Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China
Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China 

Lean Construction

Lean/Integrated Project Delivery (Lean/IPD) is a response to address construction labour efficiency/productivity, which has been falling since the 1960s. At present, 70% of projects are over budget and delivered late. Lean/IPD has been derived from the lean manufacturing principles with emphasis on value for the customer, controlled flow process, and perfection, pioneered by Toyota. This process encourages collaboration and offers an entry point and synergies with the integrated design and delivery process.

To that end, many Lean practices could be useful tools in an integrated project: The Last Planner® System consists of layers of increasingly detailed schedules that help effect a more reliable production schedule during construction, created by “collaborative pull scheduling;” Just-in-time Delivery offers a system that minimizes materials waste and storage problems; and Root Cause Analysis offers a collaborative problem-solving tool. These tools and more may all be incorporated into the construction process, but a focus on early alignment and participatory input in early design are still needed to ensure that they are successful.


Lean Construction has since been developed as a production management approach with trademarked techniques to maximize value and minimize waste in construction, through organizations such as the Lean Construction Institute
















Steps of a lean construction phase

Source: World Economic Forum (2016)

For more good practice examples download our Training Handbook: Sustainable Construction.