LeanSteel: Design. Build. Better.


LeanSteel® is a project delivery method that integrates the steel design and detailing process – avoiding wasted time and lost knowledge, and increasing a project’s speed to market.

What Does Lean Mean?

Lean is a methodology that strives to eliminate waste through collaborative efforts. By reducing costs, materials, time, and effort, lean brings about efficiency and translates waste reduction into tangible client benefits. It seamlessly streamlines project operations to maximize effectiveness and productivity.

Cut Timelines By Up To 18 Weeks

The LeanSteel® process is designed to eliminate bottlenecks and help complete projects ahead of time. Instead of relying on multiple partners at different steps of the steel delivery process, LeanSteel® puts one firm in charge from design to completed shop drawings.

That means there’s no miscommunication between the detailer and fabricator, no lengthy approval process, and no delays due to RFIs. In the end, that saves you time, money, and eliminates a world of headaches.

The video opens with the Ruby+Associates and LeanSteel® logos on a blueprint background.

Voiceover begins: “As a client, you have two choices: Traditional Steel Delivery or LeanSteel®.”

Animation begins explaining the standard steel delivery process. Four icons appear, Design Documents, Handoffs, Requests for Information (RFIs), and Delays.

The voiceover continues: “A standard steel delivery process involves design documents which are handed off to multiple parties, and each handoff involves lost knowledge and different interpretations of the design intent. This process can be lengthy and cumbersome and can result in RFIs and unnecessary delays. While a typical structural engineer’s final deliverables might result in a set of design drawings, the fabricator can’t get to work without shop details.”

The standard steel delivery process includes these steps:

  1. Produce Design
  2. Bid/Win Job
  3. Start
  4. RFIs
  5. RFI Response
  6. Incorporate RFI Responses
  7. Produce Shop Fabrication Drawings
  8. Review Shop Drawings
  9. Process and Review Shop Drawings
  10. Review Shop Drawings
  11. Finalize Shop Fabrication Drawings
  12. Fabricate
  13. Fabricator Starts

Animation appears with text: “16 weeks wasted”

New animation begins explaining the LeanSteel® process.

Voiceover: “Ruby’s LeanSteel® team delivers both. Our team handles the process collaboratively and internally. Our engineers jump start the schedule, open communication channels and, working hand-in-hand with our detailing partner, assure that the project is delivered successfully with steel arriving on-site just as the builder intended.”

The LeanSteel® process includes these steps:

  1. Design and BIM Modeling
  2. Product Simple Shop Drawing Package
  3. Review, Pricing, Collaborate and Provide Comments
  4. Collaborate and Incorporate Comments
  5. Finalize Connection Design and Shop Fabrication Model
  6. Fabricate
  7. Delivered

A comparison of both the Traditional Steel Delivery and LeanSteel® processes appears, with the voiceover: “Fabrication process begins 12-18 weeks earlier than traditional delivery.”

The LeanSteel® logo appears.

Voiceover: “The LeanSteel® delivery method provides more flexibility for change. Because we combine detailing and engineering, when there are changes, they’re less impactful to the schedule. There will always be changes, but with LeanSteel®, it’s not a problem because we are connected with the detailer. We are one team. Contact our team to see if the LeanSteel® delivery method is the right solution for you!”

The Ruby+Associates and LeanSteel® logos appear.

Voiceover: “For more information, visit our website at leansteel.com or email us at

How It Works

Unlike traditional Steel Delivery methods, the LeanSteel® process places nearly all of your design, connection design, and detailing functions under one roof. Normally, you’d have a delay between when your structural engineer finishes design drawings and when the fabricator finally gets shop details based on those drawings.

Instead, our team handles the entire process collaboratively and internally.

leansteel® Provides:

A Team You Can Trust

Our team at Ruby + Associates is happy to implement the LeanSteel® process for clients who are ready to embrace change. Learn more about our organization and how we developed this process by clicking the button below.

A construction worker points out a section of a build to another.

leansteel® in Action:

Our LeanSteel® process has been delivering tangible benefits for our clients for the last twenty years. Check out some of our projects to learn how organizations have benefited in the past.

Ready to Get Started?

So are we! We’d love to learn about your project and whether it’s a good fit for the LeanSteel® process. Get in touch with our team and tell us all about it!