Saturday19 August 2017



Stories with this category.

  • Brexit and construction law: Changing times

    23 Jun 17

    One year on from the EU referendum, nobody knows how a post-Brexit world will look

  • Who’s who in government?

    14 Jun 17

    Who in Theresa May’s reshuffled team will have an effect on construction?

  • What next for Atkins and SNC Lavalin?

    21 Apr 17

    Deal creates £7bn turnover US and European consultancy powerhouse

  • Let's love industrial estates

    15 Aug 16

    The changing nature of manufacturing and enterprise means we need to unlock many sites in our cities, integrating industrial estates with surrounding neighbourhoods

  • West Ham's new home: Who forgot the roof?

    29 Jul 16

    At a cost of £700m, nearly three times the initial estimate, questions are being raised about the price tag of the former Olympic stadium

  • Olympic Games: Keeping the legacy alive

    28 Jul 16

    Has the LLDC managed to adhere to the legacy promises that won the UK the Olympic bid in the first place?

  • Fixing the NHS

    22 Jul 16

    Health service spending on building maintenance and repairs faces a £4.3bn backlog. But there is good news for the construction industry

  • ‘The next Canary Wharf and Stratford combined’

    16 Jun 16

    A planned interchange between HS2 and Crossrail has made an unassuming spot of west London a candidate for the largest regeneration scheme in the UK

  • Sweett hereafter

    10 Jun 16

    With Sweett’s purchase by WSP PB making it the latest venerable UK consultant to be snapped up by a bigger foreign firm, Building considers how such takeover deals - and the spin-off firms that often result - are changing the market

  • The verdict: BIG's Serpentine Pavilion

    7 Jun 16

    After 15 years the Serpentine has added four summer houses to its series of single pavilions. Is it enough to revive an ageing format? Ike Ijeh is in no doubt

  • Build costs: Keep your options open

    1 Jun 16

    If uncertainty is construction’s worst enemy how can architects and engineers help clients manage build costs?

  • Heseltine: ‘I haven’t yet been told to shut up’

    5 May 16

    While most 83-year-olds settle for a quiet life and daytime TV, Lord Heseltine’s time is taken up spearheading the government’s regeneration agenda

  • Andy Steele: ‘Was that me?’

    29 Mar 16

    It took Andy Steele just five years to transform Connaught into a £240m-turnover sensation. Can he pull it off again?

  • Simon Eyers: Beating the odds

    14 Mar 16

    National Apprenticeship Week: Being born deaf and mute hasn’t stopped Simon Eyers landing a job as an electrician at contractor FM Conway

  • Market review: The down and ups

    26 Jan 16

    The UK economy looks set to have grown by 2.4% in 2015, a slowdown compared with 2.9% in 2014 – but construction’s future pipeline looks strong

  • Interview: Peter Hansford

    22 January 2016

    Until two months ago Peter Hansford was the government’s chief construction advisor. Now the position has been abolished. Here, he talks frankly about the state of the industry and how his legacy will be perceived

  • Building Christmas challenge: A touch of frost

    18 Dec 15

    Five construction figures and two Building journalists sculpt landmark buildings. Who kept their cool and who felt a nasty chill?

  • Market review: The season of goodwill

    15 Dec 15

    Some important announcements in last month’s Spending Review were set against a boost to contract awards and some healthy growth predictions

  • Normal service resumed?

    11 Dec 15

    Following a turbulent 12 months of engineering delays, in-fighting and inadequate planning, Network Rail’s fortunes seem to have turned following George Osborne’s increase to capital spending and Sir Peter Hendy’s reconfigured spending programme. So has the company got away with it?

  • Market review: Rough with the smooth

    26 Nov 15

    Latest figures show that output in almost every individual construction sector took a quarter-on-quarter fall

  • Market review: Balancing act

    27 Oct 15

    A buoyant infrastructure sector keeps construction stabilised despite housing seeing a significant drop in activity

  • Housebuilders' salary survey 2015: Making hay…

    22 Oct 15

    This year’s housebuilders’ salary survey finds that wages and bonuses are both on the up. But how long will it last?

  • BES: Birmingham or bust

    15 Oct 15

    Birmingham council has scrapped its energy efficiency drive. We look at how the £1bn Birmingham Energy Savers scheme and the Green Deal’s fates were inextricably bound, and what the city’s options are now

  • New kids on the block

    3 Sep 15

    The shift away from local authority control of education brings its own challenges, but it also gives developers the chance to work with academies and free schools to meet community needs

  • Apprenticeships levy: Taxing Times

    4 Aug 15

    The government’s pledge to deliver 3 million apprenticeships through a levy on large employers has left many in the industry confused as to how the policy will work

  • Construction policies: In the line of fire

    23 Jul 15

    After the Conservatives’ unexpected torching of construction policies, we look at the driving force behind this drastic industry shake-up

  • Who’s running Balfour Beatty?

    10 Jul 15

    New Balfour Beatty chief executive Leo Quinn has wasted no time making his mark on the contracting giant. But so far his actions haven’t managed to stem the flow of senior figures departing the troubled firm

  • Market review: Mixed signals

    23 Jun 15

    The construction sector is still thriving but according to economic indicators there was a fall in activity in services and manufacturing

  • Market review: An unexpected drop

    27 May 15

    Construction activity increased in March against a backdrop of wider economic stability, with low inflation, low unemployment and forecasts for moderate growth

  • Wates and Shepherd deal - at a glance analysis

    21 May 15

    Wates eyes expansion, while Shepherd Group focuses on modular builder Portakabin

  • Professions: Now you see them, now you don’t

    21 May 15

    Construction’s professions could effectively disappear within a decade, according to the author of a challenging report

  • The next five years

    14 May 15

    Following a surprise result which leaves the Tories free to rule without coalition partners, what can construction expect from the next parliament?

  • Election 2015: What happens in a hung parliament?

    7 May 15

    With all predictions pointing to a hung parliament, what could happen after the election?

  • Floating voters: The next government’s priorities need to be …

    7 May 15

    This week two members of our panel of floating voters highlight vital areas of construction policy that will require the attention of the next government, whatever its political make-up

  • Floating voters: Which way are you leaning?

    1 May 15

    This week we catch up with our panel of floating voters, first selected during the 2010 election, to ask what they think the different parties offer the industry and who they are intending to vote for this time around

  • Right to buy: Betting the house

    24 Apr 15

    Joey Gardiner scrutinises the Tories’ plans to extend right to buy to housing associations

  • Floating voters: Five years on

    23 Apr 15

    Building catches up with a group of senior floating voters from the construction industry to ask them what they learnt from the last election

  • Ed Miliband’s letter to the construction industry

    23 Apr 15

    Leader of the Labour party responds to Building’s manifesto aims

  • Nick Clegg’s letter to the construction industry

    23 Apr 15

    Leader of the Liberal Democrats responds to Building’s manifesto aims

  • Market review: Steady progress

    22 Apr 15

    Construction activity increased in March against a backdrop of wider economic stability, with low inflation, low unemployment and forecasts for moderate growth. Michael Dall goes through the highlights of Barbour ABI’s monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • BIM survey results: Levelling off?

    17 April 2015

    The government is backing it. Firms are paying top dollar for people that can do it. So why does the number of firms using building information modelling actually seem to be falling?

  • BIM: Power up for Level 3

    16 Apr 15

    The strategy document for BIM Level 3 - Digital Built Britain - is big on aspiration but comes up a little short on the details

  • Brookfield Multiplex: A decade later

    10 Apr 15

    As main contractor on the delayed Wembley stadium and chief player in the legal battle afterwards, Multiplex became a byword for tough contracting. But 10 years on the firm is set to become a £1bn turnover contractor

  • The Farrell Review: Into the long grass?

    2 Apr 15

    One year on from the publication of Terry Farrell’s review of architecture and the built environment, it’s time to see whether the government is prepared to support good design - or whether it will favour continued procrastination

  • Do priority schools add up?

    1 Apr 15

    The picture emerging from some of the few completed priority schools is one of cut-price, smaller buildings with potentially higher long-term maintenance costs

  • Market review: Ebb and flow

    26 Mar 15

    Construction takes an unexpected drop - its first year-on-year fall since May 2013 - but the wider UK economy makes a strong start to 2015. Michael Dall presents highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • UKIP: The vocal minority

    12 Mar 15

    Control immigration and large areas of British countryside will not need to be destroyed by housebuilding, says UKIP. Nationalist populism at its most simplistic, perhaps, but the party’s anti-development stance is bearing down on politics at a local level

  • Apprentices in construction: One step forward…

    6 Mar 15

    For construction to exploit the economic recovery, it will need about 30,000 new skilled workers each year - that’s about double the number of apprentices the industry is training up

  • Birmingham’s buzz

    6 Mar 15

    Not so long ago, the greatest thing about Birmingham was finding a road out of it. But in little more than a decade it has transformed itself into a thriving urban centre that businesses and people are flocking to be part of

  • Market review: Silver linings

    25 Feb 15

    Growth may have slowed in the fourth quarter of 2014, but there are positive signs for the UK economy and construction elsewhere. Here are highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • SME housebuilders: Small talk

    12 Feb 15

    The proportion of homes built by small housebuilders has halved in recent years. So, with listed builders increasing output and reporting record profits, why are their smaller competitors still struggling to make ends meet?

  • Prepare to be boarded

    30 January 2015

    With the recession over, rising turnover and damaged valuations have left construction firms in a climate perfect for acquisition deals. Are you in a position to grow your business or is it time to sell up?

  • Market review: Slowly does it

    28 Jan 15

    Growth continues throughout the UK economy and construction sectors, but the gains being made are slowing down significantly. Here are highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • No man’s land: Unwanted supermarket sites

    15 Jan 15

    Supermarkets are responding to the UK’s shift in shopping habits by massively cutting back their development programmes, leaving the construction industry and affected communities wondering what will happen to the unwanted sites

  • Market review: A slight dip

    16 Dec 14

    The value of construction contracts awarded in the UK dropped to £5.8bn in November, with residential accounting for the highest proportion of contracts awarded by value. Here are highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • Market review: So far, so good

    25 Nov 14

    The value of construction contracts awarded in the UK rose to £6bn in October, but there is evidence of a slowdown in the housing market and signs that all is not well in the eurozone. Here are highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • Is BIM what it says on the tin?

    21 Nov 14

    While Building’s BIM survey indicates that adoption of the technology is increasing, there is growing anxiety about its effect on the dynamics of project teams

  • Contractors: The tipping point

    7 Nov 14

    After years of clients worrying about subcontractors’ health, suddenly it’s main contractors that seem to be in trouble, caught out by rising costs on fixed price jobs. Building reports on a nervous time of profit warnings and senior management departures

  • South-east Asian construction economies: Chasing tigers

    6 Nov 14

    China and India may be the big beasts of the East but UK construction would do well to train its sights on South-east Asia where huge untapped potential lies waiting

  • Market review: Slight turbulence

    28 Oct 14

    Output fell in the latest ONS figures but the value of contracts awarded is growing. Here are highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review

  • Slow progress

    24 Sep 14

    The recovery is still moving at a slow pace but August saw a year-on-year increase in construction awards. Michael Dall presents highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review, with a special focus on the commercial and retail sector

  • Party time

    19 Sep 14

    As we approach the last party conference season before the general election, Building offers a guide to where each party stands on construction issues

  • Time to go back to school?

    5 Sep 14

    When it comes to school building work, the construction industry has been tasked with doing ‘more for less’, but as the economy picks up is it time for a rethink?

  • Student digs

    5 September 2014

    Despite rising tuition fees, university applications in the UK have risen to an all-time high. How is the industry is coping with the demand for student accommodation?

  • Getting there

    21 Aug 14

    While the economy is slowly returning to health, July did witness a slight decrease in construction levels

  • Agenda 15: Your views

    6 Aug 14

    The spotlight turns to sustainability policy and ways to promote longer-term infrastructure planning

  • Agenda 15: What you said

    1 Aug 14

    Building has been asking the construction industry what policies the next UK government needs to adopt - here we review your responses

  • A sunny outlook

    24 Jul 14

    Despite a slight blip in contract activity in June, construction looks stonger compared with last summer. Michael Dall presents highlights of Barbour ABI’s latest monthly Economic & Construction Market Review, with a special focus on the residential sector which is largely responsible for driving growth

  • The London housing problem

    30 May 14

    Best estimates suggest that London needs to be creating between 42,000 and 52,000 homes each year to keep up with demand. But with only 17,000 built in the last year, what chance is there of closing the gap?

