An Exciting New Initiative: Lean Built Environment Afrika

  • More than 70% of African construction projects are over budget and delivered late.
  • LBE-Afrika is a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve the construction and design industries through Lean approaches to project design and delivery.
  • Lean is fundamentally a human development strategy — developing skills in critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.

There is an exciting new organisation servicing the built environment sector in Africa. Founded in 2018, Lean Built Environment Afrika (LBE-Afrika) is a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve the construction and design industries through Lean approaches to project design and delivery.

Realising the self-imposed limitations of the design and construction industry are in the way of the population surge of Africa, LBE-Afrika offers a lean approach to be better, faster and more environmentally friendly. “We can’t keep building the way we are building now — more than 70% of African construction projects are over budget and delivered late,” says co-founder Calayde Davey.

LBE-Afrika is comprised of owners, business professionals, the design community (architect, quantity surveying, and engineering firms), general contractors, trade contractors, and anyone with a passion to drive out waste on projects and improve profitability. Meet the team

But that is not all that Lean is about. Lean is fundamentally a human development strategy — developing skills in critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.

“We are also struggling to recruit and build a relevant creative talent pool for the future. We can’t keep on building this way — and — we can’t delay learning and improvement in our people or projects any longer. We simply can’t afford it” adds Davey.

“With the rise in automation, IoT, and all of the other new technologies, the jobs of the future are also at stake. We can’t reinforce technical skills alone — it just doesn’t make sense anymore. Instead, we need to emphasize change and learning skills and how to preserve mental balance in rapidly changing situations. We must be able to invent while we improve ourselves and lead those around us” explains Davey.

Download the Lean Starter Kit to get a grip on the basics while practicing some skills for yourself and for others at your firm.

Author: “What I like about the Lean approach is that it is a performance based outcomes approach. The conventional way of doing things in the construction and associated design sector clearly does not work anymore. I expect the ‘establishment’ to be rocked by the Lean approach. Don’t be left behind”.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

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