Team Build Construction

Public Sector Construction Basics


Not to be confused as simply a public space, public sector construction refers to those sites, infrastructures, and buildings which are owned and operated by the UK government (as opposed to private individuals or charitable organisations).

Despite only being accountable for around 25% of construction work, public sector construction projects tend to be major and integral to public interest and infrastructure. By way of example, some of the most notable public sector construction projects include:

  • Roads, bridges, railways, ports, stations
  • Hospitals and Schools
  • Prisons
  • Churches and other places of worship
  • Public buildings like libraries, leisure centres, and other government and local authority-run endeavours

All of these projects tend to be funded by the public sector – that is, some of the budget will come directly from the tax payments of local citizens, and the rest will come from government funding.

With all that said, what is it that makes public sector construction an industry all of its own? And what are the core considerations that come with planning and undertaking a public sector project?

The use of public sector buildings

The definition of a public sector building is one which is frequented by the public, and which houses some form of public sector operations or public authority.

What this essentially means is that the space is one which is used by people outside of their private residence and place of work – either when running errands, travelling, or indulging in hobbies and extracurricular activities. Aside from those who work in the public sector itself, these buildings are not to be defined as workplaces.

Public sector building basics – what you need to know

Public sector construction

As public sector construction deals solely with buildings or other structures which are designed and built for public use, it follows that one of the first things to establish is the way that the structure or building is going to be used.

Not only does this mean creating a plan which optimises the use of space in line with its core purpose – it also means looking at and considering the usability and accessibility of the structure and space for any and all users. And when it comes to a public sector project, it all starts with the Who and the What.

Justifying the project

Because of the challenges associated with gaining funding for public sector projects, the first step is to establish the justification for the project. Who is it going to help, and why is this project beneficial to the local area?

Publicly-funded projects often require feedback and approval at different stages from different independent reviewers, so be prepared that this step of the process can take much longer than expected.

Project brief

This is where the project gets interesting for construction experts like our team, as it enables us to find out exactly what the client wants and how they intend to achieve their vision through the project work. For a public sector construction project, this is where every regulation and tick box will be covered, from site waste disposal to cost saving changes and more.


Once the project brief has been finalised, it’s time to put the project out to tender – encouraging construction companies to bid and put forward proposals to complete the work. The client will select a partner who is committed to the vision, able to complete the project on time, and able to stick to the budget.

Concept design and detailed design

The design stage starts with an overall concept and then dives deeper into the details – selecting the materials, the finishes, and the fittings which need to be included to ensure that the space is as accessible and user friendly as possible for a wider demographic of users.

And then it’s time to build.


The final part of a public sector construction project from our end is the build itself. It takes a lot before a project can reach the stage, however by the time it arrives the project is well developed, fully planned out, and ready to go.

Once the construction is complete, integrating all of the different teams and focus groups together, it’s time for final testing from a user perspective – isolating any potential issues or challenges with the public sector space before it can be formally opened by the government or local authority who has spearheaded the project.

For more insight into how public sector construction works, please feel free to reach out and get in touch with the team!