  • NBS survey: The BIM that will bring us together

    17 Apr 14

    NBS’ annual BIM survey suggests that uptake of the collaborative technology has risen sharply over the past year. But is it really becoming the industry norm?

  • A cause for celebration

    7 Mar 14

    The government’s £4bn social housing programme is set to increase stock for the first time since 1979. So why aren’t we shouting about it?

  • Agenda 15: Quite a climb

    27 Feb 14

    A recovery of sorts is under way, but large parts of the industry are still struggling to grow. As part of Building’s Agenda 15 campaign, we want to hear your views on what the obstacles to growth are and how can we overcome them. To prompt your thinking, we asked four industry leaders for their views

  • City surprised by exit of Kier boss

    20 Feb 14

    Analysts surprised Paul Sheffield has decided to leave the firm so soon after Kier’s acquisition of May Gurney

  • Procurement: Facing the consequences

    7 February 2014

    For five years some clients have been taking advantage of the downturn by dumping risk on contractors and screwing them down on price. But now things are on the up, is the supply chain hitting back?

  • Dropping targets for renewable energy is not the solution

    31 Jan 14

    Government claims that higher cost savings could be achieved if markets are left to their own devices could have risky results

  • The truth about spending on flood protection

    17 Jan 14

    The government claims that flood protection spending is rising, but as the UK towels itself off after yet another deluge, the public is understandably sceptical. So what’s the real story?

  • Building family Christmas: Review of 2013

    20 Dec 13

    It may have more than its fair share of squabbles, but the construction community is a family like any other. Adam Branson gathers everybody round the table, gets the albums out, and looks back on the people and events that made 2013. Additional reporting by Peter Klein, Joey Gardiner and Sarah Richardson

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Best presents

    20 Dec 13

    Building takes a look at some of the best presents 2013 gave to the construction industry

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Blunders of 2013

    20 Dec 13

    Christmas turkeys: From walkie scorchie to the Green Deal, we take a look at some of 2013’s biggest blunders

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Family feuds

    20 Dec 13

    It wouldn’t be Christmas without them. We take a look back at some of the biggest fallouts to hit the pages of Building magazine

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Fond farewells

    20 Dec 13

    As the year draws to a close, we say goodbye to some familiar faces and brands

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: High-profile exits

    20 Dec 13

    Christmas jumpers: 2013 saw the exit of several big names. We look at some of the ones that made news this year

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Some new guests

    20 Dec 13

    2013 saw several high-profile appointments. Here’s a rundown of some of the best

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: The year's biggest winners

    20 Dec 13

    Christmas Top of the Pops: Find out who came out on top in the construction industry over the last year

  • Building's 2013 review of the year: Unwanted gifts

    20 Dec 13

    We take a look at some of the gifts 2013 gave us that we really could have done without

  • Labour market: Spoilt for choice

    22 Nov 13

    Amid evidence that the market is recovering, many industry professionals trapped in jobs for the last five years are finally on the move. But a sudden wealth of opportunities for employees has left employers facing skills shortages

  • HS2: Obstacles ahead

    7 Nov 13

    What does the Labour Party’s ambivalence towards HS2 mean for those looking to work on the £43bn project?

  • Deal or no deal?

    3 Oct 13

    The Green Deal is in trouble - but what are the alternatives? Building asked some of those at the heart of green policy where they thought the scheme was heading

  • The wasted recession

    12 Sep 13

    Recovery may now be on the cards, but did we learn enough from the recession?

  • Museum of Liverpool: Nightmare at the museum

    8 Aug 13

    The £72m Museum of Liverpool may have opened in 2011, but problems with the design and build mean parts of the iconic building are still inaccessible to the public. Last week’s £1.13m court judgment highlights the dangers for small consultants on big projects

  • In focus: Kier

    23 May 13

    In the final of our quick fire guides to recent changes at major contractors, we look at Kier

  • A client's view: British Land

    23 May 13

    British Land’s construction executive discusses the key considerations when selecting contractors, and how the firm operates

  • Danger: recovery in sight

    23 May 13

    There may be hints of a modest recovery for construction, but is it prepared for the risks that brings?

  • A client's view: Land Securities

    22 May 13

    Building caught up with Land Secs’ head of project management on procurement, selecting contractors and upcoming work

  • In focus: Laing O'Rourke

    22 May 13

    The fourth of our quick fire guides to recent changes at major contractors looks at Laing O’Rourke

  • Life after Davis Langdon

    21 May 13

    Building profiles the many new start-ups launched by former Davis Langdon partners

  • In focus: Morgan Sindall

    21 May 13

    The third of our quick-fire guides to changes at major contractors looks at Morgan Sindall

  • Keeping up standards, keeping down costs

    20 May 13

    The Health & Safety Executive’s drive to cut bureacracy could compromise safety, the Association for Project Safety warns

  • In focus: Balfour Beatty

    20 May 13

    In the second of our series on recent changes at major contractors, we look at Balfour Beatty

  • In focus: Lend Lease

    17 May 13

    In the first of five quick fire guides to big changes at major contractors, we look at latest shake-up at Lend Lease

  • Interview: Killian Hurley, Mount Anvil

    15 May 13

    Mount Anvil’s chairman reveals how the housebuilder beat the recession

  • TIF of the iceberg

    3 May 13

    Battersea’s Nine Elms development has got the green light to use tax-increment financing. Does this mean the industry has overcome the funding impasse?

  • Kier-May Gurney: A good deal?

    26 Apr 13

    Building’s assistant editor Joey Gardiner on the Kier’s proposed takeover of May Gurney

  • A greener China

    26 April 2013

    China is leaping ahead with innovations for green buildings

  • Blacklisting the blacklisters

    26 April 2013

    Councils are exploring ways to stop companies involved in blacklisting from winning work with them

  • King's X marks the spot

    26 April 2013

    Argent’s managing partner David Partridge on King’s Cross Central and the next £1bn of construction contracts

  • How difficult can it be?

    23 Apr 13

    Fixing our housing problems will be a hard slog - but some progress is being made, says Andrew Stunell

  • Life on the high fees

    22 Apr 13

    Adjudicators were meant to deal with construction disputes ‘expeditiously and relatively inexpensively’. But the amount they charge is becoming increasingly hard to justify

  • Building magazine in 1843

    19 Apr 13

    To celebrate Building’s 170-year anniversary we’re delving into our archive to take a look at how the magazine started out

  • NEC3 contracts: The hole truth and nothing but

    19 Apr 13

    If only lawyers would get around to filling up the holes in the NEC3 contract

  • Look back in anger

    19 April 2013

    Firms involved in the blacklisting scandal now have to decide how to manage the far-reaching repercussions

  • Making waves

    19 April 2013

    Richard McCarthy: The Green Deal may have got off to an unsteady start but, by working with government, the industry can still turn it into a success

  • Interview: Jacque Hinman

    18 Apr 13

    What CH2M Hill and Halcrow can do together now they’re one

  • Overrated?

    17 Apr 13

    Are green ratings helping or becoming a problem in the quest to improve the sustainability of new buildings?

  • Blacklisting discoveries 'appalling'

    16 Apr 13

    Blacklisting practices revealed in inquiry beggar belief, says Ian Davidson, chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee

  • Leap of faith

    16 Apr 13

    Despite what the Court of Appeal decided recently, isn’t a doctrine of good faith what the industry desperately needs?

  • By any other name

    12 April 2013

    The Davis Langdon we remember no longer exists - is holding on to the name more of a hindrance than a help?

  • Criminal responsibility

    12 April 2013

    Designing out crime is threatened by deregulation of the planning system 

  • Jason Prior: The big picture man

    12 April 2013

    Aecom’s head of buildings and places, Jason Prior, maps out where the company is headed

  • The drive of your life

    12 April 2013

    We’re so besotted with process that we’ve lost sight of the end product. We should learn from Formula One

  • Land of Oz

    11 Apr 13

    A recent dip in Australia’s construction output figures may have spooked Australians but for UK firms the market is an entirely different world

  • Anna Stewart: The successor

    10 Apr 13

    This month, Anna Stewart takes over the reins at Laing O’Rourke, the UK’s largest private contractor. Tough decisions await her

  • Finding work after study

    10 Apr 13

    How do university courses support students in finding employment? We spoke to four built environment schools to find out what they offer

  • Costain vs Kier: The battle for May Gurney

    3 Apr 13

    Who stands to win if Kier does decide to challenge Costain over its merger with May Gurney?

  • Housing stimulus: Shaky foundations

    28 March 2013

    George Osborne exceeded industry expectations in last week’s Budget by pumping more than £15bn into a housing market stimulus. But economists fear the measures could do more harm than good

  • Planning reforms: On the move

    21 Mar 13

    The NPPF has opened up councils to more residential developments and, with an increasingly robust housebuilding industry preparing for growth, is the sector beginning to rally?

  • Budget submission: Dear George …

    15 March 2013

    Ahead of this week’s Budget, Building wrote to the chancellor to put the case for the green economy. Let’s hope he listens

  • Running on empty

    08 March 2013

    Cash is king but with holdings plummeting do contractors need a radical solution?

  • The HCA: 'It's time to deliver'

    01 March 2013

    Does the appointment of new chief executive Andy Rose end a period of uncertainty for the HCA?

  • Nuclear: Delayed reaction

    22 February 2013

    With fresh problems besetting EDF’s Hinkley Point project and rival Horizon’s scheme being reworked from scratch, should construction firms fear that the long-awaited nuclear bonanza may never happen at all?

  • Top five contractors: Core changes

    15 February 2013

    How are the top five contracting firms in the UK changing to function in the harsh economic climate?

  • Olympic marketing rights: Free to speak

    08 February 2013

    Last week saw one last Olympic 2012 victory for Team GB - the relaxation of the Olympic No Marketing Rights Protocol. What it will mean for those UK firms that took part?

  • Testing their metal

    01 February 2013

    Steelwork specialist Severfield-Rowen built a reputation on large-scale, complex projects but its chief executive stood down last week after cost overruns on the Cheesegrater. Iain Withers looks at the issues facing the firm and the wider specialist sector

  • Welcome to hub city: Grimshaw's airport plans for London

    25 January 2013

    Grimshaw is the latest architect with a scheme to expand the UK’s airport capacity. But its plan - revealed here exclusively - takes a different approach by placing London at the centre of it all

  • Where did it all go wrong?

    17 Jan 13

    A week into our Green for Growth campaign, Building looks at why the government has gone cold on the green agenda

  • Aecom/Davis Langdon: Culture shock

    11 January 2013

    Aecom bought Davis Langdon in 2010. Building talks to those who left, those who stayed, and the firm’s clients on what has changed - and what the future holds

  • Local Enterprise Partnerships: Going local

    14 December 2012

    Last week, the chancellor beefed up Local Enterprise Partnerships and tasked them with administering anything up to £50bn in government funding to promote growth in local economies. This gives construction companies a rare chance to influence policy and win work

  • Housebuilders' pay: Quite a bonus

    07 December 2012

    Housebuilders are bucking the trend and doing rather well - in fact, they’re even getting bonuses

  • Housebuilders Salary Survey 2012: The results

    07 December 2012

    Check your salary against the national average, compare bonuses with previous years and discover the market sentiment

  • Desperately seeking funding

    30 November 2012

    Will the promising romance between pension funds and infrastructure projects work out?

  • New PFI for school building: First reaction

    23 November 2012

    Three industry experts react to the new form of PFI for school building

  • What's the future of nuclear decommissioning?

    16 November 2012

    Last week’s devastating National Audit Office report on decommissioning facilities at Sellafield has led many to question whether the UK has the skills needed to deal with nuclear waste. But does the problem really lie with a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority overly occupied with cutting costs? Will Hurst investigates

  • Blacklisting: Where will it end?

    09 November 2012

    How much damage will the unfolding blacklisting allegations inflict on contractors?

