Building Construction

The process involved in the assembly and erection of structures. The scale and complexity of the building determine which and how many different parties are required.

The vast majority of building construction projects are small renovations, such as the addition of a room, or the renovation of a bathroom. Often, the owner of the property acts as laborer, paymaster, and design team for the entire project. However, all building construction projects include some elements in common – design, financial, and legal considerations. Many projects of varying sizes reach undesirable end results, such as structural collapse, cost overruns, and/or litigation reasons, those with experience in the field make detailed plans and maintain careful oversight during the project to ensure a positive outcome.

Building construction is procured privately or publicly utilizing various delivery methodologies, including 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 metre (or per square foot) basis for houses can vary dramatically based on site conditions, local regulations, economies of scale (custom designed homes are always more expensive to build) and the availability of skilled tradespeople. As residential (as well as all other types of construction) can generate a lot of waste, careful planning again is needed here.

The most popular method of residential construction in the United States is wood-framed construction. As efficiency codes have come into effect in recent years, new construction technologies and methods have emerged. University Construction Management departments are on the cutting edge of the newest methods of construction intended to improve efficiency, and performance and reduce construction waste.

Larger-scale building construction projects require the effort and collaboration of numerous parties throughout the construction process.

Types of Building Construction

Building Construction can be categorized into four main types.

Residential Construction

Residential construction includes single-family houses, multi-family dwellings, and high-rise apartments.

Commercial Construction

Commercial building construction encompasses a great variety of project types and sizes, such as sports stadiums, retail chain stores and large shopping centers, warehouses, and skyscrapers for offices and hotels.

Institutional Construction

Institutional construction encompasses a great variety of project types and sizes, such as schools and universities, medical clinics, and hospitals.

Industrial Construction

Specialized industrial construction usually involves very large-scale projects with a high degree of technological complexity, such as oil refineries, steel mills, chemical processing plants and coal-fired or nuclear power plants.