Revolutionising construction logistics - by implementing the consolidation centre methodology

  • Victor Richards

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study is the product of an 18 month examination of logistics' techniques at Heathrow Airport. In 2001, following BAA's announcement of a £6.6 billion capital spend a construction logistics consolidation centre was set up to serve various sites at Heathrow. The Heathrow Consolidation Centre (here after referred to as HCC) adopted lean production techniques, widely used in the manufacturing industry but not previously tested in construction.

    In August 2003 the author was appointed as "Researcher' for a DTI sponsored study of the HCC. For the duration of the 12 month post the Author was permanently based at Heathrow Airport and given unlimited access to all construction sites. In addition, the role provided an excellent opportunity to
    conduct empirical research as contacts were formed with all contracting organisations operational at Heathrow Airport.

    The study set out to examine:
    the reasons for developing an alternative logistics strategy at Heathrow Airport;
    the logistics techniques used by the HCC;
    the way in which the manufacturing industry influenced HCC
    the difficulties encountered in implementing the new consolidation centre concept;
    the financial benefits of the HCC; and
    the non-financial benefits of the HCC.

    This study demonstrates that the methodology could enhance project performance by means of:
    increased time reliability;
    increased site productivity;
    improvements in health and safety;
    • reduced waste;
    • reduced environmental impact; and
    • reduced project costs.

    Despite few examples of the concept in industry the study suggests that the methodology may be applied in various forms depending on individual site constraints.
    Date of Award2005
    Original languageEnglish

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