Projects, performance and productivity
The project-based orientation of our industry poses particular challenges to reducing waste and effectively delivering buildings and infrastructure. Most of the research work has been undertaken in close collaboration with key industrial stakeholders and government bodies who have been the ultimate beneficiaries of our research.
The workings of our project-based industry, at both micro and macro levels, and the relationships, contracts and networks of the companies which populate it have been the focus of research by the Construction Management Group for over 40 years. This has revolved around three research challenges:
- Understanding the nature, effectiveness, governance and reform of construction projects and their key processes.
- Improving the performance and productivity of both the construction project and the finished assets.
- Embedding sustainability and circular economy in building and infrastructure projects.
We focus on how companies are addressing the need for more energy-efficient homes and the impact this has on the practical delivery of construction projects.
Two projects, funded by Innovate UK and ESRC, examined zero-carbon innovations in housebuilding (closing the performance gap) and developed a new understanding of the ways in which these new technologies disrupt production.
Works have been undertaken with our long-standing industrial research network, the European Construction Institute (ECI):
- Critical Project Requirements to Deliver Improved Project Delivery & Performance.
- Improving productivity and cost-effectiveness through modularisation.
In collaboration with the Department of Health & Social Care (DH&SC), care providers and industry, we work on innovative design of health and social care facilities for improved operational/asset productivity/performance and patient experience. The research has received several awards including the: Market Research Society (MRS) Healthcare Research Award 2015; and International Academy for Design and Health (IADH), Best Non-Student Research Project Award 2015.
We have been awarded three significant contracts by the DH&SC:
- To monitor and impact assess the £50 million DH’s Dementia Capital Investment Programme and its 116 pilot projects.
- To develop HBN Dementia-friendly health and care environments.
- To provide recommendations for the reduction of NHS Estate Backlog Maintenance and Critical Infrastructure Risk. Our report informed the 2019 spending review leading to 40 new hospitals, an emerging approach to NHS estate whole life management and the NHS estate response to COVID -19.
Three large EPSRC funded projects studied different dimensions of Optimising Healthcare Infrastructure Value.
- Two KTA projects for evidence-based investment appraisal methods during business case development.
- Design the Smartest Emergency Department (ED) guidance based on research which provided tangible “understanding” of factors influencing ED design and prepared a foundation for developing more resilient and integrated ED design guidelines, able to meet current, exceptional and long-term needs.
Within the theme of performance and productivity, a major focus has been the move to Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), the industrialisation of the construction process and in particular off-site/modular construction. Several projects have been undertaken on this growing topic:
- Funding from Arup’s Global Research Challenge to examine Re-deployable Modules for Adaptable Commercial Configurations.
- Funding from Highway England to examine Offsite Smart Motorway Gantries.
- Funding from British Standards to develop Standards for Offsite Construction.
Our group’s expertise has been recognised – we have given evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into Modern Methods of Construction (2019).
Find out more here.
Our group’s expertise has been recognised – we have provided written evidence to the House of Lords: Select Committee on Science and Technology for their Off-site manufacture for construction inquiry (2019).
Find out more here.
MORE ABOUT US
We have vast expertise in the areas of:
- Project management
- Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)
- Off-site/modular construction
- Sustainability in construction projects
Most of our research work has been undertaken in close collaboration with key industry stakeholders and government bodies who have been the ultimate beneficiaries of our research.
Dr Robby Soetanto
Robby's areas of expertise include lean construction, productivity, process mapping, applying BIM technologies, scenario planning, and structural and non-structural measures for adaptation and mitigation for reducing flood risk.