Walbridge 100th
Lean Construction

Lean Construction

Maximizing Value is Good

Walbridge works diligently to encourage Lean thinking companywide and drives the relentless pursuit of improvement throughout the organization.

8 Types of Waste

We recognize eight areas where waste can reside on a project. They are:

  • Over-Production – Producing over customer requirement and/or unnecessary materials/products
  • Inventory – Holding or purchasing unnecessary raw supplies, work-in-process inventory and/or finishing goods
  • Transportation – Having multiple handlers, unnecessary delays in material handling
  • Waiting – Time delays and/or idle time (non-value added time)
  • Motion – Actions of people or equipment that do not add value to the product
  • Over-Processing – Unnecessary processing steps or work elements/procedures
  • Corrections – Producing a part that is scrapped or requires rework
  • Not Utilizing Human Resources– Not following up, implementing ideas and/or suggestions

The application of Lean concepts throughout our organization distinguishes Walbridge’s program. Lean principles that improve safety, quality, cost, communication and schedule are consistently applied across all delivery methods, business units and administrative functions. We also train our partners, subcontractors and tradesmen to become as productive as possible.

Basic Lean concepts applied across our business include:

  • Logistical Planning – We evaluate access and plan the movement of people, material and equipment in designated areas. Logistical planning is considered early in the process and is continually reviewed, monitored and revised to ensure its integrity.
  • Look-Ahead Planning – We identify upcoming tasks that are required to maintain productivity within a group, department or project. Look-Ahead Plans include team commitments to identified dates.
  • 5 “S” Philosophy and Concepts – A common sense approach to organizing and storing materials and tools
    1. Separate and Scrap – Sort only what you need; salvage and dispose of garbage/broken items
    2. Straighten – Organize required tools and materials for quick and easy access of inventory
    3. Scrub – Cleaning and maintaining helps identify damage. This keeps required tools and material ready and working.
    4. Standardize – Create and communicate processes to keep things in order. Keep it simple.
    5. Sustain – Conduct scheduled 5 “S” audits, preventative maintenance and inventory checks. Protect and secure equipment, tools and material.
  • Visual Management – The use of visual cues within a specific setting enhances the management of a given process. The use of scorecards to track progress, show current status and indicate future goals is a particularly effective VM method.
  • Team Huddles – Huddles are informal gatherings of key personnel held regularly that support the day-to-day review of tasks, short-term goals and project status.

Lean doesn’t just contribute to Walbridge’s bottom line. Lean tools and ideas save owners time and money as well.

Project Examples

Armed Forces Reserve Center at Moffett Field

This project in Mountain View, Calif. involved a complex, phased schedule, making it critical for the team to implement an array of lean tools. The project team completed bi-weekly 5 ”S” checklists, complete with action plans and due dates. On a daily basis, the Superintendent would complete a walk-through and Lean audit of the site, ensuring it was clean and organized. The demolition of 26 buildings on site created 16,000 tons of concrete and asphalt that was re-used for building and site work sub-base. Debris was separated from re-usable material and the debris was disposed of in the correct receptacles.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

In constructing a new airport terminal near Panama City, the project team utilized a three-week look-ahead schedule with subcontractors to alert them to upcoming activities. In daily work huddles, the project team and subcontractors addressed the day’s activities and ensured schedule slippage did not occur. Effective use of a weekly 5 “S” checklist kept the laydown areas on this large site well organized.

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