  • FITs cuts: Come rain or come shine

    02 November 2012

    When the energy minister said he was cutting solar subsidies the government was told it would destroy a 25,000-strong industry. Vern Pitt finds out if the actual impact has matched the dire forecasts

  • Private rented sector: Heading for a fall

    26 October 2012

    Is the private rented sector housing’s best hope?

  • Now the party’s over…

    19 October 2012

    Aside from rhetoric, what did we get from the party conferences? Building looks at the prospects for action on key funding areas

  • The long wait for BAA

    12 October 2012

    BAA’s major projects are waiting on the tarmac. What does this mean for construction and will the operator’s reputation as an innovative client survive the turbulence?

  • BIM: Just a glitch?

    05 October 2012

    Specialist contractors are challenging the cost of BIM and the way it is being used. Iain Withers reports

  • Restructuring contractors: adapt or die

    28 September 2012

    Faced with the deepest recession in living memory, construction companies are having to restructure to survive. But what does this actually mean, will the restructuring work - and what are the human consequences?

  • Political donations: Mixing in politics

    21 September 2012

    Construction firms are giving substantial sums to political parties. So which companies are donors and can money buy influence?

  • Is localism dead and buried?

    12 Sep 12

    Last week’s housing and planning reforms suggest the government has given up on localism to build the homes we need

  • Education: Space exploration

    07 September 2012

    This week the government trumpeted the opening of 55 free schools. But the success of the movement is being stymied by a lack of suitable sites, and with a further 114 schools approved for next year, the problem is set to get worse

  • Housing: What's the big idea?

    31 August 2012

    Leading industry figures tell us how they would end the housing crisis

  • The missing apprentices

    24 August 2012

    Why are there fewer apprentices in construction despite increased government spending on apprenticeships? Building investigates

  • Cost of the Olympics: Was it worth it?

    10 August 2012

    Everyone’s agreed that the Olympic park was hugely successful. But with questions raised over the cost of procuring the Games, is this a model other public sector projects should follow?

  • M&E firms: The heat is on

    2 Aug 12

    Why have M&Es been hit so hard this year and can anything be done to stop more of them going under?

  • Investing in infrastructure: Safe bet

    27 July 2012

    Questions remain over how the government’s £40bn infrastructure initiative will work - and whether it will unlock the pension funds’ billions

  • Should we work all hours?

    20 July 2012

    Ray O’Rourke has said a 35-hour week would make the industry more attractive to recruits. How realistic is a shorter working week is - and does anyone really want it?

  • Olympic marketing rights: Time’s running out

    13 July 2012

    Is it too late for UK construction to benefit from the Olympics?

  • Warm words, cold comfort?

    06 July 2012

    This week’s Government Construction Summit was the government’s chance to show what it was doing to get construction out of recession. But was its package of proposals enough to make up for the huge cuts in spending?

  • Are contractors not up to the job?

    29 June 2012

    Building’s survey shows clients are having trouble finding contractors with the skills they need. Joey Gardiner asks why

  • The shadow of the euro crisis

    28 Jun 12

    Uncertainty over the euro is crippling the British construction sector’s chances of recovery. How bad could things could get for UK firms and how much longer can it go on?

  • Supermarkets: What's in store?

    22 June 2012

    Supermarkets are preparing to shake up their framework agreements and plump for new ways of procuring work. So what will the new supply chain be expected to deliver? Emily Wright reports

  • Pension problems: Don't look now

    15 June 2012

    Construction firms’ final salary pension liabilities of £33bn are set to attack their balance sheets, stop investment and hold back growth for years to come. Yet far from confronting the problem, many are simply ignoring it and hoping it will go away. Will Hurst reports

  • Subterranean Serpentine strikes hollow note

    7 Jun 12

    The Serpentine Gallery’s latest pavilion is high in concept but unconvincing in practice

  • Priority schools: what now?

    01 June 2012

    The cheer the constructon industry got from the release of the list of the 261 schools to be included in the Priority Schools Building Programme has been tempered by uncertainty about how the initiative will actually work

  • Where are the homes?

    25 May 2012

    After a tough few years, things are looking up for housebuilders, judging from their profit figures. So why are we still in the middle of a housing crisis?

  • We need a zero carbon definition now,
    Mr Shapps

    18 May 12

    Projects are going ahead with little idea of how they will meet the zero carbon standard when they are built in four years time

  • Legal challenges to HS2: Destination High Court

    18 May 2012

    High Speed 2 holds out the prospect of a much-needed boost to UK construction. But the legal challenges the project faces means it could hit the buffers before it’s even left the platform. Allister Hayman reports

  • Resuscitating construction: Alternative medicine

    11 May 2012

    Last week Building looked at the government’s failure to resuscitate construction. This week, Joey Gardiner looks at where treatment is most urgently needed for construction to make a swift recovery

  • The UK economy: Kill or cure

    04 May 2012

    Recent figures show the UK economy is back in recession - and it’s the construction sector that put it there. In the first of a two-part look at the handling of the economic situation Joey Gardiner examines why the government’s course of treatment is failing to deliver a recovery

  • Contractors' pay: The 30 days war

    27 April 2012

    Eighteen months after the government introduced its Prompt Payment Code, Building’s Specialists White Paper has revealed that 83% of contractors are still waiting more than 30 days to be paid. Vern Pitt reports on one of the industry’s longest-running battles

  • Working in Asia: Rush to the East

    20 April 2012

    Suddenly Asia is the place to be - witness Arcadis’ dramatic expansion into the area with its purchase of Davis Langdon & Seah last week. But with so many players moving into the market, what can they do to ensure they survive? Iain Withers reports

  • Whatever happened to RMJM?

    13 April 2012

    Disastrous cash flow, unpaid staff, an exodus of talent and now under investigation by the Pensions Regulator, even RMJM’s chief executive is appalled by the scars the last few years have left. Will Hurst looks at what went wrong

  • New asbestos regulations: The risks

    05 April 2012

    From tomorrow stricter regulations will govern even low-risk asbestos work, triggering new obligations for contractors and property owners. Building reports on the risks for the industry if it doesn’t follow the legislation to the letter

  • Olympic marketing debate: 'It's not as if it's a secret project'

    30 March 2012

    Strict marketing rules have so far prevented many of the firms involved in the London Olympics from talking about their own work, but there are signs that pressure from Building and the industry is forcing the authorities to rethink. Will Hurst reports

  • Will Hinkley Point C survive planners and protests?

    23 March 2012

    Hinkley Point C will be the first nuclear power plant to be built in decades and of course construction firms are keen to be part of the £10bn project. But wait: EDF still has to make a final investment decision, the plant hasn’t even got planning permission yet, and then there’s the little matter of nuclear protesters and what they might tie themselves to. Vern Pitt reports

  • Energy-efficient buildings – too clever by half?

    16 March 2012

    A survey for Building’s Sustainability White Paper suggests that occupants find new buildings only marginally more efficient than older ones. Are their elaborate energy-slashing systems just too complicated to operate?

  • University Technical Colleges: Dumbing down

    09 March 2012

    Until January of this year, University Technical Colleges were fast gaining favour as a way of attracting new talent into our industry. Then, out of the blue, education secretary Michael Gove downgraded vocational qualifications, putting the feasibility of the programme in question. Building asks whether the government is making a dunce of construction

  • Does Part L 2013 spell death for renewables?

    8 Mar 12

    A focus on building fabric instead of renewables is the most cost effective approach for housing, says Mel Starrs

  • Eco standards in schools are slipping

    02 March 2012

    Michael Gove’s free schools were meant to rip through red tape. But it’s not just the curriculum that has been relaxed - increasingly, sustainability and space requirements are being dropped too. Now fears are growing that this latest austerity measure could spread to all new schools, as Allister Hayman reports

  • Building by numbers: Variation in public project costs

    17 February 2012

    The latest government data shows dramatic variations in the cost of construction procurement across the public sector. But will arming decision-makers with these figures turn them into leaner, more savvy clients? Building reports

  • 30 things you might not know about Part L

    10 February 2012

    The latest consultation on the energy regulation has already been attacked from all sides, but with the first changes set to come into force in October, housebuilders can’t afford to ignore it. Vern Pitt lays it all out on the lawn

  • High Speed 2: Jobs on the line

    8 Feb 12

    HS2 has got off to a speedy start by appointing its first-phase consultants in just three weeks. But the real wow-factor of this mega-project is that it could employ thousands of construction workers over more than two decades. Building assesses the opportunities ahead

  • Eco-towns: Back to the garden city

    03 February 2012

    Strategically planned large-scale development is back on the government agenda, but this time it’s less eco-town, more leafy suburb. Building reports

  • Will the Olympics mean other projects in London get delayed?

    27 January 2012

    Traffic restrictions set for the six weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are designed to help cope with unprecedented levels of visitors to the capital. But could London’s other construction projects end up in a jam?

  • MoD work: Private sector-led plan of attack

    20 January 2012

    The Ministry of Defence’s announcement that it won’t let any new construction contracts this year has left bidders in limbo, but could the imminent appointment of a private sector partner boost morale in the ranks?

  • Video: Greg Barker responds on Green Deal

    18 Jan 12

    Climate change minister answers questions on insulation drop-off

  • The Green Deal: We're not getting insulation pre-assessments right

    17 Jan 12

    Insulation pre-assessments are key to the success of the Green Deal - but most are being carried out using completely the wrong method, warns sustainable building expert Neil May

  • Is the Green Deal heading for failure?

    13 January 2012

    The Green Deal is supposed to be the biggest domestic refurbishment programme since the Second World War. But the government’s own figures predict it will be anything but. Joey Gardiner asks if the coalition’s flagship policy could be heading for failure

  • A guide to the Olympic venues: Greener, faster, smarter

    4 Jan 12

    Finally, after six years of work and waiting, we have entered London’s Olympic year. Building kicks off our 2012 campaign with a guide to the main venues and what makes them greener, faster and smarter

  • Delivering the Olympics: Six months to go …

    4 Jan 12

    So far the construction industry’s Olympic record has been excellent. Cue big pat on the back. The question is, with a new, inexperienced client taking over and just six months to go, can it finish the job? Building reports

  • Olympic wonders & blunders with Jack Pringle

    1 Jan 12

    Why partner at Pringle Brandon thinks Hopkins’ velodrome races to victory over Anish Kapoor’s Orbit

  • RICS investigation: Who is First4ADR.com?

    16 December 2011

    The promotional website for adjudicators’ and arbitrators’ services is now the subject of an independent inquiry over its alleged links to two senior RICS staff, but much about it is still shrouded in mystery - leaving many in the dispute-resolution community more concerned than ever. Building reports

  • Carillion's purchase of Eaga: Blinded by the sun

    09 December 2011

    In April, Carillion bought Eaga - a company with big plans to install PV panels on 30,000 homes - and rebranded it as Carillion Energy Services. Seven months later, government feed-in tariffs have been cut in half, and all 4,500 jobs are on the line. So was the £298m purchase a catastrophic error? Building reports

  • Green Deal proposals: Deal or no deal?

    02 December 2011

    The government wants to reduce our utility bills and cut emissions at no cost to itself. Its answer is the Green Deal, published last week: get private investors to offer loans to pay for insulation. So what kind of reaction have the proposals received?

  • George's announcements welcome but drop in spending remains

    29 Nov 11

    The government is taking investment in the built environment seriously but plans lack substance

  • Details of Osborne's bold infrastructure plan unclear

    29 Nov 11

    Success of the chancellor’s infrastructure plan hinges on the involvement of pension funds, which is unclear

  • Autumn statement at a glance

    29 Nov 11

    The key points for construction, including a list of the infrastructure projects confirmed today

  • PFI: What’s the plan?

