Construction is the process of constructing a building or infrastructure.Construction differs from manufacturing in that manufacturing typically involves mass production of similar items without a designated purchaser, while construction typically takes place on location for a known client. Construction as an industry comprises six to nine percent of the gross domestic product of developed countries. Construction starts with planning, design, and financing; it continues until the project is built and ready for use.
A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, land prices, ground conditions, specific uses, and aesthetic reasons. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures.
Infrastructure is the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or other area, including the services and facilities necessary for its economy to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and private physical improvements such as roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and telecommunications. In general, it has also been defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions".
Manufacturing is the production of products for use or sale using labour and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial design, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other, more complex products, such as aircraft, household appliances, furniture, sports equipment or automobiles, or sold to wholesalers, who in turn sell them to retailers, who then sell them to end users and consumers.
Large-scale construction requires collaboration across multiple disciplines. A project manager normally manages the job, and a construction manager, design engineer, construction engineer or architect supervises it. Those involved with the design and execution must consider zoning requirements, environmental impact of the job, scheduling, budgeting, construction-site safety, availability and transportation of building materials, logistics, inconvenience to the public caused by construction delays and bidding. Large construction projects are sometimes referred to as megaprojects.
Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. Teams that work collaboratively often access greater resources, recognition and rewards when facing competition for finite resources.
A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers have the responsibility of the planning, procurement and execution of a project, in any undertaking that has a defined scope, defined start and a defined finish; regardless of industry. Project managers are first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments in an organization before the problem escalates to higher authorities.
Construction management (CM) is a professional service that uses specialized, project management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end. The purpose of CM is to control a project's time / delivery, cost and quality—sometimes referred to as a project management triangle or "triple constraints." CM is compatible with all project delivery systems, including design-bid-build, design-build, CM At-Risk and Public Private Partnerships. Professional construction managers may be reserved for lengthy, large-scale, high budget undertakings, called capital projects.
Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form objects, systems, or organizations,and comes from Latin constructio (from com- "together" and struere "to pile up") and Old French construction. To construct is the verb: the act of building, and the noun construction: how a building was built, the nature of its structure.
In general, there are three sectors of construction: buildings, infrastructure and industrial.Building construction is usually further divided into residential and non-residential (commercial/institutional). Infrastructure is often called heavy civil or heavy engineering that includes large public works, dams, bridges, highways, railways, water or wastewater and utility distribution. Industrial construction includes refineries, process chemical, power generation, mills and manufacturing plants. There are also other ways to break the industry into sectors or markets.
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including public works such as roads, bridges, canals, dams, airports, sewerage systems, pipelines, structural components of buildings, and railways.
Refining is the process of purification of a (1) substance or a (2) form. The term is usually used of a natural resource that is almost in a usable form, but which is more useful in its pure form. For instance, most types of natural petroleum will burn straight from the ground, but it will burn poorly and quickly clog an engine with residues and by-products. The term is broad, and may include more drastic transformations, such as the reduction of ore to metal.
Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utilities in the electric power industry, it is the first stage in the delivery of electricity to end users, the other stages being transmission, distribution, energy storage and recovery, using the pumped-storage method.
Engineering News-Record (ENR), a trade magazine for the construction industry, each year compiles and reports data about the size of design and construction companies. In 2014, ENR compiled the data in nine market segments divided as transportation, petroleum, buildings, power, industrial, water, manufacturing, sewer/waste, telecom, hazardous waste and a tenth category for other projects.In their reporting, they used data on transportation, sewer, hazardous waste and water to rank firms as heavy contractors.
Engineering News-Record is an American weekly magazine that provides news, analysis, data and opinion for the construction industry worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the construction industry's most authoritative publications. It is owned by BNP Media.
The petroleum industry, also known as the oil industry or the oil patch, includes the global processes of exploration, extraction, refining, transporting, and marketing of petroleum products. The largest volume products of the industry are fuel oil and gasoline (petrol). Petroleum (oil) is also the raw material for many chemical products, including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetic fragrances, and plastics. The extreme monetary value of oil and its products has led to it being known as "black gold". The industry is usually divided into three major components: upstream, midstream, and downstream.
Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, words, writings, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology. It is transmitted through a transmission media, such as over physical media, for example, over electrical cable, or via electromagnetic radiation through space such as radio or light. Such transmission paths are often divided into communication channels which afford the advantages of multiplexing. Since the Latin term communicatio is considered the social process of information exchange, the term telecommunications is often used in its plural form because it involves many different technologies.
