Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Mary Ansell


A Comparison of Procurement Methods and the Merits of Thinking in Highways Maintenance

Project Title

A Study of a Collaborative Framework Arrangement for Highways Renewals Schemes


Amey Mouchel


Dr CL Pasquire
Dr AD Price

Mr M Holmes
Mr Rees Evans

Director of Research:
Dr D J Edwards

Research Period

2004 - 2008


A Study of a Collaborative Framework Arrangement for Highways Renewals Schemes


In 2001, the Highways Agency (HA) published a procurement strategy in response to a succession of studies during the 1990s, including Sir Michael Latham’s "Constructing the Team" report, Sir John Egan’s "Rethinking Construction" report, and the National Audit Office report "Modernising Construction". The strategy covers the full range of the HA’s activities, with a focus on its delivery of services to road users as the operator of England’s motorway and trunk road network, valued at £60 billion. In this respect, the HA’s work is broadly divided into categories based on cost, namely maintenance contracts, regional projects and major projects. Within the regional projects category for works valued between £500k and £5 million, works are packaged together and procured through frameworks, allowing long-term relationships with delivery teams as a means of providing best value. To further promote this, the HA has embarked on a new initiative in Areas 9 and 10 of entering into direct contractual arrangements with specialist trade contractors and suppliers to form the Construction Management Framework (CMF). The contract commenced in July 2002 for a four year term, with an option, year on year, to extend to seven years, and covers the delivery of road renewals, structures renewals and improvement schemes. In addition, lean thinking has been identified as a means of providing improvement, and a lean construction trial has been planned on a road renewals project in Area 9, with the opportunity for developing lean as best practice within the CMF.

Aims and Objectives

This research aims to assess the performance of the CMF as a procurement strategy in highways renewals and improvements schemes, and demonstrate how lean thinking can be used to provide continuous improvement within the CMF.

The objectives of the project include:

• Define the aims of the CMF.
• Define best value and continuous improvement in terms of highways construction.
• Determine an agenda for measurement of best value and continuous improvement.
• Compare projects undertaken within the CMF and projects procured by at least two other methods in highways construction, using the measurement agenda defined in this research.
• Assess the performance of the CMF against other sectors of the construction industry, and evaluate the impact of procurement strategy on performance.
• Define lean construction in the context of the CMF and provide examples.
• Measure the success of the lean construction trial undertaken by the CMF, using the measurement agenda defined in this research.
• Seek examples of lean thinking success from other industries and evaluate their transferability to highways renewals.

Ansell, M. and Smith, S. (2010). Construction management frameworks: 10 years of experience, Proceedings of ICE Civil Engineering, 163 February 2010, pp. 41–47, Paper 09-00025. [doi: 10.1680/cien.2010.163.1.41].

Ansell, M. … et al. (2009). Collaborative working in highways major maintenance projects. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law. Vol. 162 (2), ISSN: 1751-4304.

Ansell, M. … et al. (2009). Delivering best value in highways major maintenance schemes: a case study. American Society of Civil Engineers: Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 135, No. 4, pp. 235-245. [DOI: 10.1061/ASCE 0733-9364 009 135:4 235.

Ansell, M. … et al. (2009). An application of the Construction Management Framework in highways major maintenance. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 162-174.

Ansell, M. … et al. (2007). Delivering best value in highays maintenance, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 25(12), 2007.

Ansell, M. … et al. (2007). Lean construction trial on a highways maintenance project. In: Pasquire, C. and zortzopoulos, P. (Ed.), Proceedings IGLC-15, July 2007, Michigan, USA.

Wolbers, M. … et al. (2005). Construction management and lean thinking in highways maintenance. In: Khosrowshahi, F (Ed.), Proceedings 21st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2005, London, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 2, 1123–32. ISBN/ISSN: 0 902896 93 8.



Contact us

+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

Join us on Linkedin