Unravelling the Value Chain in Construction

Brian Atkin1

1Professor of Construction Management and Economics, The Royal Institute of Technology, Drottning Kristinas väg 30, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden; email. brian@recm.kth.se


A study of project processes and information integration has been carried out on ten building projects in the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. This paper summarises the findings and includes comment on the projects and the resultant models of the design and construction process. Functional models of the process were produced, using a computer based IDEFØ tool to show information flows, participants, organisations and IT use. The models were verified and presented in as uniform an approach as possible, using a generic model of the process. Analysis was performed on the models, including checks for consistency and process integrity. The findings indicate that, inter alia, IT use is significantly affected by the attitude of the client and the IT capability and orientation of the 'constructor'. Moreover, it is essential to have all members of the project team within the operational 'loop'. Integration is about bringing people and organisations closer together. The generic model has been subsequently developed in line with the best practice elements of each project, changes in construction practices and out of sector best practice in design and production. The result is a new project generic process model that could form a blueprint for subsequent projects. This research will continue, by modelling and costing different project scenarios so that non-value added activities can be isolated and eliminated.


Process modelling, functional modelling, design, supply chain, value chain, IT.



Atkin, B. 1998, 'Unravelling the Value Chain in Construction' In:, 6th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Guarujá, Brazil, 13-15 Aug 1998.

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