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The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Held at Dauphine Université, Paris, 2-3 September 2010
ISBN 978-1-84219-619-9 © RICS 12 Great George Street London SW1P 3AD United Kingdom www.rics.org/cobra September 2010

The RICS COBRA Conference is held annually. The aim of COBRA is to provide a platform for the dissemination of original research and new developments within the specific disciplines, sub-disciplines or field of study of:

Management of the construction process
• • • • • • • •

Cost and value management Building technology Legal aspects of construction and procurement Public private partnerships Health and safety Procurement Risk management Project management

The built asset
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Property investment theory and practice Indirect property investment Property market forecasting Property pricing and appraisal Law of property, housing and land use planning Urban development Planning and property markets Financial analysis of the property market and property assets The dynamics of residential property markets Global comparative analysis of property markets Building occupation Sustainability and real estate Sustainability and environmental law Building performance

which is invaluable to the success of COBRA. UK University of the West of England. South Africa Texas A and M University. USA RMIT University. Austria UNITEC. UK Liverpool John Moores University. UK Glasgow Caledonian University. UK University of Cape Town. Australia University of Salford. UK University of Technology Sydney. South Africa Anglia Ruskin University. South Africa Auburn University. Australia Calford Seaden. Australia Heriot-Watt University. Australia University of Melbourne. USA University of Pretoria. USA University of Manchester. The conference organisers wish to extend their appreciation to the following members of the panel for their work. UK Queensland University of Technology. UK KNUST. Australia City University of Hong Kong University of Pretoria. South Africa Glasgow Caledonian University. UK University of Wolverhampton.The property industry • • • • • Information technology Innovation in education and training Human and organisational aspects of the industry Alternative dispute resolution and conflict management Professional education and training Peer review process All papers submitted to COBRA were subjected to a double-blind (peer review) refereeing process. UK University of Bolton. Nigeria Auburn University. UK Covenant University. UK Ahmadu Bello University. New Zealand University of Pretoria. UK . Rifat Akbiyikli Rafid Al Khaddar Ahmed Al Shamma’a Tony Auchterlounie Kwasi Gyau Baffour Awuah Kabir Bala Juerg Bernet John Boon Douw Boshoff Richard Burt Judith Callanan Kate Carter Keith Cattell Antoinette Charles Fiona Cheung Sai On Cheung Samuel Chikafalimani Ifte Choudhury Chris Cloete Alan Coday Michael Coffey Nigel Craig Ayirebi Dansoh Peter Davis Peter Defoe Grace Ding Hemanta Doloi John Dye Peter Edwards Charles Egbu Ola Fagbenle Ben Farrow Peter Fenn Peter Fewings Sakarya University. Turkey Liverpool John Moores University. Ghana Curtin University. UK Anglia Ruskin University. UK RMIT. Nigeria Danube University Krems. Referees were drawn from an expert panel. representing respected academics from the construction and building research community. Australia TPS Consult.

UK . South Africa University of Northumbria. South Africa Auburn University. UK Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Malaysia Georgia Institute of Technology. UK University of Greenwich. UK University of Central Lancashire. South Africa Nottingham Trent University. South Africa Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Australia University of Wolverhampton. South Korea University of Wolverhampton. South Africa Robert Gordon’s University. UK University of Ulster. UK Arizona State University. UK University of Glamorgan. USA University of Central Lancashire. UK Nottingham Trent University. Malaysia University of Wolverhampton. UK Anglia Ruskin University. Thailand University of Wales Institute. Cardiff. South Korea University of New South Wales. UK University of Pretoria. Ireland National University of Singapore University of Lagos. UK University of Cape Town. UK Auburn University. UK University of Central Lancashire. UK Construction IT Alliance. Australia Glasgow Caledonian University. South Africa University of the Free State. USA Oxford Brookes University. South Africa Liverpool John Moores University. USA University of Pretoria.Peter Fisher Chris Fortune Valerie Francis Rod Gameson Abdulkadir Ganah Seung Hon Han Anthony Hatfield Theo Haupt Dries Hauptfleisch Paul Holley Danie Hoffman Keith Hogg Alan Hore Bon-Gang Hwang Joseph Igwe Adi Irfan Javier Irizarry Usman Isah David Jenkins Godfaurd John Keith Jones Dean Kashiwagi Nthatisi Khatleli Mohammed Kishk Andrew Knight Scott Kramer Esra Kurul Richard Laing Terence Lam Veerasak Likhitruangsilp John Littlewood Junshan Liu Champika Liyanage Greg Lloyd S M Lo Mok Ken Loong Martin Loosemore David Manase Donny Mangitung Patrick Manu Tinus Maritz Hendrik Marx Ludwig Martin Wilfred Matipa Steven McCabe Annie McCartney Andrew McCoy Enda McKenna Kathy Michell Roy Morledge University of Northumbria. UK Chulalongkorn University. UK Birmingham City University. UK Virginia Tech. UK Auburn University. UK City University of Hong Kong Yonsei University. USA University of Manchester. South Africa University of the Free State. UK Yonsei University. USA Queen’s University Belfast. UK University of Glamorgan. USA University of Cape Town. Nigeria Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. UK Universitas Tadulako. UK Robert Gordon’s University. UK University of Salford. UK University of Melbourne.

