In simple terms, lean construction can be understood as the technique of production developed with the vision of reducing costs, time and materials. According to Lean Construction Institute (LCI), lean construction can be defined as, “the application of lean thinking to the design and construction process creating improved project delivery to meet the client needs and improved efficiency for constructors.”
Lean Construction is the method that employs both operational research and practical development in the design and construction process by the extensive use of lean manufacturing tools and applications to the end-to-end design and construction process. The main aim of such a construction technique is to maximize the benefits and minimize the losses thereby improving the efficiency and sustainability. With due regards, the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) was established in the USA in the year 1997. In recent days, the companies using this technique is increasing steadily.
Principles of Lean Construction
One of the important principles of lean construction is value. Lean construction approach begins with an understanding of what value the customer assigns to the product and services. The establishment of such value allows the company to create a top-down target price.
2. The Value Stream:
The value stream refers to the totality of the product’s entire life cycle right from the raw material phase to the utilization phase and eventual disposal of the product. Steps, materials and other features that deduce the value stream are eliminated.
The clear understanding of the flow is necessary for minimizing the wastes. The idea is to create a systematic flow of the entire process and creating a value chain so that there is no interruption in the manufacturing process.
Pull principle is completely different from the traditional American approach. This principle is necessary for ensuring the flow by making sure the synchronization of the process. It also ensures nothing is produced unless the customer asks for it.
Lean construction is based on the principle that perfection can be achieved through an intensive series of work and not immediately.
Advantages of Lean Construction
1. It is focused on the overall reduction of cost and wastes thereby making it a cost-effective and efficient process of construction.
2. The time of construction can be greatly reduced by the use of lean construction techniques. Hence, faster completion can be attained.
3. The deep understanding of the process fosters the safety at the site and results in fewer accidents.
4. This method ensures increased productivity and efficiency.
5. The overall results are improved as a result of increased communication.
6. The stress on the workers and the entire project management team is greatly reduced.
7. Worker accountability is boosted immensely.
8. Adoption of this method increases job satisfaction.
Disadvantages of Lean Construction
1. The effectiveness of this depends upon the compliance of the entire management team and the workers on the plan.
2. The workers may be reluctant to adapt to the new construction methodology.
3. The management team must be able to guide the employees directly and efficiently for better results.
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