    25 November 2011

    Next week the chancellor will unveil his £50bn infrastructure plan, as the euro crisis causes construction scheme finance to retreat. Joey Gardiner looks at whether George Osborne can tempt new sources of private cash to fill the funding gap

  • Public sector cuts: Client feedback

    18 November 2011

    Public sector clients slashed projects in response to the chancellor’s swingeing cuts. But as the results of the Constructionline Building Index show, the pain is by no means over

  • Feed-in tariff cuts: No solar gain

    11 November 2011

    The dramatic and sudden cut to the feed-in tariff has put the solar power industry in fear of its future, and led many to doubt the government’s commitment to the wider sustainability agenda. Vern Pitt talks to those affected by the perceived U-turns, delays and climbdowns

  • Retail market report: the impact of online shopping

    11 November 2011

    Forget shopping trolleys. You’ll soon be able to buy something by pointing your mobile phone at it. But what impact is this, and the inexorable rise of online shopping, going to have on retail construction? Building looks at this fast-changing sector

  • Fear of charging motorists leaves UK on road to nowhere

    8 Nov 11

    A new report from Arup says roadbuilding in the UK has ground to a halt despite obvious economic benefits of new schemes

  • Are we experiencing the second great depression? Into the vortex

    04 November 2011

    Reports out this week warn of five more years of economic decline, soaring unemployment and the threat of widespread social unrest. Could we be experiencing a second Great Depression? Building travels back in time to predict construction’s future

  • The consultancy sector: Little and large

    04 November 2011

    Consolidation is now the name of the consultancy sector game - except some clients still like a more individual touch. Joey Gardiner asks if uneasiness over the new giants is spawning small startups

  • Tim Byles' £1bn development pipeline: What are the opportunities?

    28 Oct 11

    Building questions the former Partnerships for Schools chief on Cornerstone’s upcoming work

  • Housebuilders Salary Survey: Trick or treat?

    28 October 2011

    Some housebuilders this year will find a nice bonus in their paypacket, and that’s on top of a decent salary. But for others, something altogether less welcome is in store. Building knocks on a few doors …

  • The North/South housing divide: A tale of two markets

    28 October 2011

    With so many firms focusing their efforts on London and the South-east - Crest Nicholson and Linden Homes are just the latest - you might be tempted to write off the North. But it’s not that simple.

  • EC Harris and Arcadis: Two become one

    21 October 2011

    After years of secret courtship, EC Harris and Arcadis finally announced their engagement this week. Before they tie the knot, Joey Gardiner asks how the merger between Dutch engineer and UK consultant will work

  • SMEs and bank lending: Hell to pay

    21 October 2011

    Need a loan? Easy - just agree to put down a hefty whack of collateral, pay the exorbitant interest rates and meet the gobsmacking bank charges. Then sign here … (preferably in blood) … and watch your business grind to a halt. Building reports on the pacts construction SMEs are facing to get funding

  • PFI on trial

    14 October 2011

    The fate of PFI hangs in the balance with a Treasury announcement expected next month. Building considers the case for both the prosecution and defence, looks at the possible verdicts, and wonders if promises of a reformed character might get it off the hook

  • Winning work in the healthcare sector

    07 October 2011

    The healthcare industry is changing. The new Health and Social Care Bill is decentralising power, and construction firms are going to have to take the initiative if they want to win work. Emily Wright looks at the data compiled in Building’s first Health White Paper

  • The health system needs surgery not sticking plasters

    5 Oct 11

    Andrew Lansley cheers the party faithful but fails to say how government will deliver healthcare reform

  • Uncertainty will only hurt the NHS

    30 September 2011

    The coalition has made a mess of its restructuring of the NHS, creating confusion and waste when what it needs is steady, incremental modernisation

  • Who's to blame for our lack of zero-carbon homes?

    30 September 2011

    Are housebuilders failing to build to zero-carbon standards - as suggested by minister Andrew Stunell - or is the failure to build due to a flaw in the targets?

  • CH2M Hill's wait is over

    26 Sep 11

    Move for Halcrow gives US engineer stronghold in the UK

  • The state we’re in: CEO White Paper preview

    23 September 2011

    With the party conference upon us, how do industry leaders really feel about the government’s economic policies? Sarah Richardson and Will Hurst unravel the data compiled in Building’s first CEO State of the Nation White Paper

  • 'Upbeat' Vince sees no sunny uplands for the economy

    20 Sep 11

    The mood of the Liberal Democrat conference is matched by Birmingham’s leaden skies

  • Party conference season: Rate my policy

    16 September 2011

    Party conference season is upon us and this year the agenda is more relevant to construction than ever. Building looks at the likely policies to emerge and invites you to keep tally of their impact on the industry

  • Housebuilders furious at RIBA league tables on size of homes

    15 Sep 11

    Report names and shames the industry’s worst offenders

  • Schools crisis: ‘We have a responsibility to school our children’

    09 September 2011

    Barking and Dagenham has to be the council the worst affected by the demise of the Building Schools for the Future programme. We look at the impact on pupils and construction in a deprived east London borough that is fast running out of space

  • Electrical firms' wage agreements: Fury, mistrust and division

    02 September 2011

    Electrical contractors have ditched a 40-year-old wage agreement, pitching 6,000 workers against their bosses and creating a bitter battle between the industry’s two biggest trade bodies. Can anything be done to stop unrest spreading further? Iain Withers reports

  • Restarting work on Universities: Any news is good news

    26 August 2011

    Financial uncertainty can dampen any spending mood. But now the government has set funding and raised tuition fees, UK universities are getting on with attracting students – which means restarting schemes put on hold during the recession.

  • UK aggregates markets: Fault lines

    26 August 2011

    The UK aggregates, cement and concrete market is creaking under pressure, as regulatory inquiries intensify. Is dominance by the five major players damaging competition or are there other factors causing cracks in the system? Building reports

  • Blackfriars protest: 'They think they can force our hand in a recession'

    24 Aug 11

    Electricians vent their anger as unions claim contractors are demading up to a 35% cut in pay

  • The PFI alternatives may be hard to swallow

    22 Aug 11

    MPs are wary of PFI but the alternatives could see the government having to take on more risk

  • PFI doesn't have to be 'poor value'

    19 Aug 11

    PFI is ’poor value’ say MPs but they ignore the benefits such as risk transfer, predictability and maintenance of the public sector estate

  • Enterprise Zones: are they all good news?

    18 Aug 11

    LEZs have had a mixed history, and what about areas that fall outside the incentive zones

  • Local Enterprise Zones: The South finally gets a look-in

    18 Aug 11

    Labour was guilty of ignoring areas of deprivation in the South East that were in dire need of regeneration

  • Will the planning reforms work?

    12 August 2011

    The National Planning Policy Framework is firmly in the limelight after renewed pressure from campaigners. So will the government stick to the policy and how will it work in practice? Joey Gardiner leads a debate

  • Who picks up the bill for the riots?

    11 Aug 11

    If you’ve been affected by the riots check closely to see if you can recover any costs of the disturbances

  • Why PV panel installations fail

    10 Aug 11

    The feed-in tariff will see an explosion in solar PV installations but no current standard can mean a wrong specification and a leaking roof

  • Big contractors and SMEs: It’s his pond now

    05 August 2011

    Big contractors are hungry and have moved into waters normally the preserve of SMEs. What’s more, they’ve got no plans to leave, even when the more prestigious projects come back. Clients are delighted, but small firms could see yet more of their work gobbled up

  • Procure 21+: The £800m typo

    05 August 2011

    The government set construction’s blood pressure rising recently by seeming to announce a sharp drop in funds for Procure21+. In fact, the life support system isn’t about to be turned off. Katie Puckett reports on how a tiny error shook the flagship health framework

  • The National Planning Policy Framework: Get building

    2 Aug 11

    The draft National Planning Policy Framework was published last week. With its presumption in favour of sustainable development, it could be just what the economy needs

  • Whatever happened to localism?

    29 Jul 11

    The draft National Planning Policy Framework may give the planning system the “teeth” developers have been looking for

  • PFI schools: must try harder

    29 July 2011

    With last week’s launch of a programme to build 300 schools, it seems education secretary Michael Gove has finally got wise to the benefits of PFI. So that’s the multiple choice out of the way. But the really tricky stuff is yet to come

  • The London 2012 Aquatics Centre: Star of the show?

    27 Jul 11

    Zaha Hadid’s £269m contribution to the Olympics is complete – and it has both triumphs and disappointments

  • Presumption in favour?

    27 Jul 11

    Design Council Cabe’s Rachel Fisher on what the new planning framework means for design

  • End of term report: encouraging signs, but needs more work

    22 July 2011

    Response to the James Review leaves some key questions unanswered

  • Will the construction strategy help or hinder SMEs?

    22 July 2011

    The coalition’s construction strategy was officially launched this week. How come SMEs are worried that life is about to become much more difficult? Building reports

  • Schools PFI: we need to learn from past mistakes

    19 Jul 11

    We should welcome Gove’s announcement that upto 300 schools could be built using a model based on PFI, but we also need to be on our guard

  • Eyewitness: Greece – it's a mess but there are chinks of light

    19 Jul 11

    In the second of our online series of first hand accounts from trouble spots around the world, we look at the impact of the Greek austerity measures on construction but also opportunities through funding options such as PPP 

  • Hackney Empire vs Aviva Insurance: The Empire strikes back

    15 July 2011

    This is the tale of a theatre project, backed by Lord Sugar, that landed its client with a £3.2m headache. Now eight years on there’s a legal battle over a bond between the insurer and the theatre owner

  • Complexity risks short-circuiting energy reforms

    14 Jul 11

    Reforms in the Electricity Market Reform White Paper could hamper investment in energy if they become confused

  • Job losses threaten Green Deal

    8 Jul 11

    The industry needs skilled workers In order to meet the targets set out in the Green Deal

  • UK nuclear programme: Time to react

    08 July 2011

    Delays to the UK’s programme could leave us with an energy generation gap in just a few years

  • Bring back Garden Cities for the 21st century

    7 Jul 11

    Now is the time for council leaders to rediscover our planning heritage, re-imagining the garden cities for the 21st century.

  • Consultant growth strategies: Eyes on the prize

    01 July 2011

    If the top UK consultants want to stay at the top they need fast ways to grow, and that’s not easy in a stagnant market. So the hunt is on to find suitable mergers, acquisitions and overseas ventures. Building reports on the latest manoeuvres in the sector

  • The Bribery Act: If you discover evidence of bribery how can you limit the damage?

    30 Jun 11

    From tomorrow a company that ’fails to prevent bribery’ will be breaking the law, but even if you discover the worst you can still prevent prosecution if you act properly

  • Electronic trading and Morrell's plan: it's nothing new

    27 Jun 11

    How can the electronic exchange of trading documents, such as invoices and orders, provide a pivotal contribution to cost cutting, integrated construction and improved sustainability?

  • Presumption in favour: All those in favour?

    24 June 2011

    The government’s presumption in favour of development could be a boon for developers. But which schemes could benefit?

  • Eyewitness: Egyptians won their revolution, now they want more

    23 Jun 11

    Launching our online series of first hand accounts from trouble spots around the world, construction lawyer Kate Orviss gives her impressions of the mood after the fall of Mubarak

  • Low-carbon plan a reality with Prisk on board

    22 Jun 11

    With Mark Prisk co-chairing new Green Construction Board there are high hopes for a cross-industry low-carbon action plan

  • We’ve done it all before

    21 Jun 11

    Paul Morrell’s construction strategy? Looks familiar to our QS blogger

  • Lord Sugar incurs the wrath of engineers

    17 Jun 11

    Engineers in uproar following Lord Sugar’s disparaging comment on The Apprentice

  • BIM disputes are inevitable

    17 June 2011

    The recent US case didn’t go to court, but eventually we will see legal spats over BIM in the UK - so how will we go about resolving them?

  • Cutting skyscraper costs by 50%: Shape of things to come

    17 June 2011

    A crack team has been thinking up ways of cutting the costs of London skyscrapers by a whopping 50%. Emily Wright, who has been given an exclusive preview of the research, looks at how the proposals stack up

  • Contractors in London: who is winning the most work?

    16 Jun 11

    Morgan Sindall in lead with most projects, but Carillion bag schemes with the biggest total value

  • The Green Deal needs more incentives to work

    14 Jun 11

    The Green Deal has lots off potential, but more improvements need to made to Energy Bill before it will work

  • Tesco and M&S go head-to-head over sustainability

    13 Jun 11

    At last week’s conference, delegates from major supermarkets discussed the challenges they faced going green

  • The construction strategy: Together at last?

    10 June 2011

    The government and the construction industry. It’s been a long, love-hate affair but the new construction strategy is an offer to try to work things out

  • What's missing from the Energy Bill

    8 Jun 11

    UK’s energy targets won’t be met if Ministers fail to provide more detail on energy targets and time scale

  • Cala planning row: stalling is not option

    3 Jun 11

    Councils that delay plans to cut housing numbers until the localism bill is enacted do so at their own peril

  • Regional development agencies: no man's land

    03 June 2011

    When the government decided to axe regional development agencies, uncertainty over the future of their £446m portfolio of development sites nearly led to a disastrous fire sale. Having taken a u-turn on the issue, what are the coalition’s plans for the sites now?

