Refurbishment is a subject that has received great attention within the current research agenda in the UK given that it has a crucial role to meet sustainable targets. The degree of complexity and uncertainties in refurbishment projects is higher than in new build projects. A literature review reveals that the management of refurbishment works has not been addressed properly in prior research. Studies on practices applied to the management of this complex environment are scarce and have not been based on appropriate theory. This scenario offers an interesting opportunity to apply lean principles in order to deal with its complex characteristics. However, while lean theory has been well tested in new construction projects, in the refurbishment sector the same level of practical application has not been undertaken or reported. It is argued that production management of refurbishment projects needs an appropriate approach, specifically tailored and in line with lean tenets, to be able to cope with the complexity and uncertainty inherent to those projects, hence increasing the efficiency of the production system, e.g., lead time compression and disruption minimization. The research is done through an extensive literature review, which seeks to identify the methods adopted by refurbishment sector to deal with the production management as well as suggest lean practices for further testing and validation.
Refurbishment, lean construction, complexity, management, sustainability.