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A study of a collaborative framework arrangement for highways renewals schemes

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posted on 21.07.2009, 10:03 by Mary Ansell
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 longterm 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. The research aims to assess the performance of the CMF in highways renewals schemes. There are two objectives of the research: to assess the delivery of best value in highways renewals and improvements schemes using construction management, in particular through the establishment of a framework community; and to demonstrate how lean thinking can be used to provide continuous improvement within the framework community arrangement. The research methods used have included: questionnaires; surveys; longitudinal and crossAbstract iii sectional data comparison; and case studies. The main outputs of the research are: the development of a measurement agenda to address the value definitions defined in the research; the development of a lean procedure to be used in the CMF based on the outcomes of the lean trial; and recommendations for improving the CMF. The research has contributed to knowledge by providing a practical application of a collaborative framework arrangement, and identifying its strengths and weaknesses as a working model in the highways renewals and maintenance sector. It contributes to theory by providing a practical framework for initiatives, including lean thinking; for industry, it identifies implementation of those initiatives, and suggests improvements to overcome barriers to establishing and operating collaborative frameworks.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)


© Mary Ansell

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A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.





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