The Lean Construction Institute — Canada (LCI-Canada) has been established by the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) in order to deliver formalized education and best practices about lean construction to the industry.
CCA recently announced the establishment of LCI-Canada as a special committee of the association. This new group finds its roots through discussions between CCA and a group of industry members who were looking at establishing a formal lean construction body of some kind in Canada. LCI-Canada's special committee status within CCA is similar to the association's other special committees, such the Canadian Design-Build Institute.
"We like to have all the construction-related groups under one umbrella," explained Anibal Valente, current CCA chair.
"We will be able to collaborate with them, come together and become a bigger, more powerful and supported group."
Lean construction is a series of concepts and goals which aims at capitalizing on efficiencies in every construction process on a project. Canadian 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.
LCI-Canada believes the building industry "needs to improve value delivered by capital projects while reducing waste." The application of lean principles including the definition of needs, design, construction and operation of capital facilities will improve construction's value, said a statement announcing the new group.
"The LCI-Canada's mission complements and supports CCA's strategic plan of advocacy, industry best practices, communication with members and partner associations, industry advancement and decision-making," added Valente.
CCA has worked at defining its role when it comes to lean construction since its 2014 spring board meeting in Victoria, B.C. Since then the association has met with the Associated General Contractors of America and the Lean Construction Institute (LCI) in the United States to explore the best way possible to deliver lean construction education and resources to Canadian construction.
While the association did its due diligence it came to learn about an informal group of lean construction advocates and practitioners in Canada which were looking to establish themselves formally.
Valente was joined by Serge Massicotte, CCA's immediate past chair and Michael Atkinson, CCA president, in a meeting with these Canadian lean construction practitioners this past April. At that meeting the Canadian lean practitioners accepted CCA's offer to establish itself as a special committee of the association.
"The founding members of LCI-Canada are pleased to be associated with CCA as a respected voice for improving the building industry in Canada," said Ken Smith, spokesperson for the newly-formed organization, in a statement.
Massicotte believes that linking LCI-Canada with CCA is good for the association and the future growth of lean construction in Canada.
"We are very keen about it and think it is something that we, as an organization in Canada, should be involved in," added Massicotte.
Valente believes the special committee status for LCI-Canada also means that local construction associations and industry partners will have better access to the lean group.
"We believe that we need to get involved in this," he said.
"We believe in continuous improvement. We were looking to do something with LCI...the timing is right."
LCI applauded the LCI-Canada announcement.
"The Lean Construction Institute — U.S. appreciates this Canadian interest and willingness to help lead the evolution and practice of lean in Canada and is looking forward to supporting LCI-Canada as a newly formed special committee of CCA," said Dan Heinemeier, executive director of the Lean Construction Institute — U.S., in a statement.
Follow Vince Versace on Twitter @DCNVinceV.