � Lack of infrastructure, conflicts with
retaining and sharing knowledge, cor- to separate design from construction. permits, code compliance, appraisal
rective actions and learned lessons. This separation obstructs contractors and financing impede alternative
Furthermore, Perfection principle from providing designers with con- sustainable construction methods.
obligates all organisational levels to structive feedback and suggestions � Lack of commitment of architects and
execute (LPs) and practices and strive for design improvement, which ulti- contractors. Their aim is to reduce ini-
for continuous improvement (Björnfot, mately hampers the development of tial costs and make a fast profit. With
2006; Brookfield, 2004). sustainable construction (Othman, limited architectural involvement, the
2011; Forbes and Ahmed, 2011). Other integration of whole design practices
Barriers to Achieving barriers that hinder the inplmenta- and teaming required for a full imple-
Sustainability in Existing tion of sustainability in construction mentation of sustainability becomes
Construction Practice include (Tomkiewicz, 2011). improbable. Additionally, it becomes
The barriers to achieving sustainability difficult to develop a communal
in the currecnt construction practice � Market perception where no con- knowledge base, which extends
are generally based on the nature of sumer demand for such a product. beyond individual properties.
the (CI) and the culture of construc- The (CI) is ultimately a business,
tion professionals and project par- and like any other, it aims to satisfy Case Studies benefitted from
ticipants. Basically, the existing (CI) user demand. If there is no perceived Lean Principles Application in
is known for its chronic problems of demand, builders are not motivated Construction
fragmentation, low productivity, time to supply the product, unless per- This section presents a number of
and cost over-runs, poor safety, infe- haps, out of a desire for environmen- international best practice projects
rior working conditions and insufficient tal philanthropy. to explain the role of (LPs) towards
quality. In addition, the traditional � Information gaps, where there is delivering sustainable construction
procurement approaches commonly lack of clarity of the direction or projects.

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 923


Value Value Stream Flow Pull Perfection

Establishing Focusing on the main Expediting flow of Facilitating the Using visual planning,
organisational processes of the information and production process and checklists, templates
strategies to focus on project and reducing drawings in the design making better use of and quality routines
meeting / exceeding effort invested in process. the short time allowed for following up
customer expectations. standardising for construction the development of
sub-tasks. Reducing the number of (4 weeks) through projects.
Creating value for the different software used streamlining the
customers by handling Optimising time and to save time and reduce construction process
up to 6 projects in human resources in the amount of errors and information flow.
parallel with flexibility activities that bring an and damaged files when
in the design process economic value to the converting from one Using prefabrication
(see Figure 2). firm, and accordingly to format to the other. methods to reduce the
the society. percentage of error
Adding value for the Standardising on site that could
design team through processes to eliminate result in economic
conducting weekly unnecessary workloads waste or a misuse
meetings and sharing and reduce the of environmental
of information with amount of re-work resources.
different project and materials as well
participants. as energy consumed
during producing faulty
Eliminating project products due to errors.
waste through
applying the concept of
constructability at early
stages of the project life
cycle.

Table 3. Achieving Sustainability through (LPs) Application in the Industrial House Builders

Arch Building Info. Volume Preparing


Project 1 Sales Activity Activity Activity
Dwg Design Docum Cons. for prod.

Arch Building Info. Volume Preparing


Project 2 Sales Activity Activity Activity for prod.
Dwg Design Docum Cons.

Arch Building Info. Volume Preparing


Project 3 Sales Activity Activity Activity
Dwg Design Docum Cons. for prod.

Timeline

Figure 2. Design process illustrated in project and process based work (Jansson et al., 2009)

Residential Complex, Fortaleza, of the gained benefits, the construc- towards achieving sustainability objec-
Brazil tion firm decided to go through the lean tives in the residential complex project.
This is a residential complex proj- path after completed this project. The Results of applying (LPs) helped
ect constructed in the urban area of workers finished house (09) using the achieving the objectives of sustain-
Fortaleza, Brazil. It consisted of 18 traditional construction techniques and ability aspects through increasing
houses financed by a private investor then applied (LPs) to complete the rest work productivity rate by 15.7% and
and was constructed and managed by a of houses (Mota at al., 2005). Table (2) reducing project duration by 12.5%. In
small-sized construction firm. Because summarises the contributions of (LPs) addition, they assisted accomplishing

924 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


Value Value Stream Flow Pull Perfection

Identifying the rate Identifying the activities Minimising the Attracting the customer Ensuring design
of usage of each and transportations congestion in case flow to certain areas effectiveness, not
department by within the centre that sensitive areas such as by creating land marks only through creating
patients, medical and cause the most delays emergency department) within these areas to scaled models to the
administrative staff. to the patient and waste through identifying reduced congestion and different rooms in use
of time and materials. the most favourable enable more efficient in each department,
Deciding on the patterns for the process execution to but also by developing
equipment that are different users of the take place. a 1:1 scaled layout of
urgently or most facility to follow. the final design to test
needed. important features such
Shortening the distance as line of sight, speed
between the patient of flow and efficiency of
and the designated area delivering services to
and service provider. the designated patient
(see figures 3 and 4).
Optimising the flow
of information, Gathering customers’
equipment, supply, feedback to enhance
processes and food. the final layout design
even more.

Table 4. Achieving Sustainability through (LPs) Application in the Health Care Facility

the economic-social objectives of sus- located at a single production site and care services in the province of British
tainability through using an incentive they have an average annual turnover of Columbia (BC), Canada. PHSA's proj-
system to motivate workers achieve 42 Million Euros (Jansson et al., 2009). ects include BC Women’s Hospital and
the goals determined by the firm and Table (3) concludes the contributions of Health Centre. The authority has been
respond to the challenges defined by (LPs) towards achieving sustainability implementing lean in its projects for
the project schedule. If this trend of objectives in this project. almost 4 years. Recently, the current
efficiency continues in similar firms, Through applying (LPs), the project children’s inpatient building, and BC
the society is the one to benefit from succeeded in achieving a number of sus- Women’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
the extra time, more available economic tainability objectives. Firstly, handling (NICU) and the Birthing Suite in the
and environmental resources because parallel projects with flexibility during children’s and women’s health centre
these extra resources will be relocated the design process as well as sharing needed to be replaced. The replace-
to increase the individual's share. information helped minimising waste ment process of the children's inpa-
and adding value to the customer and tient centre process was planned to
Industrial House Builders, Sweden the design team. Secondly, by maintain- take place on three phases starting by
Industrialized housing represents a ing its processes and not investing in demolishing and relocating the centre,
growing market segment in the construc- standardising sub-tasks, the firm saved building the new acute care centre and
tion market in Sweden with an approxi- its time and human resources efforts. finally renovating the old centre (Breen,
mate market share of 15 % (Björnfot, Finally, using the pull strategy as the 2011). Table (4) concludes the contribu-
2006). This project is of a Swedish design duration is longer than the pro- tions of (LPs) towards achieving sus-
timber housing firm specialized in stu- duction time helped delivering needed tainability objectives in this project.
dent lodgings, hotels and senior dwell- products without generating waste or This project relied on modelling
ings. The buildings usually go as high misuse of environmental resources. a new design layout and testing its
as four stories. Their clients are mainly efficiency first hand by allowing the
accommodating building societies, real- Health Care Facility, British Columbia, employees to simulate the flow of the
estate clients and student associations. Canada. building occupants. Being a health care
The customization and standardization Provincial Health Service Authority centre, the flow of the building occu-
degree is common within these projects. (PHSA) plans, organises and evalu- pants through the centre is the main
The firm employs 135 employees who are ates specialty and general health challenge faced while designing the

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 925


Figure 3. Mock ups scale 1:1 to the Inpatient and Figure 4. Mock ups scale 1:1 to the Inpatient
Oncology units (Breen, 2011) Elevator (Breen, 2011)

Value Value Stream Flow Pull Perfection

Reducing carbon Eliminating waste Placing site layout plan Eliminating the over Reducing unplanned
production during of time through on the notice board for provision for material changes in the
precast concrete reorganising material information. storage. specification of precast
production. storage for production. concrete production.
Maintaining long-term
Improving assessment Considering alternative contact to achieve Making better use
of environmental transportation loyalty between of research in green
values. methods to reduce lead suppliers and pre- building materials.
time and cost. casters.
Improving the value Training incompetent
chain of precast Maintaining clear employees and
concrete production. identification of marks having proper written
and delivery notes in production manual.
Proper identification of the contract period.
required material for Enhancing employees
production to avoid re- care towards avoiding
order and re-delivery of waste of finished
correct materials. products and wrong
delivery.

Table 5. Achieving Sustainability through (LPs) Application in the Precast Concrete Production

circulation. Therefore, value stream use precast concrete products which satisfaction and ensures health and
mapping and flow presented guidelines are able to provide a cost-effective way safety standards for workers through
to be followed to overcome theses cir- of carrying out “system building” types providing information on the informa-
culation challenges (Breen, 2011). of construction projects. Table (5) sum- tion board as well as reduce carbon
marises the results of applying (LPs) emission. In addition, (LPs) applica-
Precast Concrete Production, towards improving the sustainability of tion helped improving training program
Singapore. precast concrete production practices for supporting sustainable operations
Precast concrete products are widely (Wu and Low, 2010). and efficient use of raw materials and
adopted in the Singapore construction Through applying (LPs), it was possi- resources.
industry due to the rising demand from ble to reduce costs and eliminate waste
public housing projects. One of the through improving the efficiency of the Field Study
solutions to reduce construction dura- process, improve quality and focus on This section presents the results of a
tion and improve efficiency would be to adding value activities for customer field study conducted, by the authors,

926 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


5
through a survey questionnaire to 4.54
investigate the perception and appli- 4.5

cation of (LPs) as an approach for 4


achieving sustainability in the (ECI). 3.5
The questionnaire sample was selected 3.1 3.13
3
from the list of 14000 contractors regis-
tered with the Egyptian Federation for 2.5 2.49
2.26
Construction and Building Contractors 2
(EFCBC, 2012). To get a representative
1.5
and reasonable sample size that sup-
ports the research findings, the follow- 1
ing equations were used. Equation (1) 0.5
is applied to compute the initial sample
0
size. Since the population is finite (less Value Value Stream Flow Pull Perfection
than 50,000), Equation (2) is used to
compute the new sample size (Johnson
and Bhattacharyya, 2009; Freedman Figure 5. Average Areas of (LPs) Applications in Construction
et al., 2007).

SS = Z2 * (p) * (1-p) / c2
Equation (1) 40 39

35
New SS = SS / (1+ (SS-1) / Pop 30
30
Equation (2)
25

Where: 20
20
SS = Sample Size 15
Z = Z-values for confi- 10
10
dence levels are (1.645 for 90% confi-
dence level, 1.96 for 95% confidence 5
2
level and 2.576 for 99% confidence 0
level) Briefing Design Tendering Construction After
p = percentage picking a Completion
choice, expressed as decimal (0.5 used
for sample size needed) Figure 6. Responses of the Phases of Applying (LPs) troughout the Project Life
c = confidence interval,
expressed as decimal (e.g., .08 = ±8)
Pop = Population companies yielded a suitable sample According to Babbie (1992) as a rule of
size of (148) participants. This approach thumb 50% is adequate while, McNeil
In our case: is adopted by many researchers to and Chapman (2005); Saunders et al.,
SS = (1.96)2 * (0.5) * (1 - 0.5) / (0.08)2 avoid using manual and complicated (2003); Gillham (2000); Tashakkori and
= 150.063 sample size formulas. Sample size cal- Teddlie (1998); Fellows and Liu (1997)
culator is an online simple and accurate state that 30-40 per cent is acceptable
New SS = 150.063 / (1+ (150.063 - 1) / tool designed to analyse sample size because of the fact that few people
14000) = 148.48 ≈ 148 through giving researchers different respond to questionnaires.
options to select from (Bridges, 2013).
The same result was confirmed by These firms were contacted and the Data Analysis of the Survey
the sample calculator (The Survey questionnaire was delivered to them Questionnaire
System, 2012), through using a con- either by hand, mail or e-mail. Out of Perception and Application of (LPs) in
fidence level of (95%) and confidence 148 questionnaires were sent, only Construction Projects
interval of (8) when combined with 67 were completed and returned, 39 out of 67 respondents to the
a population of (14000) contracting providing a response rate of 45.27%. questionnaire, which represent

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 927


(58.2%), stated that they perceive the � 10 out of 39 respondents, which Results showed that all surveyed
concept and apply it in their projects represent (25.64%), mentioned that firms adopted (LPs) towards achiev-
(by adding value to customers while “lean objectives” were ranked second ing sustainability during the design
eliminating waste) without knowing as the firm governance. Firms believe phase as decisions taken during this
that this practice is called Lean. On the that “lean objectives” are the right phase have important impact on the
other hand, the remaining companies thing that has to be done towards constructed facility throughout its life
mentioned that they have not adopted saving the environment, prospering cycle. In addition, 30 out of 39 firms,
(LPs) approach in their projects. economy and serving the society. which represent (76.92%), adopted
� 9 companies out of 39, which repre- (LPs) during the construction phase
Area of Focus when Applying (LPs) in sent (23.07%), stated that the “vision as many of lean activities are related
Construction Projects of their companies” in the future is the to site construction such as material
Figure (5) shows the responses of internal governance for (LPs) adoption provision and storage as well as site
the surveyed firms to rate the areas and application. Companies consider layout and workers movement and the
of their focus when applying (LPs) in (LPs) as a competitive advantage tool application of lean principles in this
construction projects, namely: Value, that will increase their market share phase has positive impacts.
Value Stream, Flow, Pull and Perfection. in the future and assist the firm to
These areas were used to analyse case remain competitive in the market. The Potentials and Constraints of
studies. Results showed that the con- Adopting and Applying (LPs) in (ECI)
cept of “Value” received (4.54) out of (5) Phases of (LPs) Application in Responses of the questionnaire with
which ensures that proper understand- Construction Projects regard to the reasons that encouraged
ing of clients / customers value system Figure (6) summarises the responses (ECFs) to adopt and apply (LPs) in con-
is paramount towards delivering their of the surveyed firms to investigate the struction are as follows:
requirements in a lean manner. This is different phases of applying (LPs) in � 20 out of 39 respondents, which
followed by “Perfection” and “Flow” construction projects, namely: Briefing, represent (%51.28), stated that (LPs)
with an average of (3.13) and (3.1) out Design, Tendering, Construction and are used because they are good mar-
of (5) respectively, which indicates that After Practical Completion phase. keting tool; improve productivity,
continuous improvement and built-in-
quality as well as flow of information
and materials are key elements towards
using (LPs) to achieve sustainability in
construction projects.

