Outline of construction services
The sector can be broadly be split into new build construction and refurbishment, but the size and complexity of schemes can vary significantly. Typically, these can range from small construction contracts, like a new classroom for a local primary school to a multi-million-pound, mixed-use development, or the refitting of kitchens and bathrooms to a major refurbishment of a 10-storey housing block. Construction also straddles many different sectors, including public and private housing, retail, industrial, commercial offices, education, healthcare, civic buildings and infrastructure.
The construction industry is dominated by SMEs, who can access the market either by bidding for small construction contracts and being taken on as the principal contractor, for example to deliver a new school classroom, or alternatively acting as tier 2 or tier 3 sub-contractors to the main contractor.
Examples of construction tenders and related services:
- Professional services: e.g. architectural, structural and M&E design and consultancy, building surveying, project management and specialist services such as asbestos surveys and removal.
- New build: e.g. design and build, complete construction, groundworks, fit-outs, mechanical and electrical installation, and painting and decorating.
- Maintenance and refurbishment: e.g. concrete repairs, kitchen and bathroom refits, window and door replacements, and roofing.
- Exterior works: e.g. temporary works, cladding, roofing and landscaping.
- Highways: consultancy services, road marking, waterproofing and structural repairs.
The UK Government’s programme of public sector investment offers potential construction contracts totalling many billions of pounds a year. The Government Construction Pipeline provides information on current and planned Government-led construction market activity for suppliers and contractors, for transparency in tendering opportunities. In its analysis of the Pipeline in 2016, KPMG identified that 84% of the pipeline’s value comprised projects in transport (£92.2 billion), energy (£32.3 billion), and education (£27.9. billion). A further 15% came from the Ministry of Defence (£6.9 billion), science and research (£6.9 billion), flood (£4.9 billion), health (£4.3 billion), justice (£1.8 billion), housing and regeneration (£1.4 billion) and police forces (£1.3 billion).