Improving environmental and production performance in construction projects using value-stream mapping: Case study

Sergio Rosenbaum, Mauricio Toledo, Vicente González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Current sustainable construction research has been focused mainly on the design and operation stages of projects. But the execution or production stages have not received much attention. Also, current sustainable and construction management approaches often deal with environmental and production issues separately. In this paper, a lean production tool called value stream mapping (VSM) is used to simultaneously assess environmental and production waste over the execution stage of construction projects. VSM considers the elaboration of maps that assist project managers in diagnosing the current state of production to propose improvements in a future state. While traditional tools deal with symptoms, VSM tackles root problems. This paper reports a case study of the VSM application as a green-lean approach in the construction of a hospital in order to improve its environmental and production performance during the structural concrete work stage. The main contribution of this study is to provide a fully detailed experience of the VSM application in construction, confirming its ability to detect the sources of environmental and production waste, quantify them, and suggest reduction strategies. It also presents the development of a well-established implementation process of the VSM. The case study reinforces the effectiveness of the proposed green-lean approach for improving the sustainable performance of construction projects because it can help to optimize the use of resources and reduce costs, improve quality standards, and minimize the environmental impacts generated by the construction of projects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04013045
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Green building
  • Lean construction
  • Project planning and design
  • Sustainability
  • Value stream mapping
  • Waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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