The Internal Governance towards (LPs)


Adoption and Application in (ECFs)
Delivery Policy
Towards investigating the inter-
nal governance of the surveyed firms
towards adopting and applying (LPs),
respondents were asked to select
between “internal governance” as
LPAAF
the firm’s vision for the future, “mis-
sion statement”, “lean objectives” or Training Champion
“others”. Responses are:
� 20 out of 39 respondents, which rep-
resent (51.28%), stated that “mission
statement” was the most popular Guidelines
form of governance that their firms
used. “Mission statement” of these
firms focuses on achieving customer
satisfaction through delivering prod-
ucts that best meet or exceed his/her
expectations at the most cost effec- Figure 7. Components of the Lean Principles Adoption
tive manner. and Application Framework

928 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


increase customer satisfaction and implementation of (LPs), construction individual will be designated as the
reduce waste of time and effort. firms should be Lean oriented. A lean Head of Lean Principles Programme
� 19 respondents highlighted that (LPs) firm understands customer value and (HLPP). Senior management has to form
helped them minimise project cost, focuses its key processes to continu- a small steering group, which repre-
add more value to the customer, ously increase it. The ultimate goal is to sents the various parts of the firm, to
increase firms’ performance, improve provide perfect value to the customer whom the (HLPP) will report and dis-
flow of information and facilitate through a perfect value creation pro- cuss progress. Members of the steer-
communication. cess that has minimum or zero waste. ing group should report to the firm’s
This necessitates that the whole firm board of directors. The (HLPP) has to
The 28 firms that did not adopt (LPs) should be involved in the lean process possess a sound understanding of (LPs)
have identified the reasons that hin- development. The Lean Principles and their application. In addition, s/
dered the adoption and application of Adoption and Application Framework he should draw up a plan setting out
(LPs) as: (LPAAF) outlines and relates the com- how the policy will be implemented
� It is not mandatory requirements ponents which support (LPs) applica- and corrective actions to be taken in
either by customers, construction tion in construction firms and serves as case the procedures deviated from the
industry or governmental authorities. a guide that can be modified to meet developed plan.
� Lack of knowledge and perception organisational needs.
of the lean concept. No training Guidelines
programmes are offered to educate Components of the Framework The (HLPP) is responsible for setting out
construction professionals about The proposed framework consists guidelines that describe the types of
the new concept either at under- of five elements, namely: Policy, study that should be conducted at stra-
graduate, postgraduate or industry Champion, Guidelines, Training and tegic, programme, project and opera-
levels. Respondents mentioned that Deliver (see Figure 7). tional levels. The guidelines should out-
(LPs) are not dealt with as a strategic line the process to follow, list suitable
objective by firm’s management. Policy techniques to be used; provide guid-
� Time and money constraints. The Firm’s policy should establish the ance on who should be involved and
Respondents believe that new con- need to adopt and apply (LPs) and jus- the level of competence and experience
cepts such as (LPs) are expensive tify what benefits this approach expects of the leader who will lead the studies
and time consuming. Firms prefer to to generate. For instance, these benefits of implementing (LPs). The guidelines
use tested and successfully proofed could be delivering sustainable proj- should provide also, the basis for deliv-
methods rather than applying new ects, maintain firm’s competitiveness ering repeatable processes but not be
concepts. or improve communication and informa- so prescriptive as to stifle individual
� There is no formal framework to inte- tion flow. The policy has to provide clear interpretation and innovation.
grate (LPs) in (ECFs). guidance on when (LPs) have to be inte-
grated throughout the project life cycle Training
A Conceptual Framework and what are the resources needed. The Training provision is the first step
for Promoting the Adoption policy should state, in broad terms, to towards achieving the plan of adopt-
and Application of (LPs) in which areas of the business (LPs) are to ing and applying (LPs) in construction
Construction Firms be applied and provide guidance on the firms. It has to be shaped by the policy
scale of that application. It should also either by using internal or external
Framework Rationale and state whether the firm intends to gener- expertise. If the firm plans to use only
Development ate its own internal delivery capability external expertise due to lack of internal
Results of literature review, case stud- or rely on buying in the expertise when resources for instance, the training pro-
ies and field study revealed that (LPs) needed or a mixture of the two. It should gramme will be focused on building up
are powerful approach to achieve sus- set out a timescale within which they an awareness of (LPs) and their benefits
tainability in construction projects. On expect to embed the practice of (LPs) at all levels of the firm. This is essential
the other hand, it is of prime impor- into the firm’s culture. to gain support throughout the firm and
tance to have a formal framework to to build up a collaborative culture. If it
facilitate the adoption and application Champion is intended to build up internal delivery
of (LPs) in construction firms and estab- Once the firm’s policy has been stated, expertise, it is essential to train up or
lish the strategies that support its suc- it is essential to appoint an individual employ internal study leaders with com-
cess. In order to ensure the successful to implement this policy. The appointed petent delivery skills levels. To ensure

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 929


that the training programme is effective, encouragement of the top management their needs without compromising
it should be accredited by a competent in construction firms to adopt (LPs) as future generations from achieving
organisation and lead to a professional an approach to achieve sustainability their own needs.
qualification. Both the awareness and in construction. If the top management � (LPs) have proven to be a powerful
the practitioner training courses should does not have the desire and tended tool to minimize waste and adding
align with the firm’s policy and its not to use the framework, then its better value to customers in the man-
approach to doing business. adoption will be limited. In addition, ufacturing industry. The application
the application of the framework is a of (LPs) in construction helps defining
Delivery long-term strategy to improve the tra- customer value, eliminating waste,
The second step of the plan is the ditional culture and methods of doing improving flow of work and informa-
delivery of the services themselves work in construction, and hence it tion and increasing organisational
within the designated projects using could be resisted by some sectors of perfection.
the appropriate techniques. The (HLPP) the (CI). For this reason, it is essential � Results of the field study showed
should gather feedback from all partici- that the benefits of the framework be that (LPs) are generally perceived
pants, in addition to the formal reports clearly presented to top management and applied in a number of (ECFs)
to build up an information base and of construction firms in order to get without realising that these practices
learn from experience. The lessons them convinced with the role, which are called lean. These concepts are
learned have to be incorporated into the framework could play in improv- used mainly in the design phase and
the training programme and shared ing their performance and achieving construction phases. On the other
between employees to ensure that sustainability in their projects. This hand, other firms stated that (LPs)
the quality of service is continuously will increase the opportunities for were not adopted due to a number
improved. adopting the framework. Although of reasons such as it is not manda-
the developed framework is a concep- tory requirement, lack of knowledge,
Strategies for Successful tual one and not validated due to the time and cost constraints as well as
implementation of the Framework limited resources of the authors and the absence of formal frameworks to
For the (LPAAF) to be successfully time needed, it provides construction integrate (LPs) in (ECFs).
adopted and implemented in construc- firms with detailed components that
tion firms, certain strategies should be explain how to adopt and apply (LPs) This led to the following
in place as follows: in their projects. recommendations:
� Clear identification and visible senior � Recommendations to Governmental
management support for (LPs) adop- Conclusions and authorities in Egypt
tion and application. Recommendations • Governmental authorities respon-
� Explicit policies which are clearly After reviewing the fundamentals of sible for construction and urban
communicated to all employees. (LPs), sustainability and investigating development are advised to promote
� Creating a culture that supports and a number of case studies that benefitted the use (LPs) as a strategic approach
understands the concepts of maxi- from (LPs) towards delivering sustain- towards achieving sustainability in
mising value and minimizing waste. able products, and keeping in mind the construction.
� Fully embedded management pro- results of the field study, the research • Issuing and enforcing legislations
cesses which are consistently and come to the following conclusions and to facilitate the adoption of (LPs) in
rigorously applied and are clearly recommendations: design and construction firms as well
linked to the achievement of (LPs) as developing incentive programmes
objectives. � The (CI) plays a significant role to attract and acknowledge the firms
� Effective implementation of plans towards social and economic devel- that adopt (LPs) and succeeded in
and regular reviews to ensure that opment at national and international delivering sustainable projects.
the benefits of (LPs) are realised levels. However, it has negative • Integrating (LPs) in architectural and
and lessons are learned for future impact on the environment being a construction education at undergrad-
programmes. source of waste, energy consump- uate and graduate studies to gener-
tion, land dereliction and pollution. ate graduates who understand the
Framework Limitations and This called for the (CI) to be more concept and its benefits and hence,
Potentials sustainable through using natu- apply it in their projects.
The effective application of the frame- ral resources in an efficient way to • More seminars, conferences, train-
work depends to a large extent on the enable current generations to meet ing programmes that are concerned

930 o rga n i za t i o n , te ch n ol o g y a n d ma na ge m e n t i n co nst r u c t i o n · an international journal · 6(1)2014


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be organised on regular bases in an achieve sustainability in construc- Procedures. London: Pine Forge Press.
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IGLC ’98
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the project life cycle. These are two British Columbia, Canada.
(2009). Design Process Organisation
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proposed framework will help Czaja, R. and Blair, J. (1996) Designing Surveys: University Programme, Uppsala Centre for

a. a. e. othman · m. a. ghaly · n. zainul abidin · l e a n p r i n c i p l e s : a n i n n o v a t i v e a p p r o a c h f o r a c h i e v i n g . . .· pp 917 - 932 931


Lean Processes for Sustainable Project Delivery
Anthony R. Lapinski1; Michael J. Horman2; and David R. Riley3

Abstract: Facility owners and project teams often struggle to engage “green” or “sustainable” requirements on building projects and can
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incur additional project costs as a result. Although “investments” in high performance building features can be paid back through
operational savings, the project delivery methods currently adopted by most teams are laden with process waste. Lean production
principles have been proven to reduce waste and improve process performance in highly complex development and production environ-
ments. Adopting these lean principles, this paper reports a study that identified the presence of value and waste in a sustainable building
project. Through an empirical investigation of the Real Estate and Facilities Division of Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota’s capital facility
delivery process was mapped to identify both the steps in project delivery critical for success 共value兲 and those that are waste. The
investigation focused on the South Campus Facility, which received U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environ-
mental Design Gold certification at a project cost equivalent to a conventional facility. Through post hoc process-based analysis, insight
about what added value and waste in sustainable project delivery at Toyota was obtained. The results also identify further improvement
opportunities to Toyota’s delivery process. For corporate facility owners and the Architecture Engineering Construction industry, the
results unearth insights about how to successfully and economically deliver sustainable facilities.
DOI: 10.1061/共ASCE兲0733-9364共2006兲132:10共1083兲
CE Database subject headings: Delivery; Sustainable development; Construction industry.

Introduction mentation adds time and cost to the project 共Pulaski et al. 2003兲.
To account for the additional requirements posed by sustain-
“Green” or sustainable buildings offer numerous benefits includ- able buildings, an up-front or first cost premium is commonly
ing energy efficiency, improved indoor environment quality, in- associated with this building type. This up-front cost is used to
creased health and occupant productivity, and the minimization of purchase better quality building components like HVAC systems
resource usage during the construction and operation of the build- and superinsulated building envelopes. This “investment” can
ing. Consequently, these buildings achieve superior long-term achieve significant operational savings that extend over the life of
performance making them attractive investments for facility own- the building. However, the current project processes used to de-
ers and developers in both the public and commercial sectors. liver sustainable buildings are often laden with wasteful rework,
However, to achieve their performance benefits, additional re- delays, changes, and overproduction 共Horman et al. 2004兲.
quirements are often needed in the delivery processes for sustain- Project delivery processes are the processes used to get owner
able buildings. For example, sustainable building projects require needs to a constructed facility, and include programming, pro-
intense interdisciplinary collaboration, highly complex design curement, design, construction, and turnover. We suppose that
analysis, and careful material and system selection, particularly part of the reason for high process waste is that owners and
early in the project delivery process 共Riley et al. 2004兲. Addition- project teams have a limited understanding of which processes are
ally, locally manufactured, often untraditional, and higher priced the important ones for sustainable project delivery. Further, the
materials can be required for construction; and if certification intermediate deliverables, activities, and outcomes of current de-
under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy livery processes are best suited for conventional building types
and Environmental Design 共LEED兲 is sought, extensive docu- and are often unresponsive to the needs of sustainable building
projects 共Lapinski et al. 2005兲. For instance, traditional delivery
1 processes make little explicit mention of important sustainable
Formerly, Graduate Student, Dept. of Architectural Engineering,
activities such as energy modeling. Critically, the increased first
Penn State Univ., 203 Engineering Unit A, University Park, PA 16802.
2
Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State Univ., cost associated with sustainable buildings is a major barrier for
211 Engineering Unit A, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail: owners to pursuing sustainable building objectives.
mjhorman@engr.psu.edu A number of exemplary sustainable buildings, however, are
3
Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State Univ., emerging to suggest that the requirements of sustainable projects
220 Engineering Unit A, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail: need not lead to increased project costs. Facility owners like
driley@engr.psu.edu Toyota Motor Sales have been able to deliver LEED Gold-
Note. Discussion open until March 1, 2007. Separate discussions must certified facilities without a first cost premium 共Pristin 2003兲. This
be submitted for individual papers. To extend the closing date by one is a notable accomplishment compared to an industry average
month, a written request must be filed with the ASCE Managing Editor.
5–10% cost premium often needed to deliver LEED certified
The manuscript for this paper was submitted for review and possible
publication on July 25, 2005; approved on March 20, 2006. This paper is buildings 共Smith 2003兲.
part of the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. Teams experienced in sustainable building development are
132, No. 10, October 1, 2006. ©ASCE, ISSN 0733-9364/2006/10-1083– revealing that process efficiencies are key to the low-cost delivery
1091/$25.00. of sustainable buildings. This is a critical emerging development

