Open Building has been known as a building concept characterized by an explicit customer focus, modular pre-engineered product system, and a sequential process structure. Open Building advocates a concept of modularity, which includes the separation of different levels of decision-making, and the decoupling of building parts within a modular system. The process of Open Building is characterized by a systematic and interconnected sequence from interactive client specification of the built object, through components manufacturing, to site assembly, supported by a uniform product and information management system. In essence Open Building applies lean manufacturing concepts and techniques to the delivery of a building. Therefore, the characteristics of Open Building and Lean Construction are being compared on a number of basic aspects, including order fulfillment, components manufacturing, materials distribution and assembly, in order to find similarities and differences, and to explore the connection between the two concepts. The connection between Open Building and Lean Construction is found in the similarities of the way the supply chain is organized and managed. By its specific product and process co-ordination, Open Building implicitly prescribes a specific organization of the supply chain. This is characterized as a postponement strategy for supply chain management, by its delayed differentiation strategy.
Lean Construction, Open Building, supply chain management, postponement strategy, delayed differentiation strategy.
Vrijhoef, R. , Cuperus, Y. & Voordijk, H. 2002, 'Exploring the Connection Between Open Building and Lean Construction - Defining a Postponement Strategy for Supply Chain Management' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Ballard, G., 10th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Gramado, Brazil, 6-8 Aug 2002.