Lean construction: From theory to implementation

O. Salem, J. Solomon, A. Genaidy, I. Minkarah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

281 Scopus citations


This article compares the techniques developed for lean construction with those developed for lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing and lean construction techniques share many common elements despite the obvious differences in their assembly environments and processes. Manufacturing plants and construction sites are different in many ways that might explain why lean production theories and practices do not fully fit the construction industry. Though many lean construction tools and elements are still in an embryonic state, lean construction techniques are gaining popularity because they can affect the bottom line of projects. Additionally, this paper presents a study of a construction project in which specific lean construction elements were tested. Each technique was evaluated in terms of its impact on the performance of the project. Based on the findings of the study, a new "lean assessment tool" is proposed to quantify the results of lean implementations. The assessment tool evaluates six lean construction elements: last planner, increased visualization, huddle meetings, first-run studies, five S's, and fail safe for quality. This paper provides a simple and comprehensive approach that is transferable to any construction project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-175
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • Construction management
  • Lean construction
  • Theories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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