To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Lean approach in precast concrete component production

Suryani Ahmad (School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK) (Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Robby Soetanto (School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Chris Goodier (School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 15 March 2019

Issue publication date: 5 July 2019




This study applied the lean approach to the reinforcement work process in the component production of industrialised building system precast concrete construction (IBSPCC). The purpose of this paper is to identify and eliminate non-value added (NVA) activities to enhance the efficiency of the production process.


Data were collected via a case study of six-storey precast concrete building. A mapping of the reinforcement work process was conducted based on observations using time study technique and time-lapsed video, complemented by semi-structured interviews.


Through this application, several NVA activities, such as unnecessary inventory, excessive movement and coordination issues, were identified. Production performance could be enhanced by implementing Just-in-Time, Kanban, and layout improvements, which would address NVA activities.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the complexity of the construction process, only specific process elements were observed. To map the complete process, comprehensive observation must be conducted from beginning to end, which, though worthwhile, would be very time and resource intensive.


This paper focusses on strategies for improving the efficiency of the IBSPCC production process in Malaysian construction by developing a conceptual framework of the lean approach for the reinforcement work process. Certain aspects in the process such as layout and inventory need to be redesigned and simplified by minimising NVA activities.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the following organisations for their contributions and support of this research; Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Malaysia and certified IBSPCC manufacturers. Appreciation also goes to Ministry of Education, Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Malaysia for the financial support in the form of scholarship to the author.


Ahmad, S., Soetanto, R. and Goodier, C. (2019), "Lean approach in precast concrete component production", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 457-470.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles