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Construction UK: Introduction to the Industry, 2nd Edition



Construction UK: Introduction to the Industry, 2nd Edition

Ralph Morton, Andrew Ross (Revised by)

ISBN: 978-1-405-15943-2 January 2008 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages

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This thoroughly readable overview of the nature and history of the construction industry offers a clear understanding of how this vast and complex industry operates. Exploring its main features - the markets, the principal players, and ways of working - it provides a strong basis for further study.

Construction UK: introduction to the industry takes a fresh approach to today’s key issues - sustainability, safety, efficiency, employment practices and procurement. It explains why things are the way they are and investigates the powerful trends for change.

This new edition is updated with:

  • the latest DTI statistics, including new information on causes accidents
  • an examination of the effectiveness of initiatives post-Egan
  • a new section on the influence of European initiatives
  • expanded coverage of sustainability and the environmental drivers affecting construction – as well as the industry’s response
  • an enlarged section on labour resources and the skills gap
  • a new look at the role of IT and how it is changing the design, construction and operation of buildings
  • new case studies on Holyrood and on Wembley Stadium.

Students and all those interested in the built environment - architecture, engineering, surveying, construction - will find this a highly accessible and stimulating approach.



About the Authors .

1 Triumphs, Troubles and Reports.

The story of a great building.

Rise of an industry.

Industry reform: Origins and responses.

Persisent problems and some solutions.

An overview of the book.

For further study.

2 Who Needs Construction?.

Introduction: some peculiarities of construction demand.

Demand for construction: the general picture.

The industry’s clients and the determinants of demand.

Fluctuations in demand over time.

Conclusion and summary.

For further study.

3 Profiles of the Industry.

Introduction: what is the construction industry?.

The structure of the industry.

The Industry sectors and organisation.

Structural changes and their impact.


For further study.

4 The Workforce on Site.

Introduction: changing trends in employment.

Industrial relations: the rise and fall of unionised labour.

The structure of employment: the consequences of the rise in self employment.

Bridging the gap-Training and skills.

Health and safety.


For further study.

5 Professionals and Managers.

Introduction: fragmented professions.

The designers.



The managers.

Quantity surveyors.

Construction Managers.

Cooperation or conflict?.

Integration of design and management.

For further study.

6 The Growth of Contracting.

Introduction: the genesis of contracting.

The early years.

The great transformation – general contracting takes over.

The economic arguments for contracting.

A case study: the Palace of Westminster The twentieth century developments.

For further study.

7 Procurement, Contracts and the Way Ahead.



The practice of frameworks.

The traditional system.

Management contracting and contract management.

Design and build.

Contracts and subcontracts.

Latham, procurement and contracts.

Egan and the shift to partnering.

For further study.

8 Building Production – Site or Factory?.


A building is not a motor car – is it?.

Technology and innovation.

Modularisation and off site manufacture.

Coordinating the process: managing the supply chain.

Integrating the whole process: some solutions.

For further study.

9 Construction and the Environment .


The argument for sustainable construction.

Building materials and the environment.

The built environment – a holistic perspective.

Future challenges and possible solutions.

For further study.

10 The Government and the Building Industry .


Industry and state – a review of the points from earlier chapters.

Case study one – the Building Regulations.

Case study two – cowboys?.



Notes and References.

Selected Bibliography Index

  • takes a fresh approach to all the important issues in the building process
  • looks at the economics of the industry's basic resources: labour, materials and technology
  • highly accessible, clearly written with plenty of references to current building projects