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


in our industry. As the Architecture Engineering Construction
共AEC兲 industry becomes more adept at the technologies for sus-
tainable buildings, it must also understand and overcome the pro-
cess issues of these buildings. This industry needs to identify
which processes enable sustainable goals to be achieved most
efficiently. Although our community has studied lean project de-
livery and sustainable building objectives for some time, there has
been little scientifically supported research that combines these
two domains together.
Armed with the theory that process waste affects both sustain-
able outcomes and the business case for sustainability, this paper
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analyzes the delivery process of Toyota’s capital facilities pro-


gram. Advances in manufacturing processes, especially those in
lean production, demonstrate the power of harnessing production
science to improve product quality 共increasing value兲 and at the
same time dramatically speeding production and reducing costs.
Using principles of lean production, the Toyota capital facilities
process is systematically modeled and analyzed to capture and Fig. 1. Toyota Motor Sales’ South Campus facility received Gold
understand the key process attributes. This will provide an under- LEED certification
standable breakdown of which processes add value and help to
define what process improvements in sustainable building
projects look like, thus helping the AEC industry to achieve low- 共CFC兲-based refrigerants by use of a mechanical system in-
cost sustainable buildings. cluding absorption chillers and boilers;
• Energy performance exceeds California Title 24 State Energy
Code by over 42% and American Society of Heating, Refrig-
Objective erating and Air-Conditioning Engineers 共ASHRAE兲 standards
by 60%. The roof holds the largest photovoltaic array in
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate, using the scientific ap- California providing 20% of the building’s total energy
proach, the life cycle of Toyota’s capital facility delivery process 关2,232,000 MJ 共620,000 kWh annually兲兴;
to empirically identify the critical activities and capabilities that • Over 50% 共by value兲 of materials including all system furni-
led to Toyota’s South Campus project success. This will involve a ture have incorporated recycled content material to reduce the
impacts from extracting new materials; and,
post hoc process-based analysis to identify where value and waste
• 97% of construction waste was recycled to avoid landfills and
were generated in Toyota’s delivery system.
recyclable materials directed back to the manufacturing pro-
cess. This included using tilt-up casting beds as stone steppers
in the garden areas.
Background At $87 million, this was an unusually large project for Toyota.
However, a project cost of $6 / m2 共$63/ ft2兲 lies in the range of
Sustainable Project Delivery: Toyota and U.S. General $5 to $7 / m2 共$54 to $76/ ft2兲 for most of southern California of-
Services Administration „GSA… fice parks indicating that Toyota was able to obtain an environ-
mental building of very high standard at little or no additional
Toyota Real Estate and Facilities 共RE&F兲 is responsible for the cost over a conventional building 共Pristin 2003兲. A study by the
development, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of GSA 共2004兲 of the cost of pursuing LEED on their facilities
all Toyota Motor Sales in North America 共TMS兲 corporate facili- showed that a modest budget allocation of 2.5% was sufficient for
ties. TMS are responsible for all postmanufacturing operations at them to achieve Silver certification. The report concluded that this
Toyota Motor Company. The design and construction of Toyota’s cost was well within the regular estimating “noise” of their
manufacturing facilities throughout the world are the responsibil- projects, i.e., the typical range of cost variations they experience
ity of Toyota in Japan, not TMS. Thus, project types undertaken due to estimating and change orders. Clearly, owners such as
by RE&F include corporate offices, parts and vehicle distribution Toyota and GSA have effective teams and processes for deliver-
centers, logistical support facilities, training facilities, financial ing their sustainable facilities that should be closely studied so
facilities, executive housing, and airport hangars. Their work in- our industry can learn how to efficiently deliver their green
volved 80–100 projects at a total yearly budget of $100 million. facilities.
Vehicle distribution centers, parts distribution centers, and techni-
cal training facilities comprise the bulk of their work.
Lean Production: Focus on Process
Toyota’s first LEED certified building was the South Campus
facility located in Torrance, Calif. 共see Fig. 1兲. This three-story Process-based theories and modeling strategies can help to under-
office building of approximately 59,500 m2 共640,000 ft2兲 received stand the delivery attributes of sustainable buildings. The Toyota
Gold certification. Some of the noteworthy features of the facility Production System 共TPS兲 and its lean principles provide insight
include: about the way a process is recognized, documented, and assessed
• Reclaimed water used for irrigation, toilets, and absorption for improvement. The TPS utilizes a process-oriented approach to
chillers, eliminating the use of almost all potable water; maximize value generation for the customer by stripping away
• Equipment in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrig- process waste and enhancing production flow. Identifying in-
eration does not require ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbon stances of value and waste first begins by defining the customer

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


base. The customer base of the TPS is the vehicle owner. Value is
generated by meeting the needs of owners in terms of price, color,
options, availability, etc. 共Bremner 2003兲. Conversely, waste is
any activity or process that adds no value to the customer.
The lean analysis of production flow requires documentation
or mapping of the process 共Liker 2004兲. This process map em-
phasizes a total process perspective and provides prerequisite un-
derstanding for analyzing processes for value and waste. At
Toyota, impressive performance has resulted from the process
maps, corresponding analyses, and adopted value-enhancing and
waste-eliminating improvements. Manufacturing lead times have
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fallen by 48%, productivity has increased by 53%, quality has


improved by 65%, and product development is completed with
45% fewer engineering hours at a pace 24% faster than any of Fig. 2. Customer needs of the end user and the environment define
Toyota’s U.S. counterparts 共Womack et al. 1990兲. Applying the value at Toyota
lean principles of the TPS to Toyota’s capital facility delivery
process offers important procedural guidance to capture and un-
derstand the enablers of their success as well as opportunities to user needs include space, functionality, aesthetics, proper Toyota
improve their process further. image, and price. A similar set of needs would exist for other end
Inspired by Koskela’s 共1992兲 important study of production users. Value is generated when these needs are fulfilled. However,
theories in construction, this industry has embraced lean prin- when a Toyota facility is built to be sustainable, the environment
ciples for nearly 15 years. Most research and implementation has is introduced as an additional customer 共Horman et al. 2004兲. The
focused on construction processes, especially addressing the environment’s needs include sustainable development principles
waste-inducing effects of poor planning 共e.g., Ballard and Howell such as minimal building impact, maximum building system ef-
1998兲. Some work has extended to the design process, and even ficiency, and a healthy and productive occupant environment.
lean project delivery 共Ballard and Zabelle 2000; Ballard 2000兲; Again, value is generated by fulfilling this specific needs set. Fig.
although, the results have not yet matched those achieved by 2 shows how the needs of the end user and the environment are
Toyota manufacturing. The lean construction community has per- woven together to provide a framework for identifying and as-
formed a number of modeling and simulation studies of project sessing how value is generated for sustainable facilities at Toyota.
and supply chain processes 共e.g., Tommelein and Li 1999; Tom- With a definition of value established, detailed process maps
melein and Weissenberger 1999; Arbula and Tommelein 2002兲, were then developed. These maps provide a pictorial representa-
although these studies have been confined to partial segments of tion at increasing levels of detail of the steps Toyota uses to
the delivery process and do not necessarily emphasize under- deliver their capital facilities. Penn State researchers embedded
standing where value is generated or lost. The synergistic and themselves in the Toyota RE&F organization for five months
cost-saving link between process waste reduction in the TPS and meeting daily with the various departments to document their
reduced resource use in sustainable development has been made processes. Microsoft Visio was used to manage the extensive data
by others, but is only now being extensively pursued 共Huovila obtained. Maps at three levels of detail were developed. The first
and Koskela 1998; Hawken et al. 1999; Horman et al. 2004兲. level shows overall phases indicating where each department be-
comes involved in a project. The second layer documents re-
source 共people兲 and information flows. The third, and most
Research Methodology detailed layer, shows the functions performed, inputs needed, and
outputs produced. These maps capture the entire development
Mapping the Delivery Process: Data Collection process providing the foundation to assess the value generating
and waste laden properties of each process activity. To ensure
To capture and evaluate Toyota’s sustainable building delivery their accuracy, the maps were verified by each department and the
process, a modeling approach was developed to map the entire entire organization.
capital delivery process, i.e., programming through design, pro-
curement, construction, handover, and operation. Extensive re-
Data Analysis
view of lean mapping techniques and current building process
models revealed the importance of evaluating value and waste in Analysis of the process maps was performed with three objectives
process analysis 共Rother and Shook 2000; Rother and Harris in mind: 共1兲 Understand where value and waste are generated in
2002; Hines and Taylor 2000; Liker 2004兲. The features of the the delivery process; 共2兲 understand the important features that
adopted modeling approach draw on the Integrated Building Pro- are responsible for the successful delivery of Toyota’s sustainable
cess Model developed at Penn State 共Sanvido 1990兲. This model, buildings; and 共3兲 identify opportunities for continuous improve-
based upon the IDEF0 modeling language, uses an input-activity- ment of the Toyota RE&F delivery process.
output relationship to identify the key steps required to provide a During the value assessment, each activity was scrutinized to
facility to the end user. The power of this model is in the system- evaluate whether it met the needs of either the end user or the
atic rigor at which the entire process of building delivery is de- environment. If RE&F could attribute no value in these terms to
scribed, and the ability to adapt it to map process value and waste the activity, it was designated a waste. In some instances, an
共Horman et al. 2006兲. activity was found to be wasteful, but essential to achieve a value
The first step in the adopted methodology was to understand added outcome. In these cases, the activity was noted to be non-
value in terms of the process customer. As for most facilities, the value adding. Lean principles state that nonvalue-adding activities
building end user is the final customer at Toyota RE&F. The end are type two waste and should be the focus of long-term improve-

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Fig. 3. Level 1 of the Toyota capital delivery process

ment efforts 共Liker 2004兲. For the purpose of this research study, Results
the aim of the value assessment was to identify all instances of
process value and waste 共including nonvalue adding兲 in relation
Process Maps
to Toyota achieving sustainable goals. In the future, a more de-
tailed distinction of type one and type two waste would be a Fig. 3 shows the first level of Toyota’s capital delivery process.
useful extension of this research. During the programming phases, projects are solicited by Real
Having assessed where value and waste were generated in the Estate and Facilities from various Toyota business units 共end
delivery process, activities were then examined for their contribu- users兲. Initially, these are general requirements and requests that
tion to the sustainable goals for the project. The purpose was to RE&F uses to create a capital budget for the coming year. Once in
provide an understandable breakdown of value-added activities the capital budget, the strategic needs of the business unit are
that contribute to sustainable objectives during project delivery. assessed, project scope is planned, and a business case is devised
Finally, the analysis focused on identifying opportunities for de- for each project. Having received corporate sign off at this point,
livery process improvement. The purpose of this step was to re- the project proceeds through Transition 1, which consists of a
veal what process improvements in building project delivery look series of Project Initiation meetings to select a project team 共ar-
like. chitect, consultants, etc.兲 and to hand the project off to that team
for Project Implementation 共design and construction兲. There is
nothing uniquely integrated about this phase of the delivery pro-
Model Validation
cess which proceeds in a largely sequential manner. Transition 2
To help validate the capability of the model to capture and reflect represents facility turnover at project completion. Relocations are
process attributes in the Toyota capital facilities program, a com- a particular RE&F workgroup responsible for moving the busi-
pleted project was mapped and compared against the generic de- ness unit into their facility. In an effort to ease this transition, this
livery process map. It was hypothesized that if the generic process group has become involved earlier in project implementation. Op-
map could capture the essence of a real project then this helped erations and Real Estate inherit the facility and are responsible for
validate the diagnostic functionality of the mapping protocol. The facility use and realty-related issues 共e.g., leases, etc.兲.
project evaluated was the completed Lexus H/Q renovation. The Fig. 4 shows a sample of the second and third levels of the
project manager used our modeling protocol to document the pro- process map. These levels reveal progressively more detailed
cess map for this project. This map documented a similar number steps of the delivery process. The example shown is that of Busi-
of inputs, activities, and process outputs to the generic process ness Case Development. The second level map 共top of Fig. 4兲
map, suggesting the mapping protocol was comprehensive at shows the basic steps of the phase, indicating who is the owner of
documenting a real project. More importantly, however, the map the step 共in dark gray兲 and who will be involved 共in medium
comparison insightfully documented many of the major chal- gray兲. The inputs and outputs at this level concern the critical
lenges on this project. The Lexus H/Q project was suspended for information flow through the steps. Ownership, participation, and
eight months until the 2003 fiscal year, resulting in supplementary information requirements were not previously well defined in the
rework in programming, and process dysfunction due to missing RE&F organization and often led to delays, rework, and other
the Project Initiation phase of Toyota’s project delivery process. waste in their process.
The map linked very clearly the downstream effects of these is- The third level map 共bottom of Fig. 4兲 shows the detailed
sues during design and construction. This was noteworthy for the inputs, function and outputs needed in each step of the process.
post mortem of the project because it dispelled previously misun- These are the same as the second level, but in more detail. Rules
derstood and underdevelopment reasons for the suboptimal deliv- for modeling were used to provide coherency to the map. For
ery performance that initially had included a faulty project team example, for a function to be included on the map, it had to
and mismanagement by the project manager. possess an input, either separately defined or the output of a pre-

