Archive for the ‘Lean Construction’ Category
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Pat Henderson, the outspoken president of Hardstone Construction, defied industry tradition to apply 3D techniques pioneered in discrete manufacturing to the challenges of a commercial project.
Pat Henderson, President,
In the process, he proved that cost overruns are not a necessary evil of construction … and that some risks are well worth taking.
Before he founded Hardstone Construction, a Las Vegas-based general contracting firm, Pat Henderson led $3 billion in projects at two of the largest U.S.-based construction companies.
Despite 30 years of experience, however, certain aspects of the industry still puzzle him.
For example, why does the industry accept 20% cost overruns as a normal part of doing business? << Click to Tweet
And why do construction companies resist the 3D design technologies proven in countless other industries – technologies that could eliminate the overruns?
Getting answers to those questions is important to Henderson because he wants to leave his employees and his daughter, whom he is grooming to take over the company, a stronger, more profitable, and less frustrating industry than the one he has known.
“I am convinced 3D has the power to eliminate the problems that abound in the construction industry,” the forthright Henderson said. “I believe it will reduce waste in construction by upwards of 10%. When you consider the trillions of dollars spent on construction in the U.S. alone, that is a very significant savings.”
Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Trade contractors that have thought about going Lean but are still waiting for the “right” project to come along may be missing major opportunities.
It’s true that as Lean first moved from manufacturing into the construction arena, its use was typically driven by a project owner’s desire to keep costs from running over budget and ensure project milestones were reached on time.
Pioneering owners led the formation of integrated teams and required everyone (construction managers, architects, engineers, GCs, and major subcontractors) to apply lean project delivery methodologies
Today, however, even a single project contributor who adopts Lean Construction practices to improve business processes will ultimately deliver increased value to the customer.
Thursday, June 19th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction.
Below is an excerpt from that report, part 2 of a 2-part series on the adoption of Lean construction practices. (Click here to read part 1.)
Lean Construction Guiding Principles
As Lean has its roots in manufacturing, some have turned to approaches that are rooted in those industries.
While most experts said they are familiar with the set of Toyota Way principles, they tend to “pick and choose” aspects of it that apply to their businesses.
For example, some mentioned that respecting individuals and striving for continuous improvements—which are central in Toyota Way—are important precepts in their organizations.
Other principles of Toyota Way, like solving root problems, can be seen in the systems they use, such as Last Planner.
Similarly, Six Sigma strives to identify and solve root problems. Although Six Sigma is a system that offers tools and strategies for process improvement, there is limited adoption of it by companies.
Again, some say they may follow certain aspects that relate to their businesses, but not others. “Six Sigma tends to be a bit more manufacturing, and I don’t think we find it as applicable in our business,” says one contractor.
A trade contractor also notes that while industrial construction has embraced Six Sigma, “the commercial industry isn’t sophisticated enough to really embrace it,” and he notes that instead they rely on systems like Last Planner.
Thursday, June 12th, 2014
Mr. Fernando España, President of Corner Cube, Inc.
Fernando España is at the forefront of Lean construction practices in the US and abroad.
With over 30 years in the construction industry, España has extensive experience in the facilitation, definition, design, implementation, monitoring, and optimization of Lean solutions.
He is the president of CornerCube, a Dassault Systèmes partner located in the San Francisco Bay area, which offers Lean construction solutions, 3D technology solutions, and related technical services to the AEC industry.
España recently offered his perspectives with us regarding the current state of the industry, trends in technology, and Lean Thinking. Below is a transcript of a portion of our conversation.
Thursday, June 5th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report, part 1 of a 2-part series on the adoption of Lean practices:
In the effort to bring Lean to the industry, contractors are employing a broad mix of principles, processes and tools for Lean construction. While there are some more commonly adopted means and methods, many companies are seeking their own unique solutions.
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Lean principles are also being applied by companies at various levels—from the field to the back office.
Given the broad and diverse approaches, companies are learning that there is no “silver bullet” for being Lean. <<Click to Tweet
Efficiency Efforts: GCs
During the past five years, general contractors (GCs) who have adopted Lean principles and practices have focused their efficiency efforts mostly in the field.
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt from that report:
Rise of the Super-Sub
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Through advancements in modeling and production technologies, a new tier of trade contractors is emerging.
Dubbed by some as “super-subs,” these firms combine construction with expertise in engineering and operations.
They are deeply leveraging advanced tools to aid in greater collaboration, virtual construction and model-driven prefabrication and modularization.
Thursday, April 10th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is a case study from the report:
Planning and Coordinating Prefabrication to Increase Project Profitability
St. Elizabeth Hospital 5-Story Patient Tower and Connector Building in Appleton, Wisconsin
The Boldt Company has been using Lean project delivery for over a decade, and they have been able to bring many of the lessons they learned from the industrial side of their business to bear on their general building projects, according to Will Lichtig, vice president of business and process development at Boldt.
As general contractors who self-perform many trades and work collaboratively with trade partners on others, prefabrication is one area where they have been able to find opportunities to improve cost, schedule and safety on their projects while sustaining or improving quality. (more…)
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt we wanted to highlight.
Lean Strategies for Employing Prefabrication
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Lean design and construction focuses on improving total project performance, rather than reducing the cost or accelerating the delivery of single activities or phases.
While the use of prefabricated components and modular construction is not new to the industry, their application has increased dramatically in recent years.
Thursday, March 20th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt of the report: the in-depth interview findings on “Drivers for Lean.”
In-Depth Interview Findings: Drivers for Lean
Business goals drive Lean adoption. Click to Tweet
Among the varied reasons that companies adopt Lean practices in construction, many are related to how a company is perceived in the marketplace, including the need to stay ahead of the competition and the desire to be seen as a leader in this area.
These reasons, along with client influence, could also help companies secure contracts.
Trade contractors also mention the desire to work collaboratively and the ability to ensure constant improvement as key drivers for their businesses.
Other drivers relate directly to the desire to reduce waste, such as cutting costs and reducing projects schedules.
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
McGraw Hill Construction, the Lean Construction Institute and Dassault Systèmes teamed up recently to produce an in-depth report on Lean Construction. Below is an excerpt of the report: a sidebar article titled “Collaborating for Sustainability.”
Collaborating for Sustainability
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The most effective collaborations reach beyond the project development team to bring in perspectives from across the building lifecycle.
Bringing the Users’ Perspective Forward
PNC Financial Services Group has developed a fleet of LEED-certified bank branches, and its Tower at PNC Plaza, now under construction, is expected to be North America’s tallest naturally ventilated office tower.