The Value Universe: Defining a Value Based Approach to Lean Construction

Stephen Emmitt1, Dag Sander2 & Anders Kirk Christoffersen3

1Hoffmann Professor of Innovation and Management in Building, Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
2MTHøjgaard A/S, Denmark.
3NIRAS, Consulting Engineers and Planners, Denmark.


Value is the end-goal of all construction projects and therefore the discussion and agreement of value parameters is fundamental to the achievement of improved productivity and client/user satisfaction. The word ‘value’ tends to be used rather loosely in daily practice. Similarly, terms and interpretations vary within construction management literature. The aim of this paper is to put forward a number of definitions that may be used in a common language for discussing and implementing value through lean construction. Value creation and value delivery are clearly defined within a four-stage model that maps key process functions. Mapping the process provides a framework in which to highlight the differences between value-based management, value management and value engineering activities. The concept of external and internal values is also introduced. The model described is being implemented on pilot projects in Denmark, by consultants NIRAS and contractors MTHøjgaard. The model is grounded in extensive practical work and underpinned by theoretical constructs.


Boundary conditions; Communication; Culture; Definitions; Value based management



Emmitt, S. , Sander, D. & Christoffersen, A.K. 2005, 'The Value Universe: Defining a Value Based Approach to Lean Construction' In:, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Sydney, Australia, 19-21 Jul 2005. pp 57-64

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