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Association explores lean construction education

Vince Versace
Association explores lean construction education

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is closer to defining its role in delivering formalized lean construction education materials and resources, reports its incoming chair.

"We would like to be the purveyors of that information and make sure that it stays under our belt," explained Anibal Valente.

At the CCA’s general contractors council meeting in San Antonio, Texas, members learned that the CCA had: met with representatives from the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) in the United States to understand its structure, operation and priorities; met with representatives from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to explore licensing agreements for its Lean Construction Education Program; and that LCI agreed to recommend speaker(s) for the 2015 annual conference.

Lean construction is a series of concepts and goals, which aims to capitalize in efficiencies in every construction process on a project.

Construction stakeholders that have participated in or are starting to learn about lean construction have stated that among its main tenets are transparency, collaboration and trust among a project’s partners.

The genesis for CCA’s exploration of its role in lean construction started at its spring board meeting in Victoria, B.C. last year in its general contractors council session.

Since then, the CCA has had meetings with LCI and AGC to learn more about their lean expertise, materials and courses, and also about how the two organizations work together.

AGC are the owners/promoters of the LCI’s education program.

LCI developed the Lean Project Delivery System, "that applies lean construction principles and tools to facilitate planning and control, maximize value and minimize waste throughout the construction process" according to its website.

LCI was founded in 1997 and it consists of owners, contractors and consultants.

Valente confirmed to the general contractors council in Texas that the association has approached the AGC to purchase or gain access to its materials. The AGC has offered to share its course material on lean construction at a significantly reduced cost.

"There have been some discussions and an MOU (memorandum of understanding) where we would have an agreement with AGC to use their materials to promote and teach lean construction in Canada," he said.

During the last few months, as the CCA has worked at how to define its lean construction role, the association learned of a newly formed group in Canada, which is also pursuing lean construction education and training. This group could possibly even establish a chapter or version of LCI and it has expressed interest in working with CCA.

Michael Atkinson, CCA president, said that LCI noted it would prefer to work with CCA and "deal with an existing national association in Canada."

Serge Massicotte, the CCA’s outgoing chair, reported that LCI is impressed with the CCA’s "joint-industry/collaborative approach" it has used with respect to CCDC (Canadian Construction Documents Committee), CDBI (Canadian Design Build Institute) and IBC (Institute for BIM in Canada).

Further discussion on CCA’s lean construction role efforts was expected at the association’s board of directors meeting in San Antonio, Texas, during its 97th annual conference.

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