Financial & operational excellence

“Lean is just great”

The principles of Lean Construction are proving their worth in the Modernisation business. A new online planning tool is helping Implenia avoid empty runs on its construction sites. The team around Caroline Beyerle, Roland Bamert and Henning Puhl is running a pilot project in Zurich.

Completely refurbish a residential block of 90 units in less than 80 working days? Yes, we can! At a pilot project in Zurich’s Schwamendingen district, Implenia Modernisation is completely renovating two large residential blocks: new kitchens and bathrooms in every apartment, building services, roofs, basements and façades. Work began in August 2018, and the first building should be ready for tenants in December. 

Lean Construction is the key to mastering this intense schedule. Caroline Beyerle from the Lean Construction Department explains: “The term simply means that all those responsible come together and plan their project from beginning to end. In doing so, they focus in particular on the value flow on the construction site and on the benefits to the customer.”

Implenia is applying the Lean approach to a renovation project for the first time in Schwamendingen, and it is proving very successful: “Our team is keeping to the tight schedule, and doing so without any drama,” says project manager Roland Bamert. “Everyone involved, from management to subcontractors, is benefiting from the optimised processes.”

The central tool used by the project team is “digital site control” (digitale Baustellensteuerung): an online platform that documents all the action that needs to be taken. At the end of every day, each company has to report back on the work it has completed, so all the people in charge have a solid overview of how the project is progressing at all times. 

“The high degree of transparency has created a great team spirit on site,” says Henning Puhl. The construction manager gathers representatives of all the different trades at 7.30 each morning for a short meeting in the control room. All the facts are put on the table and any problems are solved collaboratively. Puhl loves the close cooperation, and draws a concise conclusion: “Lean is just great!”