Join Jim Rogers for an in-depth discussion in this video An overview of the construction industry, part of Construction Management Foundations.
- Regardless of the size and scope of any construction project, there are always numerous individuals involved in the design and construction of any facility or structure. And everyone involved, including architects, engineers, general contractors, trade contractors, even suppliers and any other companies that supply support services should really have an understanding of this overall process. So the construction industry today can be an imposing and even overwhelming enterprise that requires many disciplines and skills that can go far beyond the craftsmanship that we already know is required in the field.
So to take a look at this, let's start by talking about what construction is, why the industry exists, and how it differs from other seemingly similar industries like manufacturing. The construction industry can really be thought of as the overall conglomeration of companies, both large and small, that exist to facilitate the massive, worldwide effort to build all types of facilities. Buildings, bridges, roads, all manner of infrastructure that we need to distribute our utilities like water and power, the list really just goes on and on.
Now there was a great textbook that I used to use in my introduction to construction management course called The Construction Industry. It was written by an architect named Ralph Liebing, and in it he talks about all of the different types of construction projects, starting from simple things like a storage shed, moving onto houses, and then to high rises, and then onto complex structures like rocket launch facilities. But he really summed it all up with what I thought was a great description, by saying simply that the construction industry can really be defined as the industry that's responsible for the work which has been and is still being done to develop the surface of the Earth to meet civilization's needs.
Wow, right? So if we stick with that broad and almost altruistic definition of the industry for a minute, we can really start to drill down to why the industry exists and how it's driven. It really all starts with the fact that we all have needs, and some of these needs are fulfilled by construction projects. Now this might be an individual with a need like a house, or an office, or a manufacturing plant, or it could be an entire community of people with needs like schools, roads or hospitals. Regardless, without the needs of owners, there's very little need for construction.
So again, the construction industry exists to develop and build in order to meet the needs of civilization. Now since our needs are constantly evolving and expanding, the need for construction is constant, even in the worst economic times. Now construction is really considered to be the largest industry in the world. The overall size is staggering and it's actually probably pretty difficult to measure. But at least one study by a group called The Construction Intelligence Center put the size of the global construction industry at 8.5 trillion dollars in 2015.
That's just a huge number, so to put that into another perspective, if we look at our gross national product here in the United States, one out of every eight dollars goes to construction, again that's just huge. And in addition, these same reports forecast that the global construction industry is going to continue to grow and expand at a rate of over 3% per year, that's really a lot of construction.
Whether you're a construction industry veteran looking to switch roles or a brand new construction manager trying to get your bearings, this course provides you with meaningful insights into this vital, evolving industry and your role in it. Instructor Jim Rogers explains how integrated project delivery methods work, how technology is shaking up old processes, and how lean productivity methods are being used at construction sites. Throughout the course, you'll get industry knowledge from Jim, as well as other experienced construction professionals.
- Modern construction industry overview
- The construction team
- Reviewing the many roles of the construction manager
- A day in the life of a construction manager
- Understanding how the industry is organized
- Working with alternative project delivery methods
- Understanding the role of technology in construction