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THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TODAY

THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE

The construction industry lie in the traditional method, where the designer-led arrangement became the established approach to building. The designer, usually an architect or engineer, would be appointed first to take the clients instructions and draw up the necessary plans and specifications. The builder would then be appointed to carry out the work, to the instructions of the designer. This route is still widely followed.


OTHER ROUTES

In recent years some features of the traditional route, such as the strict compartmentalizing of design and construction, have led to problems as projects became more complex and demanding. Other approaches have been developed, to meet the demands of clients. A number of routes can now be taken in the procurement of building work, and these can be considered in two broad categories;

(I) those which feature ëmultipointí accountability to the client, with individual organisations separately responsible for particular aspects of design and for construction.

(ii) those which provide single point accountability, with a single organisation assuming responsibility for all aspects of both design and construction

THE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

Larger building companies no longer have a directly employed workforce of trades-people; instead they rely upon subcontractors. Increasingly the builder's role is changing from that of direct provider to manager and coordinator.

While consultant advisers have traditionally been independent, offering services within a single discipline, many are now able to provide multidisciplinary services, either 'in-house' or through consortium arrangements with other practices. New skills are being recognized, such as risk management and value management; these are available both from new breeds of specialist and as an extension of the services offered by firms already established in older disciplines.

Collaboration between builders, design practices and other consultant advisers is increasingly common, to offer the client an all-in service covering both design and construction.

Many buildings now contain complex mechanical and electrical services and for these the building services engineer is an essential member of the design team. Similarly, specialist contractors in this and other areas are now key members of the building team, offering design as well as construction services within their specialization. The coordination of such specialist work into the design and construction process is an increasingly critical task.

Certain projects may need a project manager for coordinating the building operation. Project management is now a recognised skill, supported by formal training. Project managers come from a range of professional backgrounds. In addition to specialist firms, many builders and consultant advisers now offer project management in addition to their mainstream skills.

Source: CIRIA guide

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