South Africa University of KwaZulu. Australia University of Northumbria. UK Heriot-Watt University. South Africa University of Greenwich. Ireland Deakin University. UK University of Wolverhampton. UK University of Cape Town. South Africa MUJV Ltd. Turkey University of the Witwatersrand. USA University of Hong Kong. UK Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. UK Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. UK Arizona State University. UK Coventry University. South Africa Georgia Institute of Technology.Michael Murray Saka Najimu Stanley Njuangang Henry Odeyinka Ayodejo Ojo Michael Oladokun Alfred Olatunji Austin Otegbulu Beliz Ozorhon Obinna Ozumba Robert Pearl Srinath Perera Joanna Poon Keith Potts Elena de la Poza Plaza Matthijs Prins Hendrik Prinsloo Richard Reed Zhaomin Ren Herbert Robinson Kathryn Robson Simon Robson David Root Kathy Roper Steve Rowlinson Paul Royston Paul Ryall Amrit Sagoo Alfredo Serpell Winston Shakantu Yvonne Simpson John Smallwood Heather Smeaton-Webb Bruce Smith Melanie Smith Hedley Smyth John Spillane Suresh Subashini Kenneth Sullivan Joe Tah Derek Thomson Matthew Tucker Chika Udeaja Basie Verster Francois Viruly John Wall Sara Wilkinson Trefor Williams University of Strathclyde. UK Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. UK University College London. UK University of Central Lancashire. Chile Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. Nigeria Newcastle University. UK Northumbria University. UK University of Wolverhampton. Australia University of Glamorgan. UK Auburn University. UK University of Glamorgan. South Africa Waterford Institute of Technology. USA Leeds Metropolitan University. Seychelles University of Uyo. UK London South Bank University. Hong Kong Nottingham Trent University. UK University of Ulster. UK Nottingham Trent University. UK Ministry of National Development. UK University of the Free State. Australia University of Glamorgan. Australia Bogazici University. UK Liverpool John Moores University. UK . Spain Delft University of Technology. Natal. The Netherlands University of Pretoria. UK Glasgow Caledonian University. USA Oxford Brookes University. UK Queen’s University Belfast. South Africa Northumbria University. South Africa University of the Witwatersrand. UK RMIT. South Africa Deakin University.

Israel Istanbul Technical University. South Africa Leeds Metropolitan University. UK University of New South Wales. UK University of Salford. UK National University of Singapore University of Salford. UK TU Delft. Malaysia University of South Australia University of the Free State. UK Glasgow Caledonian University. Turkey University of Sheffield. Australia University of Wolverhampton. UK Northumbria University. UK In addition to this. UK Imperial College London. UK University of Pretoria. UK City University of Hong Kong University of Salford. UK Cardiff University University of Ulster. UK University of Salford. Finland Bournemouth University. USA University of Plymouth. UK Keating Chambers. UK Loughborough University.Bimbo Windapo Francis Wong Ing Liang Wong Andrew Wright Peter Wyatt Junli Yang Wan Zahari Wan Yusoff George Zillante Benita Zulch Sam Zulu University of Cape Town. UK University of Westminster. UK Technion. UK Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. UK Sheffield Hallam University. UK National University of Singapore University of Reading. South Africa Hong Kong Polytechnic University Glasgow Caledonian University. UK Anglia Ruskin University. UK University of Helsinki. UK Texas A&M University. The Netherlands University of the West of England. the following specialist panel of peer-review experts assessed papers for the COBRA session arranged by CIB W113 John Adriaanse Julie Adshead Alison Ahearn Rachelle Alterman Deniz Artan Ilter Jane Ball Luke Bennett Michael Brand Penny Brooker Alice Christudason Paul Chynoweth Sai On Cheung Julie Cross Melissa Daigneault Steve Donohoe Ari Ekroos Tilak Ginige Martin Green David Greenwood Asanga Gunawansa Jan-Bertram Hillig Rob Home Peter Kennedy Anthony Lavers Wayne Lord Sarah Lupton Tim McLernon Frits Meijer Jim Mason Brodie McAdam Tinus Maritz London South Bank University. South Africa . UK Leeds Metropolitan University. UK University of Reading. UK De Montfort University.

Australia Birmingham City University. UK Trinity College Dublin.Francis Moor Issaka Ndekugri John Pointing Razani Abdul Rahim Linda Thomas-Mobley Paul Tracey Yvonne Scannell Cathy Sherry Julian Sidoli del Ceno Keren Tweeddale Henk Visscher Peter Ward University of Salford. Ireland University of New South Wales. UK London South Bank University. UK University of Wolverhampton. The Netherlands University of Newcastle. UK Universiti Technologi. Malaysia Georgia Tech. UK Kingston University. USA University of Salford. Australia . UK TU Delft.