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Fig. 4. Sample portion of Levels 共top兲 2 and 共bottom兲 3 of the Toyota capital delivery process

viously completed step, and an output that was used at another exact proportion of value added to waste is likely to vary depend-
step in the delivery process. At this level of detail, the value and ing on the underlying complexity of the process and whether
waste attributes of activities could be analyzed. activities are measured in terms of schedule or cost. What is most
useful about the value assessment of the process map is that
Toyota’s delivery process is not particularly efficient. In fact,
Process Performance Analysis
Toyota has an opportunity to eliminate 68% of their project de-
At the greatest level of detail, the process map identified a total of livery activity to streamline their sustainable building delivery
23 inputs, 124 total activities, and 36 total process outputs. Of process.
those 124 activities, the value assessment of the process map It is also interesting to evaluate where Toyota adds most value
revealed 40 of those activities added value whereas 84 activities and where it is most wasteful. A notable capability of the map is
were wasteful, i.e., the current Toyota delivery process generates that it is possible to conduct this evaluation of the total process
32% value added for their customer base 共Table 1兲. By way of 共not just phases or parts兲. Table 1 reveals that the processes where
comparison, Horman and Kenley 共2005兲 in a large study demon- the greatest value was added were Project Strategy, Business Case
strated that projects average 50% wasted activities, although this Development, and Postproject Occupancy. These processes are
analysis was confined to construction processes not taking ac- not surprisingly high at generating value since they involve quite
count of other project delivery phases, like design. Manufacturing high levels of interaction with the end user 共business unit兲. What
studies have empirically shown waste to be as high as 85–99% is perhaps surprising is that Project Initiation and Project Imple-
共Stalk and Hout 1989; Hines and Taylor 2000; Liker 2004兲. The mentation 共i.e., design and construction兲 appear to add very low
levels of value. Examples of the major waste found in design and
construction included mismatched procurement of design and
Table 1. Quantitative Analysis of Value and Waste Steps in Toyota’s construction services so that excessive delays and rework oc-
Capital Delivery Process curred to form a coherent team. An excessively large number of
Waste and nonvalue small subcontractors were procured as a way of controlling costs
Value added activity added activity at procurement, but at the expense of bidding delay, excessive
共% of total activity兲 共% of total activity兲 rework, and reduced economies of scale and poor integration.
These processes are the core of what the AEC industry does, i.e.,
Function Baseline Lexus Baseline Lexus design and construct buildings. These results suggest that this
Capital planning 29 27 71 73 industry might not be very efficient in adding value.
Project strategy 43 46 57 54 The process analysis also revealed critical wastes in Toyota’s
Real estate strategy 33 N/A 67 N/A
capital facilities program. Table 2 outlines the significant delivery
process wastes that were identified in this study. The total per-
Business case 40 33 60 67
development spective and process orientation of the maps were critical to rec-
ognizing and understanding these wastes. Notably, the transitions
Project initiation 25 0 75 100
identified in Fig. 1 were major bottlenecks in process flow for
Project implementation 30 28 70 72
project delivery. As an example, the first process waste identified
Relocations 29 29 71 71
in Table 2 was largely the result of a small number of senior
Postproject occupancy 38 38 68 68 Toyota management overburdened with presenting the business
Average over the total 32 27 68 73 case to corporate executives, and then initiating the project. Often
delivery process
projects approved in the Capital Planning budget were held in

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


Table 2. Key Wastes as Captured by the Process Map are not “tacked onto the project” but woven into the project.
Process waste Solutions developed to eliminate process waste Savings elsewhere in the project can be used to offset these
increases. Equipment costs can be justified through life cycle
Inconsistent Level process flow: Achieved through the and operational savings.
flow through identification, elimination, and resequencing of
3. Sustainable compatibility: Sustainable building features are
delivery process overburdening activities. This proved to reduce
bottlenecking and improve process flow aligned to site conditions and parameters during project pro-
Complex Elimination of excessive project parameters:
gramming. In addition, sustainable building features that are
activity and Including instances of overproduction, included in the project scope must be conducive to the op-
process redundancy, excessive checks/signoffs, and erational purpose of the building. For example, photovoltaic
sequences activities that did not generate outputs cells made good business and sustainable sense on the South
Lack of process Project delivery plan: A simplified process map Campus project in southern California. Yet, use of this clean
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transparency that clearly communicates the delivery process. energy source was not suited to the climate of the Oregon-
This tool improved process transparency and based port of Portland project.
helped to better manage customer expectations 4. Early selection of team members with sustainable experi-
Segregated Integrate department workgroups: Emphasis ence: Teaming is a critical part of sustainable building deliv-
department was placed on increased involvement from O&M ery. At Toyota, project teams are formed early, and include
structure early in the delivery process, i.e., during project specialty contractors and design teams with sustainable
programming through design. This proved to ease project experience. Bringing these disciplines to the table
downstream bottlenecking and help process flow
early in the delivery process engages critical process integra-
Inconsistent Postproject evaluation (PPE): A revised PPE tion and allows system and environmental knowledge to be
feedback and was developed and implemented. This tool
tapped as design begins.
continuous enabled project performance and improvement
improvement opportunities to be consistently captured and
5. Alignment of team member goals and project goals: In
mechanisms evaluated addition to selecting the project team early, Toyota spends
time before the project commences to clearly define success
for the project. Team members share their needs for project
limbo for weeks before they transitioned to Business Case Devel- success and alignment is sought. This process provides a
opment because of this overburdening. In other examples, some clear benchmark for direction throughout the project and for
of the procedures adopted by Toyota reflected institutionalized performance assessment at completion.
waste, especially activities that were performed because that was These processes are employed regardless of whether LEED cer-
the “Toyota approach.” An example of this is the three Project tification is being sought for a building or not. Seamlessly weav-
Initiation meetings performed. Although these had always been ing the activities into Toyota’s delivery process allows sustainable
done, they could be combined to one or two meetings and reduce outcomes to be realized at little or no extra cost.
waste.
Improvement Ideas and Filter
Assessment of Toyota’s Sustainable Building Delivery
The delivery process map has been instrumental in analyzing
Process
Toyota’s success at sustainable building delivery, but has played
Activities were then assessed for their contribution to the delivery an equally important role in revealing and focusing process im-
of Toyota’s sustainable buildings. The process map was instru- provement opportunities. Critical to the success of green facility
mental in recognizing the environmental value of Toyota’s capital delivery is to constantly challenge current levels of performance
facility program as many features were so embedded in the to continuously improve. Advances made by experienced teams in
Toyota process that they were difficult to identify through other design and delivery efficiencies are being reinvested in sustain-
analysis techniques. One example of this is Toyota’s use of the able facilities to offset the costs of more expensive, but efficient
business case to drive the achievement of sustainable goals. The building systems. With 68% waste, Toyota’s delivery process is
established value criteria acted as a lens to assess how specific not particularly “lean” and represents a significant opportunity to
process activities documented by the map fulfilled the needs of achieve efficiencies to reinvest in the sustainability of their facili-
the environment. Table 3 identifies the vital steps throughout the ties. The importance of kaizen or continuous improvement to
life cycle of Toyota’s delivery process and explains their value- Toyota corporate culture has recently been discovered to be at the
added 共i.e., lean兲 contribution. heart of the TPS 共Spear and Bowen 1999兲. Workers in the TPS
The lean elements of Table 3 can be distilled into five core have time deliberately carved out of their schedules to evaluate
value-added processes that contribute to sustainable objectives and experimentally test each process and activity in order to re-
during project delivery. The hallmarks of Toyota’s success at sus- fine current practices before devising a targeted plan for improve-
tainable building delivery include the following. ment 共Spear and Bowen 1999; Ohno 1988; Shingo and Dillon
1. Early evaluation and adoption of environmental consid- 1989兲.
erations: Sustainable objectives are evaluated and adopted Drawing on core lean theory that uses the scientific method to
very early in the Toyota delivery process, typically during test and focus improvement ideas 共Spear and Bowen 1999; Spear
project programming. This enables a clear understanding of 2004兲, an Improvement Ideas Filter was developed for Toyota
sustainable objectives and generates upper management RE&F to capture and evaluate ideas. Aligned with corporate
support. RE&F business objectives, lean principles of continuous im-
2. Business case imperatives: Early evaluation and adoption of provement, and environmental goals, the filter classifies improve-
sustainable objectives allows project budgets to be aligned ment ideas and then assesses each against a series of tests. Table
with environmental project goals. This significantly enhances 4 shows the filter, a number of improvement ideas, and the results
the business case for sustainability as sustainable objectives of their evaluation. Five categories of tests were used to analyze

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


Table 3. “Lean” Element of Toyota’s Sustainable Building Delivery Process
Strategy Steps taken to execute strategy Overall value added
Programming
Identify unique environmental Understand the project needed, e.g., renovation, new Ensures that all environmental opportunities are
opportunities construction, lease. Evaluate site, e.g., location, identified and explored
climate, urban/rural. Assess building type, e.g.,
distribution center, office, port. Analyze client
culture, e.g., progressive, concern for environmental
issues
Determine likely LEED Determine if LEED is appropriate. Does budget Early decision whether to seek LEED certification
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certification allow for it? Understand culture surrounding project,


e.g., users, government, and marketing opportunities
Align sustainable features Understand first costs verses life cycle cost. Assess Business case for sustainability made
with project budgets and understand any potential budget impacts.
Calculate long-term operational savings
Select project team with Require all RFP respondents to discuss relevant Demonstrates ability to achieve sustainable objectives
sustainable experience experience with sustainable facility delivery and how
they will help RE&F achieve environmental goals
Design/Construct
Generate ecostatement Develop a 1–2 page summary of the environmental Communicates sustainable opportunities and objectives
initiatives regarding the project. Determine time and
place for ecocharette. Distribute ecostatement
Conduct design ecocharette Develop environment project features based on Develops sustainable objectives that align with overall
identified opportunities. Establish understanding of project goals
goals throughout project. Seek additional information
if necessary. Identify and take advantage of unique
project features
Revise ecostatement Update ecostatement based on charette results. Finalizes project sustainable objective
Review and realign with project goals if necessary;
assess impact on business case
Monitor on site sustainable Review goals before and during construction. Ensures sustainable goals are achieved on site
programs Educate team. Visit site to ensure proper adherence
to sustainable initiatives
Operate
Educate maintenance staff Inform occupants and operation/maintenance about Makes certain sustainable building features are not
and occupants sustainable building features and corresponding compromised
maintenance requirements
Monitor operational Assess and optimize building system performance to Ensures ongoing building systems performance
performance assure sustainable objectives are continually met

an idea: 共1兲 Promotion of RE&F mission; 共2兲 conformity to the to increase project transparency by developing a project develop-
project business case; 共3兲 adherence to Toyota environmental ment plan to describe the project delivery process to the business
policies; 共4兲 elevation of facility sustainability; and 共5兲 capitaliz- unit 共end user兲. This document shows key project milestones, ex-
ing on Toyota corporate culture. The tests in each category assess plains their purpose, highlights the environmental enhancements
specific attributes of the idea, e.g., the likely effect on budget or occurring, and identifies the points of end user participation and
schedule 共Lapinski 2005兲. The results column is a simple pass key decisions needed. Employed on two projects to help end user
rate 共e.g., for the first idea, 21 of 23 tests passed兲. Based on these participation, end users were surveyed and indicated a strong
results, the ideas are ranked to help prioritize them. The intent of preference for this tool to help them understand the process and
the filter is to objectively and systematically focus employee at- make timely decisions so as not to unduly delay the projects.
tention on the ideas that will generate the greatest value to the These results are documented in Lapinski 共2005兲.
organization.
To test the filter, the two top ideas that passed through the filter
were implemented and their process impact was assessed. The
Postproject Evaluation was revamped to shorten the feedback Conclusions
loop to the project team by executing one additional evaluation at
the end of design. Having implemented the new PPE process on Many capital facility owners and building project teams make
three projects, follow-up surveys were performed that showed mistakes early due to inexperience on the unique and challenging
that the project teams found the revised approach very useful for requirements of green buildings. On Toyota’s South Campus
recognizing deficiencies and enabling them the opportunity to project, a LEED Gold certified building was procured at no addi-
make corrections before project completion. This is not possible tional cost with respect to conventional facilities of similar size
with the original PPE at project completion. The second idea was and scope. To understand Toyota’s success, the lean principles of

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


Table 4. Continuous Improvement Filter
Improvement idea 共idea classification: Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5 Results
1–flow, 2—complexity, 3–transparency,
4–Integration, 5–continuous improve- Test Test Test Test Test Total score rank
ment mechanism兲 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Yes
5 Revise the Postproject evaluation X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 21 91% 1
process
3 Identify project driver early in the X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16 70% 11 tied
process
3 Better manage project expectations X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 19 83% 2
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1 Increase interaction between design X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16 70% 11 tied


team and contractor throughout
project process
2 Streamline project delivery meeting X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 14 61% 15 tied
structure and frequency 共i.e.,
kickoff meetings for SD, DD, and
CD兲
3 Further integrate sustainable X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17 74% 8 tied
objectives into project delivery
process
4 Select core project team earlier in X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17 74% 8 tied
project process
4 Utilize subcontractor expertise to X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 17 74% 8 tied
improve project design and
constructability
4 Increase supplier input during X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18 78% 3 tied
design
5 Advance end user education X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 14 61% 15 tied
regarding sustainable building
objectives
3 Improve internal and external X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16 70% 11 tied
process communication
2 Research then implement X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18 78% 3 tied
alternative project delivery methods
1 Streamline the capital budgeting X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16 70% 11 tied
process
2 Decrease business case X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 16 70% 11 tied
development time
1 Implement an integrated project X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18 78% 3 tied
team approach throughout
2 Streamline the second delivery X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18 78% 3 tied
transition
2 Work to standardize repetitive work X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 18 78% 3 tied

the TPS were utilized to map and assess value and waste within fact that Toyota adopts precisely the same process regardless of
their sustainable building delivery process. The rigor at which the whether projects pursue LEED certification or end up with few
map was generated and assessed provided deep insight and un- sustainable features.
derstanding regarding the strategy and capabilities Toyota used to Although other process models have carefully documented the
successfully deliver sustainable buildings. Apart from these suc- building delivery process, this modeling approach and resulting
cesses, opportunities to eliminate process waste were also identi- process map is one of the first to examine the entire sustainable
fied by the process map. building delivery process, from building inception through turn-
The detail of these maps allowed evaluation of the value- over. This enabled unique and critical information to be obtained
generating and waste-laden properties of each process. While not and allowed the evaluation of the Toyota delivery process for
being particularly lean overall, the process map analysis showed sustainable buildings. Unique to this evaluation is the inclusion of
that Toyota employed a small number of key lean processes: 共1兲 both the end user and environment needs in relation to value and
Their decision to evaluate and adopt sustainable objectives very waste.
early in the process, even as early as capital budgeting; 共2兲 the The process map played a vital role in providing the means to
alignment of sustainable objectives to the business case of the identify and understand in clear terms the critical value added
project; 共3兲 the identification and pursuit of building features that steps in Toyota’s delivery process for sustainable buildings. This
naturally align with sustainability; 共4兲 the selection of an experi- map was vital for observing many of the features of Toyota’s
enced design and construction team early in the project, and 共5兲 project delivery program as the important features were not espe-
investing time to align individual team member goals with project cially clear when observed through other methodologies. Through
goals. The seamlessness of this approach is demonstrated by the process improvement that targets increasing value and eliminating

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J. Constr. Eng. Manage., 2006, 132(10): 1083-1091


process waste, the insights gained at Toyota hold great potential Lapinski, A. R. 共2005兲. “Delivering sustainability: Mapping Toyota
for low-cost sustainable buildings throughout the AEC industry. Motor Sales’ corporate facility delivery process.” MS thesis, Architec-
tural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University
Park, Pa.
Lapinski, A., Horman, M., and Riley, D. 共2005兲. “Delivering sustainabil-
Acknowledgments
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共PACE兲 at Penn State for their support of this research. Pristin, T. 共2003兲. “Toyota’s new main campus: Green goes mainstream.”
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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 7, July-2012 1
ISSN 2229-5518

LEAN AND GREEN CONSTRUCTION


Ritu Ahuja

Abstract— Today, the construction industry is facing a number of problems which include cost overrun, completion delay, low productivit y, poor quality.
These inherent problems need to be solved and taken care of in order to bring an overall change and improvement in the current scenario of the
construction industries. The need for the change can only be resolved by the Lean construction and Lean project management approach. Today, people
have started to be concerned about the 4 R’s i.e. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Regulate. In the recent years, eliminating the ‘concept of waste’ and
creating a healthier environment through design and management has become a prime goal, thus involving the issues of sustaina bility in construction.
The paper would bring out the deep connections of the lean and green philosophies, both seeking to reduce waste. It would explore as to how the lean
strategy in the construction industries help to bring out a green and sustainable built environment.

