Exploring the Adaption of Lean Principles to Highway Construction

The use of lean principles in the U.S. highway construction is limited although researchers and practitioners affirm its applicability in vertical construction and non-highway projects. Possible reasons might relate to public sector’s characteristics, including regulations towards using the traditional design-bid-build (D-B-B) method. With an increasing use of alternative contracting methods (ACMs), including design-build (D-B) and construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC), the public sector has opportunities to utilize lean principles as a means to maximize innovation, enhance effectiveness, and improve project performance. The objective of this study was to identify gaps of adapting lean principles within ACM-based highway projects. A comprehensive literature review of lean applications in the Europe, the U.K., and the U.S. was conducted. This study analyzed in detail six case highway projects that were delivered using D-B-B, D-B, and CM/GC and utilized main lean practices, including the last planner system, value stream mapping, and just-in-time principle. Findings show that adapting the lean principles to highway construction projects can result in cost and time savings and improved productivity. The study contributes to the body of knowledge by identifying a lack of using lean practices in the U.S. highway projects and recommending lean-based statements in relational contracts between public highway agencies and involved parties.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 291-300
  • Monograph Title: Construction Research Congress 2020: Project Management and Controls, Materials, and Contracts

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01767276
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784482889
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Nov 9 2020 3:05PM