The construction industry has faced a period of intense introspection. This has prompted researchers and practitioners to consider what type and structure of construction industry is most appropriate to meet the challenges posed by market driven economies. Client demands are responding more rapidly to changing organisational and market imperatives. Creative and innovative solutions are expected from client analysts, advisers and consultants, from within and outside the construction industry. Previous research conducted in several client organisations at the project initiation (pre-design) stage indicate that typically a building is not necessarily the only, or best, solution. It is contended that these trends have implications for the nature and workload of the construction industry in developed and developing countries alike. It reviews the past, considers present trends and suggests the effect such directions may have on the procurement of construction facilities.