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

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Hasan Haroglu


Investigating the Structural Frame Decision Making Process

Project Title

Invesitgating the Structural Frame Decision Making Process


The Concrete Centre


Professor Jacqueline Glass
Professor Tony Thorpe

Dr Andrew Minson
Mr Charles Goodchild

Director of Research:
Prof Dino Bouchlaghem

Research Period

2005 - 2009

Invesitgating the Structural Frame Decision Making Process


Concrete’s range of structural frame solutions, its thermal efficiency, inherent fire resistance, acoustic and vibration performance, durability and low maintenance ensure that it performs well in a number of UK markets such as commercial and residential buildings.

However, competition from other framing materials such as steel have proved challenging and this research aims to identify ways in which the concrete frame process can be improved to offer better competitive advantage. Increasing market share will depend upon forging a better understanding of the decision-making process during the early design stages of design. Recent changes in the concrete frame construction process need to be reviewed and integrated into the procurement process. Hence, this research tackles both product and process issues.

Although the project will concentrate initially on the in-situ (cast in place) concrete procurement process, its remit may also be developed to explore other areas such as high-rise buildings or precast concrete frames. The project will build upon previous key industry research projects undertaken in the UK within the last decade which have led to improvements in concrete frame construction, i.e.:

In Situ Concrete Frames – a strategy for improving the performance and productivity of the in-situ concrete frame industry; published through Reading University Production Engineering Group (1995).European Concrete Building Project, Cardington – a purpose built test frame created by the British Cement Association (BCA), BRE, CONSTRUCT and others to improve the performance of the concrete industry; see http://projects.bre.co.uk/ecbp/insitu.html for an overview.

Aims and Objectives

The research aims to improve the overall concrete frame procurement process to offer a better overall proposition to clients/customers.

The main objectives that underpin this aim are likely to include:

  • analyzing the in-situ concrete frame process, from concept to completion, and the role of actors within it;
  • mapping the processes involved, particularly in the choice, design and procurement of in-situ concrete frames;
  • identifying the key drivers, barriers and gates in the processes; and,
  • Investigating, testing and implementing possible actions to improve the process.

Method and Current Status

The first stage of the project will involve a state of the art review of both academic and industry literature to identify the key issues surrounding the subject.

  • Interviews or focus groups with selected individuals involved with concrete frame construction and its clients/customers;
  • case studies of concrete frame construction in the UK;
  • regular and high profile communication of findings; and,
  • liaising with key industry, academic and government organizations as appropriate.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

  • An action plan to tackle the barriers to an increased market share;
  • specific recommendations for designers, contractors and clients/customers; and,
  • results that will help The Concrete Centre promote the benefits of concrete frames.

Haroglu, H., Glass, J. and Thorpe, T. (2009), A study of professional perspectives on structural frame selection, Construction Management and Economics, Vol. 27, No. 12, pp. 1209-1217.

Haroglu, H., Glass, J., Thorpe, T., Goodchild, C. And Minson, A. (in press). Powerless or powerful? How contractors influence major construction decisions in Design-Build projects. Journal of Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. (July 2009)

Haroglu, H., Glass, J., Thorpe, T. And Goodchild, C. (2008), ?Critical Factors Influencing the Choice of Frame Type at Early Design?, in CSCE 2008 Annual Conference (BISSONNETTE B. And PARADIS F. (eds)), Canadian Society For Civil Engineering, Quebec City, Canada, p. 158.

Haroglu, H., Glass, J., Thorpe, T. And Goodchild, C. (2008), ?Who is the key decision maker in the structural frame selection process?, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Concrete Construction: Excellence in Concrete Construction through Innovation, 9-10 September 2008, Kingston University, London, UK, pp. 119-126.

Haroglu, H., Glass, J., Thorpe, T., Goodchild, C. And Minson, A. (2009), Evaluating the Main Contractors‘ influence within the Concrete Frame Construction Decision Making Process, The 11th Annual International fib Symposium; CONCRETE: 21st CENTURY SUPERHERO, 22nd-24th June 2009.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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