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Deepen Collaboration and Relationships Through Lean Construction & Design

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News you can grind through…

From crazy design details in the new Apple Park, to a look into the future of 3D building, we've got the latest scoop on construction from around the country. So what are you waiting for? Grind away!

Report: Majority of Professionals Consider Leaving their Current Role

According to a recent report from Hays US, over 80% of people within the workforce think about leaving their current job and 65% of people would even take a pay cut for their ideal job. So, are you happy with your current job or is it time to start looking?

Building Bigger and Better with Wood

Using wood in single family homes (85 feet and below) has been status quo for years. But now in Portland, a developing firm is pushing to broaden the trend to taller and larger mixed use properties. Anticipated to be 12 stories high, this new project in Oregon has many wondering just how safe it will all be.

Some Concrete Science

A new finding from the University of British Columbia has found a way to make concrete stronger and more resilient. How? By putting rubber to the road! Through using recycled tires, researchers believe they can make the roads a more safe and longer lasting.

Over 40 States See Construction Employment Lower in September

After all of the hurricanes, fires, and storms most of the country is now in rebuilding season. This time of maintenance is putting construction builders back to work and in turn, is lowering the rate of construction unemployment nationally.

Six Design Details on the New Apple Park

From a newly designed pizza box (with a patent on it) to intelligent hydrodynamic technology, these six design details are certainly a little "out there" but more than anything, they're a little brilliant.

Construction Firm 3H Group Inc. to Build New Orlando Marriott Hotel

Estimated at $100 million, the new Marriott TownePlace Suites in Orlando is expected to be completed over the course of 18 months. The hotel will have over 160 hotel rooms in a seven story building.

California Begins Massive Rebuild Post Fire Season

"Our phones are ringing off the hook" says one California based construction company. Now that most of the fires in California are controlled, it's time for the state to rebuild and that means most construction firms will be beyond busy.

FAA Approves Instant Authorization For Low Altitude Drone Use

The Federal Aviation Administration has just approved a measure that instantly authorizes commercial use of drones (under a certain altitude). This new rule is expected to greatly affect the industry and is predicted to make things run smoother when using drones in construction.

A Look at Ventilation Variety in Multi-Family Homes

Check out this guide on the various forms of ventilation recommended for multi-family housing. When thinking about all the things you need to consider when selecting your building's "pair of lungs" this guide will certainly come in handy!

The Future of 3D Building

The rise of prefabrication, offsite construction, and 3D building are making construction better and more efficient. Why? Well, when you think about 3D building added into the prefabrication process, the possibilities for new construction practices are endless!

This was just an appetizer. Are you ready for the full course?

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History of construction is one of conflict. Traditional delivery methods use contracts to pit one participant against the other; or one participant against the many. The goals are to make the highest profit and pass as much risk as possible down the chain. Participants focus on protecting themselves from others and putting their own self-interests ahead of the project’s interests. And that leads to 70% of construction projects missing their deadlines and countless closing over budget. Lean construction and design principles offer to change that, and here’s how.

Relationships Over Going it Alone

Lean seeks to replace adversarial relationships with collaboration. Since the biggest obstacle to doing just that is distrust, you’ll find lean principles rely a lot on building and maintaining trust. That happens first by people becoming open to the idea of partnering, and then following through with better communication and cooperation. It includes addressing all project stakeholder and third party concerns so that everyone feels their input is valued and considered when making decisions.

It includes addressing all project stakeholder and third party concerns so that everyone feels their input is valued and considered when making decisions. 

Trust is by far the greatest challenge of lean construction simply because it runs counter to ingrained business thought. The business world reveres competition. Add contracts that redistribute risk to those least able to control it, and use project delivery methods that primarily rely on competition for awarding contracts, and you successfully disable trust as a project tenet. Lean construction uses team concepts to build trust among participants right at the project’s start.

Releasing the Knowledge

For decades, construction firms have taken to heart that “knowledge is power.” In fact, they’ve created elaborate systems designed to sequester and protect project knowledge so they can reduce claims and risks. It’s a natural outgrowth from construction’s historic business model. So, you have all these project participants, each with its own project silo, holding information for its exclusive use, misuse, or disuse.

Lean construction and design seeks to set the knowledge free so all project participants can interact with it and use it for the betterment of the project. For example, getting inputs from all project participants during the design phase is already proven to substantially increase productivity.

When you release the pent up knowledge on each project, all participants have the opportunity to learn and carry that knowledge forward to other projects. 

Building information modeling lets participants not only interact with the physical aspects of the project but also with the specified items, and even with the costs. And, when participants can access each others’ materials and equipment orders, countless opportunities for decreasing downtime and waste may appear. There’s a larger application of this principle as well.

Each project is unique, but there are many aspects that exist across all other projects. For example, any project that uses wood framing uses the same type of wood framing components, from studs, to top and bottom plates, to trimmers. When you release the pent up knowledge on each project, all participants have the opportunity to learn and carry that knowledge forward to other projects. So, when framers on one project use a unique process in selecting lumber to create less waste, other teams can learn and adapt their technique from them.

Making the Goals Common

Making the goals common is another tenet of effective partnering. It lowers self-centeredness and increases collaboration. You don’t have to look any further than modern sporting events, like football or basketball, to see this in action. A group of people has the common goal of getting the ball into a specific space. If a team operated like a traditional construction project, each player would instead be focused on getting the ball into a space that’s best for them. That might confuse the opposition and make for humorous viewing, but it wouldn’t advance the game toward an acceptable outcome. In short, the game would fail its objectives.

The same happens when project participants make their own goals more important than the goals of the project. Eventually, the project might get finished, but at what cost, and on whose schedule? Lean construction and design suggests that team members focusing on common goals redirect their energy and creativity toward solving problems that affect all team members. That, in turn, affects the entire project positively.

The historical ways of building limit innovation and keep processes mired in waste. Such an attitude reduces productivity. But, lean construction and other collaborative delivery methods offer construction projects more on-time deliveries, claims and litigation reductions, predictable costs, and designs that meet owner needs better today and tomorrow.

If you liked this article, here are a few eBookswebinars, and case studies you may enjoy:

Field Productivity: the Missing Link to Higher Profit Margins Go Lean this Summer: Cutting Waste and Increasing Productivity on the Jobsite Frampton Construction Study

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