University of Chicago LASR Gemba Walk 

Lean Design and Construction is rapidly becoming the standard for project planning across the U.S. Lean construction is a combination of operational research and practical development in design and construction with an adaption of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. Unlike manufacturing, construction is a project-based production process.

This past Friday, members and attendees of the Lean Construction Institute Congress came to the University of Chicago campus for a Gemba Walk to see first-hand what Lean Construction in action looks like. A Gemba Walk is the term used to describe personal observation of work – where the work is happening. The original Japanese term comes from gembutsu, which means “real thing."

Berglund’s team of qualified Lean builders consisted of Project Manager Scott Giba, Superintendent Jeff Jendreas, and Assitant Project Manager Neil Offerman. Attendees arrived by bus at 9 am to talk with the team at the University of Chicago Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research Construction site. They talked with the on-site team and asked questions about day-to-day Lean processes and communication. Groups split up to observe drywall and the curtainwall being installed. The Lean Construction Institute members said the demonstration was valuable and they were greatful that Berglund's team took the time to host the Gemba Walk.