A common structured integrated collaborative digitised (CrOsS) framework for the historic building repair and maintenance (R&M) sector
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The UK historic building repair and maintenance (R&M) sector generates £9.7 billion in output. However, challenging delivering quality R&M are project under-performance, a lack of collaborative project practices, resulting in poor communication, underpinned by persistent skills shortages. These are not solely UK concerns; various international studies have echoed similar issues, however, to maintain focus, the scope of the research is within the UK context, in particular Scotland’s stone-built heritage. Adopting a four stage qualitative participatory exploratory action research strategy; this research aims to develop a framework, to support an effective integrated multi-disciplinary, collaborative, structured, and digitised Project Management and on-site practice approach, to aid increased efficiencies. Firstly, a synthesis of the relevant academic literature and industrial reports enabled direction towards the acquisition of appropriate intelligence, in order to guide and inform the study’s theoretical foundation. Secondly, 14 semi-structured interviews with Scottish SMEs were executed, which bounded the key findings under three main themes; senior management, human resource, and technical. Concurrently, through co-operative industry engagement, the generation of a best practice historic building SME R&M four-phase process map was undertaken. Thirdly, a common structured collaborative process standard framework was developed and finally, validated through active industry participation; a demonstration project, four semi-structured interviews, and two focus groups of six industry practitioners. The validation feedback confirmed that the developed framework is valid, credible, acceptable, and applicable as a process standard designed to offer a process model, map, and management tool.