The Standard Industrial Classification and the newer North American Industry Classification System have a classification system for companies that perform or engage in construction. To recognize the differences of companies in this sector, it is divided into three subsectors: building construction, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors. There are also categories for construction service firms (e.g., engineering, architecture) and construction managers (firms engaged in managing construction projects without assuming direct financial responsibility for completion of the construction project).
The Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) is a system for classifying industries by a four-digit code. Established in the United States in 1937, it is used by government agencies to classify industry areas. The SIC system is also used by agencies in other countries, e.g., by the United Kingdom's Companies House.
The North American Industry Classification System or NAICS is an classification of business establishments by type of economic activity. It is used by government and business in Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America. It has largely replaced the older Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, except in some government agencies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
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Building construction is the process of adding structure to real property or construction of buildings. The majority of building construction jobs are small renovations, such as addition of a room, or renovation of a bathroom. Often, the owner of the property acts as laborer, paymaster, and design team for the entire project.Although building construction projects consist of common elements such as design, financial, estimating and legal considerations, projects of varying sizes may reach undesirable end results, such as structural collapse, cost overruns, and/or litigation. For this reason, those with experience in the field make detailed plans and maintain careful oversight during the project to ensure a positive outcome.
Commercial building construction is procured privately or publicly utilizing various delivery methodologies, including cost estimating, hard bid, negotiated price, traditional, management contracting, construction management-at-risk, design & build and design-build bridging.
Residential construction practices, technologies, and resources must conform to local building authority regulations and codes of practice. Materials readily available in the area generally dictate the construction materials used (e.g. brick versus stone, versus timber). Cost of construction on a per square meter (or per square foot) basis for houses can vary dramatically based on site conditions, local regulations, economies of scale (custom designed homes are often more expensive to build) and the availability of skilled tradesmen. Residential construction as well as other types of construction can generate waste such that planning is required.
According to McKinsey research, productivity growth per worker in construction has lagged behind many other industries across different countries including in the United States and in European countries. In the United States, construction productivity per worker has declined by half since the 1960s.
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The most popular method of residential construction in North America is wood-framed construction. Typical construction steps for a single-family or small multi-family house are:
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In the industrialized world, construction usually involves the translation of designs into reality. A formal design team may be assembled to plan the physical proceedings, and to integrate those proceedings with the other parts. The design usually consists of drawings and specifications, usually prepared by a design team including architect, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, structural engineers, fire protection engineers, planning consultants, architectural consultants, and archaeological consultants. The design team is most commonly employed by (i.e. in contract with) the property owner. Under this system, once the design is completed by the design team, a number of construction companies or construction management companies may then be asked to make a bid for the work, either based directly on the design, or on the basis of drawings and a bill of quantities provided by a quantity surveyor. Following evaluation of bids, the owner typically awards a contract to the most cost efficient bidder.
The best modern trend in design is toward integration of previously separated specialties, especially among large firms. In the past, architects, interior designers, engineers, developers, construction managers, and general contractors were more likely to be entirely separate companies, even in the larger firms. Presently, a firm that is nominally an "architecture" or "construction management" firm may have experts from all related fields as employees, or to have an associated company that provides each necessary skill. Thus, each such firm may offer itself as "one-stop shopping" for a construction project, from beginning to end. This is designated as a "design build" contract where the contractor is given a performance specification and must undertake the project from design to construction, while adhering to the performance specifications.
Several project structures can assist the owner in this integration, including design-build, partnering and construction management. In general, each of these project structures allows the owner to integrate the services of architects, interior designers, engineers and constructors throughout design and construction. In response, many companies are growing beyond traditional offerings of design or construction services alone and are placing more emphasis on establishing relationships with other necessary participants through the design-build process.
The increasing complexity of construction projects creates the need for design professionals trained in all phases of the project's life-cycle and develop an appreciation of the building as an advanced technological system requiring close integration of many sub-systems and their individual components, including sustainability. Building engineering is an emerging discipline that attempts to meet this new challenge.
Construction projects can suffer from preventable financial problems. Underbids happen when builders ask for too little money to complete the project. Cash flow problems exist when the present amount of funding cannot cover the current costs for labour and materials, and because they are a matter of having sufficient funds at a specific time, can arise even when the overall total is enough. Fraud is a problem in many fields, but is notoriously prevalent in the construction field.Financial planning for the project is intended to ensure that a solid plan with adequate safeguards and contingency plans are in place before the project is started and is required to ensure that the plan is properly executed over the life of the project.
