Lean Construction: Bone Structure

Bone Structure is a company that designs and builds homes using materials and techniques that heretofore are seen more frequently in automotive and aerospace sectors. From the company website:

When Marc A. Bovet, President of Simple Concept, became aware of the major shortcomings in conventional building techniques, he used his innovative spirit and perfectionism to bring together a team of experts, made up of engineers, architects, industrial designers and interior designers, and used the experiences of customers in construction to create the BONE Structure® steel construction system.

Our purpose is to revolutionize all aspects of the residential construction industry, from the client experience to design and technology. Selecting a house involves more than making an acquisition. It is an investment, a life decision, a family decision. For this reason, we feel that you are entitled to a process of buying and building that is standard, transparent and that gives you control.

Construction, especially residential, is maddeningly un-lean: the vast waste of materials (just look at the bins full of drywall and scrap two by fours) that are extruded from both new-build sites and from renovations; the inefficient building methods; the countless defects (the sigma Z score of a new house or renovation is probably no better than 1.0). Not only is the building process un-lean but the materials and methods seem almost designed for obsolescence (roofs that need replacement, bathrooms that will leak etc.); no wonder Mike Holmes has never run out of topics for his TV shows. Imagine if Toyota still built cars like we build houses — they would rust in a couple of years and leak.

The Bone Structure concept is the embodiment of lean thinking and engineering: consistent angles and surfaces (to reduce the need for wasteful adjustments and tinkering to make things like cabinets, doors and windows install properly); less wasted material (elements manufactured to precise tolerance, recyclable materials such as steel); energy footprint reduction (improved materials and tolerances reduces heat loss); reduced building time.

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