In the third of a series of articles about the ground-breaking Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contract underway in Petawawa, we explore how the principles of lean construction are increasing speed and efficiency as well as value to the Crown.

Although the term "lean construction" may sound fairly straightforward, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. It's an industry term—taken from manufacturing—for creating a system of production (objectives, techniques and project delivery) that maximizes value while minimizing waste. The focus is always on optimization and delivering value without duplication of effort or costly delays.

"We need people at all stages of a contract to be as effective and efficient as possible without any delays," says Marcy Burton, Regional Service Line Leader, Construction Services in Ontario. "By using lean construction and the collaborative principles of IPD, we can run a much tighter, more efficient project by investing in up-front planning with all parties at the table. IPD is ideally suited to the principles of lean construction."

Two of the best examples currently in use are the Last Planner System (LPS) and pre-fabrication.

  • LPS is a collaborative (rather than top-down taskings from general contractor to the trades), commitment-based planning system that integrates should-can-will-did planning to make the should happen when and how it is supposed to; it reduces conflict by identifying potential stakeholder issues before the work begins.
  • Pre-fabrication is being used to construct over 100 metres of above ceiling services (HVAC ductwork, sprinklers, electrical conduit, lighting and communications cable tray) in 10 metre modular sections. This technique helps improve quality, reduce material waste, improve install time and ultimately shorten construction schedule. The pre-fabrication currently being planned and modeled will be constructed off site and transported to site when the facility is ready to accept them.

Further, the benefit of the IPD collaborative approach was highlighted in late May when all parties involved in the contract agreed on how to budget for and share the risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant the final target cost for the project could be set and the project could proceed without significant delays. Just another example of how DCC and its client and industry partners strengthened their relationship and rose to the challenge during a demanding time.

For more on the Royal Canadian Dragoon facility at CFB Petawawa and IPD, click here.

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