How Lean Construction Practices Maximize Efficiency

Empirical evidence from a 2018 research study found that companies that employed high lean intensity completed 45% of construction projects early and delivered 70% of them under budget. Lean construction practices have been gaining popularity in the building industry for good reason. Unlike traditional construction procedures, a lean construction philosophy aims to improve every stage of the construction process, from project design to completion. Let’s take a deeper look at what a lean construction approach entails and the major benefits it brings. 

What Are Lean Construction Practices?

A lean construction management system focuses on maximizing value to the client. The principles of lean construction practices include: constantly improving how things are done, eliminating wasted time and material, satisfying client goals and priorities, and respecting all parties involved in the project. The approach seeks to boost productivity and increase efficiency throughout the entire construction process. As a result, clients can increase speed to market and improve their return on investment on capital projects.

How Multi-trade Prefabrication Helps Improve Efficiency

A major component of lean construction is multi-trade prefabrication. This involves specialty contractors involved in the building project to employ offsite construction of major components for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. Similar to just-in-time inventory, materials are then delivered on an as-needed basis. It is a practical and cost-effective solution to improve the workflow of a construction project. There are many benefits to multi-trade prefabrication including:

  • Meet Demands of the Industry: With construction booming and labor shortages, deadlines can be harder to meet. Offsite construction allows more trades to work productively at their own facility, which improves productivity and speed, even with less workers on site.

  • Improved Safety: Multi-trade prefabrication reduces the build up of materials at the construction site. This reduces tripping hazards, allows contractors to work productively, and reduces material handling time.

  • Higher Quality: Prefabrication allows trades to work in their own facility, which typically is temperature controlled and has superior lighting and ventilation. Therefore, contractors can focus on communication and producing high quality work.

  • Maximize Efficiency: Receiving materials on an as-needed basis can significantly reduce or eliminate work silos. With proper planning and coordination, trades can avoid delays or down time.

  • Decrease Waste: Reducing material waste by ordering components to exact sizes required will lower costs on materials, handling, and transportation. Offsite construction can also help to reduce worker downtime on-site, which reduces overtime hours that can lead to higher labor costs.

  • Increase Worker Satisfaction: When workers have more control over the process, they are more likely to feel more satisfied and put in their best effort. Prefabrication can eliminate wasted time on unnecessary tasks and reduce downtime.

  • Build Positive Client Relationships:  Meeting or exceeding client goals and expectations and maximizing value for clients can result in a positive building experience for the client. Strengthening the client relationship can lead to more opportunities down the line.

Offsite prefabrication has rapidly become a must have that clients expect. If your construction company has not taken advantage of prefabrication services, you could be falling behind your competition. At Ahern, we offer a variety of multi-trade modular prefabrication services.

Contact our experts for more information on how our prefabrication services can provide value to your project.