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  • 1. 1 Page
  • 2. GO LEAN AND GREENRitu Ahuja – Assistant Professor, Amity university
  • 3. Contents 1. Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 4 2. Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 4 3. Wastes in Construction Industry ..................................................................................................... 9 4. The Practical Relationship Between Lean Methods And Sustainable Impacts- The Lean Delivery Phases .............................................................................................................................................. 10 5. Conclusion and Recommendation ................................................................................................ 13 6. References .................................................................................................................................... 13 7. Author‟s Profile .............................................................................................................................. 153 Page
  • 4. 1. AbstractLean construction is a new production philosophy which would bring in revolutionary changes in theconstruction industry. The Lean principles emphasise on eliminating process and material wastes andwhich can further result to the green construction which emphasise on the energy efficiency and thecost efficiency.The project aims to study the novel concept of „Lean Construction‟ in the world. Another intention is toexamine how current Lean construction tools and methods impact the construction and operation ofsustainable facilities. The Lean and green Construction philosophy can tremendously improve theneeds and result in high productivity of the construction industry. The paper also finds out how theseLean construction tools and methods have evolved to contribute to green construction. In order toachieve 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 furtherresult to the green construction which emphasise on the energy efficiency and the cost efficiency.2. IntroductionThe construction industry plays a significant role in economic growth, both directly through itsactivities, and indirectly through the provision of buildings and infrastructures for the smoothfunctioning of businesses. However, the construction industry is highly challenged as a 3D‟s industry– dirty, dangerous and demanding.The construction industry lags 10 years behind the manufacturing industry because of the severalreasons. The primary reason being its fragmented approach rather than an integrated approach. Thesecond important reason is that the construction industry is far more complex than the manufacturingand 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 theconstruction industry.LEAN APPROACH – DEFINITION AND NEEDLean production focuses on eliminating waste and maximizing productivity through the pull system,employee involvement, continuous improvement, etc. Much has been discussed about the wasteelimination 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 theconstruction culture, there is a need to investigate the applicability of the lean concept to achieveenvironmental sustainability, which is often used interchangeably with the term “green”.4 Page
  • 5. Lean philosophy is all about designing and operating the right resources at the right time with rightsystems. The most essential and important objective of lean philosophy is to identify, eliminate wasteand achieving the customer needs in all respects. Two very important construction tools are addedunder lean construction are the production control and structuring of the work. . Lean construction isabout gaining the control through coordination between stakeholders and the team members toimprove the performance, delivery and value for everyone involved in the project.According to the Lean construction Institute, LCI, lean construction is a production managementbased approach to project delivery. It is a new way to design and build capital facilities. Lean hasalready caused a major change in manufacturing industry and when applied to the constructionindustry, lean changes the way of working throughout the delivery process. Lean construction hassuccessfully resulted into maximising the value and minimising the waste in the construction process.Lean significantly contributes to the efficiency of the construction industry. It helps the industry toreveal and support customer purposes. The application of lean in the construction process hasresulted into structuring of the work throughout the process and the improvement of performance ofthe project. Lean construction assures to deliver reliable work between specialists in design, supplyand assembly, thus delivering Value to the customers and reducing the waste.The lean principles include:• Establishing good terms within the team comprising of owners, architects, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers;• Emphasising on the process design, and thus combining project design.• Stopping production rather than spoiling the construction process;• Enhancing participation of all the team members in a project, thus decentralising decision making.The Lean construction is different from the typical construction in many aspects. In the typicalconstruction, the conversion activity takes place, that is, every input is converted into output through aprocess. The typical construction focuses on the finishing the things thus achieving the efficiency butlacks in the value. The typical construction aims to achieve efficiency by implementing newtechnology whereas the lean approach focuses on eliminating or reduction of non-value addingactivities and increasing the efficiency of the process through continuous improvement. The efficiencyin Lean approach is improved by redesigning the process.Lean construction is different from current construction management because it aims at increasedperformance at the project level, it possess and focuses on a clear set of objectives for the deliveryprocess, its designed the process and the product simultaneously and, it looks towards the efficientproductivity throughout the life cycle of the project.GREEN CONSTRUCTION – SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION – DEFINITION AND NEEDAs the world is becoming increasingly concerned about the environment and surrounding, there is atremendous focus on all the industries including the construction industry to adopt the proactiveapproach to green construction.5 Page
