The construction industry has reacted angrily to Constructing Excellence chief executive Dennis Lenard's comments that, technically, construction is "stuck in the 1980s".
Lenard made the comments in an article published in the Financial Times on 1 June.

In a letter to Lenard responding to the article, Stephen Ratcliffe, chief executive of the Construction Confederation, said the assertions that builders were lacking in innovation and slow to grasp ideas "would be laughable if they were not serious".

Ratcliffe cited the introduction of PFI, the move towards partnering and the increased use of off-site manufacturing as examples of how the industry has moved on.

Michael Ankers, chief executive at the Construction Products Association, said that Lenard's comments "did not do justice to the significant developments in the construction products industry over the past 20 years".

In a letter to Lenard, Ankers added: "Computer-aided manufacture is far more widespread than you give us credit for."

Contractors, too, are furious about Lenard's comments. John Spanswick, chairman at Bovis Lend Lease Europe, Middle East and Africa told Building: "There has been huge innovation: 50-60% of our work is with regular clients, all of which demand continuous improvement."