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The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management

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Prof Jim Meikle

Professor in the Economics of the Construction Sector

The Bartlett Sch of Const & Proj Mgt

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
15th Oct 2013

Research summary

For many years I have been interested in international construction price comparisons.  I have worked for the European Union, Eurostat, OECD, the World Bank and the African Development Bank on methods for, and the production of, Purchasing Power Parities (PPPs).  I am currently a member of a Regional Expert Group for Africa as part of the International Comparison Program.

I have a wider interests in construction data and the measurement of all aspects of construction, including, for example, construction productivity and informal construction.  With Rick Best of Bond University, Queensland, Australia, I have co-edited two books on construction frameworks and the measurement of construction prices, output and productivity.

Another research interest is the growth and development of construction professional services firms.  While with Davis Langdon, I worked on studies for the Royal Institute of British Architects (architectural practice in Europe), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (the future role of the quantity surveyor) and the Association of Consulting Engineers (the market for engineering services in Europe).  In 2009 I researched and wrote a history of my old firm, Davis Langdon LLP, and since then I have published a number of papers on the development of, and mergers and acquisitions in, construction consulting firms.

Biography

I undertook a professional apprenticeship in quantity surveying with a small private practice in Glasgow in the 1960s followed by short spells in Cumbernauld New Town and a multidisciplinary design practice in Edinburgh.  During the 1970s I worked on international development projects in Nigeria (education), Libya (urban development) and Egypt (health and urban planning).  In 1979 I joined the research department of Davis Belfield & Everest and in the mid-1980s established the unit that eventually became Davis Langdon Management Consulting (DLMC).  I retired as a partner of Davis Langdon in 2005 and currently work as an independent consultant, in addition to my part-time chair at the School.


With DLMC I worked on market, economic and management consultancy studies in the UK and internationally.  Major assignments include management of the UK Construction Research and Innovation Strategy Panel (1998 - 2005); A Structure Conduct and Performance study of the UK Building Materials Sector (2000); Construction Sector Studies in Egypt (1982), the Russian Federation (1992), Vietnam (1995); studies of architectural practice in France and Italy (1991); and management of a European Construction Price Comparison Study (1980 - 2005).


Since 2005 I have worked on international construction price comparison studies in the West Balkans (for the European Union), and Africa (for African Development Bank) and on comparison methodology development for the World Bank; studies on construction productivity in Singapore; a study of the construction sector in Abu Dhabi; and studies of informal construction in Africa.

Publications