Mortgage bankers, accountants, and cost engineers are likely participants in creating an overall plan for the financial management of the building construction project. The presence of the mortgage banker is highly likely, even in relatively small projects since the owner's equity in the property is the most obvious source of funding for a building project. Accountants act to study the expected monetary flow over the life of the project and to monitor the payouts throughout the process. Cost engineers and estimators apply expertise to relate the work and materials involved to a proper valuation. Cost overruns with government projects have occurred when the contractor identified change orders or project changes that increased costs, which are not subject to competition from other firms as they have already been eliminated from consideration after the initial bid.
Large projects can involve highly complex financial plans and often start with a conceptual estimate performed by a building estimator. As portions of a project are completed, they may be sold, supplanting one lender or owner for another, while the logistical requirements of having the right trades and materials available for each stage of the building construction project carries forward. In many English-speaking countries, but not the United States, projects typically use quantity surveyors.
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A construction project must fit into the legal framework governing the property. These include governmental regulations on the use of property, and obligations that are created in the process of construction.
When applicable, the project must adhere to zoning and building code requirements. Constructing a project that fails to adhere to codes does not benefit the owner. Some legal requirements come from malum in se considerations, or the desire to prevent indisputably bad phenomena, e.g. explosions or bridge collapses. Other legal requirements come from malum prohibitum considerations, or factors that are a matter of custom or expectation, such as isolating businesses from a business district or residences from a residential district. An attorney may seek changes or exemptions in the law that governs the land where the building will be built, either by arguing that a rule is inapplicable (the bridge design will not cause a collapse), or that the custom is no longer needed (acceptance of live-work spaces has grown in the community).
A construction project is a complex net of contracts and other legal obligations, each of which all parties must carefully consider. A contract is the exchange of a set of obligations between two or more parties, but it is not so simple a matter as trying to get the other side to agree to as much as possible in exchange for as little as possible. The time element in construction means that a delay costs money, and in cases of bottlenecks, the delay can be extremely expensive. Thus, the contracts must be designed to ensure that each side is capable of performing the obligations set out. Contracts that set out clear expectations and clear paths to accomplishing those expectations are far more likely to result in the project flowing smoothly, whereas poorly drafted contracts lead to confusion and collapse.
Legal advisors in the beginning of a construction project seek to identify ambiguities and other potential sources of trouble in the contract structure, and to present options for preventing problems. Throughout the process of the project, they work to avoid and resolve conflicts that arise. In each case, the lawyer facilitates an exchange of obligations that matches the reality of the project.
Design, finance, and legal aspects overlap and interrelate. The design must be not only structurally sound and appropriate for the use and location, but must also be financially possible to build, and legal to use. The financial structure must accommodate the need for building the design provided, and must pay amounts that are legally owed. The legal structure must integrate the design into the surrounding legal framework, and enforce the financial consequences of the construction process.
Procurement describes the merging of activities undertaken by the client to obtain a building. There are many different methods of construction procurement; however, the three most common types of procurement are traditional (design–bid–build), design-build and management contracting.
There is also a growing number of new forms of procurement that involve relationship contracting where the emphasis is on a co-operative relationship among the principal, the contractor, and other stakeholders within a construction project. New forms include partnering such as Public-Private Partnering (PPPs) aka private finance initiatives (PFIs) and alliances such as "pure" or "project" alliances and "impure" or "strategic" alliances. The focus on co-operation is to ameliorate the many problems that arise from the often highly competitive and adversarial practices within the construction industry.
This is the most common method of construction procurement, and it is well-established and recognized. In this arrangement, the architect or engineer acts as the project coordinator. His or her role is to design the works, prepare the specifications and produce construction drawings, administer the contract, tender the works, and manage the works from inception to completion. There are direct contractual links between the architect's client and the main contractor. Any subcontractor has a direct contractual relationship with the main contractor. The procedure continues until the building is ready to occupy.
This approach has become more common in recent years, and also involves the client contracting a single entity that both provides a design and builds it. In some cases, the design-build package can also include finding the site, arranging funding and applying for all necessary statutory consents.
The owner produces a list of requirements for a project, giving an overall view of the project's goals. Several D&B contractors present different ideas about how to accomplish these goals. The owner selects the ideas they like best and hires the appropriate contractor. Often, it is not just one contractor, but a consortium of several contractors working together. Once these have been hired, they begin building the first phase of the project. As they build phase 1, they design phase 2. This is in contrast to a design-bid-build contract, where the project is completely designed by the owner, then bid on, then completed.
