Nicholas Hollely

Project title:

Exploring the Temporality of Construction Project Briefs

Partner Organisation:

Silverstone Circuits Ltd

First Supervisor:

Dr Graeme Larsen

Second Supervisor:

Professor Stuart Green

Project description:

Construction projects are inherently not sustainable if they don't meet client project briefs. These briefs are prone to change during projects. For decades, construction industry reform agendas have downplayed this issue. This research will adopt institutional work as a framework to attempt an understanding of how competing logics co-exist. Data will be collected by collaborating with a construction client over a period of years to explore the reasons behind changing briefs. The intention is then to look beyond the case study client to attempt an understanding of why the dominant logic behind construction improvement, which underpins construction industry reform agendas, has not faced more of a challenge from clients.

Project poster:

Poster hollely 2

Student profile:

I began a career in construction as a draughtsman in rural West Dorset in 2007. A year later I qualified as a Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor and began working for a consultancy in London prior to starting BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment at Plymouth in 2009. Undertook a placement year with the Parliamentary Estates Directorate which triggered my interest in the difficulties encountered when on the client side of construction projects. After finishing my undergraduate degree I spent a summer volunteering on a construction site in rural Ghana. I then spent 3 months doing building condition surveys and energy assessments prior to beginning this EngD. This degree has allowed me to continue following my interest in addressing the challenges encountered by clients of the construction industry.


See more about me on LinkedIn

Associated/Relevant Research Groups/Centres:

CIB W065 Organisation and Management of Construction

CIB W118 Clients and Users in Construction

British Association for Sustainability in Sports

Expected completion date:


Why did you chose Reading:

The UoR was offering this challenging and exciting research position. I am not a motorsports enthusiast but felt I could be a useful member of the strategic research collaboration between Silverstone and the UoR. The project brief provided a route that would allow me to fulfil my aspiration of reducing the environmental impact of large organisations. Upon first introduction to the TSBE I was given a warm welcome by students/staff. Whilst researching the academic direction of the SCME & TSBE I was happy to see many publications in areas of great interest to me. 


BSc (Hons) Building Surveying and the Environment, first class and RICS Student of the Year award for highest grade

ICIOB, Incorporated Member of the Chartered Institute of Building

Prince2 Practitioner, Provek

Professional Certificate in Business Analysis Practice, BCS

Code for Sustainable Homes Assessor, Stroma


Hollely, N. & Larsen, G. D. (2014) Developing a strategic roadmap towards a zero-carbon motorsport circuit. 5th Annual TSBE EngD Conference Proceedings. 8th July 2014. University of Reading.

Hollely, N., Larsen, G. D. & Green, S. D. (2015) On the procurement of Mega-Sports Venues. 6th Annual TSBE EngD Conference Proceedings. 7th July 2015. University of Reading.

Hollely, N., Larsen, G. D. & Green, S. D. (2017) In absentia: A dialogue between construction reform and heterogeneous clients. 8th Annual TSBE EngD Conference Proceedings. 27th June 2017. University of Reading.

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