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Building construction

In the modern industrialized world, building construction usually involves the translation of paper or computer based designs into reality. The design usually consists of drawings and specifications, usually prepared by a design team including architects, civil engineers, cost engineers (or quantity surveyors) and structural engineers.

During the industrial age, the design team tended to be employed by (i.e. in contract with) the client. Using this method of procurement, once the design is completed a number of construction companies or construction management companies may then be asked to tender for the work, either based directly on the design, or on the basis of drawings and a bill of quantities provided by a surveyor. Following evaluation of submitted tenders, a contract is (typically) awarded on the basis of lowest cost.

However in more recent times it has become more common to ask construction management companies to prepare a design and to provide an accompanying quotation. In this case the construction company will employ and work in close cooperation with the design team. Especially as the technology and techniques used in non-domestic construction can become highly complex, it becomes increasingly difficult for architects and engineers alone to produce efficient designs, and using the expertise of the construction management company has many advantages in terms of practicality, cost and time savings. With the construction company in charge of the design, extra costs for the client are frequently also minimised, provided the client is able to resist requesting significant design changes (after the initial design has been finalised).

In this case the client may not necessarily select the construction company on the basis of construction cost; but perhaps on design quality, or on the projected total cost of the building (and its running and mantenance cost) throughout its entire life (known as its life cycle cost).


Construction trades

Temporary works

  • shoring

Construction materials

Structural elements

See also

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45