https://doi.org/10.24928/2019/0231

Not Seeing the Wood for the Trees – A Gemba Walk Through a Timber Framed Housing Development

John Hanahoe1, Martin Taggart2 & Conor Willis3

1Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Building and Civil Engineering., Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland, +353 87 2604262, john.hanahoe@gmit.ie
2PhD, Lecturer, Dept. of Building and Civil Engineering., Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland, +353 91 742875, martin.taggart@gmit.ie
3Honours Student, Dept. of Building and Civil Engineering., Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland +353 85 2125736, conorwillis5@gmail.com

Abstract

This applied research seeks to improve the efficiency of production planning on repetitive construction projects. Ireland currently has a pressing need for a rapid expansion of housebuilding and many projects are planned or underway. However, programming of such works has been poor historically. This research proposes approaches to make planning of such projects more efficient. Information on a representative sample of dwellings was collected on a large timberframed housing site over a five-month period. The main-contractor’s bar chart programme for the project was analysed using the Line of Balance production planning approach. This allowed the time waste inherent in the programme to be visualised and allowed options for improvement to be considered. The results showed that a significant improvement could be made in the programme and in the efficient use of resources. This has significant benefits for contractors. The research is based on a single case study, which constrains universal claims about the results reported. However, the authors note their extensive experience of visiting similar projects, allowing them to attest to the ‘typicality’ of the case study in the Irish SME marketplace. The work has implications for improving lean construction practice in production planning and suggests the need for additional training in technical education.

Keywords

Gemba walk, Last Planner System, Line of Balance, Programming, Planning.

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Reference

Hanahoe, J. , Taggart, M. & Willis, C. 2019, 'Not Seeing the Wood for the Trees – A Gemba Walk Through a Timber Framed Housing Development' In:, Proc. 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Dublin, Ireland, 3-5 Jul 2019. pp 1209-1218

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