Index Terms— Lean Construction, green, Sustainable construction, sustainability, environment, sustainable development, lean principles.

——————————  ——————————

1. INTRODUCTION in Lean production. Value management aims to maximize


value and eliminate waste. Recently more studies have
The construction industry plays a significant role in introduced the environment as an additional ―customer‖
economic growth, both directly through its activities, and for sustainable facilities (Horman et al., 2004; Lapinski et
indirectly through the provision of buildings and al., 2005). Minimal building impact, maximum building
infrastructures for the smooth functioning of businesses. system efficiency, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and a
However, the construction industry is highly challenged as healthy, productive environment for occupants are the key
a 3D‘s industry – dirty, dangerous and demanding. features of the lean and green construction. The social
Lean production focuses on eliminating waste and impact of facilities has been one of the critical concerns in
maximizing productivity through the pull system, the architecture industry. It is hard to measure the social
employee involvement, continuous improvement, etc. impacts of facilities on humans and communities. Together
Much has been discussed about the waste elimination and with the economic and environmental bottom lines, the
productivity improvement that can be achieved by social bottom lines also included in Sustainability. Lean
applying the lean concept. However, as the consideration of construction needs to identify sustainable values including
the environment is becoming an increasingly important economic, environmental and social values as important
part of the construction culture, there is a need to factors in implementing sustainable construction.
investigate the applicability of the lean concept to achieve
environmental sustainability, which is often used Lean Design
interchangeably with the term ―green‖.
It is a process that includes various construction
techniques and materials to produce value to an owner.
2. THE PRACTICAL RELATIONSHIP This process is very important considering the impacts to
BETWEEN LEAN METHODS AND the overall life of a facility. The green facilities can only be
SUSTAINABLE IMPACTS- THE LEAN applied to its best in a design contributing to sustainable
DELIVERY PHASES- construction only if the use of green materials, resources
and the construction technologies is comprehensively
The Lean Project Delivery system consists of four coordinated with each other. The impacts of this green
interconnecting phases extending from Project definition to facility phase on the Operation and Management phase are
Design, supply and assembly. (Fig.1) remarkable. One researcher suggests that a mere one
The Project Definition consists of three different percent of the initial costs in the early phase of a project
modules: Needs and Value Determination, Design Criteria address seventy percent of its life cycle costs (Romm, 1994).
and Conceptual design. Defining value and waste is critical In order to minimize environmental impacts and
energy consumption during construction of sustainable
———————————————— facilities, several Lean design methods could be
Assistant Professor, Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Amity implemented: Integrated Design (Whole system design),
University, Noida – 201301, Uttar Pradesh, India; Ph (0091) 8506051102; Design for Maintainability (DFM), Set-based Design, Target
email: rahuja@amity.edu,rituahuja1985@gmail.com Costing, and 3D Modeling.
Integrated Design is one of the most critical
methods for sustainable construction (Hawken et al., 1999;
IJSER © 2012
http://www.ijser.org
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 7, July-2012 2
ISSN 2229-5518

Riley, 2004; Horman et al., 2004; Lapinski et al., 2005).The Just-in-time (JIT) could also be regarded either as
most important feature of the Integrated Design method is an environmentally-friendly method or the opposite. Just-
to integrate various green materials and construction in-time reduces damage and materials (Riley et al., 2005).
technologies by encouraging stakeholders in the design Moreover, this method may reduce the various sources of
phase for maximizing the sustainability of a facility while extra inventory but at the same time, however, the frequent
reducing the need for energy, equipment, or resources. transportation of inventory and materials may cause
volatile organic compounds and CO2 emissions. Several
Lean plants have recognized that a Just-In-Time strategy
has caused more air emissions of volatile organic
compounds in the plants, while contributing flexibility of
operations and reducing inventory level (Rothenberg et al.,
2001). Therefore, the plants have reconfigured some of their
Lean management principles to reduce their air pollution
emissions. Even though applications in the manufacturing
industry and construction industry are not exactly the
same, we need to notice the probabilities and possibilities of
bad environmental impacts from Lean adaptation. The
consideration from the holistic perspective is required to
increase the sustainability of a construction project.

Lean Assembly

One of the most successful procurement methods


Fig. 1. The Lean Project Delivery System- The four interconnecting that can be adopted to achieve sustainability is the
phases extending from project definition to Design, Supply and Prefabrication. Economic, social, and environmental
assembly.
indicators from (Horman et al, 2005) examined the impacts
of prefabrication for purposes of sustainability using these
In order to minimize environmental impacts and
indicators (Horman et al., 2005 in Luo et al., 2005). The
energy consumption during construction of sustainable
features of prefabrication on sustainable constructions
facilities, several Lean design methods could be
include:
implemented: Integrated Design (Whole system design),
- Increased potential of improved supply chain integration
Design for Maintainability (DFM), Set-based Design, Target
of green materials
Costing, and 3D Modeling.
- Safer working conditions
Integrated Design is one of the most critical
- Reduced environmental impact due to transferring
methods for sustainable construction (Hawken et al., 1999;
workers, machines, staked materials, temporary structures
Riley, 2004; Horman et al., 2004; Lapinski et al., 2005).The
and onsite activities to a prefabrication plant
most important feature of the Integrated Design method is
- Easier recycling of materials in an off-site environment
to integrate various green materials and construction
- Enhanced flexibility and adaptability
technologies by encouraging stakeholders in the design
- Reduced overall life cycle cost
phase for maximizing the sustainability of a facility while
- Reduced economic impact in local communities.
reducing the need for energy, equipment, or resources.
Design for Maintainability (DFM) is a design
Prefabrication may have both sustainable benefits
strategy focusing on the reliability and ease of maintenance
and disadvantages depending on the exact conditions of a
of a facility (Dahl et al., 2005). These methods increase the
project. These impacts fall into three categories: economic,
importance of O&M in the design phase of a facility.
social, and environmental. Thus, economically, one
Operations & maintenance (O&M) costs are the largest
advantage is the reduced cost of prefabricated units as
portion of the total expenditures over the life of the facility,
opposed to on-site units. Socially the working conditions
typically accounting for 60-85% of the life cycle cost. The
are safer and more stable in prefabricated construction than
safety and wellbeing of the occupants and of a community
they are on-site. Environmentally, this method may
can be ensured by addressing social issues during the
improve the supply chain for green materials, one aspect of
design phase in a sustainable construction project.
green facilities. Yet, there are some problems as well.
Moreover, these social benefits may improve external
Economically, and socially, less local labour is needed, thus
images of the sustainable construction project.
the salaries of the workers do not contribute to the local
Lean Supply economy. Environmentally, this process may consume
more energy for transportation of prefabricated products
and emit more air pollution.
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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 7, July-2012 3
ISSN 2229-5518

A contractor implementing sustainable the sustainable construction of a facility, while several Lean
construction should identify both benefits and construction practices reveal no relationship or negative
disadvantages of prefabrication and reference them for the relationships.
selection of the best procurement method using a holistic Like most industrial processes, current construction
view over the life cycle of a project. practices are linear. They use energy and natural resources,
Kaizen, which means continuous improvement in convert them to the built environment, and discharge
Japanese, is a core component of Lean production not only waste. The large quantities of debris left over from
for economic purposes, but also for social and demolished buildings are examples of waste from a linear
environmental purposes in sustainable construction. Kaizen process. Experts recommend a cyclical construction process
plays a key role in improving the current status for that puts a greater emphasis on recycled, renewed, and
sustainable construction. All sustainable indicators may be reused resources. This cyclical construction approach
improved through Kaizen. should be accompanied by reductions in energy and
Another potential tool for sustainable perfection is resource use. The cyclical method could conceivably reuse
Kaikaku. Kaikaku (Kaizen events), means a rapid process of much of a discarded building to erect a new one in its place.
improvement, is a team activity designed to eliminate The adoption of this concept is likely in developing nations
waste and make rapid changes for product and process only if industry, academia, and government join forces and
improvement in the workplace. This strategy is employed address it as a long-term goal, but with a plan for gradual,
to get workers with multiple organizational functions on measurable progress towards it attainment.
different levels to unite in improving processes and The Lean principles emphasise on eliminating
addressing problems. When implementing chosen process and material wastes and which can further result to
improvements, the team rapidly employs inexpensive the green construction which emphasise on the energy
solutions usually within three days. Kaikaku can create efficiency and the cost efficiency. The Lean and green
reduced pollution and material waste. Environmental Construction philosophy can tremendously improve the
Health and Safety staff must participate in Kaizen events needs and result in high productivity of the construction
due to the possibility of non-compliance and exposure of industry. The lean and green theories both compliment
workers to hazards. Suggestions may be made by EHS staff each other.
to facilitate the process (US EPA, 2006). Lean construction is all about removing waste
from the construction process, thus making it most efficient.
Green construction also emphasises and focuses on the
removal of waste from the construction process but also
adds an environmental dimension to lean construction. The
green construction in addition to the theories of lean
construction also focuses on the recycling, reusing of the
resources thus making the process and the project cost
efficient and most productive.

Fig. 2. Lean Methods and Sustainable Impacts – The quantitative


assessment on the sustainability of a construction project.

Fig. 3. Relationship between sustainable development and Lean


production – The four interconnecting phases of Lean Project delivery
Figure 2 illustrates a quantitative assessment of the System.
previously discussed methods on the sustainability of a
construction project. Most lean construction methods
provide positive economic impacts for sustainable facilities
In the figure 3, the four interconnecting phases of the Lean
while showing several no-impacts or negative impacts on
Project Delivery System (LPDS) extending from project
social and environmental aspects. The table shows concrete
definition to design, supply, and assembly are used to
relationships between the Lean construction methods and
illustrate the Lean construction process (Ballard, 2000).
IJSER © 2012
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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 3, Issue 7, July-2012 4
ISSN 2229-5518

Addressing sustainable issues, such as economic, social, comparison of visions from various countries‖ . CIB Report 225,
and environmental values as the requirements of an owner, Rotterdam.
Lean may act from the project definition to the construction [6] Charles J. Kibert (2008), Sustainable Construction, Green building
phase for a sustainable facility. Design and Delivery, second edition.
Lean principles can be implemented in the design [7] Cusumano, M.A. (1994). ―The Limits of ‗Lean‘,‖ Sloan Management
phase of the project to attain cost reduction and enhance Review, vol. 35, no. 4, Summer; pp. 27-32.
sustainability. Value Stream mapping is a good example of [8] Degani, C.M. and Cardoso, F.F. (2002). ―Environmental
making a project most efficient from the design phase to the Performance and Lean Construction Concepts: Can We Talk
construction phase. The value stream mapping (VSM) is a about A 'Clean Construction'?‖ Proceedings IGLC-10, Gramado,
tool created by the lean production movement for Brazil. (Conference proceedings)
redesigning the productive systems. A value stream map is [9] Green S. D; ―The Future of Lean Construction: A Brave New
a complete model of the project that reveals issues hidden World‖, International Conference on Lean Construction; Brighton;
in current approaches. Value stream maps can be 2000. (Conference proceedings)
[10] Helper, S. and Clifford, P. (1997). ―Can Green Be Lean?‖ paper
understood as process flow charts that identify what action
presented to the Academy of Management meetings, Boston, MA
releases work to the next operation.
[11] Horman, M.J., Riley, D., Pulaski, M.H., and Leyenberger, C. (2004).
"Lean and Green: Integrating Sustainability and Lean
3. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION Construction." CIB World Building Congress, Toronto, Canada.
[12] Howell G.A.(1999), ― What is Lean Construction-1999‖ 26-28 July
The research tries to bring out the need for the 1999, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. (Conference
implementation of lean philosophy in the construction proceedings)
industry. The values and the principles of the Lean [13] Howell G.A.; Ballard G. (1999), ―Bringing light to the dark side of
construction and clearly discussed and compared with the Lean Construction‖, International Conference on Lean Construction;
present scenario of the industry. The main reason for the Berkley . (Conference proceedings)
evolution of Lean Construction is the incompleteness of the [14] Huovila, P. and Koskela, L. (1998). ―Contribution of the Principles
typical construction followed today. Lean Construction of Lean Construction to Meet the Challenges of Sustainable
should be adapted and considered as it can solve many Development” Proceedings IGLC-6 Guaruja, Brazil . (Conference
problems of the construction industry and the project proceedings)
management as the cost over run, poor quality and the [15] Jin-Woo Bae and Yong-Woo Kim (2007), ―Sustainable Value On
delays. Construction Project And Application Of Lean Construction‖,
The importance of environmental aspects cannot be Proceedings IGLC-15, July 2007, Michigan, USA. (Conference
separated from the lean construction as they add value to proceedings)
each other when combined and used correctly. The [16] Lapinski, A., Horman, M.J., and Riley, D. (2005). ―Delivering
methods of lean construction should be extended to sustainability: lean principles for green projects‖ Proceedings of the
environmental planning to help improving the efficiency of Construction Research Congress, San Diego, California. (Conference
the production management process. proceedings)
In this paper, most of the lean construction methods [17] Luo, Y., Riley, D., and Horman, M.J. (2005). ―Lean Principles for
and the green construction methods are studied and Prefabrication in Green Design-Build (GDB) Projects‖ Proceedings
examined. Although there are many other lean construction IGLC-13 Sydney, Australia. (Conference proceedings)
methods which are not been examined for sustainability, [18] Wu Peng and Low Sui Pheng (2011), ―Lean and green: emerging
but if studied in future, will surely have a possibility for issues in the construction industry – a case study‖ 20-21 Sep 2011,
sustainable purpose. EPPM, Singapore

