Lean methodologies and techniques for modular construction: chronological and critical review

Filomena Innella, Mehrdad Arashpour, Yu Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Modular construction uses building modules manufactured inside the controlled environment of factories to be transported and assembled on site. Modular construction can be considered as a hybrid of manufacturing and construction, and in many ways lends itself to lean production. Lean production, originating in the automotive industry, permits significant improvements in terms of productivity and quality. The latest challenge of lean production is its implementation in the modular building industry, where the full potential in terms of productivity is yet to be achieved. The paper discusses the implementation of lean techniques in the modular building industry, including all the production process stages (i.e., design, manufacturing, transportation, assembly on site, and supply chain) through a systematic review. Moreover, the paper provides a chronological and comprehensive review of lean methodologies and tools in manufacturing and traditional construction industries to further investigate the interface of lean and modular construction. This may assist practitioners with an overview of lean strategies and associated potential benefits and obstacles for future case studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04019076
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Lean construction
  • Lean production
  • Modular building
  • Prefabrication
  • Waste

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