BIM versus Lean Construction – Part 2

In Part 2 I write about how both methods are interconnected and why „sticking sticky notes on a wall“ cannot be the solution in a digital world. It is not a question of removing the team-making discussions with personal presence, but of digitizing processes and workflows.

There are five BIM phases. The Building-Information-Model (BIM) is developed and used over four phases.

Phase 1 – Development

In a company (building owner) It is considered whether it would be useful to build a new building. In this phase, the first points are already taken, and the frame is roughly defined. There is no design yet. From a certain point in time, an architect will be involved in the development phase. CIR and BEP are being set up.

Phase 2 – Planning

The first drafts are created and the Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 100-300) is also created with the first designs. By and by more planners are added and there are always necessary discussions with the building owner. At the end of the planning phase, the Building-Information-Model (BIM) is ready and the contracts with the construction companies are fixed. All information is contained in the Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 400).

Phase 1 and Phase 2

The both phases overlap forcibly. After the first cost estimate based on the Building-Information-Model (BIM), there may be changes (cost reductions, …). The building owner also has one or other subsequent request in detail. At the same time, the work of the planners must be coordinated. They will often work in parallel and not in succession. During this period, the parties without lean construction will be difficult to coordinate. Please try to coordinate the work consistently with the CPM method. You will find that it does not work.

Phase 3 – Construction

The ideal condition for a construction project is to start with Phase 3 only when Phase 2 is completed. Large projects are divided into sections. Then my statement refers to a section of construction. But then it must be ensured that the subsequent section of the construction will not affect the previous negative. The Building-Information-Model (BIM) of the first phase of construction must not be changed.

Depending on the size of the project, the construction is divided into manageable work packages. These are then implemented with lean construction. The results and possible changes are returned step by step into the BIM model and the Building-Information-Model (BIM) is kept up to date.

At the end of the construction phase, the Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 500) is up to date.

Phase 4 – Use

Due to the elimination of deficiencies, Phase 3 and Phase 4 overlap. Because there are fewer deficiencies from planning errors with BIM, the number of defects decreases. During the usage phase, care must be taken to ensure that the Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 600) is kept up-to-date. When a large rebuild is pending, the Building-Information-Model (BIM) can be used immediately as a basis for planning.

Phase 3 and Phase 4

When lean construction is used as a digital variant, then the elimination of defects and the necessary documentation can be completely processed and integrated in the same phase during Stage 3. A separate use of another software can be completely removed. BIM and lean construction as a digital unit make it possible.

Phase 5 – Demolition, Sale, …

Even before demolition, it is possible to deliberately consider which components may be recycled and how the disposal should be carried out. The Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 700) is supplemented with the necessary information and documentation and can then be archived.

When the building is sold, the Building-Information-Model (BIM) (LOD/LOI 600) can be transferred to the new owner at the current state.


The BIM model can only be kept up-to-date if the involved digital processes and workflows are applied in all phases. The information and documentation in the processes can be added more efficiently to the Building-Information-Model (BIM) with digital support. Subsequent manual documenting is inefficient and certainly flawed and incomplete. The methodology lean construction, used as a digital variant based on suitable software, makes the work in the team efficient and ensures a smooth process during all BIM phases. Then lean construction will sustain lean.


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