Seung Heon Professor. this paper attempts to apply both methods as integrated lean approach for productivity improvement. Simulation models for current (as-is) and improved (to-be) natural gas pipe operations were developed using the EXTEND simulation software.. Value stream mapping (VSM). when combined together. This study showed that VSM and simulation tools. Korea..kr Abstract From ancient Egypt’s pyramids to Qin Shi Huang’s terracotta army. such as value stream mapping (hereafter . With the contemplation of the past and the origin of the modern world’s leanthinking outlined.ac. INTRODUCTION Lean construction has long been discussed by numerous researchers. analyzing and evaluating lean construction have been studied separately by numerous researchers. Ken Loong Master student. Seoul. Seoul. woosik@yonsei. Keywords: Lean construction. whereby the improved natural gas pipe operations showed better results in all aspects of the process utilization and productivity. shh6018@yonsei.. cogitations of pre-existing waste-reduction similar to today’s lean-thinking have been practiced by several forerunners. Department of Civil & Environmental Eng. The role of value stream mapping (VSM) and simulation as tools in implementing.ac.kr Han. Yonsei Univ.. Department of Civil & Environmental Eng. and onto Henry Ford’s Model ‘T’. Korea. Yonsei Univ. mokkenloong@yonsei. Korea. Yonsei Univ. The current-state of the value-stream-map was drawn and analyzed to identify the waste related to lean management. On top of that... a detailed value-stream-map of individual processes against time frame was studied to extrude more hidden wastes. Woosik Master student. Eon Ill Master student.. an introduction to lean construction was given. Seoul. Simulation.ac.kr Jang. Department of Civil & Environmental Eng..Value stream mapping and simulation as integrated lean approach tool for improving productivity in the installation of natural gas pipes Mok. Hence. Yonsei Univ. A case study was carried out on a natural gas pipe works. Productivity improvement 1. Department of Civil & Environmental Eng.kr Sin. Korea.ac. seiys21@yonsei. Practical examples of the lean approach in construction were conducted using developed tools. form a strong integrated instrument for improving work productivity. Seoul.

1 The forebear of lean thinking Having gained much assurance since its introduction in the last decade of the twentieth century. it might be better to consider the integration of both evaluative tools in a manner whereby they could complement each other. The external ramps were temporary ramps for transporting millions of tons of stone to approximately 2/3 of the pyramid’s mass. part 5 discusses a short conclusion and suggestions for the future study. A case study for a natural gas pipe installation works is then carried out and the current-state value stream is mapped and analyzed in part 4. On the basis of ‘as-is’ analysis. its extension towards lean construction. It has been claimed that the application of lean-thinking in mass production appeared as early as 2600 B. Nevertheless. subsequently. In addition. we discuss waste-reduction prior to the well acknowledged lean-thinking principle. thus.C. similar concepts that are now seen as being the key to “lean” have been discovered and practiced by manufacturers and investors in order to improve productivity and eliminate waste in their production systems. when the Egyptians built the pyramids (Kenneth Wong. both simulation models of the current and improved states were modeled. and the relatively newer idea of lean production. 2007).called VSM) and simulation. validated and analyzed. Wong reported that a French architect named Houdin devised a new theory pertaining to the construction methods employed by the Egyptians at Giza (2570-2500 BCE). focus was usually placed on a single tool and its greatness onto the other. the Toyota Production System (TPS). ‘leaner’ future-state map is proposed. 1. The history of lean thinking is examined to enable a greater understanding of its development and. For a lay man. It also reviews the literature related to the topic in question. In part 1. the lean techniques are implemented in order to eliminate the waste in the current system. Houdin’s theory supposed that waste was eliminated during the construction of the pyramids through the reuse of the stones dismantled from the external ramps to build internal ramps for the completion of the pyramids. We believe that more such historical examples of waste conservation will be discovered in the future. The structure of this paper is as follows. leanthinking continues to inspire us to attain new heights in building better system for our current world and perhaps the promising future. “lean” would carry the meaning of economical or little waste. analyzing and evaluating lean construction. We should encourage more participation from our very own construction academia to unmask the mystery of yet another predecessor of lean construction applicants among various world heritages and megaliths that . Lean thinking. there exist numerous sources that quoted the existence of waste-reduction thinking long before the acknowledgement of the just-in-time (JIT). Part 2 describes the VSM and simulation methods as efficient integrated tools in implementing. This paper discusses the above mentioned matters plus some insights down the discovery lane of lean thinking. Then. Over the years. Instead. Part 3 details the procedural methodology adopted in the present study. Finally. was introduced as a means to reduce the waste through identification and elimination of waste which was defined under lean-management. However.