  • Supermarket sweep: Construction opportunities

    03 June 2011

    Supermarkets are bucking the retail downturn, and now they’re either going supersize or micro. Whichever option they choose, there’s going to be a ton of construction work

  • Morrell starts cracking the whip

    1 Jun 11

    Paul Morrell will head up the government drive to make 20% cost savings on public sector building projects

  • Hands up if you can cut 20%

    27 May 2011

    We’re all more or less signed up to the government’s target of cutting 20% off costs in the next four years (or so we say). But how we do it is still the subject of fierce debate. Building asked three construction professionals what they would do

  • Industry must rise to McNulty's collaboration challenge

    20 May 11

    T&T’s Anooj Oodit gives his first take on Mcnulty’s 175-page tome to reform the railways

  • Legal tax avoidance: No place to hide

    20 May 2011

    Legal tax avoidance is practised widely, but with mounting pressure from protest groups and the chancellor, is it still worth it? Here we weigh the financial benefits against the reputational risk

  • Apprentices: Training is good for business

    19 May 11

    Today’s challenges mean that a wealth of young talent is vital to the industry

  • The value of education to construction

    17 May 11

    Education orders account for more than 20% of all new orders – cuts will hit construction hard

  • Breakneck planning changes won't lead to better quality homes

    16 May 11

    Recent changes to the planning system won’t necessarily deliver the high quality, low energy housing the UK desperately needs

  • Construction statistics: Is it really that bad ?

    13 May 2011

    Government statistics suggest construction contracted 5% last quarter, but it’s hard to find anyone who believes that is true. Joey Gardiner argues the reality is actually more positive and presents alternative data to back up his case

  • High Speed 2: full speed ahead

    13 May 2011

    High Speed 2 is a project people love to hate. But it would reduce train overcrowding, boost business and pump billions into the construction industry

  • Nuclear is cheaper but dangerous for green coalitions

    11 May 11

    The Climate Change Committee says nuclear is most cost-effective way of delivering low-carbon power and could force ruling Lib Dems to abandon large-scale renewables

  • What's driving firms to the wall?

    9 May 11

    KPMG’s director of restructuring Martin Kelly explains why voluntary insolvency figures have jumped 20%

  • Ucatt: Out for the count?

    06 May 2011

    In 2009 Alan Ritchie was voted leader of Ucatt - put there by 5.3% of its membership. But now the ballot has been ruled void and the union is having to spend its time appealing the decision and salvaging its reputation. How did it get into this mess?

  • London Plan goes for growth

    5 May 11

    Suggested changes this week to the Boris Johnson London Plan could spell positive news for housing

  • Who will be the next Crossrail boss?

    4 May 11

    Joey Gardiner sifts the tea leaves after recent senior rail industry moves

  • EC Harris on its Royal logisitics

    28 Apr 11

    EC Harris is one firm that certainly won’t be forgetting the Royal Wedding in a hurry.

  • Everyone loves a Wedding

    28 Apr 11

    Thought construction firms would struggle to make a connection with Will and Kate’s big event? Think again - here’s our pick of the tenuous publicity stunts

  • Choose your weapon: The defence sector

    28 April 2011

    For those hoping to fight for some of the £2.9bn of annual construction work from the MoD’s property arm, the target has shifted

  • Will HSE cuts mean more construction deaths?

    27 Apr 11

    Unions warn hard-won improvements in safety are in jeopardy ahead of International Workers Memorial Day

  • OFT appeal timeline: What happens next?

    21 Apr 11

    OFT has until 26 May to appeal Competition Appeal Tribunal fine reductions

  • Affordable rent: a numbers crisis

    21 April 2011

    The government hopes that allowing housing associations to charge higher rents will lead to more new homes built with less subsidy. But many in the sector think it will have exactly the opposite effect.

  • Who's winning Crossrail work?

    20 Apr 11

    Seven firms dominate Crossrail shortlists and award wins

  • Schools: Hands up if you know the answer

    19 Apr 11

    The James Review team has spent months coming up with the solution to schools delivery - and it looks suspiciously like existing body Partnerships for Schools. The government needs to swallow its pride and accept the verdict

  • What happens to construction bosses when they leave?

    18 Apr 11

    We track down the bosses who once commanded the biggest firms in construction and reveal their new roles away from the limelight

  • All change: The rail sector

    15 April 2011

    The rail sector is embarking on a journey of disruption, change and uncertainty, with Network Rail’s transformation at the centre of it all. But having dodged the worst of the spending cuts, the sector could become a highly sought-after destination – for those who can handle the risk

  • Constructionline survey: How public sector clients will make cuts

    08 April 2011

    Public sector clients are being forced to cut costs dramatically. So how exactly are they doing it? Here are the results of a survey by Constructionline, which reveals what the industry needs to be worried about - and where the opportunities can be found

  • NHS reform: What’s the prognosis for the £36bn estate?

    08 April 2011

    The NHS is undergoing radical reform, which throws up opportunities to reorganise its £36bn estate. But big political, financial and legal uncertainties leave the construction supply chains unsure of their future

  • Step 1: Standardise your public building

    01 April 2011

    Efficiency has long eluded the construction industry - but now the government is demanding cuts in costs of up to 20%. So any company wanting public sector work had better think up some pretty clever ways to help make that happen

  • Nuclear alert: Future of £50bn new build plan

    25 March 2011

    In the weeks following fukushima, the UK nuclear industry is already under review. what does this mean for the future of £50bn new build plan?

  • Underbidding: Warning! Highly risky manoeuvre

    18 March 2011

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, and in some cases result in suicidal tendencies. As underbidding spirals further out of control, we look at how widespread the practice has become and what – if anything – can be done about it.

  • Frameworks: Make room for the small fry

    11 March 2011

    The government wants to make frameworks more open to small and medium-sized firms while at the same time making big savings in public sector procurement. Here’s what the construction industry can expect

  • Who wants to be in social housing?

    11 March 2011

    Six months on from the collapse of Rok and Connaught, their competitors are scrambling to take their places against a backdrop of cuts and jittery clients. And now the big players are looking to muscle in on the social housing market

  • We are living in a materials world

    04 March 2011

    Contractors find themselves between a rock and a hard place - the rock is the relentless rise of raw materials; the hard place is feeble demand and low margins. But is there anything they can do about it?

  • World in action: Top global markets

    04 March 2011

    Global construction spend will reach £7.5tn by 2020, according to a report out this week. But only a tiny fraction of that will take place on UK soil. So where are the predicted hotspots and how can you tap into the world’s fastest growing markets?

  • Under siege: Construction in the Middle East

    25 February 2011

    Construction’s safe haven has turned into a war zone. As protest, revolution and regime change spread across the Middle East, what can companies do to ensure their staff and contracts are safe, and does this means the end of the good times?

  • Schools special: Where the money's going

    21 Feb 11

    A full breakdown of current schools funding and the outlook for the next five years

  • Can subbies survive on less?

    18 February 2011

    Government and private sector clients are pressurising contractors to make big savings on projects. Often that means just pushing the pain down the supply chain. Can specialists get by on smaller and smaller rations?

  • Architects and recession: Battered, bruised and broke

    11 February 2011

    Architects have taken a beating over the past two years, but have they suffered any permanent damage? How are the UK’s top listed practices faring, and what impact is the recession having on design quality?

  • Battersea Power Station: The last chance

    04 February 2011

    As the communities secretary stands poised to decide on the latest plan to restore Battersea Power Station, Emily Wright looks at why, this time, things have to be different

  • Walthamstow stadium: A dog’s chance

    04 February 2011

    The famous greyhound track has been mothballed for three years while housing association L&Q wrestles with local opposition to its plans to build 300 homes on the site. After a crunch meeting last week the two sides seem as far apart as ever. Is this a foretaste of the new localism?

  • Nakheel's debt deal: Too little too late?

    28 January 2011

    With debts of $10.5bn, Dubai developer Nakheel has left UK consultants £250m short. Some creditors say the company is close to a deal involving Islamic bonds, but others admit they are now reluctant to work with it again

  • A hard man to lose: Rob Holden on leaving Crossrail

    21 January 2011

    When Rob Holden, chief executive of Crossrail, resigned last week, the company was quick to try to reassure its partners. But questions remain as to why he quit and where his departure leaves the £14.5bn project in its most critical year so far

  • How paternity rights and abolition of retirement age will hit construction

    19 Jan 11

    The Coalition government’s new paternity rights will cause major headache for employers in the male-dominated building industry

  • A VAT gift to cowboys?

    14 January 2011

    The government’s VAT hike to 20% this month has been met with dismay throughout construction. But while some sectors will be exempt, small builders are bound to be hit as cash-strapped homeowners turn to the black market

  • Green army

    17 December 2010

    The government’s Green Deal will encourage homeowners to cut carbon and create 250,000 jobs for construction workers. Sounds great, says Iain Withers - but will it work?

  • Morrell’s progress

    8 Dec 10

    A year into the job of chief construction adviser, what has Paul Morrell achieved?

  • PFI alternatives: A change of route

    26 November 2010

    The damning National Audit Office report on the M25 widening scheme is the latest sign that PFI might be nearing the end of the road. But what are the alternatives?

  • Amazing ONS Specs! Makes the economy look much better than it is!

    05 November 2010

    According to the Office for National Statistics, 2010 was the year that construction became a powerhouse of national growth and regained all the ground it lost last year. Oh yeah? Building checks out its story, with the help of a few economists …

  • The quangos and spending cuts: which ones survived

    22 October 2010

    In the game of quangos players take turns to choose non-government bodies to close, merge or privatise. But watch out! If you get it wrong you might not get elected again. This is how Francis Maude dealth with the ones dealing with construction

  • Comprehensive spending review: George's marvellous medicine

    15 October 2010

    The construction industry will need more than a spoonful of sugar to help the chancellor’s medicine go down. Here we sum up where we are now and our panel of experts tell us what they’re expecting on Wednesday

  • Government cuts: Find out where the money is currently spent

    15 October 2010

    Here we show government spending by department, including capital funding, and where it’s expected they’ll be forced to make savings

  • Question time for Cameron

    24 September 2010

    The Tory conference is going to be subjected to minute scrutiny in the hope that ministers will fill in some of the many blanks in policy. Sarah Richardson and Roxane McMeeken list the most important

  • The collapse of Connaught

    17 September 2010

    The Sidmouth concrete specialist that morphed into a £600m social housing contractor was one of the greatest success stories of the past 30 years, and one of the landmarks of the industry. Andrew Hankinson reports on why it fell - and if the banks should have saved it

  • Richard Steer on Aecom's takeover of Davis Langdon

    5 Aug 10

    What does the takeover mean for the UK cost consultants who value their independence?

  • What the death of the regional strategy means for housebuilding

    8 Jul 10

    In the absence of a new planning package from the government, the revocation of the RS could slow housebuilding yet further

  • Join our live Budget Q&A this Wednesday, 12 noon

    29 Jun 10

    Find out more about how the Budget affects you in our question and answer session with an expert panel on Wednesday 30 June

  • Olympic Park landscaping begins with planting 6,000 trees

    25 Jun 10

    Building got a sneak preview of the landscaping underway at Stratford, which includes 300,000 plants, flood management technology and a fish refuge

  • Taxing times for construction

    23 Jun 10

    While increased VAT is a blow, other tax measures will benefit the industry

  • The end of garden grabbing: what it really means

    10 Jun 10

    Housebuilders shouldn’t fear anti-garden grabbing measures – there are worse planning changes afoot

  • Meddles all round: Prince Charles, Boris and Cabe ...

    28 May 2010

    Planning has always been a national regatta for those with oars to stick in, but Charles’ Chelsea fiasco took it to a new level. Sarah Richardson compares him with the other rowers

  • The HCA must survive

    28 May 2010

    We’re living in anxious times. And if you’re in the social housing world, it’s as nerve-jangling as it gets

  • Election 2010: Dear prime minister...

