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Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology

Procurement and Productivity

On a global scale, the construction industry faces two significant challenges: stagnant productivity growth spanning decades and a substantial carbon footprint, with an estimated up to 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The construction sector requires a new vision to achieve unprecedented productivity levels, embrace net-zero buildings and infrastructure, create better jobs and enhance resilience for future uncertainties. This vision is underpinned by construction data, streaming from firms and projects. However, there is limited recognition or understanding of its potential to identify benefits (e.g. offsite & modular construction) or areas for performance improvement, such as productivity, carbon utilisation, and waste reduction. To transform construction, the sector requires new knowledge and compelling evidence capable of reshaping behaviours within firms and governments.


LORC approach

Our current research aims to develop new and enhanced methods for measuring performance in major infrastructure and building construction projects, focusing on productivity improvement and carbon reduction. To achieve this, we are developing a new and consistent performance measurement framework and a digital ecosystem to capture, interpret, and integrate data to drive informed decisions and inform policy. We have engaged in extensive collaboration with major industry players in the UK construction sector, including leading clients, developers, consultants, contractors, and subcontractors. By implementing innovative technologies, we are collecting, analysing, and presenting project information promptly on key metrics such as cost, programme, and productivity with a view to production management techniques and construction flows. This information has provided the project management teams and clients with more meaningful insights and far greater transparency of the performance of these projects, enabling them to focus on efficiency and identifying improvement opportunities.


Ongoing research

The ongoing and future work revolves around the development of an integrative digital platform, Digital Twin Construction, aimed at automating the collection, interpretation, analysis, and visualisation of construction project information. This platform will be a central hub for consolidating data from various sources, enabling seamless data integration and streamlining the decision-making process. Additionally, this research will leverage data science methods and use artificial intelligence to de-risk project planning and achieve carbon reduction. By harnessing the power of big data analytics, this research aims to improve the accuracy and efficiency of project planning processes while optimising cost and carbon footprint. Through these initiatives, this research strives to enhance the overall performance and sustainability of construction projects, ultimately driving positive impacts on the industry and a global scale.


Selected publications

  • Rathnayake, A., & Middleton, C. (2023). Systematic Review of the Literature on Construction Productivity. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 149(6), 03123005,
  • Murguia, D., Rathnayake, A. & Middleton, C. (2023). Master Schedule Optimisation with the Use of Flowlines and Performance Data. In: 31st Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lille, France, 1463-1474,
  • Rathnayake, A., Murguia, D. & Middleton, C. (2023). Analysing the Impact of Construction Flow on Productivity. In: 31st Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lille, France, 1510-1521,
  • Murguia, D., Chen, Q., Jansen van Vuuren, T. Rathnayake, A., Vilde, V., and Middleton, C. (2022). Digital Measurement of Construction Performance: Data-to-dashboard strategy. IOP Conference Series: Earth Environmental Science, 1101, 092009,
  • Jansen van Vuuren, T, Middleton, C (2020) Methodology for quantifying the benefits of offsite construction, C792, CIRIA, London, UK (ISBN: 978-0-86017-897-2)


Browse the many Construction Engineering Masters dissertations on


Professor Campbell Middleton

Laing O'Rourke Professor of Construction Engineering

Director, Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering & Technology

Dr Danny Murguia

Research Associate


Dr Ashan Asmone

Research Associate

Asitha Rathnayake

Asitha Rathnayake

PhD student