REFERENCES

[1] Ballard G., Howell G. (1994), ―Implementing lean construction:


Improving downstream performance‖.
[2] Ballard G., Howell G. (1998), ―Implementing lean construction:
Understanding and Action‖, Presented at the Annual Conf.
International Group for Lean Construction.
[3] Ballard, G. (2000). ―Lean project delivery system.‖ Lean
Construction Institute White Paper No. 8, Lean Construction Institute,
Ketchum, Id.
[4] Ballard G & Howell AG. (2003) Lean Project Management.
Building Research and Information, 31(2), 119-113
[5] Bourdeau, L., Huovila, P., Lanting, R., and Gilham, A. (1998),
―Sustainable Development and the Future of Construction- A
IJSER © 2012
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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99

AicQoL 2013 Langkawi


AMER International Conference on Quality of Life
Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa, Langkawi, Malaysia, 6-8 April 2013
"Quality of Life in the Built and Natural Environment"

Sustainability through Lean Construction Approach: A


literature review
Mohd Arif Marhani a*, Aini Jaapara, Nor Azmi Ahmad Baria, Mardhiah Zawawib
a
Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam 40450, Malaysia
b
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn, Batu Pahat 86400, Malaysia

Abstract

Lean construction (LC) is excellent in managing the construction process and achieving the by
eliminating waste. The objectives of this paper are to provide with fundamental knowledge of LC and highlight the
barriers of its implementation. The literature reviews has been conducted through relevant databases. It was found
that there is a need for more holistic approaches to be adopted in LC implementation such as health and safety, and
six sigma. A systematic training and research are also found vital to provide good interaction and collaboration with
the stakeholders. LC is also capable to enhance sustainability in construction thus the quality of life for future
Malaysian construction industry.
© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
© 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Association of
Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Association of Malaysian Environment-Behavior Researchers,
Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers, AMER (ABRA Malaysia).
AMER (ABRA malaysia).

Keywords: Lean Construction; sustainable development; quality of life; Malaysian construction industry

1. Introduction

Sustainability has been defined as economic growth that meets the current generation
compromising the opportunity and the potential for future generation needs (WCED, 1987 and El-Zeney,
2011). Sustainable construction is also regarded as a way forwards for the construction industry to achieve
sustainability in development, while taking environmental, socio-economic and cultural issues into
consideration (Shafii et al., 2006). In order to accelerate the sustainability awareness among construction
players, the government of Malaysia has allocated RM 20 billion in the Budget 2010 (Ministry of Finance,

*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-03-55444376; fax: +6-03-55444353.
E-mail address: arif2713@salam.uitm.edu.my.

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license.
Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the Association of Malaysian Environment-Behavior Researchers, AMER (ABRA malaysia).
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.07.182
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99 91

2012). In the budget, emphasise and promotion on the green buildings initiatives have been highlighted
with attention in its ability to reduce the overall cost while maintaining the quality of environment. Earlier
on, the government has launched the National Green Technology Policy to provide guidance towards the
management of a sustainable environment (The Star Online, 2009). Hence, Budget 2010 is a continuity of
the earlier green policy formulated by the government.
In materialising this effort, the construction industry is urged to move from traditional wet construction
method towards environmental friendly, energy efficient and less waste generation methods of
construction (Abdullah et al., 2009). To achieve as a developed nation status in 2020, the great demands
on the infrastructure projects in Malaysia has resulted in a large quantity of construction waste (Begum et
al., 2010) which comprises of 28.34% wastes generated from the construction activities (Mohd Nasir et
al., 1998). This phenomenon called the urgency to the industry to change its current practices at reducing
and eliminating wastage. Due to its great potential in fulfilling objectives in term of increasing the
value and productivity of a construction project, LC is seen as an alternative approach that can be
implemented to the construction industry. LC is a concept derived from manufacturing industry (Salem et
al., 2006 and Koskela, 1992), adopted in construction with its main aims to minimise waste in the
construction projects. Yahya and Mohamad (2011) concluded that LC is a proven method in managing
and improving the construction process, hence profitability can be delivered by using the right principles
and resources as well its ability to deliver things right the first time.
This paper is aimed to provide the background literature of LC and future direction of LC in Malaysia.
The objectives of this paper are to provide the fundamental knowledge of LC and highlight the barriers of
its implementation. An extensive literature reviews have been conducted by retrieving related articles
from journals ranging from 1992 to June 2012. From the literature search, it was found that LC has the
ability in improving the performance of construction projects particularly in reducing site waste,
construction time and overall construction cost, improving quality of the projects and environmental as
whole.

2. Fundamental knowledge of LC

From the literature reviews conducted, many definitions of LC have been discovered indicating the
positive growth of lean methodology as well as its diversity. The definitions stated below would best
describe the methodology and application of LC:-

Table 1. Definition of LC

Definitions Keywords Authors


LC is a production management based approach to project delivery - a Production management based; Lean
new way to design and build capital facilities. Lean production maximise value and minimise Construction
management has caused a revolution in manufacturing design, supply waste Institute (2012)
and assembly. LC extends from the objectives of a lean production
system - maximise value and minimise waste - to specific techniques
and applies them in a new project delivery process
Lean construction is the practical application of lean manufacturing Practical application to building Lukowski
principles, or lean thinking, to the building environment environment (2010)
Lean is about achieving a balanced use of people, materials and Balanced use of people, materials Lim (2008)
resources. This allows companies to reduce costs, eliminate waste and and resources; reduce costs,
deliver projects on time and it is not about trimming everything to the eliminate waste and deliver
bone and squeezing more out of what is left. projects on time
92 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99

Set of techniques; a discourse; a Green and May


set - socio-technical paradigm; a (2005)
cultural commodity

LC is a big scale of adaptation from the Japanese manufacturing Manufacturing principles; Bertelsen
principles and the concept is implemented to the construction process construction process (2004)
Lean construction is much like the current practice as the goal of Meeting customer needs; less of Howell (1999)
better meeting customer needs while using less of everything everything
Advantages of the new production philosophy in terms of Philosophy of productivity; quality Koskela (1992)
productivity, quality, and indicators were solid enough in practice in
order to enhance the rapid diffusion of the new principles

Koskela (1992) introduced the philosophy of productivity and quality to the construction industry,
aimed to improve the rapid diffusion of the new principles to the construction process. Generally, this
new production philosophy is an adaptation from the manufacturing industry (Bertelsen, 2004; Lukowski,
2012; Lean Construction Institute, 2012), which requires specific key concepts or techniques to be
implemented in project delivery. On the other hand, most of the researchers emphasised that LC concept
is all about minimising construction waste (Howell, 1999; Lim, 2008; Lean Construction Institute, 2012)
and meeting (Howell, 1999). Lim (2008) viewed that lean is about achieving a
balanced use of resources, which allows the organisation to reduce costs, eliminate waste and deliver
projects on time. Lean Construction Institutes (2012) further emphasised that the objectives of lean is to
maximise value and minimise the wastage using a specified techniques and applies them in the new
project delivery. Hence, LC can be regarded as a continuous improvement in the construction process,
aimed at reducing waste of resources while increasing the value of the project to the client. Holistic
approaches to the key concepts can be added and synergised in order to move towards sustainable and
greener environment.
Lean Construction Institute (2012) defined that LC is a production management based, a new way that
.
related effort to cost saving, ensuring high quality of the end product, boosting confidence level and
safety of the construction workers; and maintaining the sustainability of the project itself. Conversely,
Green and May (2005) viewed that this concept is a socio-technical paradigm that valuable to the cultural
commodity.
According to Koskela (1992), there were 11 basic principles to LC, which were to reduce the share of
non value-adding activities, increase output value through systematic consideration of customer
requirements, reduce variability, reduce cycle time, minimise the number of steps, parts and linkages,
increase output flexibility, increase process transparency, focus control on the complete process, build
continuous improvement into the process, balance flow improvement with conversion improvement and
benchmarking. Later, Womack and Jones (1996) have simplified further the LC principles stated by
Koskela (1992) into five LC principles, which are specified
the value stream, make the value-creating flow, establishing client pull at the right time and pursue
perfection for continuous improvement. These five principles are further confirmed by Lim (2008), Lean
Enterprise Institute (2009) and Bashir et al. (2011) as able to be implemented to the total flow process and
its sub-process in the construction industry. On top of that, by implementing these five principles would
lead the least amount of accomplishment, materials and resources while maintaining the needs.
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99 93

3. Key concepts of LC

Many established researchers such as Abdullah et al. (2009), Jorgensen and Emmitt (2008), Lim
(2008) and Koskela (1992) have confirmed that LC offers many benefits when implemented in the
construction projects. The main advantage is construction companies could cut down the construction
cost due to use of correct materials and less waste in the sites (Suresh et al., 2011) due to proper project
planning. Besides, by having a proper project planning, it would shorten the duration of the construction
project and promote the quality and sustainability of the project itself.
There are many key concepts or tools of LC that can be adopted throughout the project phases by the
stakeholders. In earlier stage of its implementation, Koskela (1992) proposed three principles of
production philosophy to be used at early project phase, which include tools
circles), a manufacturing method and a management philosophy (i.e. Just-In-Time (JIT) and Total Quality
Control (TQC)). Some of the examples of the key concepts are JIT, TQC, Total Productive Maintenance
(TPM), Employee involvement, Continuous improvement, Benchmarking, Time based competition,
Concurrent engineering (CE), Value based strategy (or management), Visual management, Re-
engineering and Lean manufacturing. In addition, Alinaitwe (2009) has simplified and depicted the key
concepts of LC included JIT, Total Quality Management (TQM), Business Process Re-engineering
(BPR), CE and Last Planner System (LPS); Teamwork and Value Based Management (VBM) (Harris and
McCaffer, 1997).
Salem et al. (2005) study evaluated the effectiveness of six LC key concepts to the University of
. The data collection methods included observations on sites, interviews,
questionnaires and documentary analysis. The key concepts involved were LPS, increased visualisation,
daily hurdles meetings, first run studies, 5s (housekeeping) process and fail safe for quality and safety.
Based on the findings, the implementation of 5s process and fail safe for quality and safety did not
meet the expectations due to increase of the budget. There was a need for behavioural changes and
training for effective use of key concepts. The rest of the key concepts selected for the project were either
ready to use, or were recommended with some modifications.
Similarly, Adamu and Abdul Hamid (2012) study investigated LPS using four key concepts and
tested them in the construction of housing units in Yobe State Government of Nigeria. Due to some
constraints, 5s was not tested. The data collection methods included direct involvement in the production
management, interviews and questionnaires. Based on the findings, effective training and full
implementation of LPS and partial implementation of the other key concepts have reduced and eliminated
waste on site. It was also found that there was a need for cooperation of top management in order to
improve the interest of LC amongst the stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Suresh et al. (2011) introduced nine primary key concepts of LC that could be
implemented in the LC practice. These key concepts were essential to the implementation of LC, which
are LPS, productive meetings, increased visualisation, off-site prefabrication, 5s/5C, mistake-
proofing/poka-yoke, root cause ana The conclusion of the
study showed that there is no need to use all of these key concepts in the construction project.
The literature search has also found that there is a demand for more holistic approaches to be
integrated in the existing LC key concepts application with other concepts. Bashir et al. (2011),
introduced health and safety approach in the implementation of lean principles. The OHSAS 18001 could
be incorporated with the key concepts of LC. OHSAS 18001 has been tested and internationally
recognised to improve health and safety performance of the construction company. As a result, by
having a safer and conducive workplace at sites, it would increase the productivity of the project and gave
job satisfaction to the client.
94 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99

Moreover, by using LPS as a basis of LC approach, Abdelhamid (2003) suggested Six Sigma
application opportunities in construction projects. Generally, Six Sigma is an organised and efficient
process for strategic process improvement and new product and service development that relies on
statistical methods and the scientific method to make significant reductions in customer defined defect
rates (Linderman et al., 2003). The existence of Six Sigma as a continuous improvement technique in a
project would provide combined, coherent and holistic approach to continuous improvement of the
project (Pepper and Spedding, 2010).
From the literature review, Environmental Management System (EMS) shared the same goal as lean
concept, which is reducing waste. Basically, EMS provides an effective framework on the environment
that can assist companies in fulfilling their responsibilities towards protecting the world environment
(Gbedemah, 2004). By integrating EMS to LC key concepts in the construction sites, it would maximise
However according to
Puvanasvaran et al. (2011), the potentials of both integration remain unexplored since changes within the
business environment and innovative technologies can widely impact operational process and procedures.
Therefore, most of these concepts are interconnected and it is important to understand all the key
concepts of LC, which may improve performance while minimising construction waste (see Fig. 1). The
concept. Hence, it is important
for the stakeholders to responsible and chooses the best approach of the key concepts that right to be
implemented in their construction sites.

