Lean Construction Research (LCR) Lab

The mission of the Lean Construction Research (LCR) Lab is to develop and deploy knowledge and methods for project-based production systems using lean principles and philosophy.

Helping the Industry Implement Lean

Through collaboration with industry partners, LCR Lab has developed several tools and models for practitioners to implement lean principles in their project setting. These include:

  • A Percentage of Constraints Removal (PCR), a new measurement for the make-ready process
  • Strategies for a reliable supply chain system (Rebar; Curtain-Wall)
  • Innovative organizational structures for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
  • An evaluation framework for the integrated design process

Helping the Industry with Process-Based Costing

In the area of direct cost control, LCR’s focus has been on the earned-value method (EVM), which is a standard cost control practice in current project management.  In the area of overhead cost control, LCR has focused on applying a new overhead cost control practice, activity-based costing or ABC to the construction industry, publishing the book, Activity Based Costing for Construction Companies, in 2017. 

LCR’s impact on process-based costing includes:

  • Producing a workflow to improve interoperability from BIM to Enterprise Asset Management Systems
  • Developing a Customized Earned Value Method (CEV)
  • Applying Activity-Based Costing (ABC) in construction to effectively manage overhead costs

Supporting Sustainable Design & Construction

LCR research has focused on the application of lean to sustainable design and construction. What changes in the construction management community might contribute to ensuring that conditions exist for life on earth to thrive undiminished, indefinitely? That question is at the core of LCR’s research agenda in sustainability. To this end, our lab has developed an environmental impacts of construction supply chain systems process that will help support sustainable design and construction.


LCR Lab Posts:

CM Faculty Research Updates

Ahmed Aziz published and presented “The USA PPP Payment Mechanisms – the Path Toward Comprehensive Systems” at the Construction Research Congress in New Orleans, Louisiana. Bill Bender published “A Model for Collecting Replacement Cycles of Building Components: A Hybrid Approach of Indirect and Direct Estimations” in ASCE’s Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. Carrie Dossick…

Design and Construction Innovation Through Collaboration, Lean Construction and Building Information Modeling

DOWNLOAD PAPER The construction industry has long tried to improve the efficiency of its outcomes and maximize the value to owners by improving the team integration and applying manufacturing-oriented production philosophies. We studied a successful example of the recent approach to project delivery in the industry and interviewed key project participants to understand their working…

What can we do better? Convening the best minds to re-imaging capital construction at UW and WSU (2016)

Researchers at the Center for Education and Research in Construction supported an effort by UW and WSU to explore capital construction costs. DOWNLOAD WHITE PAPER Why do university buildings cost so much? Most capital project groups have a series of pat answers to this question, but at the UW and WSU we think it is…

Implications of New Construction Technology for Western Washington Mechanical Contractors (2011)

This research was supported through generous funding from the Mechanical Contractors Association of Western Washington, the University of Washington Royalty Research Fund, the College of Built Environments and the Departments of Construction Management and Communication. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0823338. Any opinions, findings, conclusions…

Modular Prefabricated Residential Construction: Constraints & Opportunities (2013)

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT In 2012/2013, CERC received a Skanska Innovation Grant to study the potential for modular prefabricated construction for mid- to high-rise residential buildings in Seattle. The current practices in the construction industry are labor-intensive and surrounded by significant risks associated with market, site and weather conditions. In addition, the construction industry has been…