Construction and surveying

Construction, surveying, real estate and civil engineering

This guide will help you find and use key resources for construction, quantity surveying, built environment, real estate, civil engineering and related subjects.

Finding books

To explore books and ebooks use Discover. Watch a short video to help improve your search.

Where are my books in the Library?

You will find most construction books on level 2 starting at shelf number 690, while real estate is on level 4 from 332. For help ask a member of staff on the floor or watch Find a book in the Library.

Many of our books are online, watch Find and use ebooks to learn more. We recommend the ICE Virtual Library and Knovel ebooks for books on civil engineering and construction topics. You will also find building and construction law books on Lexis including JCT contracts and commentary.

Finding journals

Use Discover to search for journal articles on a topic or to search for a journal by title. Watch our short videos Find a Journal by Title and Browse Journals by Subject to improve your search.

Key journals

Your lecturer may recommend specific titles, but you can also browse our journal collection to see what journals we have for your subject area.

Finding and using databases

Databases enable you to do a more strategic search than you can on Discover. They help you find information quickly and efficiently by allowing you to search using a combination of search terms, to filter and narrow your results (by date or subject area for example) and save your searches for later.

Key databases
  • BCIS Online: detailed building cost information, including cost analysis and tender price information.
  • BCIS Online Rates: independent rates data for estimating and checking costs and ensuring accurate budgeting for new build and refurbishment projects.
  • British Standards Online (BSOL): full text of over 60,000 British, adopted European and International standards includes the complete set of all Eurocodes in full text.
  • Construction Information Service: industry and technical information, current regulations and related news and briefings.
  • Compendex (Engineering Village): covers all engineering topics including civil engineering. Use controlled vocabulary search to create a very specific search.
  • Digimap: maps and map data - we subscribe to Digimap Ordnance Survey collection, Historic Digimap, Geology Digimap and Environment Digimap.
  • Emerald: a collection of academic, peer-reviewed journals focusing on business with a significant body of construction, engineering and project management content.
  • IEEE Xplore: access to full text including articles, books and conference proceedings published since 1988 as well as selected content published since 1893.
  • isurv: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) documents including official guidance, forms and case studies and the Red Book (RICS appraisal and valuation standards).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Information Service (OHSIS): Industry and government information from key health, safety and environmental management publishing organisations covering legislation, guidance, standards and best practices.
  • ProQuest Central: an extensive multidisciplinary database covering a wide range of subjects. It indexes over 19,000 individual journal titles and contains newspaper articles, dissertations and reports. Use the filters in the results screen to narrow to journal articles. If ProQuest Central is too general, use the option “change databases” to search just a part of the database.
  • Science Direct: don’t be put off by the name. This full text database covers all subjects and you can search for journal articles and books.

There is some overlap between the databases but every database also has unique content. Some databases provide help guides - these are available within the Discover record for that database. If you need further support, contact your librarian.


Websites can offer a range of information, for example policy documents and statistics, which may be difficult to find elsewhere.

There are lots of useful websites freely available, including those run by professional bodies for example Chartered Institute of Building, public or government bodies like Scottish Government or industry resources like the BREEAM wiki.

With such a wide variety available you need to ensure that the sites you are using are trustworthy. We provide guidance on evaluating websites.

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