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What and where do I start to improve? This is a common question and while we need to balance the cost and impact to identify the real bang for the buck let’s start with the basics.

The Lean Perspective is by no means limited to sticks and bricks issues on the construction site. When we talk Lean building we are really talking Lean operations: providing value & eliminating waste in product and process wherever it is found.

A UK study of those using the ISO9001 Quality Management System in the construction industry had a number of interesting findings that provide key lessons.

Have you ever looked at a detail on a plan and scratched your head wondering how that was going to work? Sometimes the details that show up on plans leave us all wondering what the architect was thinking?

Last year PB received an official complaint letter from a high level staffer at the AIA, basically saying that I was being unfair to Architects.

Often the main block to creativity is actually a mental block. Thoughts or comments such as these can stop creativity in its tracks.

When was the last time you did some walk arounds in your business, asked your customer service or construction teams some basic questions, spoke to some of your customers face to face?

One of the most depressing/astounding/frustrating things about the current race for president has been the complete lack of attention to housing.

Last week I nagged you about elevation renderings, this week the focus is on floor plan renderings. Floor plan renderings are an easy way to stand out from the crowd. The vast majority of builders present a simple black-and-white CAD blackline drawing of their floor plan selections.

If asked, I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite author, but if forced to choose just one I would go with Antoine St. Exupery.

The idea of running a 100 mile race ten years ago was as inconceivable and foreign to me as the possibility of a 6 year real estate crash.  As it turned out, last month I got to experience both of these.

Traveling around the country I see a lot of renderings - most of them leave a whole lot to be desired. The worst are the black and white CAD drawings with a computer generated tree or two to add some flavor. I also see a lot of 3D computer renderings that are cold and uninviting.

One of the greatest misconceptions about Lean process and methods is that they cheapen the product. Lean is first and always about value, and the customer perception of value at each price point is a critical component.

November is World Quality Month and November 10th is World Quality Day !  This can be a great opportunity to leverage local and regional events. Perhaps a chance to tour a manufacturing facility, attend a presentation on quality improvement and get to see how other industries are using quality.

Our lives are busy and getting busier. Some of the most popular new design trends focus on making life a bit easier. Simplifying access and flow to perform every day tasks is a hot topic in today's market.

The photos below illustrate two trends that are rapidly becoming very popular:

The accompanying picture was used recently with what was an otherwise good article on how to create profitable design. That article is much bigger in scope than simply the design of the house itself but still, the irony is palpable. What’s your first impression?

In this economy these builders are growing sales, expanding into new markets and achieving 100% customer satisfaction! They are building production and custom homes, within communities and build on your lot.

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