Eventually. The overwhelming responses to Womack’s study led to the term of ‘lean production’ first called being coined by Krafcik in 1988 (Holweg. Levinson (2002) once mentioned that the philosophy behind the revolutionized Japanese manufacturing was the same as the Ford Motor Company. increased the value of the products. Museum of the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin ShiHuang). in his book entitled “My life and work. “No business can improve unless it pays the closest possible attention to complaints and suggestions. Reducing a car’s weight is a great approach to minimizing the waste of energy and materials. 1998). but were only made known to the world in the 1980s.survived the past age. Henry Ford. when he investigated a foreign valve strip stem made from French steel and eventually improved his steel by adding vanadium. This is similar to the “pull” philosophy of the recent customers-driven concept in lean thinking. Jones and Roos. under the International Motor Vehicle Program (IMVP). William A. In their classic book “The Machine That Changed the World” (Womack. 1922). 2006). These terracotta sculptures were claimed to be an early feat of mass production and assembly line production.” (Henry Ford. Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army is the largest ceramics project ever known. Ford always showed a keen interest in the customer feedback related to the quality of the Ford’ cars. “Pull” is one of the techniques in lean production involving materials being pulled through the production flow to meet the expectation of the customers (Tommelein. whereby each figure was formed by joining separately created bodily sections (Asian Art Museum. 1999). and most importantly. He also mentioned how Ford was influenced by Benjamin Franklin on issues of waste. Though confident in the quality of his cars. For example.” states that he had applied the principles of waste-reduction. the essence of lean-thinking. of the motor industry. 1990). the development of lean manufacturing practices in the automobile industry was discussed in detail.2 The origin of lean thinking in the modern world Despite the historical evidence present herein. 1. Such lean production principles had been systematically applied by Japanese car maker Toyota for decades since the 1960s. we cannot deny the fact that systematic concepts of leanthinking actually surfaced in the 1980s and were outlined by a team of researchers at MIT after an extensive study of the manufacturing processes. Vanadium was added to the steel in order to produce lighter yet stronger car parts which subsequently reduced the weight of the car. Portal. the concept of “lean” was introduced into one of the oldest and change-resistant construction- . with the specific parts manufactured and joined together in various combinations whilst be monitored for quality control ( J. Lighter parts also shorten the handling time of the parts throughout the joining process. 2007.

such as industrialization. required to produce the end product for a customer. VSM is a visualization tool that was first used in the Toyota Production System and is known as “Material and Information Flow Mapping”. provided that the processes are efficiently modeled and analyzed as the real operations (Halpin and Kueckmann 2002). hence. Ballard and Howell (1998) reasoned that a lean revolution in the construction industry could lead to the conceptual overthrow of the established flow and value models. The Toyota engineers characterized the existing and future states of their process & operations in order to implement lean elements into their developmental system plans (Rother and Shook. This practical communication tool provides a clear view of the flow of information as the production process progresses through the value stream. . the concepts of lean production were also imported to the construction industry. while validation tools can be regarded as the instruments for evaluating the various maneuvers. the construction industry had focused mainly on waste reduction (Ballard and Howell 1998). Lean-thinking is the art or tactics used for command. A good example is the computer simulation. one can design an improved future-state map by implementing lean techniques into the current value-state map.1 The roles of value stream mapping (VSM) and simulation To date. Such a system is first mapped out in 2-D.industries following the devisal of ‘Lean Production” by Koskela in a 1992 report. 1998). The advancement of technology. Hence little research has been conducted pertaining to the improvement of value maximization in the construction industry. In fact. such as VSM and simulation. computer integration and automation. Following notable success in the manufacturing sector. 1998). EFFECTIVE TOOLS FOR LEAN CONSTRUCTION AND APPLICATIONS 2. After identifying waste. Re-adjustments and fine-tuning of a future map following its implementation may save us from rework and waste efforts. including both non-value added and value added activities. 2. The recommended practice is not to spend too much time ensuring every detail of the future-state map is perfectly flawless. Researchers have proved the roles of simulation as an evaluation tool in shaping the very illustration of the benefits contributed by lean construction towards the industry. lean thinking and simulation are closely linked and indeed synonymous. has provided the investors with the required technology to implement lean-thinking to its entirety in the construction industry. No other tools are more suitable than VSM for displaying the connections between information flow and material flow (Rother and Shook. One way to indentify the in-place value for the existing system is through the evaluation and validation tools of lean techniques. A value stream is the combined flow of all of the operations. Validation tools are becoming more important in implementing lean thinking due to the rapid development of complex project under booming economies. it enables easy visual detection of sources of waste. especially in the information and computing sector.

