If you type “Green Lean” on the Google search engine, your search results will show you the latest ‘green’ protein-rich diets which claim to keep you ‘lean’ and fit. However, let’s talk about a very different ‘Lean’ taking the discussion further from my previous article on how ‘Lean’ can help us go ‘Green’.
Lean permeates everything we do. It is a philosophy introduced by Taiici Ohno (of Toyota Production System) that focuses on designing out overburden (muri) and inconsistency (mura), and to eliminate waste (muda). While more of the organizations have seen ‘Lean’ as a tool to drive efficiency, ‘lean’ was adopted in Toyota as a philosophy and not a tool. Its’ uses transcended the silos of a department (production or quality) and was used to transform each activity in the value chain. It is a philosophy which can be replicated across industries and even adopted in our daily lives.
In simple terms, if a process was made up of certain number of steps, each step would be evaluated to see if it adds value to the task, or end-product or service or even your day. Consider this, if you must find time for that guitar lesson you are so yearning for and you need to ‘lean’ up your day you would start by sieving out the non-value added tasks for example time spent in front of the mobile phone screen putting status updates on Facebook (you get the drift). Similarly, building construction accounts for 30% of the carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas associated with climate change), 49% of the sulfur dioxide, and 25% of the nitrogen oxides found in the air.
So, to convert a building process ‘green’ in order to have ‘Net-Zero’ emission the process will have to go ‘lean’. What that simply means is each step of the construction process would be evaluated so as to reduce the emission levels for example conducting a deep energy retrofit which entails a whole-building analysis and construction process would achieve much larger energy cost savings than those of simpler energy retrofits such as upgrading lighting and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) equipment.
At a time where climate change is being termed a ‘hoax’ we need to adopt ‘Lean’ to transform the building process and help to restructure the process by which buildings can be made to go ‘Green’!
Originally published at medium.com