The survey asks company bosses for their views on the 10 largest listed companies in their sector, and scores each out of 10 in nine criteria, including quality of management, financial soundness and use of corporate assets.
Costain was second in the heavy construction category, followed by Kier, Keller and Galliford Try.
Bottom of the list, perhaps unsurprisingly, was ROK, although it was rated the best in the sector for quality of marketing.
Among housebuilders, Berkeley came out top, followed by Persimmon and Bellway. Abbey and McInerney trailed a distant ninth and tenth.
In the building materials and merchants sector, CRH pipped Travis Perkins to the top spot, with Kingspan, Saint Gobain and Wolseley following on behind.
Each sector was also given an overall ranking, with building materials and merchants scoring 538.7 out of 900, heavy construction 494.5 and housebuilders 486.2.
This represents an improvement for housebuilders and merchants on last year, who scored 453.1 and 516.5 respectively, but a fall in esteem for heavy contractors, who last year scored an aggregate 518.0.
Best construction-related performer in 2010 was generator hire company Aggreko, which came 9th in the overall list of most admired companies. Unilever was first overall, followed by Serco, Shell and Sky.
Full lists are at http://www.bmac.managementtoday.com/BMAC_2010.htm