‘It is far better to foresee even without certainty than not to foresee at all.’
Henri Poincare, mathematician, 1854–1912 (Poincare, 1013: 129)
1.1 Background and context
Despite the impact of the Great Recession the construction industry1 remains a vital and important part of the UK economy. For example, in 2014 construction contributed £103 billion in economic output, which is 6.6% of the total UK output, and 2.1 million jobs, or 6.2% of total jobs in 2015 (Rhodes, 2015). Recent research (GCP Global & Oxford Economics, 2015) suggests that the importance of the construction industry globally is set to grow by 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030, with three countries (China, the USA and India) leading the way and accounting for 57% of all global growth. Continued high levels of investment are also expected to contribute to a growing built asset value globally. In 2012, the combined stock of built asset wealth in the 30 largest economies totalled $193 trillion, and this is set to grow to $261 trillion by 2022 at a rate of 35% in real terms, with 30–40% of GDP attributable globally to built asset wealth (HM Government, 2015a). With continued growth in the UK operations and facilities management sector, and a growing smart cities market there is also considerable potential in the UK construction industry.
This provides rich opportunities for UK construction, ...