    07 May 2010

    Sarah Richardson collects the industry’s messages to the new occupant of Number 10 and we reveal the final choices of our panel of floating voters

  • Bill’s battle

    30 April 2010

    Bill Rawcliffe is one of the many victims left by the collapse of Jarvis. So he started a campaign for justice, and failed to make progress. So, next stop the House of Commons

  • Election 2010: Invitation to a hanging

    30 April 2010

    On this page Sarah Richardson and Roxane McMeeken look at what would happen to construction if nobody won the election, and overleaf we catch up with our floating voters, receive a letter from David Cameron and meet the former Jarvis man who founded his own political party

  • Building buys a pint … for CB Richard Ellis

    23 April 2010

    “Your shoes look like pork pies.” Charles Ingram-Evans was pointing at my Clarks loafers. Apparently they contravened the “never wear brown in town” City dress code, which also applies to the property industry

  • Election 2010: Are they listening?

    23 April 2010

    Roxane McMeeken went to a Derbyshire constituency where construction has a big say, and a bigger stake, in the result. So how much do the candidates know and care about their voters’ fears?

  • Open letter to readers of building magazine from David Cameron

    23 April 2010

    ‘Construction has suffered more than any other industry during the recession and its revival is crucial to Britain’s overall economic recovery. It must continue to provide the jobs and opportunities that will underpin the economic growth that Britain needs’

  • Open letter to readers of Building magazine from Gordon Brown

    23 April 2010

    Unlike the Conservatives, who have said they would cut the school building programme and won’t even guarantee existing projects unless they have reached financial close, Labour is committed to seeing BSF through

  • Election 2010: The manifestos

    16 April 2010

    The parties got their campaigns officially under way this week. So on this page we look at what Labour and Conservatives are proposing. Nick Clegg writes us a letter, we have a chat with our floating voters and check the web poll

  • Open letter to readers of Building magazine from Nick Clegg

    16 April 2010

    Leader of the Liberal Democrats responds to Building’s Charter 284 campaign for investment in infrastructure

  • 2010 election: Who’s it going to be?

    09 April 2010

    This is the first election since 1992 when the winner wasn’t completely obvious before it began. To help us track the parties’ fortunes, we’ve assembled a panel of undecided voters

  • Low-paid architect jobs: An offer you can refuse

    19 March 2010

    If you were an unemployed architect, would you take a job working 14-hour days for £6 an hour? Well, that’s exactly what one firm is offering

  • No more repeats: Episode two of BBC Broadcasting House

    12 March 2010

    With a very public dressing down still ringing in its ears, Britain’s most venerable broadcaster has a point to prove on phase two of the £1bn redevelopment of Broadcasting House

  • US and you: America’s London embassy is looking for UK firms

    05 March 2010

    America is about to build a £330m embassy in south-west London and it wants British firms to do the lion’s share of the work

  • What’s awaiting Mr Wates

    19 February 2010

    ConstructionSkills is in crisis: a trade federation is trying to jump ship, 250 jobs are under threat and grants are set to be slashed by a third. Enter James Wates … Sophie Griffiths reports on what lies in store for the training body’s new chairman

  • For love and money: One in three QSs face takeover

    12 February 2010

    The word is that one in three UK consultants is facing a takeover – with many set to be married to US engineers. Roxane McMeeken plays Cupid …

  • Broken homes: The row over housing design

    22 January 2010

    An almighty row has erupted between housebuilders and the government’s design watchdog over the quality of housing design in this country

  • Ice-bound island: coping with snow

    15 January 2010

    Britain’s experience of being Greenland looks like it may be over for now, but it’s left a lot of people out of pocket, and even more wondering how to prepare for next time …

  • The colleges debacle: a lack of progress report

    04 December 2009

    The full scale of the Learning and Skills Council funding fiasco is only now becoming clear, as many colleges face up to a long and dismal future in temporary accommodation. Sarah Richardson reveals the full story

  • The ruck at the RICS

    27 November 2009

    The decade-long kicking and pushing match between the RICS and its 30,000 or so QS members has turned nasty again, and accusations of dumbing down and power grabs are flying. Olivia Boyd blows the whistle and works out what it’s all about

  • Psychic power: The future of nuclear

    06 November 2009

    In one way, the future for nuclear energy looks assured. In another, it’s at the mercy of all sorts of possible problems. Olivia Boyd shuffles the cards and identifies five of the biggest

  • Downsizing Dubai: Will the Middle East's golden child ever be the same again?

    30 October 2009

    The UAE is waking up … but it has one hell of a hangover, and it’s going to take more than a couple of fizzy tablets to make it all better. So what sort of market is emerging? Well, the chances are it’s going to be good news for shed builders

  • Spending cuts: What, where and how much?

    25 September 2009

    Now that politicians of all parties have admitted spending has to be cut, the question is how much and where. Here Sarah Richardson makes the case for keeping capital programmes going. Overleaf, we mark your card for the upcoming party conferences

  • My Dubai hell: David Marks breaks the silence on payment problems

    28 August 2009

    Many UK firms are owed money by Middle Eastern developers, but few are willing to talk about it. Roxane McMeeken spoke to one man who was prepared to break the silence

  • We’re all going on a (green) summer holiday

    14 August 2009

    Eco-tourism is big business in Cornwall, with green developments popping up all over the county to meet demand from conscientious tourists. So Building packed Dan Stewart off on his hols to find out what the options are for the green tourist – and if it’s all it’s cracked up to be

  • Refurbishment funding: A long way from home

    07 August 2009

    Assessing the once mighty £21bn Decent Homes programme’s past achievements, and its increasingly uncertain future

  • No more Mr Nice Guy: cracking down on bogus self-employment

    24 July 2009

    The taxman has been moaning about bogus self-employment for decades. Well, he’s not moaning anymore: he’s getting his money, or else

  • They want cashback too: working with supermarkets

    17 July 2009

    Supermarkets have long been Britain’s toughest clients. Well now they’re getting even tougher. Sarah Richardson found out how – and what construction firms are doing to meet their demands

  • What we lose if we lose Crossrail?

    10 July 2009

    With the government rumoured to be looking to cut £30bn of transport investment, Crossrail is looking increasingly vulnerable. Sarah Richardson looks at what would happen if the project were scrapped now

  • The six-minute guide to your six-month ministers

    03 July 2009

    The reshuffle put four new men in charge of crucial construction-related portfolios. Sarah Richardson looks at what they can do before the election. Ready? Steady? Go!

  • 'I will not be taken for granted': BAA's boss on frameworks

    26 June 2009

    ...or to put it another way, BAA’s five-year framework is just a large feather bed, and the military brain behind its new procurement policy wants contractors to fight for their work

  • Stuck in the middle: it’s a hard life for medium-sized contractors

    19 June 2009

    When you’re too big to be small, and too small to be big, life can be very inconvenient – as Britain’s medium-sized contractors are finding out. Roxane McMeeken reports on their predicament

  • Hell’s clients: whatever happened to frameworks?

    12 June 2009

    Frameworks were one of Egan’s famous win–win deals: suppliers would get lots of work and clients would get their loyalty. But now clients don’t need fidelity, so it seems they’re ripping up the rules. Joey Gardiner looks at what that means for the industry

  • In control: building inspectors

    5 June 2009

    Forget Britain’s Got Talent, last week a Channel 4 documentary finally gave the unsung world of building control its moment in the limelight. Emily Wright finds out what the inspectors involved, and the rest of the industry, thought of it...

  • The peasant's revolt this ain't: Chelsea vs the barracks

    29 May 2009

    This gang of Chelsea residents is on the cusp of pulling off a very English coup. Emily Wright met their ringleaders

  • Another expenses row: public reactions to Part L plans

    22 May 2009

    The government is pondering a plan to force people to spend money on insulating their homes. So what do the public make of that?

  • Gain and pain: the sting in the tail of Darling's Budget

    1 May 09

    Public spending on construction is about the only thing keeping the industry going, but the Budget made it clear that this will slow down, and another £1.5bn a year will have to be made in ‘efficiency savings’. The question is: how?

  • Second city first: Birmingham's building boom

    9 April 2009

    It seems that Birmingham is on the cusp of a building boom. Dan Stewart took a stroll to find out

  • After the gold rush: Getting paid in Dubai

    27 March 2009

    It is claimed that the average contractor is owed £50m, while some consultants’ fees are being slashed in half. Roxane McMeeken finds out just how bad Dubai’s payment problems have become

  • Paul Hamer: saving White Young Green

    13 March 2009

    After swallowing 18 companies in five years, the consulting engineer was bloated with debt and stranded in rapidly receding markets. Now its new boss, Paul Hamer, has to mount a rescue. Tom Bill asks him how he’ll do it …

  • The race to build Britain's nuclear reactors

    6 March 2009

    Japanese-owned nuclear giant Westinghouse is in a race with France’s Areva for the UK’s £20bn nuclear reactor market. And it looks like it’s falling behind. We asked the man spearheading the bid if he was worried...

  • Government spending: what Gordon Brown won't be doing for you

    27 February 2009

    • Delays to parts of the Learning and Skills Council’s £5bn college building programme could stretch for up to a year

  • Construction recruitment: Don’t panic!

    20 February 2009

    It really is possible to find a job in construction – if you’ve got specialist skills, are prepared to be flexible on salary and are willing to relocate

  • They have not been moved

    13 February 2009

    After twenty-five strikes in 16 days, has the government's intervention done enough to stop unrest from paralysing more UK sites?

  • Cranes: victory for the Safer Skyline campaign

    6 February 2009

    Last week, the HSE finally caved in to Building’s demand for a national register of checks on tower cranes. Sophie Griffiths asked some of those who supported our two-year campaign for their reaction

  • Mission: impermanent - Atkins' Olympics

    23 January 2009

    Good afternoon Mr Atkins. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design, procure and build 98 competition venues, operation centres, drug testing clinics, flag storage areas and training grounds complete with power, water and security … Airport and station extensions must be added as and when required. You have 30 months to complete your assignment. Good luck Mr Atkins … Oh, and when you’ve finished you’ve got to take them all down again …

  • Price war: How the retail crash is affecting construction

    16 January 2009

    Misery loves company, and many of Britain’s largest retailers are sharing theirs with their supply chains. Olivia Boyd finds out which are and which aren’t

  • BSF schools: Why is it so difficult?

    09 January 2009

    Alistair Darling might be accelerating spending on Building Schools for the Future, but that won’t necessarily mean more schools get built, as this exemplary story of a scheme in Greenwich demonstrates

  • Building's Review of the Year 2008

    19 December 2008

    We know, we know, the year we’ve just had was about as enjoyable as the tooth-drilling scene from Marathon Man. But it was certainly dramatic, and if you look hard enough, you might even find one or two Frank Capra moments to celebrate. Building presses the rewind button

  • Nothing could be better

    19 December 2008

    Empty sites and redundant buildings can be colonised for all kinds of creative purposes, says Amanda Levete. It just needs a little imagination on the part of government to get them going

  • Strictly Building: construction's finest dance contest

    19 December 2008

    Passion, tragedy, triumph and dead fancy footwork – if you thought only Saturday night telly could bring you all these things, think again. Building’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing reveals the amazing grace of construction folk

  • Is Europe losing its nuclear construction skills?

    12 December 2008

    Work has started on Europe’s third generation of nuclear power plants. Problem is, the firms building them are finding it much harder than expected – the Finnish plant in this picture is three years late. Thomas Lane finds out what this means for the UK’s own nuclear plans

  • Ready for take-off? Heathrow expansion

    5 Dec 08

    Fasten your safety belts: the government is about to give the go-head for the £13bn expansion of Heathrow airport. Good news for the construction industry, of course, but, as Dan Stewart reports, the backers of the alternative options are not finished yet

  • Perfidious Weymouth: Portland's 2012 Olympic sailing story

    28 November 2008

    It doesn’t bode well. The first venue to be completed for the 2012 Olympics should have been a regeneration triumph, but instead the sailing facilities on the Dorset island of Portland have sparked resentment among the locals and a grudge against a neighbouring town. Michael Willoughby headed to the south coast to find out why, while Tim Foster photographed the island and the islanders

  • Falling idol: Is there a downturn in Dubai?

