Building Lean, Building BIM
eBook - ePub

Building Lean, Building BIM

Improving Construction the Tidhar Way

Rafael Sacks, Samuel Korb, Ronen Barak

  1. 408 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (adapté aux mobiles)
  4. Disponible sur iOS et Android
eBook - ePub

Building Lean, Building BIM

Improving Construction the Tidhar Way

Rafael Sacks, Samuel Korb, Ronen Barak

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Building Lean, Building BIM is the essential guide for any construction company that wants to implement Lean Construction and Building Information Modelling (BIM) to gain a strategic edge over their competition.

The first of its kind, the book outlines the principles of Lean, the functionality of BIM, and the interactions between the two, illustrating them through the story of how Tidhar Construction has implemented Lean Construction and BIM in a concerted effort over four years. Tidhar is a small-to-medium-sized construction company that pioneered a way of working that gave it a profit margin unheard of in its market. The company's story serves as a case study for explanation of the various facets of Lean Construction and BIM. Each chapter defines a principle of Lean and/or BIM, describes the achievements and failures in Tidhar's implementation based on the experiences of the key people involved, and reviews the relevant background and theory.

The implementation at Tidhar has not been a pure success, but by examining their motives alongside their achievements and failures, readers will learn about what pitfalls and pinnacles to expect. A number of chapters also compare the experience of Tidhar with those of other companies who are leaders in their fields, such as Skanska and DPR.

This book is highly relevant and useful to a wide range of readers from the construction industry, especially those who are frustrated with the inefficiencies in their companies and construction projects. It is also essential reading for Lean and BIM enthusiasts, researchers and students from a variety of industries and backgrounds.

