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Conference paper

Non-value adding activities that are otherwise called 'waste' in the lean terms have continue to hinder efficient project delivery in the construction industry. As such, the types of waste and their impact are subject of many studies. However, much have not been done regarding waste in the structural design process (SDP). This paper reports on an on-going action research study on waste in the SDP. To understand the waste types and their effects, the lean tool, value stream mapping (VSM), has been deployed in the doctoral study. To make use of the tool for SDP, a purposively selected sample of consulting structural engineers, practicing in Bloemfontein were interviewed in 2015. After that, a VSM depicting the current state of the SDP and the waste in the process was compiled. The VSM tool was used to analyze and design the flow of information. Major waste types include waiting time, excessive motion, excessive production, and excessive inspection. The eradication of these waste influenced the design of a proposed future state VSM wherein all the identified problems are adequately addressed. The applicability and usefulness of the VSM as it enables structural designers to perceive the various activities that could be trimmed in each phase of the SDP is supported by the results of the study, although the credibility of the future state VSM is currently being examined by the consulting engineers.

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