Lean construction is all about getting more for less and getting it faster. I had been hearing about lean construction but didn't know much about it until I attended a conference in Colorado Springs on June 12 sponsored by the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) and the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT). While smoke from the massive North Fork fire swirled in the distance, I learned that lean is basically working together and making commitments for constant improvement. Will Lichtig with Boldt did a masterful job describing the methods used to drive inefficiency out of the construction process by aggressive collaboration to solve problems.
Construction productivity has, incredibly, dropped over the past 50 years. Using lean construction techniques, combined with Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), some companies have been able to reverse that trend. There’s a lot to learn to make this work, but the tools are out there—including a planning system called Last Planner, developed by the LCI. We will cover this in depth in the December issue of Concrete Construction, but in the meantime, let me know about your experience with these new techniques.