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Growing the Margin
“I read in a journal recently that ‘Lean construction and building information modelling (BIM) are quite different initiatives, but both are having profound impacts on the construction industry. A rigorous analysis of the myriad specific interactions between them indicates that a synergy exists which, if properly understood in theoretical terms, can be exploited to improve construction processes beyond the degree to which they might be improved by application of either of these paradigms independently’. It’s quite a mouthful, but I think it means that we should adopt both Lean Construction and BIM. But can that really work?”
Why do Lean and BIM offer great opportunity for construction companies?
The profit margins of most construction companies, measured as the ratio of profit to contract value for construction projects, are considered to be very low when compared with other industrial companies. This reflects the fact that companies compete in markets where the competitive edge is rooted in differences in local knowledge and negotiation skills rather than intellectual property or uniquely developed methods. The barriers to entry are relatively low and most contracts are bid and won on the basis of price alone.
In theory, in business environments like this, there is a great potential benefit to be gained from early adoption of new technologies or production methods that directly reduce production costs. This is because early adoption can allow a company to develop and maintain a fundamental competitive edge until the rest of the industry catches up. This can take some years, and these are years of growth opportunity for the early adopters. Henry Ford made a fortune and grew his company by implementing a radically new approach to mass production. Taiichi Ohno was instrumental in developing the Toyota Production System (TPS), which led to Toyota’s growth from a small sectorial company to an international leader.1 The leaders of DPR Construction in the USA grew their company from a start-up in the West Coast construction industry in 1990 to an international construction contractor with $2.9 billion in turnover by 2014, largely as a result of their democratic management approach but also in no small part due to their integrated adoption of Lean Construction and BIM.2 Tidhar’s story is a similar one, as we shall see. The leaders of all of these companies realized that “business as usual” was not enough for growth or even profit. An ethos of excellence led them to look for additional ways to excel.
There are risks, of course. Change requires investment and success is not guaranteed. Many companies have failed to make changes in appropriate ways and have gone into bankruptcy or have been taken over as a result. If it were easy, everyone would do it, and in fact, very few even make the attempt until they are left with no choice. This is particularly the case for both Lean Construction and for BIM adoption in the construction industry. Lean requires a change of thinking about production in any environment, and perhaps even more strongly so in construction because of the differences between manufacturing plants and construction sites. BIM requires new skills in technology and in systems processes. Changes in mindset, skills and technology are not easy for any individual and are even more difficult to implement across a company that cannot simply stop producing while changing. It has to be done “on the fly”.
Lean thinking offers a great opportunity to construction companies because the ways in which they work, in almost every case, fail to deliver the full value possible and are rife with waste. Numerous studies of the poor performance of construction industries in many countries, published in books, industrial reports and academic research,3 have illustrated the pervasiveness of the types of waste defined by Taiichi Ohno and others.4 The common phenomenon of projects delivered later than promised and/or at greater expense than estimated reflects the prevalence of waste. The studies also point out the shortcomings of the products delivered, showing how buildings often fail to deliver the expected levels of performance their occupants expect. Thus, wherever Lean Construction can increase productivity, it reduces the resource consumption required to build a building while simultaneously enhancing the building’s value to its customers.
BIM offers construction companies great opportunity too, because it solves many of the design quality, communication and control problems that plague the industry as a result of the use of 2D drawings. Here too, numerous studies have documented the potential to improve value to customers (primarily through simulation and analysis tools that enable much better quality control at the design stage) and to reduce costs (by reducing miscommunication and misunderstanding that lead to waiting, rework and other wastes directly, and by enabling the move to pre-assembly and off-site production which entirely removes many of the non-value-adding activities inherent in production on site).5
The initial notions of “Lean Construction” were crystallized circa 1992.6 Although the term “BIM” was coined in 2002, BIM software has been available since the 1990s in different forms.7 Why then did full-fledged adoption of these innovations only begin in the mid 2000s, and then only in pioneering companies? We hope that the answers to this question will become clearer through the remainder of the book, as we describe the significant changes that are necessary.
Why Lean and BIM together?
Lean Construction is a management paradigm that tends to disrupt traditional patterns of work. It can be implemented without any technology, but technological tools can support its implementation. BIM is first and foremost a technology, but it is not only a technology. Its successful implementation is entirely dependent on introducing BIM-appropriate workflows that are different from traditional workflows.
Introducing two novel systems simultaneously could cause disruption and failure of both efforts, posing a serious threat to the health of any construction company, if they are not compatible. Are the process changes required for BIM and Lean Construction compatible? This is a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for simultaneous implementation. The question has been researched extensively, and the answer is that for the most part they are compatible, although some points of friction have been identified.
In a 2010 article entitled The Interaction of Lean and Building Information Modelling in Construction, the authors analysed the possible interactions between 24 Lean Construction principles and 18 BIM functionalities.8 By examining many examples from construction case studies, they identified 54 points of direct interaction, of which 50 were positive (mutually reinforcing) interactions and just 4 were negative. For example, when designers collaborate closely using BIM (functionalities 9 and 10), the result is a significant reduction in the cycle time needed for each design iteration (principle C; these are interactions 23 and 24 in Figure 1.1). This will be seen clearly in Chapter 14, “BIM in the big room”, later in the book. However, the principle of reducing inventory (D) can be violated if planners generate large numbers of construction plan alternatives just because it is easy to do so using the power of the computer with BIM technology (interaction 29 in Figure 1.1).
The authors concluded that implementing BIM and Lean Construction simultaneously was not only possible, but indeed highly recommended, because many BIM functionalities improved the flow of design, planning, supply chain and construction processes, a key part of Lean. Thus, to successfully integrate the work processes that will replace traditional ones in any given construction company, those guiding the effort should be aware of these interactions, and consciously plan to amplify the positive ones while taking precautions not to fall into the traps set by the negative ones.
Tidhar Group, Ltd
Tidhar’s founders, Arye Bachar and Gil Geva, established a small construction contracting company in 1990. Arye had worked as a salaried construction engineer and a freelance project manager for some 11 years, mostly in residential construction. Gil was a land-scaping contractor. They had met when Arye hired Gil to do the landscaping and gardening development work on a housing project he was building. The two quickly realized that they shared a similar work ethic and business values. They looked with disdain on the behaviours of many of the construction companies they worked with in the small-to-medium residential sector. They saw that the construction companies were unable to plan or to work to a schedule, payments to suppliers were commonly made late and sometimes not at all, the quality of work was low, and they treated employees and even homebuyers poorly. They wanted to be different – to meet schedules, to pay on time and to nurture their employees to relate to their subcontractors as long-term partners rather than as opportunistically engaged service providers.
In 1993, the company was awarded a large residential project and wanted to begin construction quickly, but the company did not have the necessary government certification. To solve the problem quickly, they acquired a 50 per cent stake in a small, almost bankrupt, but appropriately certified company: Tidhar Construction Ltd. Two years later, they acquired the remaining 50 per cent.
Tidhar’s relaunch under its two new owners coincided with the start of a decade of rapid growth in the local construction industry, which stemmed directly from the mass immigration to Israel over that time of over one million people. Most of the new immigrants came from the Jewish communities of the various ex-Soviet Union countries who had gained the freedom to emigrate after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Providing housing and community buildings for this influx was a significant challenge; the immigrants represented approximately a 21 per cent increase in the total population of the country. Among other steps it took to provide housing, the government embark...

Table des matiĂšres

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Dedication
  6. Table of Contents
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Preface
  9. 1 Introduction: Growing the Margin
  10. 2 False starts
  11. 3 Education and motivation
  12. 4 The Dawn Tower: Project profile
  13. 5 The Skanska Finland way
  14. 6 Continuous improvement and respect for people
  15. 7 Tidhar on the Park, Yavne: Project profile
  16. 8 The waste of non-value-adding work
  17. 9 Learning to see
  18. 10 CU Fiat project: Project profile
  19. 11 Virtual design and construction
  20. 12 The Lease Crutcher Lewis way
  21. 13 Tidhar on the Park, Rosh Ha’ayin: Project profile
  22. 14 BIM in the big room
  23. 15 What flows in construction?
  24. 16 Production planning and control in construction
  25. 17 The Last PlannerÂź System
  26. 18 Raising planning resolution: The four–day floors
  27. 19 The Fira way
  28. 20 Pulling it all together
  29. 21 Reflective practice and practical research
  30. 22 Conclusion: Staying the course
  31. Glossary
  32. Bibliography
  33. Index of characters
  34. Index