powerful simulation tools have been developed along with strategies for their usage. it is the other way round for construction whereby the end product is stationed at a fixed place. Kamat and Martinez 2007). further research based on effective tools. Tommelein (1998) used simulations to improve “pull’ technique construction processes. Quite a numer of lean construction simulation studies now exist thanks to the advancement of computing technology. and real value of lean-thinking partly due to the difficulty in implementing a lean approach. (2005) applied lean production concepts and VSM for make-to-order products in a job shop environment. Hence. the researchers studied the VSM workflows. which involved the engineering firm and its supplier in one single connected stream. They. However. Alves et al. This study described three alternatives of supply chain models and provided simulations that reflected the significant difference in the output of a ‘lean’ model and a control model. however. there were no VSM studies for individual operations against time. Thus they did not track the course of upright lateral processes (for example. (2003) conducted a value stream study for a re-engineered construction supply chain for pipe supports used in power plants. Arbulu et. even though the operators might be idle for half of the time behind the backdrop. More recently. thus emphasizing the visualization and technical aspects of the tools. researchers investigate the process flow by tracking the direction of the product’s components or work-in-progress (WIP) on a “conveyor belt” leaving the host of an individual process behind for its next task.2 Review of lean construction applications The construction industry has not paid enough attention to the benefits. al. al. The product passes through different sub-trade processes brought in . These authors successfully identified opportunities for improvement through the VSM. In their research. such as VSM and simulation. (2009) mentioned the lack of practical examples of a VSM in lean construction. the idling time of a machine before its next task) or evaluate the value stream against time. Simulation technique has now further advanced to involve 3D motion paths in dynamic animations of simulated construction processes (Martinez and Ioannou 1999. is required to practically extend lean thinking in construction society. On the other hand. Yu et. Such studies have focused mostly on the resource supply chain or the flow of components in a manufacturing-cycle domain. As the use of simulation is now some four decades old. Halpin and Kueckmann (2002) concluded that lean-thinking provides a structured format while its performance and advantages can be evaluated through simulation. They corrected the inefficiencies in the current-state value map and presented a future-state value map. there are only limited studies that have employed the VSM technique along with the implementation of lean construction.2. In manufacturing production. Despite their contributions. Job shop is related to business that specializing in manufacture of custom made parts. ignored the development at each individual host in the understanding that it was not necessary to map the value stream of the engineering firm for its other daily works.

mass production in manufacturing today is able to ensure the continuity of the resources delivered by the “conveyor belt” to each process host without much delay. al.” The main factor contributing to a smooth flow is the efficiency of this moving belt to deliver the available resources. 2003). METHODOLOGICAL RESEARCH PROCEDURES The current paper begins with a brief literature review pertaining to the development of lean-thinking in lean construction. you will see the process motion. 3. Often in construction. A case study is then conducted to obtain real field data together with the advice of experienced personnel. We think that VSM and simulation is not separable when dealing with the context of indentifying waste and subsequently modified for improvement. VSM has been called a static snapshot that is unable to express the dynamic nature and uncertainty inherent to an interconnected system. we combined both to form a single integrated tool. simulation is the movie.” (Donatelli and Harris. Hence. different tasks cannot be carried out simultaneously. This is worsened by variation of sub-trades or crews who tend to follow their own working schedules. (2009) argued that simulations are more practical and powerful than VSM as a modeling and evaluative tool for complex and dynamic systems. Indeed. With good management through the application of the JIT method or a sufficient inventory. We interviewed the supervisors responsible for the installation works. VSM snapshots therefore act like the individual frames of an animation: if you flick through the snapshots in sequence.” Wang et. before transferring into a visualized form of computer simulation. not to mention the different interests of individual parties. We then tested this integrated tool as a means for implementing the lean approach to improve construction productivity. However. The supervisors’ opinions were obtained pertaining to the sequence of natural gas pipe works and likely . the process of identifying waste prior to simulation is no other than practicing VSM itself. This mean that one resource is idle on the “conveyor belt” before its forerunner completes an earlier task. 2001). We did not test VSM and simulation as if they were two isolated tools. Any understanding towards a process or scratch of idea for value-waste detection would have long been executed initially in a mind-map. Not only the vision and model come from the value-stream-map. The waste or values that are lost invariably occur at the interfaces between processes (Arbulu et. Instead. did not explain how they identify waste in the current process map before they started using simulation models for improved state (future state). There is much to be studied behind the scenes for every host of a process while they were placed on the “belt. Wang et al. “If VSM is a snapshot.through the “conveyor belt. the data gathered thru VSM make information for simulation setup available (Donatelli and Harris 2001). it is necessary to study the characteristics of the virtual “conveyor belt” in order to provide a smooth supply of resource for a fixed place product in the construction industry. al.

