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An integrated approach toward lean for production homebuilders

  • Author / Creator
    Yu, Haitao
  • Homebuilding is widely regarded as the most analogous sector in the construction industry to automobile manufacturing. In the past decades, increasing interest from homebuilders has been seen to model the homebuilding process after manufacturing, particularly lean production, to improve productivity. However, differences inherent in the nature of the products prevent the direct implementation of lean principles and systems in the homebuilding industry. Project-oriented techniques used by the other sectors of construction are still dominant in homebuilding process planning and control. There is a clear need for an approach to integrate a lean production system into the homebuilding process and to overcome the challenges in lean implementation. The purpose of this research is to develop a lean production approach for the North American homebuilding industry. Specifically, this research intends to provide a framework and a set of guidelines that can help production homebuilders to improve their efficiency through lean transformation. This study first investigated the current homebuilding process and then conducted a comparative study between the homebuilding and automobile industries. Based on the analysis, a lean homebuilding model was developed, and key lean strategies were identified to support lean implementation efforts. Case study results revealed that a lean production system can be successfully applied to the homebuilding process, and lean strategies, such as continuous flow, pull system, production leveling, standardized work, investing in the people, and visual management were effective in improving a homebuilder’s operation performance in terms of construction cycle time, process stability and house quality. The major contribution of this dissertation is to provide production homebuilders a roadmap to developing their own lean production systems and lean implementation strategies. The research results are also anticipated to be a benchmark for future studies in the academic field and for the homebuilding industry.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39Q65
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Mohamed Al-Hussein (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • J.J. Roger Cheng (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Geoffrey Qiping Shen (Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
    • J.J. Roger Cheng (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Stanislav Karapetrovic, (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Mohamed Al-Hussein (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Simaan M. AbouRizk (Civil and Environmental Engineering)