What Is Lean Construction & Why You Should Care

What is Lean Construction?

A term coined by the International Group for Lean Construction in 1993, lean construction was designed as a way to improve product delivery in the construction industry. This was in response to a steady decline in productivity, which made it necessary to review construction management. However, the term was made popular by the Toyota Company. According to Forbes, lean construction makes Toyota the most efficient auto manufacturer in the world. This can be contributed to the fact that lean production has been applied to most of their business operations.

Lean construction or production is simply defined as production that takes less time, requires less labor and produces low material waste. It essentially minimizes waste and maximizes value by focusing on customer needs. It’s applied through design, procurement, manufacture and construction.

The integrated technique requires that suppliers, contractors and clients work together to deliver a valuable product. Unlike manufacturing, lean construction is not construction based, its production based. Successful production systems are formed when all functions of the project are integrated.

Why Does it Matter?

The use of lean construction matters because it has many benefits for the companies that implement the techniques. The most obvious benefit is that building capital assets in a more efficient manner causes a ripple effect that impacts the client, the supplier, the contractor, the environment and even future users of the manufacturing facility. Other benefits include:

  • Better workflow
  • Increased output
  • Reduction of production time
  • Constructive utilization of materials
  • Reduces environmental waste

All of these benefits mean manufacturers will be better capable of delivering products of value. Something that will happen because lean construction makes it necessary for project managers to be more attentive to their company’s processes, the people involved in production and the delivery of every service. In the lean production process, collaboration between management and production is emphasized, thus creating an environment for greater products.

This means higher quality products for consumers. Through the use of lean construction, projects are repeatable because of the use of recycled and sourced components. The Construction Pro Net website has also reported that companies who use lean techniques reap these benefits and see significant results.

However, the process means scrutiny of a company’s daily practices and production process. This scrutiny makes it easy to identify the value of current processes and any waste that prevents value from being delivered to the consumer. So, lean construction can actually make a company more profitable and flexible.

Why Should One Care About Lean Construction?

Lean construction basically provides better products for consumers. It’s also a ‘green’ process that minimizes waste during production and construction of cars, homes, buildings and so much more; a contribution that can help create a healthier, yet more efficient environment for all.

Basically, one should care about lean construction because it provides better products at faster rates. Consumers get more of what they love without sacrificing quality, which also means more money for the producers of these products.

How is Lean Construction Affecting the World

Lean construction is affecting many industries, including auto manufacturing, construction, infrastructure and energy generation. Toyota has already proven how efficient the process can be in the production of cars, but auto manufacturing is obviously not the only industry where lean construction is having a big impact. The process is highly effective for the construction of buildings, wind power or energy generation and infrastructure.

In the wind power industry, lean construction can highly reduce the costs of building wind farms, which are so high that they often prevent the construction of more farms. Lean techniques can also create more sources of energy. In infrastructure, the techniques can be used to construct better and lower cost structures all over the world. SIP Structures of all types can also be built at faster rates and lower costs.

 

Metal and Glass House Deep in the Forest

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Living in a glass house isn’t always practical, and more often than not, it’s also not very sustainable. But this one, the so-called Hidden Pavilion recently built in a forest near Madrid, Spain, was designed in a way that renders most shortcomings of glass homes null and void.

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All the exterior walls of the Hidden Pavilion are made of glass, which was set into a steel frame. Since the home was built in the middle of a forest and is surrounded by tall trees, privacy is not an issue. The home was also designed and built in a way that did not require chopping down any of the trees. This includes a 200-year-old oak tree, while they also left gaps in the terraced areas of the home so that younger trees will be able to continue growing through them.

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The Hidden Pavilion measures 753 sq ft (70 sq m) and was designed by the firm Penelas Architects as a quiet countryside retreat. It has two floors, as well as a veranda on the second floor and a terrace on the roof. The interior is mostly finished in cherry wood. The first floor houses the bedroom, bathroom and a walk-in closet. The second floor, which is accessible via a spiral staircase, features a spacious kitchen and dining area, and opens onto the veranda, which cantilevers over a small waterfall. Another set of stairs leads to a spacious roof terrace.

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The chimney-like structures on the roof terrace are actually light tubes, which ensure that the interior gets sufficient natural light, since the home is well shaded by trees. The ample shading by the trees also ensures that the interior temperature is comfortable even in the hotter months of the year.

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Construction of the cabin began in 2010, but was put on hold for a while, and then finally completed in December 2016.

Off-Grid Cliff House For Sale

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The so-called Cliff Haven is a home that was built into a cliff in Utah, back in the mid 1980s. Located in the picturesque Montezuma Canyon, it is entirely self-sufficient and can function completely off-the-grid. They are currently selling it in a closed auction, and while they’re promoting it as the perfect place to hide away from the world, it is also a great example of innovative and sustainable architecture.

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Cliff Haven has a total floorspace of 2,100 sq ft (195 sq m) and has more than nine rooms. It features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge, kitchen and dining area, as well as a large outdoor deck. There is also a separate two-car garage, which measures 900-sq ft (83-sq m). The home also features ample glazing throughout, which lets in plenty of natural daylight and aids ventilation. Cliff Haven is being sold together with 12 acres (4.85 hectares) of land on which it stands.

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To make it entirely self-sufficient, the home features quite a few innovative solutions. There is a tunnel behind the home that allows water runoff to escape, as well as circulating cool air. The tunnel can also be used as a fire escape. The home also has its own well, as well as a grove of apple, cherry, peach and other trees, which supply all the needed fruits. There is also a vineyard.

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Rainwater is collected and stored in two 2,000-gallon (7,570-l) tanks and used by the household, and to irrigate the garden. The home gets its power via a solar power array and battery system, though there is also a diesel generator as backup. The home also has and Internet and phone connections.

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Polar Design Build Awarded 39667 SF Ground-Up Auto Dealership for Sullivan Toyota in Kingston, MA – Boston Real Estate Times


Boston Real Estate Times

Polar Design Build Awarded 39667 SF Ground-Up Auto Dealership for Sullivan Toyota in Kingston, MA
Boston Real Estate Times
The new two-story dealership will be constructed using structural steel with ACM and metal insulated panels on the exterior. The 1st floor will be 33,721 s.f. and consist of a showroom enclosed with a glass curtain wall, and a customer waiting area

Polar Design Build awarded 39667 s/f Sullivan Toyota dealership – New England Real Estate Journal Online


New England Real Estate Journal Online

Polar Design Build awarded 39667 s/f Sullivan Toyota dealership
New England Real Estate Journal Online
The new two-story dealership will be constructed using structural steel with ACM and metal insulated panels on the exterior. The 1st floor will be 33,721 s.f. and consist of a showroom enclosed with a glass curtain wall, and a customer waiting area

Polar Design Build awarded 39667 s/f Sullivan Toyota dealership – New England Real Estate Journal Online

Polar Design Build awarded 39667 s/f Sullivan Toyota dealership
New England Real Estate Journal Online
The new two-story dealership will be constructed using structural steel with ACM and metal insulated panels on the exterior. The 1st floor will be 33,721 s.f. and consist of a showroom enclosed with a glass curtain wall, and a customer waiting area