Facade construction in China: journey to lean design

Allan Chung
Project Architect
Gensler, Chicago

There is a recent trend in the construction industry to implement "lean concepts," a management strategy based upon the Toyota Production System philosophy. While the construction industry mainly focus on lean strategy for production in both the shop and field environments, there are also opportunities to apply the concept during the production of designs, such as façade design and production processes, where the façade design and consultant team convey their methodology of quality assurance and quality control (QAQC) into the process. However, to overcome new challenges posed from overseas projects, foreign design teams need to evolve their conventional QAQC systems and procedures in order to enhance the architectural product quality through long distance operation and oversight. This evolution of traditional standards and workflows resembles the lean strategy, resulting in a win-win condition for both the foreign design team and the local façade subcontractor, thus delivering a more successful project.

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