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Application of line‐of‐balance and 4D CAD for lean planning

A. Björnfot (Division of Structural Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)
R. Jongeling (Division of Structural Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 24 April 2007



The purpose of this paper is to suggest the application of the line‐of‐balance (LoB) scheduling technique in combination with a 4D CAD workspace model as a method to improve the management of the flow of resources through locations in construction projects, defined as work flow. Current scheduling methods fail to consistently manage work flow, which can disrupt the construction process, leading to waste such as conflicts in time and space by construction crews.


LoB and 4D CAD are applied to a case study of multi‐story timber housing project involving the construction of 95 apartments in five six‐storey buildings. Based on the case study results, the benefits and limitations of the combined use of both methods are discussed.


The majority of the problems experienced during the actual construction process quickly become evident from an analysis of a relatively simple LoB diagram. Furthermore, the 4D CAD workspace model provides additional insights in the scheduling of construction activities, such as workspace availability, the spatial context of workspaces and partial overlap of workspaces.

Practical implications

Virtual design and construction methods based on principles from lean construction can contribute significantly to the value of the product and the elimination of waste in any construction project.


The paper refers to the guiding principles from lean construction in relation to virtual design and construction methods, such as simulations with 4D CAD. Additional research and studies of practical applications are suggested to facilitate the combination of principles from lean construction with virtual design and construction methods.



Björnfot, A. and Jongeling, R. (2007), "Application of line‐of‐balance and 4D CAD for lean planning", Construction Innovation, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 200-211.



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