Lean processes for sustainable project delivery

Anthony R. Lapinski, Michael J. Horman, David R. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

218 Scopus citations


Facility owners and project teams often struggle to engage "green" or "sustainable" requirements on building projects and can incur additional project costs as a result. Although "investments" in high performance building features can be paid back through operational savings, the project delivery methods currently adopted by most teams are laden with process waste. Lean production principles have been proven to reduce waste and improve process performance in highly complex development and production environments. Adopting these lean principles, this paper reports a study that identified the presence of value and waste in a sustainable building project. Through an empirical investigation of the Real Estate and Facilities Division of Toyota Motor Sales, Toyota's capital facility delivery process was mapped to identify both the steps in project delivery critical for success (value) and those that are waste. The investigation focused on the South Campus Facility, which received U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification at a project cost equivalent to a conventional facility. Through post hoc process-based analysis, insight about what added value and waste in sustainable project delivery at Toyota was obtained. The results also identify further improvement opportunities to Toyota's delivery process. For corporate facility owners and the Architecture Engineering Construction industry, the results unearth insights about how to successfully and economically deliver sustainable facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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