The index dropped to 46.8, staying below the break-even point of 50 for the fourth consecutive month.
The survey compiler's senior economist, Tim Moore said "With total output falling at the steepest pace for over three years, the latest PMI survey is confirmation that January's construction decline was not entirely snow-related".
He also put the lower output levels and reduced order inflows down to downward pressure on client budgets as well as subdued public sector spending
Also, on balance, firms expected a rise in overall construction output over the next 12 months, with the degree of optimism the highest since April.
Partly reflecting this confidence, employment levels rose fractionally in February, in contrast to Q4 of 2012.