The paper is mainly concerned with the institutional framework of the Danish construction industry, describing structures, rules and actors' roles within a perspective of nationally defined procedural guidelines on construction projects. These aspects are treated under the concept of a "contracting system". After a short introduction to the structure and activities of the industry the post-war development is reviewed, in particular emphasising the importance of the early industrialisation process which in an international perspective represents quite unique features. Furthermore the most recent development trends are indicated. A third section describes the contemporary external, regulative framework of construction projects. In the two final sections the construction process is decomposed with regard to 1)phases and activities and 2)procurement forms, actors and functions.