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

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Vasileios Vernikos


Realising offsite construction in the civil engineering and infrastructure sector

Project Title

Realising Offsite in the Civil Engineering & Infrastructure Sector


Halcrow Group Limited


Professor Alistair Gibb
Dr Chris Goodier

Professor Peter C Robery
Professor Tim Broyd

Director of Research:
Professor Stephen Ison

Research Period

2010 - 2014

Realising Offsite in the Civil Engineering & Infrastructure Sector


Offsite construction solutions have gained significant prominence over recent years (www.buildoffsite.com).  However, much  of the interest has been focussed on the building sector, and particularly housing.  The Civil Engineering and Infrastructure sector has seen competitively little growth in this aspect. 

There are, of course, certain exemplars such as motorway bridges and some high-profile projects, such as the Heathrow control tower, but there appears to have been far less application of the new and emerging technologies and approaches that have been influential in the building sector.

Offsite itself is not a well-defined supply sector, but rather a conglomeration of various, largely material or technology-based supply networks.  This makes it hard to realise new opportunities, especially in different sectors of the construction industry. 

Loughborough have established a significant track record in the area of offsite technologies.  Halcrow are one of the leading consultants with 80% of their work in the Civil Engineering and Infrastructure sectors.  Halcrow have two Industry Case Awards that are particularly relevant to this proposal: whole life costing with Malcolm Horner at Dundee and Project Delivery Systems with Jennifer Whyte at Reading. 

Both Halcrow and Loughborough’s lead supervisors were founder members of the industry organisation Buildoffsite.

Halcrow has developed five corporate R&D focus areas:

  1. Engineering design in the digital age
  2. Offsite
  3. Whole life costing and asset management
  4. Waste and carbon reduction (sustainability)
  5. Harnessing intellectual capacity and experience (knowledge management)

Aim of the research

This new EngD position will focus on the application of offsite approaches in the Civil Engineering and Infrastructure sector (CE&I).  The overall aim will be to produce a sector-wide offsite strategy for the sector relating to the other corporate strategies listed above. 

Methodology and deliverables

The full details of the role and responsibilities for the RE will develop over the coming months, but, in essence, in addition to the academic requirements, the project will be delivered through a number of discrete yet connected work packages, including:

  • Update of offsite sector analysis
  • Review of Halcrow’s use of offsite solutions
  • Review of CE&I sector opportunities for offsite
  • Establishing key drivers and constraints for CE&I offsite implementation – eg with Highways Agency and Network Rail
  • Relating offsite to the other strategic R&D focus areas
  • Working with key suppliers and co-designers to develop new opportunities for offsite
  • Developing, validating and supporting the implementation of the CE&I offsite strateg

Relevant websites

www.halcrow.com      http://offsite.lboro.ac.uk          www.buildoffsite.com



Contact us

+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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