How lean and efficient thinking could revolutionise the construction industry
Across the construction industry we’ve seen a shift in recent years towards lean and efficient thinking – a concept focused on minimising waste, cost and effort while maximising quality, efficiency, and profitability all at the same time.
There are plenty of examples of companies across the sector embracing this approach to modern manufacturing.
Take Toyota for example. Largely recognised as paving the way in lean manufacturing practices, the auto manufacturer is undoubtedly a global leader in its field. Clearly, it’s doing something right, and the construction industry could learn a lot from its automotive neighbours.
The advantages of leanness and efficiency speak for themselves, and there’s no doubt that the construction industry could benefit immensely from replicating the principles of factory manufacturing, including the concept of factory fabrication.
Plus, when you take into consideration the risks that accompany traditional construction processes, from cost and efficiency to health and safety issues, the case for opting to use offsite builds becomes clearer. Taking such a leap of faith can go a long way to significantly reducing all of these factors.
So what options are available to manufacturers looking to embrace a more lean and efficient approach? Well, that’s where Weholite comes in.
Delivered quickly, ready to be installed and connected within minutes, Weholite manholes and chambers can remove weeks from programme delivery times with ease. In fact, it’s no far-fetched claim to suggest that these products mark the next evolution of the construction industry.
However, while these products and materials are widely available, the industry’s mindset as a whole certainly still has some catching up to do. Due to their higher upfront costs, buyers may be tempted not to opt for modular products and instead stick to the traditional practices they’ve become accustomed to over time – an attitude that quickly changes once they’ve experienced the product.
Indeed, from our experience, once clients have seen the superior quality of Weholite first-hand and witnessed its real, tangible benefits, they’re likely to keep coming back for more. They also realise quickly that the overall cost of the product is significantly reduced when you consider time savings and a reduction in the need for heavy-lifting and health and safety equipment.
Take one of our recent projects with housebuilder Lovell as an example. A former brownfield site at Eversley Road in Norfolk was set to undergo an extensive redevelopment that would see the creation of 67 new high-quality homes in the area.
Initially, the plans for the new Firs Park development site had been designed with a concrete attenuation system in mind but, after gaining an understanding of the speed of production and delivery, as well as the versatility of our products, this quickly changed. Equipped with a holistic view of the project and the product, Allan Russell, Director of Russell Civil Engineering chose to instead opt to use a Weholite system.
In his words: “Having experienced first-hand the benefits of opting for a Weholite system, I felt strongly that using Weholite products was the right decision for this project. From experience, I’d seen just how versatile and high quality the product is in comparison to other products we have used previously.
“We were impressed by how effectively and efficiently the Weholite team worked, saving us time on our project schedule.”
For us, and others across the industry, all too often we find ourselves faced with difficult projects from clients, requiring us to creating innovative, bespoke solutions for all kinds of challenges.
But the Firs Park project shone a light on Weholite for another reason entirely. A straightforward project, Weholite wasn’t called upon to meet a particular issue or solve a specific problem. Instead, the product was chosen because, quite simply, it was the best one for the job. In terms of production speed, efficiency, and long-term benefits, it offered above and beyond anything competitors could offer.
Trevor Haystead, Regional Operations Director at Lovell said: “We are committed to sourcing the best and most efficient products and procedures for all our projects. Taking the decision to use Weholite products in place of concrete pipes has enabled work at the Firs Park development to take place more efficiently than was initially anticipated.
“As it was our first time using Weholite, we had to overcome some initial challenges presented by stakeholders who were unfamiliar with the product, however, these were effectively resolved and we are pleased with the outcomes of the project and have resolved to use Weholite in future projects.”
In total, we provided twelve manholes for the project, as well as 185m of 1,050mm and 900mm diameter pipework and an additional six metres of bespoke pipework cut to the exact lengths required to finish runs.
And that’s where Weholite stands out – it can transform standard procedures in the industry to make them more efficient and effective, not only standing up to its competitors, but blowing them out of the water.
Speaking about the role Asset played in the project, Asset technical sales engineer Jonny Johnson, said: “The fact that this project originally planned to install a concrete attenuation system, yet ultimately implemented a Weholite HDPE system on the advice of skilled and knowledgeable engineers who had previously worked with us on another project, speaks volumes about the Weholite product.
“This was the first time that we had used Weholite on the Anglian Water framework, which meant that we encountered a few issues which were quickly resolved and we are pleased that the client has chosen to use Weholie on multiple projects.
“Spreading awareness about the capabilities of Weholite and making believers out of those in charge of construction projects across the UK is something we are passionate about. And so it is hugely gratifying to see the people behind projects like this really assessing the options available to them and coming to the conclusion that Weholite really is the best product for the job.”