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Houle Electric

5050 North Fraser Way

Burnaby, BC V5J 0H1


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If you are a forward-thinking construction service provider, be it a developer, contractor, design professional, manufacturing specialist or part of the supply chain, you are welcome to participate in a community that is interested in more than just a conversation.

Vancouver Lean Construction Community of Practive (VanLean.CoP) is not a platform to market services or advance a corporate agenda. Rather, the CoP is a forum to openly share in the name of discovering a Better Way. CoP events will be structured to dive deeper into lean methods, lessons learned and practical tools through presentations, discussions and tours from successful practitioners. Monthly CoP events are structured around a presentation, tool or best practice with an invitation to discuss the central theme post-presentation.

The VanLean.CoP was started to engage like minded individuals in learning more about lean principles and practices and how they can be used to drastically improve business and project outcomes. In our market, Lean is becoming more than a buzzword - it is slowly evolving into a competitive advantage for all those who embrace it.

EVENT 01: Turner Construction & Pitt Meadows Plumbing

For our inaugural VanLean.CoP event we are pleased to have two well-respected industry names take the floor. The presentation will be split into two distinct parts (Turner and then PMP) with a question and conversation period to follow.


Presentation Synopsis

Observation Circles to Add Client Value

Adding more client value is a fundamental lean principle. Observing tasks /operations, identifying, and removing waste frees up the time and resources to add more value. Our panel will define and describe the lean principles, give examples of 8 wastes, and demonstrate results of the use of observation circles focused on construction operations and used to reduce waste and add more value on projects. A video clip of a wall framing installation will be shared in which a 67% operational improvement was attained.

About the Presenters

Matt Heesterman is a Project Superintendent for Turner Construction. He is a red seal Carpenter and has over 10+ years of construction experience. Matt is currently the Lean Champion for Turner Construction in the Vancouver Business Unit and is actively sharing innovating ideas and practices throughout Turner’s projects. When he isn’t running a construction site, you will find him and his dog mountain biking in the local North Shore mountains.

Josh Barnum has over 16 years of diverse experience in the construction industry. He has worked for Turner Construction for the last 7 years as a Superintendent in the high tech industry focused on large MEP installations in the high tech sector. He has been working at the NW regional lean manager for the last year helping team challenge the way they approach their projects and coach them on the implementation of The Last Planner System.

About Turner Construction

Turner Construction Company was started in New York, NY in 1902 and is one of the top 10 construction companies in the world. In Canada, our presence extends from Canadian headquarters in Toronto, through to five additional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Yellowknife. Under the direction of Mark Breslin, President of Canadian Turner Construction, Turner annually delivers nearly $1 billion of construction revenue across Canada with over 930 employees.

The Vancouver business unit was established in 2011, the Vancouver and has quickly grown to be the leading tenant improvement contractor in the lower mainland. We provide the personal attention of smaller construction firms, while still providing the technical expertise, depth of resources, financial stability, and buying power of a much larger firm. Our senior management is intimately involved with, and accountable, for the success of each project, no matter its size or complexity. Our team has completed over 1.5 million square feet of tenant improvement work in the past five years and have grown the local business from zero to over $70M annually, supported by 70 dedicated employees.


Presentation Synopsis

The Lean journey is different for everyone. In this presentation Pitt Meadows Plumbing (PMP) owner Steve Robinson will share his compan story and how lean practices have made a difference in the way they are able to deliver value to their clients and in every single facet of how they operate. Steve and his team understand that, at its heart, the philosophy of Lean inspires the sharing of knowledge with others with the intent of improving the industry and making a huge impact.

Steve will offer up the “why” his company chose lean as a strategic direction as well go through some of the challenges they faced on their lean journey. He will dig into one of the biggest challenges for PMP - getting employees to buy in to the culture change. With PMP well on their lean journey, Steve will illustrate some of the tools they have employed that are providing benefits to their business and customers.

About the Presenter

Steve Robinson has almost 40 years’ experience in the plumbing & mechanical industry, and has been involved in countless projects in the Metro Vancouver area. Steve is passionate about new ideas and finding ways to be innovative in an ever-changing industry. Steve is often focused on the big picture and what the future holds for Pitt Meadows Plumbing.

Steve and his brothers started Pitt Meadows Plumbing in 1979 and have participated in commercial, industrial, residential, and institutional projects. The focus of their company was mechanical contracting and they developed many partnerships over the years. Business for Pitt Meadows Plumbing has always been good, but in the last few years, it has been an unbelievable journey where we have found ourselves on the leading edge of exciting technology within our industry. This would not have happened without lean.

About Pitt Meadows Plumbing

Pitt Meadows Plumbing is a mechanical contractor that serves most every sector of the construcion industry. They pride hemselves on being a value-driven company - the hallmark of a lean organization. They started their lean journey many years before they even knew what lean was. It sytarted when they recognized the advantage of prefabricating pipe spools and entire mechanical rooms off site in a controlled environment - pipe cutting and installation speed increased by 3 to 4 times comapred to doign the work on-site. From there it took off.

As stewards for the lean movement, PMP is convinced that for the BC construction industry to stay competitive, all trades - from the wallpaper contractor to the general contractor - must embrace lean.


What is a Community of Practice?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share expertise and passion about a topic and interact on an ongoing basis to further their learning. Members typically solve problems, discuss insights, and share information while developing tools and frameworks that become part of the common knowledge of the community. The CoP is open to anyone who is involved or interested in the topic of Lean Construction

Why is it Free?

VanLean.CoP startup has been supported by a number of local and national firms who desire to advance the knwoledge base of the construction industry. Although initially free, the value is significant based on the quality of speakers and the content of the member meetings.

Is this an advertisement?

Not in the least. No sales pitches. No soft sells. Just good old-fashioned knowledge shares.

Will I have to do anything?

A community requires active participation. If you attend a few events and find that this is something that you get fired up about then get involved. If you find that there isn't value for where you are at in your career, life or business, then there are no strings attached.

Will there be coffee?


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Houle Electric

5050 North Fraser Way

Burnaby, BC V5J 0H1


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