Journal article

Lean and sustainable construction: a systematic critical review of 25 Years of IGLC research

Lean principles Literature review Construction industry Sustainable development Sustainability

Questions: Are there connections and trade-offs between Lean Construction (LC) and Sustainable Construction (SC)? If so, what is needed to support their integration in theory and practice? What are the gaps in knowledge and the opportunities for bringing closer linkage between research and practice?

Purpose: A growing body of knowledge has been emerging from the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) community, in relation to synergies between LC and Sustainability. The purpose of this study, therefore, is to critically review the progress made towards integrating LC and SC in theory and practice, in order to provide a conceptual consolidation of this knowledge.

Research Method: A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) of ‘LC and Sustainability’ studies published in proceedings of the IGLC annual conferences over the past 25 years, using a qualitative approach to research synthesis.

Findings: This study presents the main synergies and inconsistencies between LC and SC, reveals the main limitations in approaches to LC and SC, exposes potential enablers for integrating LC and SC, and divulges opportunities for further research

Limitations: This SLR study only includes peer-reviewed papers published by the IGLC and excludes the wider construction literature.

Implications: The findings of this study advance the research agenda providing the potential to develop sustainable improvements in practice.

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