From China to Madrid and back home again, from the humble DIYer to industry heavyweights, British construction is in the headlines.
This weekend's Sunday Times considers the influence that British engineers are having on the development boom in China, where construction is growing at 8.5% a year. Spurred on in part by the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, many UK contractors are negotiating the complex legal constraints of working in China, and are getting to grips with the market there. Arup's project to build CCTV, a new headquarters for Chinese state TV, is described by The Times as "tower engineering at its sexiest."
On a more domestic note, The Times also reports new legislation that will forbid homeowners to carry out major electrical DIY unless they are qualified to do so. Work will be classified as notifiable and non-notifiable, with the former being the preserve of qualified electricians. DIYers who attempt such work will have to get the job signed-off by an electrician or the local authority at a cost of £100-200.
The Mail on Sunday looks north of the border and finds that would-be first-time buyers in Scotland are in just as much difficulty as they are nationwide, reporting on the Bank of Scotland's annual housing review, which found that 81% of homes in the 47 main postal towns in the country were "unaffordable" for first-timers.
Straying onto traditional Mail-reader territory, the Sunday Telegraph reports on the growing number of homeowners who are installing complex security systems to protect their properties from burglars, and of those who chose to live in 'gated' communities, of which there are now 1000 in the UK. It says that London Mayor Ken Livingstone frowns on such developments as being socially devisive.
Meanwhile, The Independent on Sunday asks: "Is this the most stylish hotel in the world?" as 22 architects - including Lord Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid - are brought together to build Hotel Puerta América in Madrid. Each get a chunk of the hotel to design as they see fit; when it opens in May, guests will get the chance to judge for themselves whether it is a work of creative genius, or just a messy hodge-podge.