A Green-Lean Simulation Model for Assessing Environmental and Production Waste in Construction

Hamed Golzarpoor1 & Vicente González2

1PhD Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. E-Mail: hgol431@aucklanduni.ac.nz
2PhD, Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. E-Mail: v.gonzalez@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract

Lean production principles are well known with documented savings and productivity enhancements through the elimination of waste in construction. Several researchers claim that lean can promote sustainability in production systems. More precisely, sustainable or “green” practices seem to be a natural extension of the lean philosophy at an operational level. Green construction also seeks to reduce waste of energy, water and materials used during construction. Different studies show how the lean and green approaches share many of the same best practices to reduce wastes. From the standpoint of waste minimization – a common concept of both lean construction and green construction – this paper explores the relationship between lean and green, highlighting opportunities to enhance environmental and production performance by implementing green-lean practices in construction. Thus, an integrated green-lean simulation model of a construction project as a case study is proposed. Discrete-Event Simulation (DES) is used as the modeling strategy in this research, given its powerful capabilities to quantitatively analyze complex construction operations. Environmental and production variables are simultaneously assessed in the same simulation model, and the environmental impacts from the implementation of green-lean practices are discussed. Preliminary results demonstrated not only better resource utilization and improved time cost performance, but also energy savings and decrease of greenhouse gas emissions in the project

Keywords

Environment, Green Construction, Lean Construction, Waste, Discrete-Event Simulation.

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Reference

Golzarpoor, H. & González, V. 2013, 'A Green-Lean Simulation Model for Assessing Environmental and Production Waste in Construction' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Fortaleza, Brazil, 31-2 Aug 2013. pp 885-894

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