    21 November 2008

    If you thought the golden city of Dubai would be the saviour of the construction industry, think again

  • Boris Johnson's redistribution of London infrastructure cash

    14 November 2008

    The glad tidings are that Boris Johnson has just given Crossrail a fiscal injection. Unfortunately £3.5bn worth of other transport projects around the capital have been sacrificed to do so. Olivia Boyd looks at where that leaves the industry …

  • Olympic legacy: lowering the bar again

    7 November 2008

    First, the Olympic village was downsized by 1,300 homes. Now, the media centre is likely to be replaced by a ‘mixture of temporary and permanent facilities’. Whatever happened to the 2012 legacy? Joey Gardiner investigates

  • Dear Alistair: Building's spending plan for the chancellor

    31 October 2008

    The chancellor might be getting that sinking feeling, but there’s no reason to despair. In fact, his plan to bring forward 2011 spending might just work. Here Sarah Richardson and Stuart Macdonald offer him a few suggestions on how it would make all the difference

  • Webmaster review: Eric Kuhne Associates website

    24 October 2008

    Website civicarts.com shows off all the architect’s latest projects, including the giant Kuwaiti City of Silk

  • The likely lads – who will be chief construction officer?

    17 October 2008

    A new actor is about to go on stage: the chief construction officer. And whoever gets the part will need to be quite a performer, because they’ll have to act for the industry in Whitehall, and for Whitehall in the industry. Sophie Griffiths conducted a quick audition …

  • Dead meat

    19 September 2008

    The plunge in land prices, which is much steeper than the nineties slump, has been observed by cash-rich buyers circling high in the sky. Now they’re hoping to swoop when the market hits the bottom. But who are they and when will they strike?

  • A year in the life of the borrowers: the credit crunch one year on

    05 September 2008

    Twelve months on from Northern Rock, Tom Bill looks back at how an unprecedented series of events unfolded, leaving most construction firms residing in the pockets of their clients and bank managers …

  • Who guards the guards?: Arson and intimidation in Glasgow

    29 August 2008

    Some security firms in Scotland don’t bother with tenders when they bid for work. Instead they make an offer you find difficult to refuse, and if you do, they apply a bit of muscle. But why do the authorities let it happen?

  • Construction’s allies with the CBI - industrial strength lobbying

    18 July 2008

    It’s a truism of construction that its political power doesn’t reflect its size. Now its leaders are trying to change that by consolidating, unifying and forming an alliance with the CBI. Sarah Richardson reports

  • Best of the rest

    04 July 2008

    Olympic venues

  • How we designed the water cube

    04 July 2008

    The design process for this building was, in my experience, unparalleled.

  • One hot bird

    04 July 2008

    More than just a stadium, the Bird’s Nest will be a permanent attraction, says Mark Whitby

  • Race to the finishing line

    04 July 2008

    As Beijing rushes to complete its Olympic venues Graham Watts asks how impressive they are

  • The man with the toughest job in construction

    04 July 2008

    So what’s it like having most of the weight of the Beijing Olympics resting delicately on your shoulders? Stuart Macdonald asked Arup’s Michael Kwok, who ought to know

  • The road to recovery: Rebuilding after China’s earthquake

    04 July 2008

    British engineering and construction firms are on the front line of China’s efforts to repair the devastation left by May’s earthquake. Stuart Macdonald reports

  • The scramble for public sector work

    27 June 2008

    The scramble to enter the public sector has begun. The problem is that it has a rather strict door policy, and if your name is Johnny C Lately, you don’t have much of a chance of getting in. But it’s not impossible

  • Here’s another four we’ve failed – Training and apprenticeships

    20 June 2008

    Last week, the Strategic Forum set a target of training an extra 13,500 apprentices by 2010. But will the apprenticeship system we’ve got be able to cope? Not if you ask these guys … Roxane McMeeken reports

  • Can timber frame sites ever be safe?

    13 June 2008

    A fire that ravaged a timber-frame building in Edinburgh last month was the latest in a series of similar incidents that have blighted the industry over the past few years. Thomas Lane examines what is causing this worrying trend and what is being done to curb it

  • Construction's next generation: here’s what we think

    6 June 2008

    Construction’s next generation has a lot on its mind – training, sustainability, recruitment, not to mention the OFT inquiry …

  • Rebuilding Trust: The pledges

    2008 Issue 21

    One month on, the industry is still smarting from the OFT’s accusations of bid rigging. Building calls on all contractors, clients and consultants to join the stand against corruption and to show the OFT that the industry is serious about cleaning up its act

  • Rebuilding Trust: Britain's biggest clients back our campaign

    2008 Issue 20

    In five weeks’ time, Building is to present the Office of Fair Trading with a list of firms that have backed our Rebuilding Trust campaign. Here, some of Britain’s most important clients tell Emily Wright why they’re doing just that, and why they think contractors and consultants should follow suit

  • Hays 2008 Consultants' salary and benefits guide

    2008 Issue 19

    If your staff room looks like this it’s safe to say that employers are still having to do all they can to retain talented staff. David Parsley introduces this year’s consultants’ salary guide with a look at some of the quirkier perks on offer

  • Renzo Piano: The man in the high chapel

    2008 Issue 19

    You may be one of those who think Renzo Piano’s Shard in the City of London is just pie in the sky, but the architect himself has no doubts. Besides, he’s got friends in high places. By Dan Stewart

  • The plot to escape Erinaceous

    2008 Issue 19

    When Britain’s fastest growing consultant began to fall apart, the firms it bought had to find a way to avoid sharing its fate. For seven months they fought a hidden war to save their lives. Sarah Richardson found out how six of them pulled it off

  • Tick, tick, tick…

    2008 Issue 13

    International accounting standards that comes in in 2009/10 will drop billions of pounds onto the public sector’s balance sheet. Mark Leftly reports on how that could blow a huge hole through the PFI – and take the nation’s finances with it

  • Tragedy at Tesco

    2008 Issue 12

    In September 2006 a three-year-old girl was killed when the roof of a Tesco store in Turkey caved in. The retail group blamed the collapse on ‘extreme weather conditions’, but 18 months on, Building has obtained a report filed by senior figures at Tesco soon after that cites poor construction as a major factor in the accident.

  • What news on the Croisette?

    2008 Issue 11

    Cannes braced itself last week as the brogue and court shoe-clad feet of the property and construction industries pounded its streets for Mipim.

  • Making BREEAM robust

    2008 Issue 10

    For too long, designers have been able to get top BREEAM ratings by adding recycling space and bike racks. Now the green assessment tool is toughening up its act with mandatory levels for energy and water use – and a new rank above ‘excellent’.

  • Will it be ken again?

    2008 Issue 9

    He may once have been master of all he surveys, but Ken Livingstone’s victory in May’s election for London mayor is not assured. This time he has to convince voters of his record. So how has he done? Mark Leftly takes seven key pledges in the London Plan and judges their success

  • Why did the lights go out on Hills electrical?

    2008 Issue 8

    Earlier this month, one of the best known and best respected subcontractors in Britain was sold for the price of a cup of coffee. Eleanor Goodman and Sarah Richardson report on what went wrong

  • Zaha's challenge

    2008 Issue 7

    The abandonment of Zaha Hadid’s Architecture Foundation HQ in London was a disappointment for design connoisseurs, but what does it tell us about the ambition of the British construction industry? 

  • The evolving QS

    2008 Issue 6

    With flotation looking distinctly iffy – as Turner & Townsend realised last week – cost consultants are looking for other ways to expand and survive.

  • Meet the new ministers: Supernanny and Shriti the shriek

    2008 Issue 5

    So Fortuna’s ever-whirling wheel has brought two new politicians to look after our industry. At first sight they seem like standard issue New Labour middle managers. Probe a little deeper into their biographies, though, and they’re about as similar as Mary Poppins and Lady Macbeth.

  • BAA the economy class client

    2008 Issue 4

    BAA was the client that revolutionised construction to deliver Heathrow Terminal 5 on time and budget, but the cultural change that has followed its takeover by Spanish contractor Ferrovial has left many observers wondering whether that revolution is now over.

  • The path to power

    2008 Issue 2

    News analysis: The government has willed the creation of the first nuclear reactors since 1995, but to get them it needs to erect a new planning system, overcome opposition from a host of enemies – some within the construction industry – and work out a way to store toxic waste for 24,000 years.

  • The pool that (nearly) sank its architect

    2007 issue 49

    In 1996, one of Britain’s hottest young designers was given a £7m leisure centre project in north-east London. Over the next 11 years, it mutated into a £45m disaster that cost him his London office, his marriage and £250,000 of his own money.

  • A dynasty divided

    2007 issue 48

    Keith Miller thinks his row with cousin James over shares in the Miller Group can be sorted out over dinner. However, a history of friction between the two suggests it is more likely to end in a food fight.

  • Interview: John Callcutt

    2007 issue 47

    John Callcutt’s review of the housebuilding industry has been eagerly awaited, not least because everyone is wondering what else there is to say about it. Well, it turns out there’s plenty – just don’t expect any quick-fix solutions.

  • Eco-towns analysed

    2007 issue 46

    News analysis: Brown’s Big Idea on becoming prime minister was to build 10 towns on 10 new sites. But it seems developers are using the eco-towns to add spoilers, fog lamps and go-faster stripes to schemes that have already been rejected.

  • Excellent BREEAM rating at school

    13 Nov 07

    Miller Construction achieved green rating at Hagley Haybridge High School in Worcestershire.

  • Giving ground

    2007 issue 45

    A Competition Commission report has raised the prospect of supermarkets being forced to sell off their landbanks to rival stores. Joey Gardiner looks at whether this will mean a new wave of superstores outside Britain’s towns and cities

  • Can Ken untangle the tube?

    2007 issue 44

    Transport for London’s bid to take over the demoralised Metronet consortium is virtually a done deal. But what happens then? Katie Puckett and Stuart Macdonald report on the task awaiting the London mayor and his team

  • Turf war

    2007 issue 43

    QSs are facing a fight as property firms and contractors try to muscle in on the hugely lucrative project and programme management market .

  • The planning gain supplement is dead. Long live the roof tax?

    2007 issue 42

    Developers have won a famous battle with the government over the introduction of the PGS. But as infrastructure still has to be paid for, it looks like we’ll be moving to a system based on the Milton Keynes roof tax. David Parsley asks what this means

  • Boom over?

    2007 issue 41

    Business might well be ballooning for the UK’s top 250 consultants, as our cover suggests, but the global credit crunch has led some well-informed voices to predict a slide in demand, particularly in the London commercial market. Stephen Kennett looks at whether they’re right

  • You can't have it all

    2007 issue 40

    Barratt chief executive Mark Clare is adamant that the government’s targets for fewer carbon emissions and more homes are contradictory. He tells Sarah Richardson why

  • When will they ever learn?

    2007 Issue 39

    The government is trying to renew 3,500 schools in 15 years using teams of confused officials, increasingly resentful contractors and a system that combines surreal bureaucracy with huge wastes in time and money. Eleanor Goodman and Katie Puckett explain why Building Schools for the Future continues to underachieve

  • Crossrail starts here

    2007 Issue 38

    Eighteen years after the idea of a rail line running east to west through London was mooted, all that has actually been done is to dig this large hole. But, as Gordon Brown prepares to announce a funding strategy in his conference speech next week, that may be about to change.

  • The men who got left behind

    2007 Issue 37

    Increased public sector spending was supposed to be great news for construction firms. But, according to a survey released this week, these local contractors have missed out on the bonanza. Katie Puckett finds out why the growth of framework agreements is threatening the industry’s smaller businesses

  • Can the Olympics save their jobs?

    2007 Issue 36

    Furniture supplier Remploy needs to save £227m and is planning to shut 32 of its factories – a move that the TUC says would spell disaster for its largely disabled workforce. Now there’s hope that orders for seating for Olympic venues could provide a lifeline.

  • Housebuilders or planners - who should set sustainability targets?

    2007 Issue 35

    An almighty row has been brewing between local authorities, who want to set their own sustainability targets, and developers who claim this is causing chaos. The two met last Tuesday to thrash out their differences...

  • Stewart McColl: I want my company back

    2007 Issue 34

    When SMC Group shares dived from 196p to 16p in just eight months, chief executive Stewart McColl took the rap and left the company he’d founded. But as talks begin on a possible merger between SMC and Aukett, word is out that he could soon be making a comeback.

