Construction Organization

Lean construction

Picture: Jörg Fenner

Applicability of lean construction in SMEs in the construction industry

Andreas Augustin M. Sc.

One field of research of the Institute of Construction Technologies and Management at TU Darmstadt is Lean Construction. In the context of this research work, the status of the implementation and applicability of lean construction in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry is examined. There are research reports on the implementation of lean construction at the general contractor level. This study focuses on a subordinate sub-process level, which is directly related to the production process level and is based on numerous practical experiences of the researcher. The lean construction approach is critically examined using value stream analyses and takes into account the boundary conditions and experiences of an SME. In this context, the discussion and positioning of customer value are an elementary focal point. The customer value in an SME may be different from that, which has been discussed and investigated in the construction industry so far at higher construction process levels between construction companies and the customers. Specific boundary conditions have an impact on the level of an SME. The application of Lean Construction at the overall process level of a construction project can have different effects on the sub-process level of the SME.