Assessing Design Practices on Affordable Housing Projects in Mexico Using Lean Concepts

Jose H. Loria-Arcila1, Alcides Garcia-Garcia2 & Jorge A. Vanegas3

1Academic Secretary, School of Engineering, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, México, 999/941-0195, FAX 999/941-0189, larcila@tunku.uady.mx
2Graduate Student, Construction Engineering and Management Program, School of Engineering, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, México, 999/941-0195, FAX 999/941-0189
3The Fred and Teresa Estrada Professor, Construction Engineering and Management Program, School of Civil and Envir. Engrg., 790 Atlantic Dr.; SEB Building, Room 328, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0355, 404/894-9881, FAX 404/894-5418, jorge.vanegas@ce.gatech.edu

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a research project that investigated the level of knowledge and application of lean concepts and principles among the various stakeholders responsible for constructing affordable housing developments in the Southeast of Mexico. The project developed a conceptual framework with key lean parameters, based on the results from a survey among designers and developers. There is substantial evidence showing that design can effectively be improved with the application of the lean production paradigm. Therefore the first objective was to explore whether there was any awareness of the existence of lean concepts: The survey particularly focused on lean design related terms, to explore (1) if they were indeed known by the various participants in affordable housing development projects; (2) whether lean construction concepts were applied in their organizations, and if so, if their application was restricted to senior management or had filtered down and incorporated within the design and production processes; and (3) the likelihood of lean concepts being adopted in the construction of affordable housing developments. The survey revealed very limited knowledge of lean construction (and design) concepts at both management and operational levels. Consequently, the application of those concepts is almost inexistent within the various organizations involved in affordable housing developments. Two recommendations are made for future research to focus on furthering the understanding of the design process and thus eventually providing tools that will develop integrated solutions to the problem of design in affordable housing developments.

Keywords

Lean design, lean construction, affordable housing.

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Reference

Loria-Arcila, J.H. , Garcia-Garcia, A. & Vanegas, J.A. 2003, 'Assessing Design Practices on Affordable Housing Projects in Mexico Using Lean Concepts' In:, 11th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Virginia, USA, 1-.

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