  • 6. 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. The construction industry can have a better sustainableapproach towards energy by reducing the energy consumption and by using the renewable sourcesof energy. The sustainable approach has to be from the very start of the project, that is, from thedesign stage by creating energy efficient designs, using the local materials and reducing the cost andenergy of transportation, by recycling maximum and reducing the energy of transport and disposing ofthe waste.Green construction refers to the planning and management of a project that result into minimising theimpact of construction process on the environment. The impact of the construction process on theenvironment 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.The term sustainable construction refers to the ecological, social and economic issues of the building.The goal of sustainable construction is to create and operate a healthy built environment based onresource efficiency and ecological design. The sustainable construction and the economicdevelopment has a major impact on land, materials, energy, water, human/ social capital and theliving environment. The construction industry thus can be directly and indirectly linked to the severalaspects of sustainability. The two most important organizations that have recently come up as a partof growing green building movement are LEEDS ( Leadership In Energy and Environment Design),GBI ( Green Building Initiative).The figure 1 shows the evolution and challenges of the sustainable construction concept in a globalcontext. Figure 1. Challenges of sustainable construction in a global context6 Page
  • 7. The Figure 2 below shows the framework for sustainable construction development in 1994 by Taskgroup 16 (Sustainable Construction) of the CIB for the purpose of enhancing major contribution of thebuilt environment to the attainment of sustainable development. Deconstruction Phase Modification Maintenance Use & Operation Construction Design Development Planning Resources Land Materials Water Energy Ecosystems 1. Reduce 2. Reuse 3.Recycle 4.Protect Nature 5. Eliminate Toxics 6.Life- Cycle costing 7. Quality Principles Figure 2: Framework for Sustainable ConstructionThe Figure 2 clearly defines the different phases involved in construction process, the resourcesrequired and the principles of sustainable construction. The closed loop defines the reuse and therecycling of the materials instead of defining them as waste during the construction process. Thematerials used in construction are not completely recyclable. The recyclable materials should bechosen such, that they are non toxic and protect the nature.The sustainable construction aims to adopt the high- performance green building delivery systemwhich seeks to ensure that the project is designed, built and handed over for operation in a cost-effective manner. This high- performance delivery system can be a success only if there is a closecollaboration among building owners, developers, architects, engineers, constructors, facilitymanagers and all the other members involved in the project. The three major project delivery methodsinclude the Design-bid-build, Design- build and Contractor selection Method. Amongst three deliverymethods, Design-build is the most commonly and fast growing method.7 Page
  • 8. While traditional design and construction focuses on cost, performance and quality objectives,sustainable design and construction adds to these criteria minimization of resource depletion,minimization of environmental degradation, and creating a healthy built environment (Kibert 1994).The shift to sustainability can be seen as a new paradigm (vanegas et al. 1996) where sustainableobjectives are within the building design and construction industry considered for decision making atall stages of the life cycle of the facility.The key elements of sustainable construction can be listed as: - Reducing the use energy sources - To conserve the natural areas and landforms. - Satisfying the needs of the user, adaptable and flexible. - Extended service life - Local resources usage - Efficient land use - Saving water consumption - Contributing to the urban development - Maintaining the quality of the built environment.The principles of Sustainable construction contribute to: - Recycling resources. - Reducing the consumption and use of resources - Reusing the resources - Protection of Nature - Removing Toxics - Evaluating and applying the Life Cycle costing - Maintaining the Quality throughout.In terms of the principle for sustainable construction, various efforts have been made to examineseveral definitions of sustainability in an attempt to enunciate principles to be upheld in attainingsustainable construction. Amongst the published work relating to the principles of sustainableconstruction are Kilbert (1994), Hill (1994), Lindle (1994), Hill and Bowen (1997), Robbert (1995),Graham (2000) Long (2001), and DETR, (2000). A few examples are listed below:DETR (2000) Profitability and competitiveness, customers and clients satisfaction and best value,respect and treat stakeholders fairly, enhance and protect the natural environment, and minimiseimpact on energy consumption and natural resources.Hill and Bowen (1997) - Social pillar: improve the quality of life, provision for social self determinationand cultural diversity, protect and promote human health through a healthy and safe workingenvironment and etc.8 Page
