Method of Measurement for Highway Works £19.95*

Managing with the MMHW: An examination of the use of the Method of Measurement for Highway Works

Hamish Mitchell FCInstCES

(*Free postage UK, £6.95 overseas)

pp92 ISBN 978-1-900776-08-0

A new book from ICES Publishing covering the background, development and usage of the MMHW. 

Author Hamish Mitchell presents case studies and examples to help readers understand the practicalities of highway measurement.


From its inception in 1991, the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works (MCDHW) represented a radical departure from previous publications. It is still the current suite of documentation albeit with many revisions. Highway procurement itself has gone through many iterations over recent years. Many may believe that with design and build and other collaboration models, plus the fact that bills of quantities are not used in the manner they used to be, that the MCDHW is no longer relevant. I would disagree, indeed together with the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges (DMRB) they are very much a part of the current standards for design and procurement relating to trunk road works in the UK. Volume 4 of the MCHW contains the Method of Measurement for Highway Works (MMHW) and whether or not the procurement model being used does not contain a bill of quantities, as such, the works still have to be measured and priced. For this reason alone the MCDHW including its MMHW are still very much live documents. Up until now there has never been a publication specifically explaining how to use the MMHW or attempt to explain the measurement rules. The guidance notes, which are good, only go so far. Like the author, I too have seen many examples of misuse of the measurement rules by contractors and consultants alike. The MMHW, unlike its sister the fourth edition of the Civil Engineering Standard Method of Measurement (CESMM4), is not a standalone document. It is inextricably linked to other documents, most notably the Specification for Highway Works (SHW), and perhaps because of this it has potentially been a troublesome document to get to grips with. This book will take the reader from the background to the MMHW, so essential to understanding why it is as it is, through the intervention of the European Union to the actual measurement procedures of the most commonly used series. The book contains examples and case studies so essential to understanding the day to day practicalities of highway measurement and reinforces the view that highway measurement is not just measurement! I am very privileged to be able to write this foreword to a book that is long overdue. It is well researched and written by one of the most experienced highway quantity surveyors in the UK, Hamish Mitchell. This book will help practitioners and students alike understand highway measurement in a much more structured way than was previously possible.

Geoff Hodgson BSc MRICS MCP Co-Author Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works, A User’s Guide and Commentary.

ICES Publishing is operated by SURCO, a subsidiary of ICES.

Managing with the MMHW
Free postage UK, £6.95 overseas

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About the Author

Hamish Mitchell trained initially as a quantity surveyor in building, after which he transferred to civil engineering where he spent over 40 years, until he retired, on many large projects both in the United Kingdom and abroad, which included a great number of highway contracts. He has an extensive knowledge of the various methods of measurement used in the construction industry and was on the drafting committee for the Royal Engineers’ Standard Method of Measurement. He has lectured on civil engineering commercial management subjects both on industry training courses and at educational establishments and was an external examiner for various universities.

He has been a member of various committees of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors and has served on its Council of Management. He was the project manager for the development of NVQ/SNVQ level 4 Quantity Surveying, a Construction Industry Standard Council (CISC) project. His hobbies include the study of military and industrial history. He is married to a vicar and currently lives in remotest Devon.