Pictured above: Glenn Ballard (left); Greg Howell (right)

Gregory Alvin Howell was one of the co-founders of the Lean Construction Institute and of the Lean Design and Construction discipline itself. Together with his friend and colleague Glenn Ballard, Greg was a true pioneer in conceiving and developing the concepts and tools that remain foundational in extending Lean thinking to the built environment today.

Greg passed away peacefully on June 15, 2020 at the age of 77. He is survived by his wife Dana Howell, his daughter Emily Thomsen, son-in-law Ian Thomsen, 3 grandchildren, his brother Kenneth Howell and his two favorite dogs, Chispa and Furgus.

Greg was a kind and generous man with a heart for helping others and a burning desire to improve the industry as a whole. He was a gifted and patient teacher, a much sought-after consultant and coach, and a persistent advocate for Lean through the period when it struggled to gain acceptance at any level.

Greg graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University. He served as a Navy officer in the United States Civil Engineer Corps in Vietnam and Thailand. After his time in the military, he worked as a project engineer on heavy construction and general building projects while simultaneously managing his consulting firm, Howell Associates. He served as a visiting professor, then an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Greg went on to serve as an Eminent Scholar at Arizona State University. It was not long after his time in academia that he and Glenn Ballard went on to found the Lean Construction Institute in 1997.

Greg was a co-founder and principal of LeanProject, a Lean construction consulting firm. His time there was spent helping clients improve projects and organizations through Lean thinking. Greg left his mark on the Lean design and construction industry through his dedication and passion for improving the industry as a whole with Lean methods. That is his legacy which will live on.


“Greg Alvin Howell: Lean Construction Journal Special In Memoriam – All Contributions” All Memoriam Contributions in PDF (individual memoriam files  posted below)

  1. “Greg Alvin Howell: Lean Construction Pioneer and Unshakeable Ally “ Tariq Abdelhamid pp. i-iv Paper in PDF
  2. “Greg Alvin Howell: In Memoriam “ Glenn Ballard pp. 154-159 Paper in PDF
  3. “Greg Alvin Howell: “A Special Person and Exceptional Leader” Victor Ortiz pp. 160-161 Paper in PDF
  4. “Greg Alvin Howell: Aristotle and the Barbarian” Fritz Gehbauer pp. 162-163 Paper in PDF
  5. “Greg Alvin Howell: Teaching Through Simulation” Min Liu pp. 164-165 Paper in PDF
  6. “Greg Alvin Howell: Authenticity and Approachability Redefined”  Dan Fauchier pp. 166-167 Paper in PDF
  7. “Greg Alvin Howell: Teaching Through Caring and Connection ” Luis F. Alarcón pp. 168-169 Paper in PDF
  8. “Greg Alvin Howell: Storyteller” Klaus Lemke pp. 170-171 Paper in PDF
  9. “Greg Alvin Howell:  Scholar, Collaborator and Friend” Lauri Koskela pp. 172-173 Paper in PDF
  10. “Greg Alvin Howell:  Unforgettable Summer” Rebecca Snelling pp. 174-175 Paper in PDF

If you would like to add your own tribute and remembrance of Greg, please send it to [email protected] and we will be pleased to get it posted."