Lean is a cross-industry management philosophy aimed at constantly developing company activities. Lean has already created revolutionary improvements in productivity within the industrial and service sectors. The steering group for the Lean Construction development project consists of the most significant companies and organizations (Granlund, Consti, Fira, Lemminkäinen, Finnish Transport Agency, Oulu University, Skanska, Talokeskus Yhtiöt, Sweco PM, Vianova, Vison and WSP) and on 19 March 2014 they presented the completed principles of the Lean model. The aim of the steering group is to set an example of change for Finland’s entire construction industry. The pioneering group began its activities in 2010.
The construction industry needs a national strategy and a structural transformation
The construction industry is one of Finland’s biggest investment sectors with a value of approx. 28 billion euros. Construction investments account for two thirds of the investments made in Finland. Studies show that, at its worst, approximately one third of the time spent on construction sites is wasted time that costs. The construction industry has the potential to reduce Finland’s sustainability gap significantly. The change can be achieved by transforming the structures and culture within the industry.
The steering group believes that Finland needs a national strategy for changing the conventional practices of the construction industry, starting from the procurement procedures. A mutual aim, however, is not enough as there is also a need for a structural change to break down the barriers. The customers, subcontractors and end users should all be included in the design and building process which should be watertight and transparent. It is the only way to eliminate overlapping functions and to control the costs.
More efficiency and quality needed in projects
Granlund’s representative in the steering group is BIM Manager Tero Järvinen who believes that Lean Construction will improve the efficiency of projects. “The Lean Construction philosophy makes it possible to carry out projects more efficiently and with better quality. This does not mean that the schedules become tighter, but instead work will be done in a timely manner so that the content matches the stage of the project,” Järvinen explains.
According to Järvinen, agreement models that encourage cooperation combined with information modeling would improve project quality and cost-effectiveness and speed up the schedules. “Lean Construction is the last missing piece in the puzzle of smarter construction,” he says.
BIM Manager, Granlund Oy