25th February 2020

Knowledge Type

Guidance Research paper


, Chartered Institute of Building

Major Project


Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients

The Real Face of Construction


A Socio Economic Analysis of the True Value of Construction: this report from the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) puts the economic influence of the UK construction sector at almost double that of the officially recorded figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The Real Face of Construction 2020 report sets out the sector’s giant reach into the economy, which officially accounts for about 6% of economic output of the UK and provides employment for 2.3 million people. However, the narrow ONS definition of the industry ignores the work of architects, engineers, and quantity surveyors as well as manufacturers dedicated to the sector and many other firms that support construction such as builders’ merchants and plant hire providers.

The report argues that by including all aspects of the design and construction process, construction GDP could be close to double in size. Understanding the data is crucial, because if policymakers and experts do not have access to the full picture then bad decisions and, in turn, bad policy based on incomplete data is likely to be made. By showcasing the true reach of the industry this should also lead to greater attention from policymakers.