The construction work processes under study included the interactions of all of the construction elements from the materials to the equipments to the work force. Natural gas pipe works by KOGAS (Korea Gas Corporation) were selected as the case study for this paper. Next. Models were developed using EXTEND simulation software. The simplicity and repetitiveness of this operation became the main reason for it to be selected as the case study in our research. The process system was first represented by a value-stream-map and any opportunity for improvement through the elimination of waste was identified. a good and efficient way of building the pipelines would be of great benefit to the gas company. Thus. These were compared to the real process. process modeling. Simulations were conducted to assess the results of our improvements after the implementation of the lean approach. An improved model was made based on the suggestions obtained from the VSM. a more detailed value-stream-map was delineated to show the specific types of waste generated by individual operations against time. The construction and operation of LNG terminals and its natural gas distribution network are among the main business concerns of KOGAS. hence increases the chances of detection of opportunity for improvements. Our data was analyzed by both the VSM and simulation methods. On top of that. KOGAS was incorporated by the Korean government in 1983 and has grown to become the world’s largest LNG importer. This project began in June 2008 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2011 (3. Similar identification for improvement opportunity was again conducted.5 years). with a nationwide pipeline network of 2.2 million in total and involves two main contractors: Daerim Engineering & Construction and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. The cost of construction is approximately estimated at USD 61. 4. Simulation model was made and validated to represent the real operation. Hence. we have been able to suggest improvements in productivity.739 km. the integrated VSM and simulation methods were used to devise a framework for the systematic implantation of the lean approach. a case study was conducted in a natural gas pipe works in Korea. the cycle time of a natural gas pipe installation can be observed easily. The Pyong Taek – Yongin pipeline construction site was particularly observed. CASE STUDY In this paper. through field observations.duration of certain operations. and operational reengineering. As a result. .

Hence. After the pipe connections passed the NDT. it is important for us to study the operational system carefully in order to identify possible improvements. The average rate of fail results is relatively low at less than 2%. Other limitations include space. Therefore. Workers were assigned to control the traffic as only one way traffic was available. The NDT took approximately 30 minutes and the test results were available after an hour.1 Work flow diagram and current state map The natural gas pipes facility setup is an operation involving multiple processes and the coordination of different parties. Backfilling of the completed pipeline involved several stages of sand filling. Productivity goals cannot be achieved at the expense of control factors such as safety and public interest. The welders started their next task if no further touch up of welding was needed. Therefore. The travel time to and from the dumping site was around 12 . lengthy inspections. and the publicly used environment have presented limitations to the operational flow of the natural gas pipe installation. The operation started with excavation of a trench. land. Fig. the operation took place at the existing double lane road whereby one lane was closed to allow for the construction. the service time would range from 12 to 30 minutes. Three welders were needed to weld the joint between two pipes. and non-flexible sequences.4. Whenever the trucks came or departed. Figure 1 shows the work flow diagram for installation of natural gas pipes excluding the asphalt-repave works at a later stage. 2 shows the current-state value-stream-map representing the production flow for a natural gas pipe installation. A more detailed value-stream-map is thus required such that more detailed and breaks down individual processes can be laterally displayed against time. Two dumping trucks were served by an excavator with a service time of 5 . Though not as many trades are involved as with the building construction. grinding and coating began for approximately 40 minutes to be followed by backfilling activities. That is largely because this current-state valuestream-map cannot fully represent the value stream of the actual operation and thus accurately identify the existence of waste. protection board placing. the task of pipe loading (pipes being load down to the trench by crane truck). The covered trench was not repaved as there was not enough length of accumulated sub-base to be paved until one or two weeks ahead. could only commence when the length of the trench was sufficient (> 12m). Gas pipes were fixed in 12 m length. The proportion of non-value added activities (NVAA) were found to be very low compared to the value added activities (VAA). Since the natural gas pipes were to be buried under the road.17 minutes per trip. In case of restraints due to underground utilities or during asphalt clearing.8 minutes. backfilling of suitable material (earth) and land mark setup. The welding process took approximately 135 minutes before the joint was ready for inspection by the non-destructive test (NDT) technicians. . the laying of the pavement was excluded from this study. the traffics in the remaining open lane was disturbed to some extent. the issues of safety. following the excavation of the trench.

The percentage of non-value added and unnecessary activities for welders and grinders-coaters were 30% and 76. There might be an alternative way of reducing the .2 Findings from the current system and suggestions for improvement Figure 3a and 3b show the breakdown of the value stream for the individual sub-processes conducted on the study against time.4.5% respectively.

