Over the past two decades, discrete event simulation (DES) has been increasingly employed in lean construction research as a response to the requirement of evaluating the impact of the implementation of various lean initiatives. A systematic review of DES application in lean construction research is necessary to examine how DES has been implemented in lean research. This review was conducted by reviewing 49 DES papers published in peer-reviewed journals and IGLC conference between 1997 and 2018, which aims to identify the state of the art development in this specific research area and propose future research directions. The papers are analysed in terms of publications, DES techniques, value of DES, and topic coverage. 13 types of DES techniques, 6 value of DES in lean construction research, and 8 research topics are identified and summarised. The findings of this study are expected to provide useful suggestions for the future research opportunities of DES in lean construction research.
Lean construction, discrete event simulation, review.