Professor Stuart Green, University of Reading is the author of a must-read publication, Making Sense of Construction Improvement.

This provides a critical evaluation of the construction improvement debate from the end of the Second World War through to the modern era. The book offers unique insights into the way the UK construction sector is continuously shaped and re-shaped in accordance with changes in the prevailing political economy.

This second edition brings the book up to date by including coverage of key trends from 2010–2023. The book has been substantially revised and reworked to include new material relating to the ‘age of austerity’ and the subsequent period of political uncertainty initiated by the Brexit referendum. Changes in the political economy are positioned alongside the rise of the sustainability agenda and the advent of ‘zero carbon’. Particular attention is paid to the ongoing skills crisis and the over-hyped advocacy of modern methods of construction (MMC) as the latest supposed panacea of industry improvement. Coverage includes the Farmer (2016) report Modernise or Die and the Construction Playbook (HM Government, 2020). However, perhaps the most important addition is a focus on the Grenfell Disaster (2017) and the subsequent revelations from the public enquiry. Further intermediate milestones include Building a Safer Future (Hackitt, 2018) and the Construction Sector Deal (HM Government, 2018). The emerging consensus points towards a systemic failure involving not only the construction sector but also the entire system of regulation and compliance. Tracing the failings back over time and scrutinising the role played by previous generations of policymakers, Stuart Green ultimately argues that Grenfell was a disaster entirely foretold.

The insightful and critical analysis of the industry contained within these pages is essential and timely reading for anyone who wants to understand how the construction sector arrived at where it is today, and with that knowledge, give further thought to where it might go next.

The book is available at all high street bookshops and online