  • Rafa: get me Davis Langdon!

    2007 Issue 32

    Reds boss tells board to sign ‘classy’ cost consultant

  • Batten down the hatches

    2007 Issue 31

    Hull council wants to make flood resistance a condition of planning permission, but is it possible to build a house capable of resisting the recent freakish weather? And would anybody buy one?

  • Who are these masked men?

    2007 Issue 29

    Anyone who follows corporate action in housebuilding will have noticed some mysterious strangers riding into town. Sarah Richardson finds out who they are – and where they might strike next

  • Water fight

    2007 Issue 28

    The Nirah freshwater aquarium will provide vital scientific research and – at four times the size of the Eden Project – is set to be a huge tourism boost for Bedford. So why has it had to endure an almighty struggle to get planning consent?

  • Metronet puts its future on the line

    2007 Issue 27

    The consortium with the job of upgrading most of London Underground is struggling to cope with a £2bn cost overrun, potentially endless legal difficulties and increasingly nervous shareholders. Angela Monaghan looks at how it went so wrong, and what the stakeholders are doing to put it right

  • Government backs crane campaign

    2007 Issue 26

    Building’s campaign to make tower cranes safe has won the support of a key Whitehall figure: Lord McKenzie, the minister for health and safety, as Dan Stewart found out. Buoyed up by this ministerial backing, we’re taking our demands to the Strategic Forum …

  • Safer Skyline is now backed by 20 of Britain’s top 30 contractors and housebuilders

    2007 Issue 25

    This is in addition to the 65MPs who support us …

  • Experimenting with friends

    2007 Issue 24

    Although launched nearly three years ago, Facebook has in recent weeks overtaken Friends Reunited and MySpace as the UK’s biggest social website. Mark Leftly spent a day investigating this latest alternative to work vital tool for networking …

  • The shadow of suspicion

    2007 Issue 23

    The Office of Fair Trading has reached the critical point of its probe into bid rigging in construction. Dan Stewart and Sarah Richardson look at what it has found, the effect on the industry – and how contractors are fighting back

  • Gearing up

    2007 Issue 22

    As the government prepares the ground for its long awaited nuclear new-build programme, engineers, programme managers and consultants are picking their teams to compete for the UK’s fastest growing market. Sarah Richardson looks at the main players

  • Climbdown

    2007 Issue 21

    The government’s 10-year plan to introduce Home Information Packs has collapsed less than 10 days away from implementation. Emily Wright reports on what went wrong, and what will happen next

  • Who owns this place?

    2007 Issue 19

    Some PFI consortiums have won leases on their hospital that run for almost a century after they finish their contract. Mark Leftly reveals the Department of Health’s risky gamble

  • Not everyone’s cheering

    2007 Issue 18

    At 3pm on 19 May, all the public outrage that accompanied the delay to Wembley stadium will dissolve in the heat of an FA Cup final. But many of the firms that built it will find it harder to forget, particularly those in administration.

  • Tesco’s troubles

    2007 Issue 17

    Britain’s most successful business (probably) is one of the construction industry’s most important clients (definitely). Yet rumours of strife in its supply chain and a rush of bad publicity appear to be undermining its position.

  • Carillion didn’t buy a pup, it was a monster. How would it tame mowlem?

    2007 Issue 16

    It thought it was getting a fabulous £12bn defence contract tied to an old-style contractor with one or two financial issues, but then came the midnight snacks, and the multimillion-pound writedowns ... Carillion’s boss John McDonough tells Angela Monaghan what happened over the next year

  • The form guide

    2007 Issue 15

    As the results season draws to a close, and in honour of tomorrow’s Grand National, we check the performances of some of construction’s sleekest thoroughbreds. Sarah Richardson is trackside

  • The start of a beautiful friendship

    2007 Issue 14

    The proposed merger between Taylor Woodrow and Wimpey may be the biggest housebuilder deal so far, but it follows a year of frenetic takeover activity. Mark Leftly investigates what lessons this might hold for the new kid on the block

  • The final analysis

    2007 Issue 12

    Tessa Jowell has now given us the final, definitive, official budget for the London 2012 Olympics, and it’s a huge increase on the 2005 figure. Or is it? Mark Leftly crunches the numbers

  • The severed alliance

    2007 Issue 11

    Back in 2004 it looked as though social housing firm Mears had picked a dream team. Bob Holt and Stuart Black, the bruiser and the wunderkind, were together at the helm of a City darling. So why did Black walk?

  • The wolves at the door

    2007 Issue 10

    About 21% of large strategic sites in Britain are owned by commercial developers. Private housebuilders own 8%. David Blackman wonders why they aren’t more worried ...

  • Good – but not good enough

    2007 Issue 09

    The National Audit Office has just inspected the government’s city academies programme. Mark Leftly reports on what it had to say, and what the industry says in reply

  • Suffering in silence

    2007 Issue 08

    For the 25 years that he was a crane driver, Terry Duxbury endured the job’s unsafe conditions and culture of never speaking out. Here he tells Sarah Richardson about the terrible personal price he had to pay before he found his voice

  • Sorry, but these rules don’t work

    2007 Issue 07

    Quantity surveyors are piling pressure on the Home Office to rethink the laws that are keeping foreign workers out of the UK – and sending some badly needed ones back home.

  • Energy rating issues: The window – a 21st century solution

    2007 Issue 06

    Last week Building revealed that air-conditioned buildings could face a D rating when non-residential energy certificates are introduced next year. So does this mean the end of air-con? Or will tenants simply ignore the certificates when choosing their offices?

  • Out of the blue ... and into the red

    2007 Issue 05

    A furious argument is brewing in the Treasury over a surprise change to accounting rules that could suddenly dump billions of pounds of PFI liabilities in the government’s lap. Mark Leftly looks at what the rule says, and what it could mean for Gordon Brown

  • Never again

    2007 Issue 04

    In the past four months accidents involving tower cranes have left three people dead, including a member of the public. To prevent further fatalities Building is calling for rigorous checks, better supervision and public accountability for these potentially dangerous pieces of equipment.

  • This is Year Zero

    2007 Issue 03

    In 10 years’ time, the home pictured is going to be the industry’s standard product, if the government’s call for a zero carbon ‘revolution’ is successful. Vikki Miller assesses its chances

  • Who’s going to drive this?

    2007 Issue 02

    There is only one place in Britain where crane operators are trained: the National Construction College in Norfolk. Now a decision by the local council has thwarted plans to prevent it sliding into dereliction. Sarah Richardson and Angela Monaghan look at what, if anything, can be done to retrieve the situation

  • ‘We don’t hug trees and do Kum Ba Yah’

    2007 issue 01

    Murray Coleman is not a man to mince his words, as Mark Leftly found when he trailed the new Bovis Lend Lease construction boss around one of the contractor’s more problematic PFI projects

  • Typical. You wait years for a report setting out government policy on vital areas like housing and transport and then three come at once …

    2006 issue 49

    Ahead of Gordon Brown’s pre-Budget report on Wednesday, the government released a series of weighty tomes on policy strategy. Here David Blackman and Mark Leftly provide an at-a-glance guide to them

  • ‘A lot of the guys won’t work on timber frame again’

    2006 issue 48

    This July, a site in north London turned into a terrifying inferno in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee. Nobody knew why. Now the London Fire Brigade has talked exclusively to Building about what happened and the dangers inherent in multistorey timber-frame sites.

  • The abdication

    2006 issue 47

    Here is Richard Rogers, flanked by his heirs apparent: Ivan Harbour, on the right, and Graham Stirk. But when will the great man go? What will his successors do when he does? And in the meantime, can they stop Marco Goldschmied’s legal actions taking away their offices? Martin Spring investigates …

  • Five days in June

    2006 issue 46

    Although it’s mostly a question of hobnobbing and hats, the punters at Royal Ascot do like to see the races as well. Mark Leftly and Tom Broughton report on why its new grandstand was built with restricted views, and what’s being done to put it right

  • ‘It’s a marvellous thing to do, but it’s a stupid way of doing it‘

    2006 issue 44

    So says the assistant headteacher of this school in Bradford, which was meant to show what the government’s flagship school building programme will do for Britain’s children. Instead, it’s more evidence of how it’s failing them.

  • Off to a trying start …

    2006 issue 43

    The stadium is the subject of a row before its design is even begun and the client’s chairman has departed in mysterious circumstances … Vikki Miller reports on the difficult early days of the London Olympics

  • ‘The more the OGC is decimated, the more celebration there will be’

    2006 issue 42

    The Office of Government Commerce spent the first six months of this year undergoing a review that questioned its very existence. Whether it lives or dies is unknown. What is certain is that it will never be the same again.

  • We wish to make a complaint

    2006 issue 41

    The supply of gas, water and electricity seems to present terrible problems to the companies whose sole business is to do just that – and things are getting steadily worse. Lorraine Cushnie finds out why

  • ‘Maybe we are just waking up to a serious problem’

    2006 issue 40

    After two men died in a crane collapse in Battersea last week, the public suddenly started treating all cranes with suspicion. Sarah Richardson looks at whether they have good reason to

  • The future of construction training in this country hangs on what happens to this crumbling site. Why?

    2006 issue 39

    By 2009, the National Construction College’s flagship facility in Bircham Newton, west Norfolk, stands a good chance of being shut down. Many industry observers will probably snigger that the construction sector cannot even build and maintain its own training centre. Unfortunately, there’s precious little to smile about.

  • Blair’s last lap

    2006 issue 38

    With Tony Blair fast running out of time to tackle the policy issues of central concern to the construction industry, Building spoke to 10 of its leading figures to see what they want from Blair before he goes. Or will it be left to Gordon Brown to take the baton and claim the accolades?

  • Amec - The reckoning

    2006 issue 37

    After a glorious decade at the helm of Britain’s leading construction empire, Sir Peter Mason is leaving a company suddenly engulfed by a £140m after-tax hit and a severe identity crisis. Mark Leftly reports on what went wrong

  • Run for it!

    2006 issue 36

    The success of the Olympics will rest on what Ray O’Rourke and the CLM consortium does in the next 90 days. Mark Leftly considers the race ahead, and how it will be tackled

  • And fireland was ablaze

    2006 issue 35

    As an appetiser for our focus on the Irish economy, here’s a digital picture of the Republic. And as this view over O’Connell Bridge in Dublin illustrates, Ireland has gone from a poor, rural country best known for things that don’t really exist (leprechauns, Blarney stones) into an economic powerhouse. Much of the money has been spent on the country’s dire social and transport infrastructure, and this has stimulated the growth of the construction sector. The Celtic tiger is roaring....

  • Danger in a strange land

    2006 issue 34

    Poles have streamed into the UK since their homeland joined the European Union. Many have found a good living, but others have lost their lives. Mark Leftly reports on what’s going wrong

  • Multiplex vs WNSL: The squeeze is on …

    2006 issue 32

    As Wembley’s contractor and client take their first steps towards the Technology and Construction Court, Sarah Richardson analyses what the parties are claiming, and what it means for the stadium

  • And the winner on the line is …

    2006 issue 31

    The four contenders for the £5.2bn contract to deliver the 2012 London Olympics have just made their final presentations to the Olympic Delivery Authority. Emily Wright looks at who they are, and what they had to say

  • Whos on target?

    2006 issue 30

    The government has told councils in England to set renewable energy targets for schemes. But what policies do they already have in place? A survey this week reveals all.

  • Bovis:from buy-up to bust-up

    2006 issue 29

    When Building reported two weeks ago that Bovis Lend Lease’s UK chief executive Jason Millett was leaving, rumours of bad blood between the UK division and its Australian parent were quickly revived. Mark Leftly reports on how it came to this

  • Construction checks in to The Priory

    2006 issue 28

    Or rather, Vaughan Burnand went along to find out why so many in the industry are seeking help with drink and drug addictions. Mark Leftly found out what he learned.

  • Where are we now?

    2006 issue 27

    It’s been a year since London got the job of hosting the 2012 Olympics, and to the untrained eye, nothing much seems to have happened. Mark Leftly commentates on what’s been going on, and what’s planned for the next six years and three weeks

  • The 99% campaign - Incentives for action

    2006 issue 26

    Your suggestions on improving the energy performance of existing building stock including carbon trading, stamp duty and tax relief.

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