Six
Si x Si
Sigm
gmaa
gm

Key
Ke y co
conc
ncep
ep
pts of LC
C

Just-In
I -Time
Maaxiimi
M mise
ise val
alue
lue &
Heal
Health
lth & saffet
ety
ty Total Quality
Miniimi
mise
ise was
astte
te
Management
Bus
usin
ines
esss
Pro
roce
cess
ss Re-
engi
en gine
neererin
ingg
Conc
Co ncururre
rent
nt
Engi
En gine
neer
erin
ingg
Las
astt Pla
lann
nner
er
System
Teamwork
Value Based
Management

Enviro
Envi ronm
nmen
enta
tall
Manage
Mana g mentt
ge
System

Fig. 1. Key concepts of LC


Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99 95

Table 2. Key concepts of lean construction in the construction process

Authors JIT TQM BPR CE LPS Teamwork VBM Health Six EMS
& Sigma
safety
Small et al. Pre- Design

(2011) construction
Pre-
Construction construction

Construction

Puvanasvara Constru
n et al. ction
(2011)
Seppanen et Construction

al. (2010)
Pepper and Pre-

Spedding construction
(2009) Construction

George and Pre- Pre-

Jones (2008) construction construction

Construction Construction

Salem et al. Construction Construction


(2006)
Mohd Yunus Construction

(2006)
Summers Pre-

(2005) construction

Construction

Use

Excellence Construction
(2004)
Bertelsen Construction
(2004)
Abdelhamid Pre-

(2003) construction

Construction

Koskela Construction Design Construction


(1992)
Pre- Use
construction

Construction

Source: Adopted and modified from Marhani et al. (2012)

Meanwhile, Table 2 shows the interaction of key concepts of LC in views to the construction phases,
which are preparation, design, pre-construction, construction and use (RIBA Plan of Work, 2012) derived
from Koskela (1992), Abdelhamid (2003), Bertelsen (2004), Excellence (2004), Summers (2005), Mohd
Yunus (2006), Salem et al. (2006), George and Jones (2008), Pepper and Spedding (2009), Seppanen et
96 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99

al. (2010), Puvanasvaran et al. (2011) and Small et al. (2011). From the above table, it can be concluded
that pre-construction and construction stages are the best time to integrate the key concepts of LC as
suggested by the majority of the researchers. This is due to their criticality in determining resources for
the project during pre-construction (Koskela, 1992) and eliminating of construction waste during
construction (Yahya and Mohamad, 2011). The key concepts of LC should be introduced at the earliest
stage of the construction projects and involvement of the stakeholders should be continued throughout the
entire construction process. By doing so, the stakeholders are capable in identifying the construction
waste and diminishing volatility of a project earlier.

4. Barriers in implementation of LC

Based on the literature review, it can be summarised that there are seven main barriers in
implementing LC (see Fig. 2). Aspects such as managerial, technical, human attitude, the process of LC,
educational, government and financial are among others of the main barriers. According to Abdullah et al.
(2009) and Mossman (2009), lack of commitment from top management of a company was one of the
main barriers in implementing LC. This barrier referred to various aspects that are related to the support
shown by the top management in an organisation. As mentioned earlier by Kim and Park (2006), it was
found that many construction projects are facing lack of support from the top management. In addition,
lack of communication among stakeholders is also occurred in the construction projects (Abdullah et al.,
2009). Hence, it will lead to the disruption and ineffectiveness on the delivery and coordination system.
Without continuous supports from the top management, the stakeholders involved in the construction
industry may face numerous difficulties in adopting LC concept. Besides, the top management of a
construction company should overcome this breakdown in communication so that it will not contribute to
low productivity and quality of the projects.
Alinaite (2009) highlighted that lack of buildable designs was one of the main barriers under technical
aspects. In addition, certainty in the production process and provision of benchmarks were also
contributed as the main barriers during implementation of LC. Meanwhile Tindiwensi (2006) found that
most of architectural designs were lacked of constructability elements due to the limited knowledge about
construction practices and the separation of design from construction contributed to a breakdown of the
production process during construction. This will give impact in the implemention of LC specifically to
ll stakeholders should involve from the pre-construction stage and
taking into consideration the buildability and constructibility of design and process. By doing so, changes
on designs duringconstruction stage can be avoided that could disturb the production process.
Howell (1999) added that human attitude is one of the main aspects that slowed down the execution of
LC in the industry, especially during the physical implementation phase. According to Kim and Park
(2006), the attitude of the stakeholders concerned in a construction project towards the LC concept was a
sensitive factor that in actual fact influenced the success of implementing LC concept. Abdullah et al.
(2009) further explained that the attitude here referred to the tendency regarding intent, commitment and
co-operation that needed to be presented within the stakeholders if they wanted to implement LC
successfully. This kind of thinking will thus determine their performance of work and will affect the
productivity of a construction project.
In addition, the lengthy implementation period of LC process was regarded as the barriers in
implementing LC. Based on Kim and Park (2006), it was discovered that the implementation of LC in
construction projects had resulted in too many meetings and information needed for discussions.
Moreover, these meetings had to be held regularly and took up too much time when poorly managed. This
occurs especially during the pre-construction stage but if this situation is well managed, it will definitely
Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99 97

generated profit and positive effects to the construction company itself especially on boost up their
reputation.
The stakeholders involved in a construction project needed to be given ample training to enable them
to possess the necessary knowledge and expertise in implementing LC concept (Abdullah et al., 2009;
Alinaitwe, 2009 and Mossman, 2009). Inadequate exposure to the requirements for LC implementation
was also regarded as barriers (Abdullah et al., 2009 and Alinaitwe, 2009) in LC implementation. The
training given has to be balanced with the understanding the concept and principles of lean as well as
comprehending the key concepts required to undertake the LC concept. Furthermore, training and
educating the employees may take time and effort. Hence, top management should play an important role
to expand training and education understanding at intensifying of LC concept.
Finally, inflation due to unsafef markets condition for construction, additional construction cost and
poor salaries of professionals (Olatunji, 2008) were the barriers for financial aspects. Lack of incentives
or reward systems in a construction project also led to the barriers in LC wide implementation (Alinaitwe,
2009). Sufficient sources of funding is a must to ensure the construction project runs smoothly. The
provision of contingency cost will help the construction project from inflation or additional construction
cost due to instability of the construction markets.

Mana
Mana
Manage
g riiall
ge

Fina
Fi nanc
na nciia
nc i al
ial Tec
echhn
hnic
hniicall

Barr
Ba rrie
rriers
iers in
impl
implem
lemenenti
ting
ting LC

Gove
Gove
Go vern
rnme
rn ment
ment Huma
Hu mann
attti
atti
tittud
tude
de

Educ
Educat
uc atiio
at iona
iona
nall Proc
Proc
oces
esss of
es of
LC

Fig. 2. Barriers of LC

5. Conclusion

Based on the above discussion, it was shown that there is a need for more holistic approaches to
integrate LC key concepts with other significant aspects, such as health and safety, six sigma and EMS.
From the literature review, it was discovered that by introducing health and safety and six sigma
assessment to a construction project will facilitate the construction company in managing and assuring
their health and safety risks, dealing with qualities and strategies, thus improving their performance. In

as well as minimising construction waste.


The contractors should use c as most of the key concepts are
interconnected between each others. To date, research conducted on standard procedure of LC key
98 Mohd Arif Marhani et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 101 (2013) 90 – 99

concepts is scarce; hence there is a need for a research to be conducted on this potential area.
Furthermore, the potentials of integration of health and safety, six sigma and EMS to the key concepts of
LC are remain unexplored.
Based on the above discussion, there are seven main barriers during implementation of LC, which are
managerial aspects, technical aspects, human attitude aspects, aspects of process of LC, educational
aspects, government aspects and financial aspects. Thus, good strategies play a vital role when
implementing LC in order to overcome these barriers. Among others are the development of systematic
training and research actions on LC, and collaboration among construction companies. A proactive
interaction between stakeholders can be inculcated, which resulted in a healthy competitive environment
among the collaboration companies.
Through LC implementation in the local construction management processes, it is hoped that it will be
able to accommodate the industry with the new knowledge of LC towards sustainable and greener future
of the Malaysian construction industry. Future research in a similar area will be conducted on
construction organisations that have implemented LC concept by observing their practices on site. From
the research, with appropriate methodology the actual key concept adopted in the construction projects
can be investigated. Further suggestion on the possible other tools could also be proposed to the industry
for value adding its existing LC implementation.

References

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Bashir, A.M., Suresh, S., Proverbs, D. & Gameson, R. (2011) A critical, theoretical, review of the impacts of lean construction tools
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September 2011, Bristol, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 249-258.
Begum, R.A., Satari, S.K., and Pereira, J.J. (2010). Waste Generation and Recycling: Comparison of Conventional and
Industrialized Building Systems. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 6(4), 383-388.
Bertelsen, S. (2004). Lean construction: where are we and how to proceed. Retrieved 26 August 2011 from http://www.kth.se
El-zeney, R.M. (2011). Towards sustainable interior design education in Egypt. Asian Journal of Environment-Behaviour Studies, 2,
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Excellence, C. (2004). Effective teamwork: a best practice guide for the construction industry Constructing Excellence , 1-20.
Gbedemah, F.S. (2004). Environment Management System (ISO 14001) Certification in manufacturing companies in Ghana:
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Green, S.D. and May, S. (2005). Building
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Howell, G.A. (1999). What is Lean Construction?. Proceeding Seventh Annual Conference Of International Group Of Lean
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Koskela, L. (1992) Application of the new production philosophy to construction. Tech. Report No. 72. CIFE, Stanford University,
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Lean Construction Institute. (2012). What is lean construction?. Retrieved 13 February 2013 from http://www.leanconstruction.org
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SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION: IS LEAN GREEN?

Ritu Ahuja
Assistant Professor, Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Amity University,
Noida – 201301, Uttar Pradesh, India; Ph (0091) 8506051102; email:
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rituahuja1985@gmail.com, rahuja@amity.edu

ABSTRACT

The paper aims to study the novel concept of ‘Lean Construction’ in the
world. Another intention is to examine how current Lean construction tools and
methods impact the construction and operation of sustainable facilities. The Lean and
green Construction philosophy can tremendously improve the needs and result in
high productivity of the construction industry. The paper also finds out how these
Lean construction tools and methods have evolved to contribute to green
construction. In order to achieve the project aim, there are four main objectives:
1. To investigate the concept of lean and its application to the construction
industry.
2. To define sustainability and identify its application to the construction
industry.
3. To establish a link between the lean and sustainability.
The Lean principles emphasise on eliminating process and material wastes
and which can further result to the green construction which emphasise on the energy
efficiency and the cost efficiency.

Keywords: Lean Construction, green, Sustainable construction, sustainability

INTRODUCTION

The major concern today relates to the 4 R’s i.e. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and
Regulate. In the recent years, eliminating the ‘concept of waste’ and creating a
healthier environment through design and management has become a prime goal,
thus involving the issues of sustainability in construction.
Today, the construction industry is facing a number of problems which
include cost overrun, completion delay, low productivity, poor quality. These
inherent problems need to be solved and taken care of in order to bring an overall
change and improvement in the current scenario of the construction industries. The
need for the change can only be resolved by the Lean construction and Lean project
management approach.
The construction industry lags 10 years behind the manufacturing industry
because of the several reasons. The primary reason being its fragmented approach
rather than an integrated approach. The second important reason is that the
construction industry is far more complex than the manufacturing and thus the
technical innovations are required to be more developed to be significantly
implemented. Lean construction is a new production philosophy which would bring
in revolutionary changes in the construction industry.

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Lean production focuses on eliminating waste and maximizing productivity


through the pull system, employee involvement, continuous improvement, etc. Much
has been discussed about the waste elimination and productivity improvement that
can be achieved by applying the lean concept. However, as the consideration of the
environment is becoming an increasingly important part of the construction culture,
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there is a need to investigate the applicability of the lean concept to achieve


environmental sustainability, which is often used interchangeably with the term
“green”.

LEAN APPROACH

To bring the construction industry at a competitive base, Lean Project


management approach is to be adopted. According to Koskela (1994), the principles,
techniques and tools which are related to the processes of lean production and their
management can be usefully employed by the construction industry.
Lean philosophy is all about designing and operating the right resources at
the right time with right systems. The most essential and important objective of lean
philosophy is to identify, eliminate waste and achieving the customer needs in all
respects. Two very important construction tools are added under lean construction
are the production control and structuring of the work.
According to the Lean construction Institute, LCI, lean construction is a
production management based approach to project delivery. It is a new way to design
and build capital facilities. Lean construction has successfully resulted into
maximising the value and minimising the waste in the construction process. Lean
significantly contributes to the efficiency of the construction industry. The
application of lean in the construction process has resulted into structuring of the
work throughout the process and the improvement of performance of the project.
Lean construction assures to deliver reliable work between specialists in design,
supply and assembly, thus delivering Value to the customers and reducing the waste.

SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION- GREEN CONSTRUCTION-


DEFINITION AND NEED

As the world is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and


surrounding, there is a tremendous focus on all the industries including the
construction industry to adopt the proactive approach to green construction.
Sustainability in construction will not only benefit individuals but also
contribute to the global issues. Sustainability in construction can only be achieved by
rethinking operation in four major areas, i.e., Energy, Materials, Waste and Pollution.
Implementation of changes to achieve sustainability will vary from firm to firm. It
will be different for the larger firms from small and medium sized firms
The figure 1 shows the evolution and challenges of the sustainable construction
concept in a global context.

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Figure 1. Challenges of sustainable construction in a global context

Green construction refers to the planning and management of a project that result
into minimising the impact of construction process on the environment. The impact
of the construction process on the environment can be reduced in the following ways:
1. By enhancing and improving the efficiency of the process.
2. By conservation of water, energy and other resources during the construction
process.
3. By reducing the amount of waste during the construction process and
minimising other activities that might lead to reduce the costs and maximise
the productivity of a project.

WASTES IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Reduction and removal of waste is an important part of lean and green


construction. Using the material resources efficiently can lead to sustainable waste
management. Waste is hardly ever recognised by the project managers which is the
major cause of loss of efficiency and productivity (Koskela 1992). Figure 2 identifies
the seven forms of waste which are over production, conveyance, inventory,
processing, waiting, correction and motion.

Figure 2. Forms of Waste

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We can reduce the level of waste production in the construction industry by


designing such a way that minimum waste is generated, by increasing the efficiency
of the production process, by using the just-in- time tool to prevent the wastage of
unused material, by recycling materials wherever possible and by educating the staff
about waste reduction and material recycling.
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THE PRACTICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LEAN METHODS AND
SUSTAINABLE IMPACTS- THE LEAN DELIVERY PHASES-

The Lean Project Delivery system consists of four interconnecting phases


extending from Project definition to Design, supply and assembly. (Figure 3)
The Project Definition consists of three different modules: Needs and Value
Determination, Design Criteria and Conceptual design. Defining value and waste is
critical in Lean production. Value management aims to maximize value and
eliminate waste. Minimal building impact, maximum building system efficiency,
energy efficiency, waste reduction, and a healthy, productive environment for
occupants are the key features of the lean and green construction. The social impact
of facilities has been one of the critical concerns in the architecture industry. It is
hard to measure the social impacts of facilities on humans and communities. Lean
construction needs to identify sustainable values including economic, environmental
and social values as important factors in implementing sustainable construction.
Lean Design is a process that includes various construction techniques and
materials to produce value to an owner. This process is very important considering
the impacts to the overall life of a facility. The green facilities can only be applied to
its best in a design contributing to sustainable construction only if the use of green
materials, resources and the construction technologies is comprehensively
coordinated with each other.

