To mark the launch of the new-look Building website we look back at the events that shaped the construction industry in 2001.
Any retrospective of 2001 is dominated by 11 September. From construction's point of view, it intensified the debate on the desirability of tall buildings and turned economic unease into a tangible downturn. There were other, less dramatic, events that reminded firms what a risky game they played. The long-drawn out humiliation of Laing and the industry's unacceptable safety record are two issues that spring to mind. And the past 12 months have brought their share of disappointments: e-commerce fell to earth, Railtrack was shunted off and the Tube PPP inched along like a crocked train on the Northern Line – before picking up a little momentum towards the end of the year. That said, there has been plenty to cheer, as well. And in the traditional spirit of Christmas, it's worth reminding ourselves of 12 reasons to be cheerful …

Public spending The government is committed to pouring billions into public services. But the industry is sceptical about how fast it will filter through, and whether Gordon Brown will raise taxes to maintain it: for now, though, transport, education and health are the industry's bankers.

The PFI After being vilified as a rip-off and back-door privatisation, the PFI got an early Christmas present: the National Audit Office said it really was good value for money.

Good design This is no longer an add-on, even for the Treasury and housebuilders. CABE, in particular, had a good year and the reputation of modern architecture has seldom been higher.

City applause Construction found love on the rebound as investors jilted by fickle dotcoms looked for solid performers – and consolidation in the housing sector added to firms' charms.

Things can only get better Some forecasters at least are predicting an upturn in 2003, with a few even saying it might happen as early as the middle of next year.

Rethinking construction Industry reform really took effect. Egan's strategic forum got into its stride, suicidal bidding waned and even the courts were less busy as adjudication sorted out problems on the spot.

Terminal 5 Workload got a boost as Heathrow's £2.5bn megaproject finally got the green light.

Business brains Unconvinced? Flip back to our Entrepreneur of the Year Award (19 October) and our special on specialists (26 October). Tony Pidgley's Berkeley Group made the top 20 of Britain's most admired companies and Oscar Faber was celebrated as one of the best UK firms to work for.

Green agenda This made progress as the government announced that tougher energy regs would come into force in April next year. Housebuilders, on the whole, remain less than happy …

Constructionline After managing to irritate most of the industry, this is set to be revamped, which could mean that it merges with another less-than-popular initiative – the quality mark.

Planning Lord Falconer and chancellor Brown made developers very happy with their proposals to streamline the planning system.

Railtrack John Armitt, former Costain boss and new head of Railtrack, promised to transform a client the industry has often hated to love.

Finally, on behalf of the Building team, thanks for your continued support this year. We'll be back on 11 January with new supplements, fresh features ideas and the hottest news stories around. In the meantime, have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.