Construction Site Operations Made Leaner and Standardized: A Case Study

Roar Fosse1, Bo Terje Kalsaas2 & Frode Drevland3

1MSc, Student, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway, Mobile +47 95910868, e-mail: roarfo@stud.ntnu.no
2Dr.Ing, Professor, School of Business and Law, Department of working life and innovation, University of Agder, 4846 Grimstad, Norway, Mobile +47 97082582, e-mail: bo.t.kalsaas@uia.no
3Ass. Professor, Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway, Phone +47 92064262, email: frode.drevland@ntnu.no

Abstract

This paper tests a method for analysing and improving construction site operations to standardize them as the common way of performing the operation. Analysis tools are used to identify improvement potential and alterations based on Lean Construction principles are implemented to fulfil this potential. Reducing waste and optimizing production methods are some of the key elements in Lean thinking. Waste and low productivity can be products of several factors, e.g. poor material flow, suboptimal operation design or poor production control. By finding good practices for operations and standardizing the work by this norm, variability can be reduced and production reliability increased. With thorough analysis and continuous improvement towards better practice, both time and cost expenditures could be greatly reduced both for the single unit and the project, but also throughout an entire organization over time. A field study was conducted to investigate how a traditional production unit’s productivity and work flow would be affected by altering its operation according to Lean principles. The production unit was initially analysed with its traditional practice "as is". The analysis clarified where there was potential for improvement, and alterations were suggested by the crew. Those with foundation in Lean Construction principles were implemented and performance reassessed. Analysis showed little room for improvement within several of the tasks, as they had no waiting for tools, materials or preceding tasks to finish. On a higher level, the operation was greatly improved by eliminating entire tasks, rearranging the work sequence, increasing visualization and increasing the number of crew members.

Keywords

Lean Construction, standardization, operation design, productivity analysis, workflow

Files

Reference

Fosse, R. , Kalsaas, B.T. & Drevland, F. 2014, 'Construction Site Operations Made Leaner and Standardized: A Case Study' 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 823-834

Download: BibTeX | RIS Format