  • 9. Economic pillar: ensure financial affordability, employment creation, adopt full-cost accounting,enhance competitiveness, sustainable supply chain management.Biophysical pillar: waste management, prudent use of the four generic construction resources (water,energy, material and land), avoid environmental pollution and etc.Technical pillar: construct durable, functional, quality structure and etc.These four principles are contained within a set of over-arching, process-oriented principles (e.g. priorimpact assessment of activities).Miyatake (1996); CIB (1999) Minimisation of resource consumption, maximisation of resources reuse,use of renewable and recyclable resources, protection of the natural environment, create a healthyand non-toxic environment, and pursue quality in creating the built environment.3. Wastes in Construction IndustryReduction and removal of waste is an important part of lean and green construction. Using thematerial resources efficiently can lead to sustainable waste management. Waste is hardly everrecognised by the project managers which is the major cause of loss of efficiency and productivity(Koskela 1992). Figure 3 identifies the seven forms of waste which are over production, conveyance,inventory, processing, waiting, correction and motion. Figure 3. Forms of WasteWe can reduce the level of waste production in the construction industry by designing such a way thatminimum 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 andby educating the staff about waste reduction and material recycling.9 Page
  • 10. 4. The Practical Relationship Between Lean Methods AndSustainable Impacts- The Lean Delivery PhasesThe Lean Project Delivery system consists of four interconnecting phases extending from Projectdefinition to Design, supply and assembly. (Figure 4)The Project Definition consists of three different modules: Needs and Value Determination, DesignCriteria and Conceptual design. Defining value and waste is critical in Lean production. Valuemanagement aims to maximize value and eliminate waste. Minimal building impact, maximumbuilding system efficiency, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and a healthy, productive environmentfor occupants are the key features of the lean and green construction. The social impact of facilitieshas been one of the critical concerns in the architecture industry. It is hard to measure the socialimpacts of facilities on humans and communities. Lean construction needs to identify sustainablevalues including economic, environmental and social values as important factors in implementingsustainable construction.Lean Design is a process that includes various construction techniques and materials to producevalue to an owner. This process is very important considering the impacts to the overall life of afacility. The green facilities can only be applied to its best in a design contributing to sustainableconstruction only if the use of green materials, resources and the construction technologies iscomprehensively coordinated with each other. Figure 4. The Lean Project Delivery SystemIn order to minimize environmental impacts and energy consumption during construction ofsustainable facilities, several Lean design methods could be implemented: Integrated Design (Whole10 Page
  • 11. system design), Design for Maintainability (DFM), Set-based Design, Target Costing, and 3DModeling.Lean Supply: Just-in-time (JIT) could also be regarded either as an environmentally-friendly methodor the opposite. Just-in-time reduces damage and materials (Riley et al., 2005). Moreover, thismethod may reduce the various sources of extra inventory but at the same time, however, thefrequent transportation of inventory and materials may cause volatile organic compounds and CO2emissions. Even though applications in the manufacturing industry and construction industry are notexactly the same, we need to notice the probabilities and possibilities of bad environmental impactsfrom Lean adaptation. The consideration from the holistic perspective is required to increase thesustainability of a construction project.Lean Assembly: One of the most successful procurement methods that can be adopted to achievesustainability 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 constructionsinclude: • 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 exactconditions 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-siteunits. Socially the working conditions are safer and more stable in prefabricated construction thanthey are on-site. Environmentally, this method may improve the supply chain for green materials, oneaspect of green facilities. Yet, there are some problems as well. Economically, and socially, less locallabour 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 productsand emit more air pollution.Kaizen, which means continuous improvement in Japanese, is a core component of Lean productionnot only for economic purposes, but also for social and environmental purposes in sustainableconstruction. Kaizen plays a key role in improving the current status for sustainable construction. Allsustainable indicators may be improved through Kaizen.Another potential tool for sustainable perfection is Kaikaku. Kaikaku (Kaizen events), means a rapidprocess of improvement, is a team activity designed to eliminate waste and make rapid changes forproduct and process improvement in the workplace. This strategy is employed to get workers withmultiple organizational functions on different levels to unite in improving processes and addressingproblems. When implementing chosen improvements, the team rapidly employs inexpensive solutions11 Page
