The Construction Industry
The construction industry is responsible for the building of any project in the process of being built or having its infrastructure assembled. The construction industry has three major categories--civil construction, industrial construction and building construction.
The construction industry relies on designs assembled by a design team, which will consist of, at a minimum, an architect and construction manager. In most cases, these projects will also require interior designers, surveyors, engineers, developers and general contractors; accountants or other financial experts may be needed to monitor costs. In the past, many of these jobs were awarded to separate contractors. More recently, however, construction companies have worked to consolidate these roles.
As the construction industry changes with new ideas and technologies, multiple construction methods are now being offered. The traditional method is to use the design/bid/build approach, where an architect or engineer oversees the project. They handle the design, produce construction drawings, oversee bids and contracts and the building process itself. The links between the architect, the client and the main contractor are direct. The contractor can win a project through the lowest blind bid or through the construction manager at-risk method, where the contractor guarantees to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price. Instead of simply serving as construction manager, the contractor also serves as a consultant to the owner during the design and development processes.
The design-build method has been increasing in popularity over the past decade. In design-build, the owner doesn't hire an architect to design the project, then seeks bids from a contractor. In this case, the owner solicits bids from a architect/contractor teams, who develop their own designs and include complete design and construction costs in their bids. This is different from the traditional process, where the architect completes the design before the contractors put in their bids.
In the management procurement method, the owner holds the greatest amount of control. Instead of hiring an architect to handle the project in construction, or hiring a consortium, the owner oversees every part of the process. They hire the architect, the construction manager and, in many cases, the subcontractors. Proponents of this method believe it speeds up the procurement process and increases flexibility throughout the building process.
The construction industry is one of, if not the largest industry in the world today. As the global economy continues to expand, the construction industry will become even more important.
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