Process Innovation for Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability in the Building Industry

By Michael Lepech, Erica Plambeck, Margot Sutherland
2018 | Case No. OIT113 | Length 21 pgs.
This case describes the 2016 market entry in California of an innovative construction system for housing: BONE Structure, developed by the Canadian company of the same name. The choice of this structural system and construction method for a single family home in Palo Alto, California, provides the backdrop for a discussion about process innovations in manufactured housing and environmental sustainability. This case highlights BONE Structure’s successful revamping of the supply chain for housing, a design for energy efficiency that has the potential to be even more so (if steel manufacturing could be powered by renewables), and finally, a building system that enables construction and renovation in difficult locations.

Learning Objective

Students use the critical path method (CPM) to assess the impact of the BONE structural system on the project schedule, evaluate a life cycle analysis (LCA) comparing two buildings, one wood frame and one steel frame, and discover the managerial uses of CPM and LCA.
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