Combining Lean Methods to Improve Construction Labour Efficiency in Renovation Projects

Hasse H. Neve1, Jon Lerche2 & Søren Wandahl3

1Consultant, Senior Associate, PhD, PwC, Aarhus, Denmark, +45 2879 1838, [email protected],
2PostDoc, PhD, Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, +45 6013 3595, [email protected],
3Professor, Dept. of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Aarhus University, Denmark, +45 4189 3216, [email protected],


The construction industry has experienced stagnation and perhaps even a decline in construction labor productivity for decades. This is problematic as labour costs in construction constitute up to 60% of the total project costs. This research aimed to investigate further how much complimentary lean construction tools could impact Construction Labor Efficiency (CLE). CLE is a key element in the denominator when calculating Construction Labor Productivity (CLP) because CLP focuses on maximizing value-adding-work time (numerator) and minimizing nonvalueadding-work time (denominator). A case study research approach with four renovation projects was used to collect Lean Implementation Degree (LID) and CLE data. The research findings showed a strong positive correlation between LID and CLE in the four renovation projects. The findings have implications for both academia and industry professionals. Academia now has initial results on which future research can be built. Industry professionals now have a better understanding of how lean improves efficiency and hereby better arguments for why lean construction methods must be implemented in future renovation projects. The research was limited by a small sample size of only four renovation projects. Thus, further research is needed to validate the effects in renovation projects and other types of construction projects as well.


Performance, productivity, work sampling, efficiency, implementation, lean



Neve, H. H. , Lerche, J. & Wandahl, S. 2021, 'Combining Lean Methods to Improve Construction Labour Efficiency in Renovation Projects' In:, Proc. 29th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC). Lima, Peru, 14-16 Jul 2021. pp 647-656

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