3 Simulation as an evaluative tool complementing VSM In the previous part. Normally. The proposed revision of this procedure calls for an extra excavation for one pipe length and the unloading of an additional pipe per day. the static nature of VSM has limits its ability as an evaluative tool for the dynamic system of a real construction site. The excavator could excavate additional lengths of the buffer trench for the following day’s pipe works. including grinding and coating. hence increase the possibility of treating three connection points per day. especially in operations involving interrelated tasks and common operators assigned with multiple-tasks. The model was designed to provide an algorithm for making sure the upstream tasks . the first task of the day is the excavation of the pipe trench. Simulation is a good complement to VSM when evaluating the lean approach for a construction process. In our case study. etc. Moreover. A simulated model for a natural gas pipe operation was produced using EXTEND simulation software. We thus proposed that the pipes be loaded into the open trench which would then be filled in with sand so as to increase the stability of open trench. Although the welding for this new loaded pipe cannot be done on the same day.3 hours before there is enough space for pipes to be loaded and connected by welding. it enables the welders to commence work early the next day. However.) for the completion of trench excavation before the pipe can be set up and welded. the grinders are not able to do the welding jobs. which last for 2 . in the case of natural gas pipe operations.idling time of workers by merging their tasks and allocating a team of multi-taskers. concurrent welding and coating of different joints cannot be carried out if the welders are required to complete all of the treatments to a joint. both tasks could not be carried out concurrently at different places. We suggest utilizing the idle time of the excavator on the day before while waiting for the completion of the welding. the grinders are semi-skilled labor and the welders are skilled labor. Currently. the grinding and coating were done by the same team of grinders. 4. hence. the excavator and dumping trucks were needed for both excavation and backfilling. NDT technicians. the danger of leaving open trench exposed overnight must be considered. the trucks and will allow welding to start concurrently with the excavation on the following work day. Figure 5 shows the proposed future-state value-stream-map. NDT. Figure 4(a) and (b) show the current and proposed revision of the pipe works over a period of three days respectively. and coating process. hence. the waste generated and opportunities for improvement were identified through VSM as part of our lean approach. the contractor is able to connect and treat two connection points per day. However. Utilizing welders to do the grinding and coating jobs would be a waste of wages. However. overall productivity can be improved over the downstream activities. In this case study. Hence. An alternative way to improve the labor utilization and reduce the idle time for workers is by reducing the waiting time of third parties (welders. The increase of the open trench buffer to one extra pipe length per day will eliminate the idling of the excavator.

External sand resources are used for the backfilling. The third hierarchy block is the ‘Backfilling’ block involving the backfilling of sand and suitable materials into the excavated pipe trench. The space required for one pipe was 12 m in length.5 minutes. . The resource pool of the ‘Trench (1. The capacity of the dumping trucks corresponds to the run length of the half-open trench at approximately 3 m of trench per truck. The second hierarchy block consists of the treatments applied to the connection joints of the natural gas pipes. Figure 10 shows the backfilling subsystem nested in the hierarchy block. After the loading of a pipe into the open trench. Figure 6 shows the natural gas pipe operational model (As-is) which consists of three hierarchy blocks named “Excavation. As only two pipes were installed per day. Manpower is needed along with machinery during sand filling to avoid damaging the installed gas pipes with the machinery. a minimum (24 m /1. The trucks were held at the stack block until they were needed according to ‘FIFO (first-in-first-out)’ order. welding is carried out followed by the nondestructive test (NDT).5m)’ block represented the number of dump truck trips required per day (excavation).were given priority for the resources. of the model. If the connection joint passes the test. Other sequences of different events were also tested for potential improvement. The service time of the excavator was set at 6.5 m of trench per truck. after the rest time had been eliminated (refer Figure 7).” Each hierarchy block contains other blocks that represent a portion. The ‘Excavation’ block represents the operation of the excavator serving the empty trucks. or subsystem. The welders are required to standby while the test takes place. Figure 8 shows the subsystem for the excavation involved in the first stage of natural gas pipe operations. the grinders start coating the joints. The ‘Daily Program’ block fixed the daily start time for work across three consecutive days. The ‘Unload Earth’ block entails the dumping truck unloading its load for backfilling.5 m) = 16 trips were required per day. The first hierarchy block for the excavation involved two numbers of dump trucks and an excavator.” “Pipe Treatment” and “Backfilling. Figure 9 shows the sub-system for pipe treatment in the hierarchy block. Sand filling and compaction is followed by laying down protective board and then filling in the trench with earth.5 hours or 510 minutes. The duration of the work day was 8. The fill-in capacity of dump truck corresponding to the run length of the open trench was approximately 1.

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These percentages are relate to the non-idling time of machineries.4 Simulation-based evaluation of the current system Our results showed that the excavator and dump trucks were utilized as 51% and 47% respectively. These percentages are relate to the non-idling time of workers and these figures are similar to those we . the utilization of welders and grinders-coaters were 58% and 16%. Our simulation showed that the welders and grinders-coaters were utilized at 53% and 15% respectively.4. In actual construction site. The excavation of the trench was completed at six counts with six connection joints welded and five pipes coated and buried at the end of three days (refer Figure 6 and Figure 9).

