Integrating Design and Construction at the 17th Annual LCI Congress

The 17th LCI Congress in the beautiful city of Boston concluded with real momentum! This year their were roughly 960 attendees, up from 740 last year and 380 two years ago. Representing many areas of the country, owners and designers attended and presented showing much more than a passing interest. 


The theme of “Integrating Design and Construction” really resonated, as this is an integral part of KPFF SF’s 2020 Vision! 


As a presenter, people searched me out and I was able to spend time with owners from Intel, Genentech and 2 different public agencies - UMass and Michigan State University. The interest in Lean is real. UMass is very interested, but have not pursued the delivery model yet. Whereas, Michigan State and Penn State are already utilizing Shared Risk delivery models on recent campus projects. Due to the success of Michigan State’s first project, they are now on to their second.

Great keynote speakers, including a thought provoking talk by Niklas Modig http://niklasmodig.com/ - efficiency being greater w/Flow Systems vs Resource Systems. The design and construction industry for years have built strategies and work plans on resource loading to accomplish necessary tasks, in lieu of developing efficient process flow that brings resources in when needed to maintain flow of work within the process. Completely counterintuitive to what our industry has practiced for years and possibly a game changer.

Two different architects presented on their office implementation of Lean. Though their path is slightly different than ours, they’re encountering some of the same issues, including that design work (knowledge based) isn’t easily measured as construction (task based). Finally, I spoke with one of the organizers of this and next year’s events, and discussed different approaches to design integration through all phases of the work.

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So much to think about and consider as we challenge ourselves and our approach to providing value internally and externally. The ride and journey is just beginning!

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