A Lean Approach to Manage Production and Environmental Performance of Earthwork Operation

Sheila Belayutham1 & Vicente González2

1PhD Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, , Auckland 1142, New Zealand, +64022 163 1362, sbel594@aucklanduni.ac.nz
2 Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand, +64 9903 4106, v.gonzalez@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

Earthworks comprise of only a small number of activities, equipment and personnel but relatively large percentage of the total construction cost. Uncontrolled earthworks could increase risk to the environment, especially water pollution. Both production (time, cost and quality) and environmental measures are critical during earthworks and should be managed and improved holistically. Past researches have established the applicability of lean to improve the performance of production and environment in construction. However, limited results were shown for earthwork operations. Most lean based studies on earthworks focused on production planning and increasing productivity of the operation, neglecting the environmental emissions, particularly water pollution. Therefore, this paper aims to simultaneously improve the production and environmental performance (water pollution) of earthwork operations through the application of lean production. Thus, lean tools were used to recognize current production and environmental inefficiencies within an earthwork operation. Then, improvement strategies will be proposed in combination with common construction management practices such as site layout management and time planning to reduce and eliminate waste. The research findings could potentially provide direct production and environmental benefits to the construction industry as well as a safe and conducive setting to the public during construction.

Keywords

Earthwork, production, environmental sustainability, lean construction, water pollution.

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Reference

Belayutham, S. & González, V. 2015, 'A Lean Approach to Manage Production and Environmental Performance of Earthwork Operation' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V.A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 743-752

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