  • 12. usually within three days. Kaikaku can create reduced pollution and material waste. Figure 5. Lean Methods and Sustainable ImpactsFigure 5 illustrates a quantitative assessment of the previously discussed methods on thesustainability of a construction project. Most lean construction methods provide positive economicimpacts for sustainable facilities while showing several no-impacts or negative impacts on social andenvironmental aspects. The table shows concrete relationships between the Lean constructionmethods and the sustainable construction of a facility, while several Lean construction practices revealno relationship or negative relationships.The Lean principles emphasise on eliminating process and material wastes and which can furtherresult to the green construction which emphasise on the energy efficiency and the cost efficiency. TheLean and green Construction philosophy can tremendously improve the needs and result in highproductivity 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. Figure 6. Relationship between sustainable development and Lean production12 Page
  • 13. In the figure 6, the four interconnecting phases of the Lean Project Delivery System (LPDS) extendingfrom project definition to design, supply, and assembly are used to illustrate the Lean constructionprocess (Ballard, 2000). Addressing sustainable issues, such as economic, social, and environmentalvalues as the requirements of an owner, Lean may act from the project definition to the constructionphase for a sustainable facility.5. Conclusion and RecommendationThe research tries to bring out the need for the implementation of lean philosophy in the constructionindustry. Lean Construction should be adapted and considered as it can solve many problems of theconstruction 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 constructionmethods 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 leanphilosophy not only provides the economic value to the process, but, can also provide the social andenvironmental value. This can be achieved by following and improving the green project managementfacilities. The lean and green philosophies together can give help the construction industry moreefficient. To make a project lean and green, the research brings out the three key impacts of leanconstruction 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 addvalue to each other when combined and used correctly. The methods of lean construction should beextended to environmental planning to help improving the efficiency of the production managementprocess.In this paper, most of the lean construction methods and the green construction methods are studiedand examined. Although there are many other lean construction methods which are not beenexamined for sustainability, but if studied in future, will surely have a possibility for sustainablepurpose.6. 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.13 Page
  • 14. [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 comparison of visions from various countries” . CIB Report 225, Rotterdam.[6] Charles J. Kibert (2008), Sustainable Construction, Green building Design and Delivery, second edition.[7] Cusumano, M.A. (1994). “The Limits of „Lean‟,” Sloan Management Review, vol. 35, no. 4, Summer; pp. 27-32.[8] 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. (Conference proceedings)[9] Green S. D; “The Future of Lean Construction: A Brave New World”, International Conference on Lean Construction; Brighton; 2000. (Conference proceedings)[10] Helper, S. and Clifford, P. (1997). “Can Green Be Lean?” paper presented to the Academy of Management meetings, Boston, MA[11] 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.[12] Howell G.A.(1999), “ What is Lean Construction-1999” 26-28 July 1999, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. (Conference proceedings)[13] Howell G.A.; Ballard G. (1999), “Bringing light to the dark side of Lean Construction”, International Conference on Lean Construction; Berkley . (Conference proceedings)[14] 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. (Conference proceedings)[15] Jin-Woo Bae and Yong-Woo Kim (2007), “Sustainable Value On Construction Project And Application Of Lean Construction”, Proceedings IGLC-15, July 2007, Michigan, USA. (Conference proceedings)[16] Lapinski, A., Horman, M.J., and Riley, D. (2005). “Delivering sustainability: lean principles for green projects” Proceedings of the Construction Research Congress, San Diego, California. (Conference proceedings)[17] Luo, Y., Riley, D., and Horman, M.J. (2005). “Lean Principles for Prefabrication in Green Design- Build (GDB) Projects” Proceedings IGLC-13 Sydney, Australia. (Conference proceedings)[18] Wu Peng and Low Sui Pheng (2011), “Lean and green: emerging issues in the construction industry – a case study” 20-21 Sep 2011, EPPM, Singapore14 Page
  • 15. 7. Author’s Profile I, Ar. Ritu Ahuja, am currently working as an Assistant Professor at Amity School of Architecture and Planning, Amity University, Noida – 201301, Uttar Pradesh, India. I am a post graduate in Construction Project Management from University of Manchester, UK. I have worked as a Project coordinator for two years in the Indian Construction Industry and now hope to start with my PhD research soon in Lean and Green construction. Email: rahuja@amity.edu, rituahuja1985@gmail.com15 Page

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