Studies have shown that almost half of all projects using lean construction tools and processes are completed under budget with 64% of projects reporting improved profitability and potential cost savings of up to 30%.
Savings are achieved through improved efficiency, reduced waste and shorter project durations.
Lean Construction Benefit #2 – Lean is Quicker
On average in any given week only 54% of planned construction activities are actually completed. Whilst there will always be unforeseen events, through use of tools such as the Last Planner System of collaborative planner it is possible to significantly increase schedule reliability and reduce project durations by up to 30%!
Lean Construction Benefit #3 – Lean is Safer
Most safety incidents occur when people undertake unplanned events. Through use of lean tools such as the Last Planner System of collaborative planning, it is possible to reduce the number of unplanned events that happen on construction sites thus reducing the number of safety incidents. Use of 5S workplace organisation also significantly reduces the number of workplace hazards, improves site housekeeping and therefore improves safety.
Lean Construction Benefit #4 - Happier Clients
Rather than current project zero sum game where there can only be one ‘winner’, Lean Construction seeks to align the interests of all project stakeholders through use of collaborative forms of contract such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Using IPD, management of risks is jointly undertaken and all decisions are taken on a best for project basis. Lean Construction also provides increased certainty of outcome both in terms of project cost and duration – something that is greatly cherished by project owners and contractors alike.
Lean Construction Benefit #5 – Improved Sustainability
The primary focus of lean construction is the reduction of waste in all its forms. These wastes include rework, unnecessary transportation, over-production and extra processing. A reduction in these wastes results in a reduction of energy consumption and resource use thus improving the sustainability of the construction process.
Lean Construction Benefit # 6 - Less Disputes
A recent survey by Plan Grid found that on average everyone involved in a construction project will spend 3.4 hours a week dealing with disputes. This time spent dealing with disputes is a form of waste for everyone but the lawyers! Lean Construction reduces construction disputes through development of aligned project goals, use of collaborative forms of contract and increased communication between project stakeholders.
Lean Construction Benefit #7 - Improved Risk Management
Lean Construction adopts a partnership-based approach to risk management through use of collaborative forms of contract such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) where decisions regarding risk are taken on a best for project basis. Increased collaboration and communication through lean construction processes such as the Last Planner System of collaborative planning results in earlier identification of project risks providing more time for development of appropriate mitigation strategies.
Lean Construction Benefit #8 – Happier Employees
Nobody likes having to do the same task again, waiting for other people to finish their job so they can start theirs or coming to work to spend the day arguing with someone else. Lean construction is proven to reduce rework, streamline workflows and reduce disputes, letting people focus on doing what they are good at and allowing them to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
Lean Construction Benefit #9 - Improved Project Quality
Lean Construction seeks to align the interests of all project stakeholders through use of collaborative forms of contract such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and lean tools promote increased collaboration and communication. In this environment teams work together to achieve best for project outcomes rather than best for individual stakeholder outcomes. The use of prefabricated components is another important element of lean construction where as much work as possible is undertaken in controlled offsite environments before being brought to site this improving overall quality.
Lean Construction Benefit #10 -Reduced Life Cycle Cost
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is considered to be a Lean Construction tool as it facilitates collaboration in the design process, reduces design errors and provides Clients with information that can substantially reduce the ongoing operating costs of their asset. The benefits of BIM are enhanced when coupled with a Lean Target Value approach to the initial design.