With the election just around the corner the construction sector is pushing hard to ensure construction is seen as key to continued economic recovery.  There is also increasing activity to raise the profile of construction as a desirable and rewarding career path. Therefore I thought it was timely to provide some guidance on understanding why the construction sector is the way it is.  Something I cover in my recent article for the Building Centre and a subject covered in depth as part of my Construction Industry Overview training course.

Visualising the construction sector

Although the construction industry is not glamorous it is responsible for 9% of UK GDP. The structure of the construction sector is complex, with many different contract types: Traditional, Design & Build, Management or PFI. The evolution of BIM might even lead to a new form of contract. Each contract type has an influence on the construction team set-up, a team that is formed for a single project and then disbanded. Government regulations and initiatives can also be a major driver. Anyone new to the construction industry must find it extremely complicated. In this blog I provide some useful sources of visual information, to help those new to construction get to grips with this complex industry.

Construction as we know it today has a heritage from the industrial revolution in the 1700s. Being aware of the history is a good way to understand why the sector is set-up the way it is. A starting point is our own Infographic: A Timeline of the UK Construction Industry.

The UK government has created an infographic that demonstrates why construction is so important to the UK economy. This is a useful reminder of the worth and contribution construction makes. Leading on from this the born to build webstie has a handy interactive tool that helps demonstrate the breadth of jobs the sector provides. And hot off the press The Construction Products Association has released a video highlighting the importance of the construction industry and some of the key issues facing our sector. Another helpful video, with a more global perspective is one summarizing the results of the RICs Futures report, this video identifies the drivers and trends in construction.


While the construction industry is complex, there is a lot of support available to help you understand it. Many industry bodies and trade press are championing the construction industry, with educational pieces of information frequently being published. Knowing the history of the industry provides a good foundation for understanding the construction supply chain and the Decision Making Unit.

What sources of visual information do you find useful for understanding the construction sector?


Further information:

Our useful links page contains a wealth of information on the construction sector.

Join us for our Construction Industry Overview training




  1. Ryan Scott says:

    I’m preparing a whitepaper on the construction industry in U.K and your article was really informative and helpful in analyzing the impact of construction industry to UK’s economy. Thanks a lot for posting.

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