Rowecord Engineering has gone under, taking at least 430 jobs with it. But what is the cost to the wider industry, when it loses the expertise offered by specialist firms?
This month, Anna Stewart takes over the reins at Laing O’Rourke, the UK’s largest private contractor. Tough decisions await her
Who stands to win if Kier does decide to challenge Costain over its merger with May Gurney?
Cash is king but with holdings plummeting do contractors need a radical solution?
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
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
Why some bosses come back to save the companies they founded - with varying degrees of success
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
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?
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?
Find out the winners and losers in this year’s salary survey with our interactive tables and full analysis
Why are there fewer apprentices in construction despite increased government spending on apprenticeships? Building investigates
While the UK government tries to work out what to do with the controversial procurement route, the Canadians have created a version that transacts deals in half the time and gives the market far greater cost certainty. But could their approach work here?
Why have M&Es been hit so hard this year and can anything be done to stop more of them going under?
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?
Is it too late for UK construction to benefit from the Olympics?
The sector’s fortunes have always been closely linked to those of the City, but it has been slow to adapt to the post-Lehman landscape
… and unfortunately the government can’t hear a word they’re saying. It has never been more important for the industry to speak with one voice. Now the chairman of the CPA has a new plan
Building’s survey shows clients are having trouble finding contractors with the skills they need. Joey Gardiner asks why
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
The double-dip recession that the industry has been dreading is finally upon us. But exactly how bad are things out there, and how much worse are they going to get? In the first part of Building’s State of Play series examining the health of the industry, sector by sector, Emily Wright gives the prognosis for contractors
Building’s State of Play series kicks off with a look at the contractor market – here, three top bosses predict the future for UK contractors
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
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
It was tempting to hang a ‘do not resuscitate’ sign on two dingy, barely accessible London hospitals, but Skanska’s redevelopment of the sites has made them functional again - which should perk up medical staff and patients alike
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
So what does 2012 have in store? Well, there’s the Olympics, of course, and some potentially interesting developments in nuclear power and infrastructure. But mostly it will be a year of battening down the hatches. There will be recklessly low bids for work, some firms will go under, others will seek refuge in emerging Asian markets. Hang on, this all sounds very familiar …
The decision of seven major M&E contractors to break away from the 40-year-old JIB wage agreement was prompted by an ‘urgent need to modernise’ but has already led to angry clashes between workers and police. Building reports on a row that threatens to become the sector’s biggest industrial relations dispute in 15 years
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
UK firms have known about the boom in Asia for some time, but now it’s become a region they simply cannot afford to ignore. Emily Wright reports on a part of the world that will spend $440bn a year on infrastructure
What could help specialist contractors out of the fix they’re in? Iain Withers applies a bit of elbow grease and works up a wishlist
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
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
Frozen salaries have got many looking to change jobs, according to this year’s contractor salary survey compiled by Hays Construction. So what’s the outlook for those who have forgotten what a pay rise is? Building peers into the distance for a glimmer of hope
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
It’s a tough claims market out there with insurers taking a strict approach to the policy wording. Contractors should think twice before they splash out to resolve a design defect
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
It’s tempting to cut when times get hard, but investment in training and developing new talent is vital to the industry’s future. Here’s how three major firms are offering tomorrow’s leaders the chance to learn the skills they’ll need
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
Looking at recent trading updates you’d be forgiven for thinking that the industry was on the road to recovery. But there’s a few big hurdles to jump over yet, and this will take some time. Martin Hewes’ annual league tables of the UK’s top contractors and housebuilders show exactly how far we have to go and who’s getting ahead
Big contracts and small firms poses a quandary – but there is a model that shows how it can be done
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
In the midst of war-torn Afghanistan dozens of construction projects continue unabated. Building reports on the unique challenges - and dangers - facing contractors at Camp Bastion in Helmand province
Building information modelling could be applied to save time and money on every government project within five years. But few people are using it and many don’t even know it exists. Here are seven key ways BIM will affect you and your work
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
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
What makes Canada possibly the most attractive country in the world for contractors right now? Perhaps it’s something to do with the billions of dollars it has to spend on construction. The trick is breaking into this highly lucrative market
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
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?
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.