The welders and grinders-coaters were utilized at 61% and 18%.obtained from our VSM. The length required for 1 pipe is 12 m. projected an improvement of 15% and 20% respectively compared to the old system.5 m) = 24 trips of earth removal works are required per day.5m)’ represents the number of dump truck trips required per day in order to excavate the required length of the open-space trench. 4. which corresponded to two numbers of pipe joints treated per day in actual construction site. both projected an improvement of around 40% compared to the as-is model. The excavator and dump trucks were utilized at 71% and 66% respectively. treated six joints completely and bury five pipes in three days. Six peaks (six pipes treated in . Figure 12 shows the revised model excavated eight pipe lengths. In the old system. respectively. NDT technicians (green).5 Improved model (To-be) The revised model was set to have a resource pool named ‘trench’ to be excavated to a length of 36 m (three pipe lengths). coaters (grey) and grinders (red) for the to-be model. NDT technicians (second graph in green). Hence. Two peaks (two pipes welded per day) can be found for each work day of welders. In this way. a minimum (36 m /1. there were only five joints being coated in three days (five peaks). The resource pool named ‘Trench (1. in the new system. coaters (third graph in grey) and grinders (lowest graph in red) in the current system. Figure 11 shows the utilization graph for the welders (first and highest graph in blue). Our VSM showed that this process could be improved by loading an additional pipe into the trench per day so that welding could commence at the start of the following work day. However. only two pipes were installed and treated per day. delays due to uncompleted trench excavations could be reduced. Figure 13 shows the utilization graph for the welders (blue).

which corresponded to two numbers of pipe joints treated per day. The welding works will be continued and commence at the start of the following day without delay. An additional peak (additional joints) is not properly formed at the end of welders’ graph due to the end of the time period. . hence increasing the chance of treating three joints at the following day again. There were six joints being coated in three days (six peaks). an additional joint or 20% improvement compared to the Model “as-is”.three days) can be found. Table 1 shows the comparison between the Model “as-is” and model ‘to-be”.

Thus. The latter showed improved results in all aspects of process utilization. the present study examined the possibility of systematically implementing a lean framework using an integrated VSM and simulation method.5. The ‘pull’ signals from downstream were not being captured to increase the inventory or to buffer the excavated trench upstream for immediate pipe treatments. Our proposed improvements require validation in a real operational environment. On top of an original flow value-stream-map. We believe that any simulation model would have started as a systematic value-stream-mapping whereby the values and waste were identified when re-designing an improved (to-be) operational system. The downstream operators were found to be idling. CONCLUSION The current study reviewed the pre-existing methods of waste-reduction that precede lean thinking in achieving a more efficient operational system. a more detailed value-stream-map was drawn up that broke down the individual processes against time in order to identify those sources of waste that the plain flow map missed. the laying of gas pipes to be specific. The case study described herein involved a natural gas pipe laying site. maximum wait time and productivity. queue time. The current-state value stream for the site was mapped and the opportunities for improvement ware identified. The simulations for our current (as-is) and improved (to-be) work schedules for the laying of natural gas pipes were modeled using the EXTEND simulation software. The current study has presented a clearer picture for the use of lean though in construction. The idling of the excavators and dump trucks was reduced when they were assigned an increased excavation load in order to provide a buffer in terms of the pipe loading space. The natural gas pipes .

and Hershauer. USA. pg. (1998).” Asian Art Museum. J. San Jose. M. Perhaps future research could propose temporary solutions to increase the safety of open-trench buffers.. Operations Manage.imaginethatinc. “What kind of production is construction?” Proceedings IGLC.” Construction Research Congress. D. (2003).1703. L.” Building Research & Information. Inc. could focus on developing more potential applications for the integrated VSM and simulation method in operations of greater complexity. G. “Value stream analysis of a re-engineered construction supply chain. D. this study has shown that the VSM and simulation methods can be functionally integrated to provide a stronger instrument in the search for solutions to productivity shortfalls.. CA. I.experts have stated that it is the safety issue involved in leaving an additional open trench exposed overnight that is the main drawback to our suggested improvements. “Combining Value Stream Mapping and Discrete Event Simulation. therefore. (2005).gutenberg. A. R. However. J.” Imagine That. C. G.. (2002). Tommelein.” J.com > Halpin.. “Value stream mapping for make-to-order production in a job shop environment. (2001). Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). (2003) 31(2). and Ballard. (1922). a grant funded by the Ministry of Education. W. 1697. I..org> .. Science and Technology (2009-0081326).” Proceedings of the 2002 Winter Simulation Conference. (2006). “My Life and Work. Tommelein. pg. Ballard and Howell. J. The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of KOGAS personnel and Dr. 2005. Henry Ford. 161-171. Future studies. D. C. “The genealogy of lean production. “EXTEND v6 User Guide. 25 (2007) 420-437 Alves. 38-40 Holweg. and Harris.” Project Gutenberg <www. References “Ancient China: From the Neolithic Period to the Han Dynasty. K. and Kueckmann. D.” Proceedings of the Huntsville Simulation Conference. Sean Ramnarine for their valuable feedback on this text. A. Arbulu. < www. “Lean Construction and Simulation.. Walsh. Donatelli.

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