BackgroundMERIT university info

Over 30,000 young construction executives and students from over 200 employers have been trained in company and financial management through the MERIT experience. Since 1988 MERIT has been used as the Institution of Civil Engineers National Construction Business Game and has serviced an important training need as is evidenced by extensive support and sponsorship from industry.

Use in teaching at Loughborough University pre-dates the ICE game and MERIT, over the years, has also been used in twelve other University teaching programmes.

Through simulation MERIT creates a realistic, challenging and stimulating training environment which is greatly enjoyed by the participants. The MERIT experience expands the horizons of students and encourages further study. Supported by its own staff, MERIT is continually updated maintaining it as a modern and evolving training vehicle.

The simulation is designed to demonstrate the interdependence of the various managerial decisions and the interlocking nature of the variables that determine the success or failure of a construction company.



  • Is based on the simulation of managing a construction company.
  • Demonstrates the value of teamwork and shows how managerial and technical decisions made today unfold into tomorrow's operational and financial results.
  • Is an excellent introduction to company, business and financial management in a construction context.

Participants operate in groups of up to six, acting as a board of directors and managers, to manage their own construction company.


Operation of student games

MERIT is operated in three phases:

  • Phase 1 - Teams trial the software in order to work out a strategy
  • Phase 2 - Each team is competing against the simulation.
  • Phase 3 - Each team competes against the simulation and each other for work and for key staff.

The most popular format for use in student programs and as used at Loughborough, is a 4+4 sequence. This allows the student teams to experience decision making by competing against the simulation for each of 4 MERIT periods. Decisions included overhead allocation, estimating, bidding, staffing and financial decisions for four periods where they will gain a clear understanding of the effect of their decisions. This is followed by 4 further periods where they take the same decisions but in a more competitive environment, competing both for contracts and key staff.

We are able to offer flexible sequences of operation and patterns of play other than 4+4. Simply discuss your requirements with us.


The MERIT University family

MERIT has been embedded as an assessed teaching module in degree programmes in the following Universities:

  • Aberdeen University, Scotland
  • Auckland University, New Zealand
  • Canterbury University, New Zealand
  • Loughborough University, Undergraduates, UK
  • Loughborough University, Postgraduates, UK
  • Melbourne University, Australia
  • Newcastle University, Australia
  • Waterford Institute of Technology, Republic of Ireland
  • Glasgow Caledonian, Scotland
  • Oxford Brookes University, UK
  • Deakin University, Australia
  • Anglia Ruskin University, UK
  • George Brown College, Canada

Although the National Game is not intended for University participation and is directed at young engineers in industry the following Universities have entered teams:

  • Cambridge University
  • Dundee University
  • Heriot Watt University
  • Leeds University
  • Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia
  • Pennsylvania State University, USA
  • University of Brighton