Kent Hansen pointed out that state departments of transportation usually use design build contracts as a way of progressing projects when states lack the skills-resources. In such departments, design build contracts are usually employed for very large projects.
In this arrangement the client plays an active role in the procurement system by entering into separate contracts with the designer (architect or engineer), the construction manager, and individual trade contractors. The client takes on the contractual role, while the construction or project manager provides the active role of managing the separate trade contracts, and ensuring that they complete all work smoothly and effectively together.
Management procurement systems are often used to speed up the procurement processes, allow the client greater flexibility in design variation throughout the contract, give the ability to appoint individual work contractors, separate contractual responsibility on each individual throughout the contract, and to provide greater client control.
In recent time, construction software starts to get traction—as it digitizes construction industry. Among solutions, there are for example: Procore, GenieBelt, PlanGrid, bouw7, etc.
Sustainability during the construction phase is one of the aspects of “green building," defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as "the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction."
In construction, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is the governmental agency or sub-agency that regulates the construction process. In most cases, this is the municipality where the building is located. However, construction performed for supra-municipal authorities are usually regulated directly by the owning authority, which becomes the AHJ.
Before the foundation can be dug, contractors are typically required to verify and have existing utility lines marked, either by the utilities themselves or through a company specializing in such services. This lessens the likelihood of damage to the existing electrical, water, sewage, phone, and cable facilities, which could cause outages and potentially hazardous situations. During the construction of a building, the municipal building inspector inspects the building periodically to ensure that the construction adheres to the approved plans and the local building code . Once construction is complete and a final inspection has been passed, an occupancy permit may be issued.
An operating building must remain in compliance with the fire code . The fire code is enforced by the local fire department or a municipal code enforcement office.
Changes made to a building that affect safety, including its use, expansion, structural integrity, and fire protection items, usually require approval of the AHJ for review concerning the building code.
In the United States, the industry in 2014 has around $960 billion in annual revenue according to statistics tracked by the Census Bureau, of which $680 billion is private (split evenly between residential and nonresidential) and the remainder is government.In 2005, there were about 667,000 firms employing 1 million contractors (200,000 general contractors, 38,000 heavy, and 432,000 specialty); the average contractor employed fewer than 10 employees. As a whole, the industry employed an estimated 5.8 million in April 2013, with a 13.2% unemployment rate. In the United States, approximately 828,000 women were employed in the construction industry as of 2011.
There are many routes to the different careers within the construction industry. These three main tiers are based on educational background and training, which vary by country:
Skilled occupations include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, ironworkers, masons, and many other manual crafts, as well as those involved in project management. In the UK these require further education qualifications, often in vocational subject areas. These qualifications are either obtained directly after the completion of compulsory education or through "on the job" apprenticeship training.In the UK, 8500 construction-related apprenticeships were commenced in 2007.
Technical and specialized occupations require more training as a greater technical knowledge is required. These professions also hold more legal responsibility. A short list of the main careers with an outline of the educational requirements are given below:
In 2010 a salary survey revealed the differences in remuneration between different roles, sectors and locations in the construction and built environment industry.The results showed that areas of particularly strong growth in the construction industry, such as the Middle East, yield higher average salaries than in the UK, for example. The average earning for a professional in the construction industry in the Middle East, across all sectors, job types and levels of experience, is £42,090, compared to £26,719 in the UK. This trend is not necessarily due to the fact that more affluent roles are available; however, as architects with 14 or more years' experience working in the Middle East earn on average £43,389 per annum, compared to £40,000 in the UK. Some construction workers in the US/Canada have made more than $100,000 annually, depending on their trade.
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, incurring more occupational fatalities than any other sector in both the United States and in the European Union.In 2009, the fatal occupational injury rate among construction workers in the United States was nearly three times that for all workers, with Falls being one of the most common causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries among construction workers. Proper safety equipment such as harnesses, hard hats and guardrails and procedures such as securing ladders and inspecting scaffolding can curtail the risk of occupational injuries in the construction industry. Other major causes of fatalities in the construction industry include electrocution, transportation accidents, and trench cave-ins.
Other safety risks for workers in construction include hearing loss due to high noise exposure, musculoskeletal injury, chemical exposure, and high levels of stress. [ citation needed ] Construction has been identified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a priority industry sector in the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) to identify and provide intervention strategies regarding occupational health and safety issues.Besides that, the high turnover of workers in construction industry imposes a huge challenge of accomplishing the restructuring of work practices in individual workplaces or with individual workers.
