The design and construction industry is plagued by chronic delays, budget overruns, and stakeholder dissatisfaction. While solutions have been proposed, they often only work in very particular circumstances. A key to improving the industry is for lean construction, VDC, and construction technology experts to collaborate and create new value.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through the VDC Framework from Martin Fischer at Stanford University CIFE - Center for Integrated Facility Engineering. This framework provides a unified approach for integrating design and construction, making it approachable for any project, regardless of size, scope, and complexity.

At the heart of any project are the objectives that drive it. At the top of the framework are the business and client objectives, which are essential for achieving stakeholder values. Defining project objectives and measuring them with project KPIs is the next step.

By aligning business and client objectives with project KPIs, we can ensure that when the project is successful; the client's business are also successful. Most project teams do not understand the business case and therefore they optimize for the wrong things.

Once the project KPIs are clear, we integrate the people, processes, and information together. We use the combination of lean construction, BIM & Contech, and collaborative contracting methods to build an integrated team to deliver the project.

Many projects struggle with innovation because they approach it through a siloed perspective. Some projects are great at contech, BIM, or lean. Very few projects have a means of integrating all these great ideas together, thus leaving potential gains on the table. The VDC Framework breaks down those silos. It is flexible, logical, and easy to use, allowing for the use of any lean methods, technology stack, or collaborative procurement and contracting methods. You can use this framework with any project delivery approach from DBB, Design-Build, CM at Risk, Progressive Design Build, Integrated Project Delivery, etc.

It's time to break out of those silos and collaborate to create new value. Let's work together to integrate people, information, and processes and improve the industry with an integrated approach. Regardless of what you are building, this framework can be applied to ALL design and construction projects. Regardless of your project or contracting system, there is a way to integrate lean construction, Contech, BIM, and other innovative approaches to make it better.

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Doanh Do is graduate of UC Berkeley. He is an editor of the Lean Construction Blog. The goal of the LCB is to democractize and advance lean construction around the world.