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An empirical study of the impact of lean construction techniques on sustainable construction in the UK

Oyedolapo Ogunbiyi (School of Built and Natural Environment, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Jack Steven Goulding (School of Engineering, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Adebayo Oladapo (School of Built and Natural Environment, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 6 January 2014

7373

Abstract

Purpose

The contribution of lean construction techniques in sustainable construction cannot be over emphasised, as sustainable development is now enshrined in government policy. In addition, lean construction is now faced with the challenges of sustainable development, continuous improvement, waste elimination, a stronger user focus, increased value for money along with high quality management of projects and supply chains, and improved communications. This paper presents an exploratory study from extant literature and the results of the use of questionnaire survey among construction participants to explore the contribution of implementing lean construction techniques in sustainable construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys of UK-based construction professional were conducted. The data collected were analysed with SPSS 19.0 version software using the percentile method, Cronbach ' s α reliability test, Kruskal Wallis test, Kendall ' s coefficient of concordance and one sample t-test.

Findings

Results from this study indicate that there are several benefits associated with implementation of lean construction and sustainable construction. The overall perspective of professionals within the construction industry, according to questionnaire survey, shows that benefits such as improved corporate image and sustainable competitive advantage, improved process flow and productivity, improvement in environmental quality and increased compliance with customer ' s expectations are realised following integration of principles of lean construction and sustainable construction within construction industry. Just-in-time, visualisation tool, value analysis, daily huddle meetings and value stream mapping are the most common lean tools/techniques for enabling sustainability. This study also identified several areas of linkage between lean and sustainability such as waste reduction, environmental management, value maximisation, and health and safety improvement among others.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in its consideration of lean construction principles to better understand its impact on sustainable construction. This research contributes to the awareness of the benefits that can be derived from the implementation of lean construction in sustainable construction within the construction industry.

Keywords

Citation

Ogunbiyi, O., Goulding, J.S. and Oladapo, A. (2014), "An empirical study of the impact of lean construction techniques on sustainable construction in the UK", Construction Innovation, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 88-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-08-2012-0045

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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