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.
Lean design, lean construction, affordable housing.