Measurement of Waste and Productivity in Relation to Lean Thinking

Azam Forsberg1 & Lasse Saukkoriipi2

1PhD student, Department of Architecture and Infrastructure, Luleå University of Technology, SE- 971 87 Luleå, Sweden, +46 (0) 70-794 76 23, [email protected]
2Tech. lic, Building Economics and Management, Chalmers University of Technology, Sven Hultins gata 8, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden, +46 (0)31-7721964, [email protected]


In the Swedish construction sector there have been debates concerning what can be done about the current low productivity and the high levels of wastes. During the last few years it has become more common to utilize principles from lean construction as a way to enhance the problems concerning the levels of productivity and waste. The aim of this paper is to do a literature review on measurement of waste and productivity. Terms waste and productivity will be compared and discussed in relation to lean construction. Furthermore this paper will highlight the use of lean philosophy to reduce waste and improve productivity in the Swedish construction industries. The study shows that the term ‘waste’ is more closely related to lean thinking than productivity is, but both terms are according to our analysis nonetheless important when striving for cost reductions. Furthermore there is a need of changing in the way of thinking in order to create a value added activities that can cut down production cost in the Swedish construction industries.


Waste, productivity, lean construction, Swedish construction industry and performance measurements.



Forsberg, A. & Saukkoriipi, L. 2007. Measurement of Waste and Productivity in Relation to Lean Thinking, 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 67-76.

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