The AEC industry has been increasingly interested in the philosophy of lean construction, which aims to enhance predictability in construction projects by eliminating waste, boosting productivity, reducing costs, and shortening project timelines for more efficient and secure results.
While lean originated in the automobile industry, it has gained traction in construction, spurred on by Building Information Modelling (BIM).
BIM and Lean Construction are significant change agents in the construction sector, with recent research highlighting their significant synergies from the design phase to the construction and facilities management phase. Construction accounting software with BIM (Building Information Modeling) capabilities can be valuable for implementing lean construction practices. By integrating financial data with BIM models, the software can help teams identify areas of waste and inefficiency in the construction process.
This allows for more informed decision-making and accurate cost estimates, reducing the risk of budget overruns. The software can also help teams streamline communication and collaboration by providing a central platform for project data.
This blog summarizes the top benefits of combining Lean Construction and BIM.
Minimize Variability in Final Product
Through early evaluation of design alternatives based on their functional properties, such as acoustic, wind, thermal, etc; the occurrence of variability caused by delayed client-initiated changes can be reduced to a certain extent
BIM models can be utilized for design, constructability, and space clash analysis, resulting in enhanced quality in the construction process. Additionally, integrating BIM with industrial control systems allows for the prefabrication of complex construction components, which further helps minimize product variability in the field.
Enhance Production Cycle Efficiency
The integration of Lean Construction and BIM allows for a quick turnaround of critical tasks such as structural, thermal, and acoustic performance analysis, cost estimation, and evaluation of conformance to the client's program.
Collaborative design reduces the cycle times for the design phase, while parallel processing on multiple workstations minimizes design cycle times. With better design, operational schedules in the field become more optimized and accurate, reducing conflicts and further shortening cycle times during construction.
A complete data repository free of clashes on a BIM model also addresses information needs and constructability issues in the field, ultimately reducing extended cycle times.
Minimize Variability in Production
Production variability can be reduced by using automated quantity takeoffs linked to BIM models. The accuracy of these automated processes is higher than that of manual methods. If a design change occurs later in the project, the linked quantity files are updated, ensuring that the quantities remain accurate.
In addition, modifications made to one section or plan are automatically reflected in all other sections and plans, maintaining a consistent design throughout the project. With BIM models, a single data repository is available for the entire project life cycle, which helps to minimize variability caused by coordination and project-data handover issues between different stages of the project.
Implementing Single-Piece Flow by Generating Drawings On-Demand
Construction teams can produce and review smaller batches of information by automating the process of generating drawings, particularly shop drawings for steel or precast fabrication. This method enables them to provide the necessary details whenever required, allowing for just-in-time production of the right pieces, resulting in a single-piece flow process.
Adopt Pull Systems
The pull system operates on the principle of producing only when downstream units need components, ensuring that upstream units only create enough to meet demand and minimize work-in-progress.
Construction teams can pull drawings as needed by utilizing a BIM database, preventing design overload. Furthermore, integrating BIM quantity takeoffs with the company and supplier's ERP systems facilitates just-in-time material and consumable logistics, enabling timely coordination between the construction field and suppliers.
Combining lean and BIM improves efficiency, reduces costs, and adds value to construction projects. Effective leadership and collaboration with contractors and the supply chain are crucial.
By using Dynamics construction software with BIM capabilities, construction teams can optimize their workflows, improve project outcomes, and ultimately deliver projects more efficiently and cost-effectively. While challenges remain, the collaborative process shows promise in transforming the construction industry. Ongoing research aims to further integrate lean and BIM for maximum benefit.