A Lean enterprise optimises entire value streams across technology, resource, supplier and management boundaries to deliver maximum value to the customer. Lean processes require less resource, less effort, less space and less time to deliver the same or better results, increasing value and reducing cost.

Lean construction is the application of Lean thinking to the design and construction process. The links below provide more information on Lean construction, and how Lean construction supports sustainability.

Lean construction is the application of Lean thinking to design and construction processes, creating improved project delivery to meet client needs and improved efficiency for constructors.

Lean construction requires a Lean supply chain so that information, materials, equipment and manpower for each task in a project come in on time, complete and to quality. This requires collaboration and mutual commitment to:

  • Creating reliable production in both design and build phases
  • Planning
  • Improving long-term relationships
  • Committing to high performance and continual improvement

Download this pdf to learn more – What does it mean to be Lean?


Is Lean construction sustainable? Yes. In a number of ways.

You can be Lean without being explicitly green, but it is difficult to be as green as is possible without Lean and systems thinking and without a client who wants a sustainable product.

What does green mean in this context?

For us green is a shorthand label for construction products and processes that minimise their impact on our fragile environment. It seems to us that Lean is a valuable set of ideas for organisations that have declared their intention to learn to live within sustainable limits. Even for those who have not yet made that commitment, Lean will still enable clients to reduce their spend on heating, lighting and ventilating the built environment and constructors to reduce the costs of creating what clients and owners want.

© Alan Mossman & Tariq Abdelhamid 2009