The first huts and shelters were constructed by hand or with simple tools. As cities grew during the Bronze Age, a class of professional craftsmen, like bricklayers and carpenters, appeared. Occasionally, slaves were used for construction work. In the Middle Ages, the artisan craftsmen were organized into guilds. In the 19th century, steam-powered machinery appeared, and, later, diesel- and electric-powered vehicles such as cranes, excavators and bulldozers.
Fast-track construction has been increasingly popular in the 21st century. Some estimates suggest that 40% of construction projects are now fast-track construction.
Construction output in 2015 (billions in USD)
|Look up construction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
A Turnkey, a turnkey project, or a turnkey operation is a type of project that is constructed so that it can be sold to any buyer as a completed product. This is contrasted with build to order, where the constructor builds an item to the buyer's exact specifications, or when an incomplete product is sold with the assumption that the buyer would complete it.
Design–build is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor. It can be subdivided into architect-led design–build and contractor-led design–build.
A project delivery method is a system used by an agency or owner for organizing and financing design, construction, operations, and maintenance services for a structure or facility by entering into legal agreements with one or more entities or parties.
Design–bid–build, also known as Design–tendertraditional method or hardbid, is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner contracts with separate entities for the design and construction of a project.
A general contractor, main contractor or prime contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and the communication of information to all involved parties throughout the course of a building project.
Building information modeling (BIM) is a process supported by various tools and technologies involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building information models (BIMs) are files which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. Current BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, railways, bridges, ports and tunnels.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to construction:
Constructability is a project management technique to review construction processes from start to finish during pre-construction phase. It is to identify obstacles before a project is actually built to reduce or prevent errors, delays, and cost overruns.
Building façades are one of the largest, most important elements in the overall aesthetic and technical performance of a building. Façade engineering is the art and science of resolving aesthetic, environmental and structural issues to achieve the effective enclosure of buildings.
A Building Engineer is recognised as being expert in the use of technology for the design, construction, assessment and maintenance of the built environment. Commercial Building Engineers are concerned with the planning, design, construction, operation, renovation, and maintenance of buildings, as well as with their impacts on the surrounding environment.
Construction bidding is the process of submitting a proposal (tender) to undertake, or manage the undertaking of a construction project. The process starts with a cost estimate from blueprints and material take offs.
Building commissioning (Cx) is the process of verifying all or some of the subsystems for building envelopes, building security, controls, co-generation,, electrical, fire/life safety, interior systems, mechanical (HVAC), plumbing, sustainable systems, lighting, utility plants, and wastewater to achieve the owner's project requirements as intended by the building owner and as designed by the building architects and engineers.
Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is a procurement process established by the United States Congress as a part of the Brooks Act and further developed as a process for public agencies to use for the selection of architectural and engineering services for public construction projects. It is a competitive contract procurement process whereby consulting firms submit qualifications to a procuring entity (owner) who evaluates and selects the most qualified firm, and then negotiates the project scope of work, schedule, budget, and consultant fee.
Construction law is a branch of law that deals with matters relating to building construction, engineering, and related fields. It is in essence an amalgam of contract law, commercial law, planning law, employment law and tort. Construction law covers a wide range of legal issues including contract, negligence, bonds and bonding, guarantees and sureties, liens and other security interests, tendering, construction claims, and related consultancy contracts. Construction law affects many participants in the construction industry, including financial institutions, surveyors, quantity surveyors, architects, builders, engineers, construction workers, and planners.
The Construction Regulations 2007, also known as CDM Regulations or CDM 2007, previously defined legal duties for the safe operation of UK construction sites. They were superseded by the Construction Regulations 2015. The regulations placed specific duties on clients, designers and contractors, to plan their approach to health and safety. They applied throughout construction projects, from inception to final demolition and removal.
Real estate development, or property development, is a business process, encompassing activities that range from the renovation and re-lease of existing buildings to the purchase of raw land and the sale of developed land or parcels to others. Real estate developers are the people and companies who coordinate all of these activities, converting ideas from paper to real property. Real estate development is different from construction, although many developers also manage the construction process.
George T. Heery, FAIA RIBA FCMAA is an American architect and known for developing the concepts of Construction Program Management, Strategic Facilities Planning and the Bridging Method of project delivery.
Fast-track building construction is construction industry jargon for a project delivery strategy to start construction before the design is complete. The purpose is to shorten the time to completion.
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[...] the act or process of building something (such as a house or road) [...].