As part of a broad commitment to continuous improvement, senior leaders of Turner Construction Company gathered at its Sibley Memorial Hospital project in Washington, D.C. to participate in a Lean Leadership Summit.
One key concept that guides a Lean approach is that of going to the “gemba” or the location where work is underway. In that spirit, the centerpiece of the summit was a tour of the Sibley Memorial Hospital project where the company’s use of Building Information Modeling and Lean construction methods shaved weeks from the construction schedule.
The Sibley team used BIM to design and pre-fabricate modular corridor rack systems to house the mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements for each floor of the hospital. The 157, 20-foot racks were modeled, and then built and assembled off-site and delivered for installation. The use of modeling software combined with Lean methods enabled the team to begin precisely assembling ductwork, cabling and piping early, at approximately the same time that construction excavation started. The original schedule allowed 4-5 weeks per floor for installation of the rack systems, but with the modularized racks, the team was able to complete each floor in 4-5 days.
“I’ve been in the industry 31 years and this is my first project where the team has fully embraced Lean practices and the results continue to surprise and impress me,” said Joe Kranz, project executive. He continued, “With enhanced communication and collaboration, we’ve witnessed an improvement in our entire workflow. Used in concert with BIM, Lean methods have helped individual building processes go better, which has helped drive overall efficiency and accelerate our schedule by two months. It has also yielded improvements in reliable commitments from subcontractors, allowing for more efficient planning of the work. The prefabrication of corridor racks and patient room headwall units jump-started the interior fit out work as soon as the concrete re-shores were removed.”
The summit also included a presentation by Chip Davis, CEO of Sibley Hospital, who discussed the hospital’s Innovation Hub as the home for training on Lean and Six Sigma practices, as well as creative design thinking, which will help the organization build capability for both incremental improvements and more “out of the box” innovations.
Addressing the importance of building a culture ready to embrace innovation and a Lean management approach, Zach Rosenberg, CEO and co-founder of the St. Bernard Project facilitated a discussion about organization cultural development, high-impact innovation and leadership.