Implementing Lean Construction Effectively in a Year in a Construction Project

George Barbosa1, Fabíola Andrade2, Clarissa Biotto3 & Bruno Mota4

1Civil Engineer Trainee. Colmeia Construction Company, Fortaleza, Brazil, +55 85 32886600, [email protected]
2Civil engineer. Colmeia Construction Company, Fortaleza, Brazil, +55 85 99848252, [email protected]
3Architect. SIPPRO Management of Construction, Fortaleza, Brazil, +55 85 99484558, [email protected]
4Civil engineer. SIPPRO Management of Construction, Fortaleza, Brazil, +55 85 99458582, [email protected]


It is not easy to change the culture of a company to adopt a different philosophy of production, like Lean Construction. However, through great wish of directors and engineers and the need to manage a large project in the urban area of Fortaleza, Brazil, a plan to implement Lean Construction was developed and implemented. The project includes the construction of 1534 apartments, distributed in 99 blocks, 82 houses, swimming pools and golf fields, totalling an area of 55 hectares, within a planned duration for 10 years. The main goal of this paper is to present, step by step, all the process of implementation of different lean construction concepts, tools and techniques, and to discuss the benefits achieved in only one year. The construction company had no previous knowledge about lean concepts, and followed specialized consulting and regular classes on the topic during one year. During the study, the engineers started the implementation with the production system design and further the production planning and control using the Last Planner System. It was also developed a project management system in Delphi language which encloses plans for long, medium and short terms, information about availability of crews and control of productivity, safety, quality and customization of the apartments. The system contains real-time information of production control, by the use of tablets to check the services at construction site. The project achieved a more stable workflow and better matching of labor force and other resources, increased plan reliability, decreased the number of emergency requests for resources and work-in-progress. All supervisors became more involved with scheduling tasks in the operational level and all teams more committed to follow the plan. Currently, the project is running on time and on budget, and the company’s director has decided to implement Lean Construction in other projects of the company.


Implementation, Lean Construction, PSD, Last Planner System, ICT.



Barbosa, G. , Andrade, F. , Biotto, C. & Mota, B. 2013. Implementing Lean Construction Effectively in a Year in a Construction Project, 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 1017-1026.

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