A Case Study to Examine Environmental Benefits of Lean Construction

Somik Ghosh1, Suchismita Bhattacharjee2, Pardis Pishdad-Bozorgi3 & Ram Ganapathy4

1Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, 830 Van Vleet Oval, 294 GH, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA. Phone +1 (405) 325-3670, sghosh@ou.edu
2Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, 830 Van Vleet Oval, 284 GH, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA. Phone +1 (405) 325-4528, suchi@ou.edu
3Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, 280 Ferst Drive, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA. Phone +1 (404) 894-7100, pardis.pishdad@gatech.edu
4Senior BIM Engineer, DPR Construction, 224 N. 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034, USA. Phone +1(602) 808-0500, ramg@dpr.com

Abstract

The process of construction significantly contributes to the total energy use, greenhouse gas emission, and waste generation. Utilizing lean helps in reducing construction wastes at source minimizing resource depletion and preventing pollution. The goal of this study was to investigate the contribution of lean construction to reduce waste at source and provide environmental benefits. A case study of a healthcare facility in Arizona was conducted that utilized BIM during the preconstruction and the construction phases. Pull planning, commitment tracking, and IPD were also utilized in the project. Procurement and installation of drywall was selected as the unit of analysis for the case study. The predictor variable of interest was the waste reduction due to utilization of lean tools, and the response variable was the environmental benefit through waste reduction at source. The environmental benefit of waste reduction was estimated by the resultant reduction in CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emission. For estimation of greenhouse gas emission, a “cradle-tosite” approach was considered that included the manufacturing of drywall and transportation to site. The findings show that significant amount of materials and labour hours were saved in the case study project that could be linked to the utilization of lean tools.

Keywords

Lean construction, BIM, pull planning, waste reduction, greenhouse gas emission

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Reference

Ghosh, S. , Bhattacharjee, S. , Pishdad-Bozorgi, P. & Ganapathy, R. 2014, 'A Case Study to Examine Environmental Benefits of Lean Construction' In:, Kalsaas, B.T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T.A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 133-144

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