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

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Peter Court


Transforming Traditional Mechanical and Electrical Construction to a Modern Process of Assembly

Project Title

Transforming Traditional Mechanical and Electrical Construction to a Modern Process of Assembly


Crown House


Dr CL Pasquire
Professor AD Price

Mr J Moore
Mr DJ Bower

Director of REsearch:
Dr PM Carrillo

Research Period

2003 - 2007

Transforming Traditional Mechanical and Electrical Construction to a Modern Process of Assembly



Since undertaking my MBA, which I completed in 1997, it has always been my desire to continue my further education on the basis of any learning feeding my work and any work feeding my learning. I undertook the MBA on the basis that I would either develop into line management or develop into managing large projects (on the basis that large projects are businesses in their own right). As it turned out I progressed into managing large projects and my MBA served me, and the organisation I worked for, well.

This is the case with the EngD. Having been exposed to the tools and techniques available to the construction industry from the world of manufacturing, and having seen the benefits that they bring when applied only in part, the future of improvements in our industry (construction) lies in transferring this knowledge and capability (lean thinking applied to construction).

The theme that I wish to research therefore is Innovative Construction Technologies. The driver for this theme is the desire to use the research and learning as an antidote to the waste that exists in our industry. By waste I refer to the waste that adds time and cost to our projects and adds no value, and creates a situation where margin slippage occurs, and customer dissatisfaction. The ability to do more and more with less and less resource is a compelling driver to the business, especially so when considering the amount of complex projects available to us, but constrained by the resources available, both in the business and in the supply chain. The ability to maintain, or even improve margin is equally as compelling. Delivering customer value seems to be ringing around the industry, delivering this and shareholder value would ring even louder, especially in the boardroom.

Aims and Objectives

The specific aims and objectives of the project include:

• To standardise the product (what we install)
• To standardise the process (how we install it)
• To achieve highest quality, lowest cost and shortest cycle-time in the industry
• Achieve higher shareholder value

Method and Current Status

To develop the "Crown House Construction System" with the goal of achieving the highest quality, lowest cost (by 10%), and shortest cycle time in the industry (mechanical and electrical contracting).

This will rest on two pillars, standardisation of the product and standardisation of the process, which will have foundations from other industries (manufacturing) that have a proven track record of doing this successfully, added to what we have collectively learnt so far, good and bad.

In order to achieve this, the research will investigate theory and methodologies from other industries, such as manufacturing and even furniture manufacturing (IKEA / MFI - flat-packing).

The findings, together with our current industry knowledge, will inform the optimum design and implementation of the standardisation of the product and process for mechanical and electrical installations in complex buildings. It will also research the barriers to implementation of change in the industry, which will have to be overcome in order to bring about the expected outcome.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

The expected outcome of the project is ultimately to reduce our costs by 10%, which will enhance shareholder value and produce a lower selling cost to the customer, as well as producing a higher quality product and in the shortest possible time. The system, when implemented can be used for branding and marketing purposes and will be a differentiator in the marketplace and should differentiate Crown House Engineering from the competition.

Court, P., Pasquire, C., and Gibb, A.G.F. (2009). A Lean and agile Construction System as a set of countermeasures to improve Health, Safety and productivity in mechanical and electrical construction. Lean Construction Journal, pp. 61-76.

Court, P. … et al. (2009). Modular assembly with postponement to improve health, safety and productivity in construction. J. Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, 14(2), pp. 81-89.


Court, P., Pasquire, C. and Gibb, A.G.F. (2008). Modular assembly in healthcare construction – a mechanical and electrical case study. Proc., Sixteenth Annual Conf. of the Int. Group for Lean Construction (IGLC-16), Manchester, United Kingdom, pp. 521-531.

Court, P. … et al. (2006). Design of a Lean and Agile Construction System for a Large and Complex Mechanical and Electrical Project. Proceedings of the 14th annual conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, Santiago, Chile, 2006.

Court, P. … et al. (2005). Lean as an antidote to labour cost escalation on complex mechanical and electrical projects. Proceedings of the 13th annual conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, Sydney, Australia, 19-21 July, pp. 3-11.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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