Figure 3. The Lean Project Delivery System

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In order to minimize environmental impacts and energy consumption during


construction of sustainable facilities, several Lean design methods could be
implemented: Integrated Design (Whole system design), Design for Maintainability
(DFM), Set-based Design, Target Costing, and 3D Modeling.
Lean Supply: Just-in-time (JIT) could also be regarded either as an
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environmentally-friendly method or the opposite. Just-in-time reduces damage and


materials (Riley et al., 2005). Moreover, this method may reduce the various sources
of extra inventory but at the same time, however, the frequent transportation of
inventory and materials may cause volatile organic compounds and CO2 emissions.
Even though applications in the manufacturing industry and construction industry are
not exactly the same, we need to notice the probabilities and possibilities of bad
environmental impacts from Lean adaptation. The consideration from the holistic
perspective is required to increase the sustainability of a construction project.
Lean Assembly: One of the most successful procurement methods that can be
adopted to achieve sustainability is the Prefabrication. Economic, social, and
environmental indicators from (Horman et al, 2005) examined the impacts of
prefabrication for purposes of sustainability using these indicators (Horman et al.,
2005 in Luo et al., 2005). The features of prefabrication on sustainable constructions
include:
• Increased potential of improved supply chain integration of green
materials
• Safer working conditions.
• Reduced environmental impact due to transferring workers, machines,
staked materials, temporary structures and onsite activities to a
prefabrication plant
• Easier recycling of materials in an off-site environment
• Enhanced flexibility and adaptability
• Reduced overall life cycle cost
• Reduced economic impact in local communities.
Prefabrication may have both sustainable benefits and disadvantages
depending on the exact conditions of a project. These impacts fall into three
categories: economic, social, and environmental. Thus, economically, one advantage
is the reduced cost of prefabricated units as opposed to on-site units. Socially the
working conditions are safer and more stable in prefabricated construction than they
are on-site. Environmentally, this method may improve the supply chain for green
materials, one aspect of green facilities. Yet, there are some problems as well.
Economically, and socially, less local labour is needed, thus the salaries of the
workers do not contribute to the local economy. Environmentally, this process may
consume more energy for transportation of prefabricated products and emit more air
pollution.

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Kaizen, which means continuous improvement in Japanese, is a core


component of Lean production not only for economic purposes, but also for social
and environmental purposes in sustainable construction. Kaizen plays a key role in
improving the current status for sustainable construction. All sustainable indicators
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may be improved through Kaizen.


Another potential tool for sustainable perfection is Kaikaku. Kaikaku (Kaizen
events), means a rapid process of improvement, is a team activity designed to
eliminate waste and make rapid changes for product and process improvement in the
workplace. This strategy is employed to get workers with multiple organizational
functions on different levels to unite in improving processes and addressing
problems. When implementing chosen improvements, the team rapidly employs
inexpensive solutions usually within three days. Kaikaku can create reduced
pollution and material waste.

Figure 4. Lean Methods and Sustainable Impacts


Figure 4 illustrates a quantitative assessment of the previously discussed
methods on the sustainability of a construction project. Most lean construction
methods provide positive economic impacts for sustainable facilities while showing
several no-impacts or negative impacts on social and environmental aspects. The
table shows concrete relationships between the Lean construction methods and the
sustainable construction of a facility, while several Lean construction practices reveal
no relationship or negative relationships.
The Lean principles emphasise on eliminating process and material wastes
and which can further result to the green construction which emphasise on the energy
efficiency and the cost efficiency. The Lean and green Construction philosophy can
tremendously improve the needs and result in high productivity of the construction
industry. The lean and green theories both complement each other. The green
construction in addition to the theories of lean construction also focuses on the
recycling, reusing of the resources thus making the process and the project cost
efficient and most productive.

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Figure 5. Relationship between sustainable development and Lean production


In the figure 5, the four interconnecting phases of the Lean Project Delivery
System (LPDS) extending from project definition to design, supply, and assembly
are used to illustrate the Lean construction process (Ballard, 2000). Addressing
sustainable issues, such as economic, social, and environmental values as the
requirements of an owner, Lean may act from the project definition to the
construction phase for a sustainable facility.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

The research tries to bring out the need for the implementation of lean
philosophy in the construction industry. Lean Construction should be adapted and
considered as it can solve many problems of the construction industry and the project
management as the cost over run, poor quality and the delays.
It has been insisted that the Lean philosophies offer the conceptual basis, and
lean construction methods and tools have great possibilities for sustainable
construction (Huovila and Koskela, 1998).The sustainability in a project can be
achieved by following the lean principles. The lean philosophy not only provides the
economic value to the process, but, can also provide the social and environmental
value. This can be achieved by following and improving the green project
management facilities. The lean and green philosophies together can give help the
construction industry more efficient. To make a project lean and green, the research
brings out the three key impacts of lean construction methods to achieve
sustainability:
1. Economic value in a project can be achieved by reduction of cost, saving of
resources, by minimising the operation cost and maximising the productivity
of the process.
2. Social Value can be achieved by making the workplace safe, by being loyal
among the team members and the stakeholders, by keeping in mind the
community welfare and happiness.
3. Environmental Value can be achieved by minimizing the resource depletion,
by saving and preserving the resources and by the removal of waste thus,
preventing the environment from pollution.
The importance of environmental aspects cannot be separated from the lean
construction as they add value to each other when combined and used correctly. The

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methods of lean construction should be extended to environmental planning to help


improving the efficiency of the production management process.
In this paper, most of the lean construction methods and the green
construction methods are studied and examined. Although there are many other lean
construction methods which are not been examined for sustainability, but if studied
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in future, will surely have a possibility for sustainable purpose.

REFERENCES
Ballard G., Howell G. (1994), “Implementing lean construction: Improving
downstream performance”.
Ballard G., Howell G. (1998), “Implementing lean construction: Understanding and
Action”, Presented at the Annual Conf. International Group for Lean
Construction.
Ballard, G. (2000). “Lean project delivery system.” Lean Construction Institute
White Paper No. 8, Lean Construction Institute, Ketchum, Id.
Ballard G & Howell AG. (2003) Lean Project Management. Building Research and
Information, 31(2), 119-113
Bourdeau, L., Huovila, P., Lanting, R., and Gilham, A. (1998), “Sustainable
Development and the Future of Construction- A comparison of visions from
various countries” . CIB Report 225, Rotterdam.
Charles J. Kibert (2008), Sustainable Construction, Green building Design and
Delivery, second edition.
Cusumano, M.A. (1994). “The Limits of ‘Lean’,” Sloan Management Review, vol. 35,
no. 4, Summer; pp. 27-32.
Degani, C.M. and Cardoso, F.F. (2002). “Environmental Performance and Lean
Construction Concepts: Can We Talk about A 'Clean Construction'?”
Proceedings IGLC-10, Gramado, Brazil
Green S. D; “The Future of Lean Construction: A Brave New World”, International
Conference on Lean Construction; Brighton; 2000. (Conference proceedings)
Helper, S. and Clifford, P. (1997). “Can Green Be Lean?” paper presented to the
Academy of Management meetings, Boston, MA
Horman, M.J., Riley, D., Pulaski, M.H., and Leyenberger, C. (2004). "Lean and
Green: Integrating Sustainability and Lean Construction." CIB World
Building Congress, Toronto, Canada.
Howell G.A.(1999), “ What is Lean Construction-1999” 26-28 July 1999, University
of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Huovila, P. and Koskela, L. (1998). “Contribution of the Principles of Lean
Construction to Meet the Challenges of Sustainable Development” Proceedings
IGLC-6 Guaruja, Brazil

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THE INTEGRATION OF LEAN MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY

Ing. Ľubica Kováčová 4. Pull production from customer demand


Technical University of Kosice 5. Meet customer requirements
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 6. Do it right the first time
Department of Materials and Technology
7. Empower workers
Masiarska 74, Košice
lubica.kovacova@tuke.sk 8. Design for rapid changeover
9. Partner with suppliers
Abstract
10. Create a culture of continuous improvement
Lean Production is defined as a business
Sustainable manufacturing is defined as
system for organizing and managing product
the creation of manufactured products that use
development, operations, suppliers, and customer
processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy
relations that requires less human effort, less space,
and natural resources, and are economically sound
less capital, less material, and less time to make
and safe for employees, communities, and
products with fewer defects to precise customer
consumers.” Sustainable manufacturing includes
desires, compared with the previous system of mass
the manufacturing of “sustainable” products and the
production. Sustainable manufacturing is defined as
sustainable manufacturing of all products. The
the creation of manufactured products that use
former includes manufacturing of renewable
processes that are non-polluting, conserve energy
energy, energy efficiency, green building, and other
and natural resources, and are economically sound
“green” & social equity-related products. [3]
and safe for employees, communities, and
consumers. Article discusses the similarities and Green, or sustainable, manufacturing is
differences between lean and sustainability. It defined as a method to “develop technologies to
analyses the gradual extension of the lean direction transform materials without emission of greenhouse
to sustainability. gases, use of non-renewable or toxic materials or
generation of waste”. The term “green“ often used
Key words: Lean Manufacturing, Sustainability interchangeably with “environmentally-safe”. [5]:
The viewpoint of sustainability is the
INTRODUCTION
opposite of financial short-term thinking. Like
Lean management is now widely used lean, it stresses closed-loop, cyclical thinking rather
especially in the automotive industry. Further than linear, goal-oriented thinking. It actually goes
development of lean principles is associated with even farther, into whole-system thinking, which
sustainable development. This article addresses the causes practitioners to look for long-term
unintended consequences of their decisions.
issues of integration of lean and sustainability.
Sustainability assumes that resources are finite, and
Lean Production is defined as a business therefore that resources should be re-used, and re-
system for organizing and managing product used again.
development, operations, suppliers, and customer
relations that requires less human effort, less space, SIMILARITY AND DIFFERENCES
less capital, less material, and less time to make BETWEEN LEAN AND SUSTAINABILITY
products with fewer defects to precise customer
desires, compared with the previous system of Sustainability can be thought of as lean
mass production. extended to a much broader objective. A company
The goal of Lean Manufacturing is familiar with lean will easily grasp sustainability.
described as "to get the right things to the right Lean works when individuals and teams
place at the right time, the first time, while throughout an organization start asking questions
minimizing waste and being open to change". The such as "How does this add value to the customer?"
principles of Lean Manufacturing enabled the and, "How can we do this better?"
company to deliver on demand, minimize Sustainability works the same way —the
inventory, maximize the use of multi-skilled only difference is the decision-making criteria.
employees, flatten the management structure, and Rather than focusing on the economic customer,
focus resources where they were needed. sustainability focuses on three bottom lines —
The ten rules of Lean manufacturing profitability, people, and the planet. It focuses on
management can be summarized [2]: the longer term, on life.
1. Eliminate waste
2. Minimize inventory
3. Maximize flow

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Table 1: Lean and Sustainability are Connected [3]:


LEAN SUSTAINABILITY
Long term philosophy- create value for people, Invest in long term- consider people, community,
community/ including environment/, economy financials, environment
Create the right process to produce the right result Ensure the ecosystem is in balance, if necessary,
intervene in system
Add value by developing people and partners Invest in people- consider stockholders including your
staff and partners/e.r. suppliers/
Continuously making problems visible a solving root Be transparent and consider the whole system vs.
causes drivers organizational learning treating symptoms
Minimize or eliminate waste of any kind Creating waste harms something else in the system

For a company that has started on its lean Since one main objective of sustainability
journey, moving toward sustainability is relatively is to live within nature's income, use of key
easy. Many lean tools are easily adapted and resources, such as materials and energy, must be
extended for sustainability, as illustrated by the monitored as processes are improved or redesigned.
following examples. Besides the metrics that usually guide lean
Value Stream Mapping: Widely used in lean operations, a few others are often associated with
thinking to see a whole picture and decide where to sustainability.
focus improvement efforts, it readily extends to Examples of environmental metrics:
sustainability, especially to the environmental side.
Just add appropriate metrics, such as hazardous  Energy used per unit of output
material used/generated, water used, and energy  Percent of energy from renewable resources
used.  Yield: Mass of finished goods per mass of
Work Teams: Just as in lean, work teams are the raw material consumed
heart of sustainability — they do most of the  Percent of raw materials reused or from
thinking, the data gathering, the analysis, the idea recycled sources
generating, and the implementing. And work teams,
by their very nature, implement the social side of  Emissions, especially greenhouse gas
sustainability. emissions, both total and per unit of output
5S: For sustainability, some companies add a sixth  Effluents discharged per unit of output
S, Safety, and seventh S, Sustainability.
Analysis Tools: Teams focusing on sustainability The green wastes are very different from
can incorporate traditional lean analytical tools, the lean wastes. Lean seeks to eliminate traditional
such as Pareto charts, Ishikawa diagrams, and the production objectives like cost or time while green
"5 why's" into their analyses. For example, is concerned with wastes that impact the
hazardous material and releases of toxic substances environment as seen in Table 2
can be analysed as if they were process defects.
Additional Tools for Sustainability
Table 2: Waste identification in green manufacturing [1]:
Concept Description
Permit Compliance Compliance with applicable permits.
Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Over 300 chemicals subject to release.
33/50 Chemicals A subset of chemicals identified by the EPA as priority
candidates for voluntary reductions by industry.
Clean Air Act Toxics 189 chemicals listed in the Clean Air Act as air toxics.
Risk-Weighted Releases Toxic chemicals weighted by their relative toxicity.
Waste Per Unit of Production Percentage of production lost as waste, generally
measured by weight.
Energy Use Total energy use by all aspects of corporate operations;
also expressed as carbon dioxide.
Solid Waste Generations Total solid waste going to landfills or other disposal
facilities.
Product Life Cycle The total impact of a product on the environment from
raw materials sourcing to ultimate disposal.

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