Conference paper

Lean principles aim to improve construction through focus on value and waste elimination, which benefits environmental performance by reducing life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving other environmental metrics. Although prior research identified relationships between Lean, BIM and sustainability, most studies were qualitative assessments of the value of lean and VDC management. In this study we measured the impact of Lean and VDC on waste in operations, and on GHG emissions, of masonry partitions. Researchers observed workers and classified their activities as value-adding or non-value-adding. Data from three different projects that include combinations of Lean and VDC implementation were used to estimate the efficiency of operations in comparison to earlier construction projects from 2007 to 2014 that implemented the same methods. The results were eye-opening: implementing Lean principles and VDC raised the proportion of value–adding activities to 68.4%, compared to only 35.8% in traditional management. Moreover, Lean and VDC methods contributed to reduce wasted global warming potential (GWP) from 169 kg CO2e/m3 of partition built to 112 kg CO2e/m3 , an environmental improvement of 34%. Lean and VDC are dominant management approaches in reducing waste and improving sustainability.

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