Design for Manufacturing and Assembly Digital Scrapbook PAGE TWO

Welcome to page two of our ‘Design for Manufacturing and Assembly’ Digital Scrapbook, edited for the Major Projects Association by Jo Lucas of Newington Management Consultancy. The theme of our second page is Innovative Procurement and Smart Contracting.


My house was built out of glass and weathered steel.  It was made partially in a factory in Hull, partly using labourers and craftspeople on site. The design process was chosen on a rational basis of need. Where it made sense and we had access to the technology, we used DfMA, where we had the craftspeople available and it was easier, we used traditional methods.  And whilst this gave us great flexibility in the programme and allowed us to progress the design alongside the build of the house, it created an issue in finding an appropriate way to procure the work and allocate risk.

Jo Lucas’ DfMA constructed house. Photo (c) Jo Lucas

The basement was a traditional build and hence lent itself to three bids and a standard contract approach. The shell and fitout, on the otherhand, were entirely different. The house was designed digitally and then fabricated in a factory in Hull.  The process required a significant increase in the input of the engineer at the beginning of the process and had the engineer been anyone other than my husband, it would have made contracting difficult.  It required a significantly closer than usual working between architect, engineer, fabricator and the team assembling the house and resulted in overlapping lines of responsibility.  Given we were the client and the engineer, we chose to hold the risk centrally, as there was limited benefit in seeking to transfer it.  The fit out, which was a mix of CNC and onsite joinery, was equally difficult to contract as the close, overlapping working arrangement with the onsite team created a dynamic and remarkably agile team, but offered no clear contracting method.  We once again held the risk centrally and paid day rates.   Whilst this worked on Kewhouse, it is not a scalable approach.

Jo Lucas, Scrapbook Editor

In this, the second page for the DfMA Digital Scrapbook we will look at the procurement landscape in the context of DfMA. Our page contributors this month are Simon Addyman, who was Programme Director for Bank Station, known for its innovative approach to contracting and Graham Thompson, an alliancing expert and co-founder of the tech company Affinitext, which makes contractual documents more intelligent.

Graham and Simon on Smart Contracting

Innovative Contractor Engagement

Part of the inspiration for this second scrapbook page was the work done by Simon Addyman and his colleagues on the Bank Underground Station upgrade project for Transport for London. Those of you that know the Bank Station which is situated, as the name suggests, right next to the Bank of England in the heart of the City of London, know what a critical transport hub it represents with a link to the Docklands Light Railway, 10 platforms and five different underground lines. It’s also the deepest station in central London. In 2013, in a YouGov poll, Londoners voted Bank ‘the worst Tube station in London’.

Against this context, the Bank Station upgrade took a highly innovative approach to working with contractors that was designed to enable them to deliver the best possible upgrade for the budget in terms of what matters to passengers: speed of throughput and ease of use.

This approach was called Innovative Contractor Engagement.

Scrapbook Live

Graham hosted the second of our ‘scrapbook live’ events where we explored why successful, proven procurement approaches have not been more widely adopted within industry and the potential impact of new technologies such as smart contracts.

We generated a range of ’90 Second Insights’ video interviews at the event to capture insights from a number of those present, on aspects of procurement, contracting and DfMA.

Aman Sharma on the Change and Behavioural Aspects of Innovative Procurement and Smart Contracting

John Chapman on Collaboration and Smart Procurement

Obuks Ejohwomu on innovative procurement

Zezhou Feng on stakeholders and smart procurement

And, finally, a second video on the topic from Graham and Simon



The DfMA Eco-system: the context required to support a step-change in the uptake of DfMA – Project 13.

Keep your eyes peeled for the third scrapbook page at the end of July.


We’ve curated a handful of resources, around three themes to support this Page of the scrapbook, so as not to overwhelm you with information. The first perspective is that of early contractor involvement, which is one  of the fundamental requirements of DfMA.

Early contractor involvement

Designing buildings wiki

Curated entries around the theme of early contractor involvement

HS2’s approach to ECI

The benefits that this approach offers the project.

The second theme looks at innovative approaches to contracting. DfMA requires a different approach to the supply chain and this has to be reflected in the nature of the contracts used.

Innovative construction contracting

Michigan Department of Transportation

The Innovative Construction Contracting Guide looks at alternative payment and procurement options; delivery methods and tools and techniques for incentivizing acceleration and contractor performance.

Commitment Matters

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management are one of the driving forces for change and Tim Cummin’s blog is a great and eclectic source of insight

The final perspective looks at innovative approaches to sharing risk

Innovative risk sharing

Alliances and Partnerships: the development of the Andrew Oil Field in the North Sea

This article from 1995 (amazingly) explores how industry and contractors took an extraordinarily innovative approach to construction by focusing on lifecycle costs and building risk/reward sharing into the contract.

Collaborative Contracting and the Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group

A slideshare that describes how alliance contracting was adopted as a means of transforming services and support in the National Health Service.

Rethinking Risk Sharing

Wanda Mimra’s fascinating presentation is actually around insurance but her thoughts and ideas on attitudes to risk and bias are very relevant to the construction sector.


The digital scrapbook is a living and evolving entity. We have a plan for the 12 month cycle of publishing but this will undoubtedly change on the basis of our experience and as we get feedback and requests from our users. To this end, please share your thoughts, feedback and any requests for what you would like us to cover in subsequent pages, directly with Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Hub Manager or via our Facebook Group, Linkedin Page or Twitter.

Read Page One: Introduction to DfMA


Return to the DfMA digital scrapbook homepage