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What Construction is and Its Types.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “what’s all this fuss about construction anyway? What is it really about?” If you have, you’re in luck! If you haven’t, you’re still in luck. 

Construction involves several activities, all centered around building something. In this article, we seek to answer two really important questions: 

  1. Is there more to construction than just building?
  2. Is there more than one type of construction?

We will not only dig a little deeper into the world of construction. But we will also answer all these questions as adequately as possible. 

What is Construction?

Construction is the process of developing a building or putting together an infrastructure. It is also seen as the art of erecting something, or the vocation of the building. Or the way that something is put together.

Construction comes from the Latin word construction (from com meaning “together” and true meaning “to pile up”).

“Construction encompasses the methods involved in providing buildings or infrastructure, industrial or commercial facilities, and other building-associated activities.”

It is a process that generally begins with:

  • Planning
  • Funding
  • Design

Furthermore, the process continues until the property is fully built and ready for occupancy. Similarly, construction not only covers upkeep and repairs but also expansion to improve the property. It also includes demolition too.

The Construction Industry 

This is one of the branches of trade and manufacture. The construction industry covers all activities of building, sustaining, and rehabilitating constructions.

The construction industry has three sections:

  • The Building Construction Industry includes the construction of residential, industrial, commercial, or other buildings.
  • The Heavy Duty Construction Industry includes constructions such as roads (railway, highways, or streets), sewers, irrigation, drainage, and also bridges.
  • The Special Trade Construction Industry includes construction projects such as plumbing installation, electrical installation, carpenter work, painting work, etc. 

Why is Construction Important?

Construction is a very significant industry. It helps to develop structures and neighborhoods that foster community growth. Construction also provides employment which enhances society. Along with increased employment, construction also provides all the needed infrastructure for virtually any and every business.

What Are The Benefits of Construction To Society?

The following are the benefits of construction to society:

Construction has helped remedy tons of our human needs:

The level of job security in construction is significantly high. Unlike other businesses, there are lots of available roles as many projects are happening simultaneously at the same time. Furthermore, a career in construction pays better too. Construction has also helped to accentuate the evolution of human settlement. Think of it, from mud huts with thatched roofs to modern buildings. Again, from footpaths to highways, from one-lane roads to multi-lane roads, and even bridges. Additionally, we’ve moved from small stores to malls and complexes. And then, there are plants, industrial processing buildings, refineries, and breweries.

Construction has joined the frontline to preserve our planet:

The construction industry has joined other industries to work towards making infrastructures more sustainable and environmentally friendly. It is a trend that is becoming more and more common. Most structures for managing waste disposal and recycling, and green facilities, are made using environmentally-conscious materials.

Construction partners with other industries:

The majority of the necessary materials needed in construction are gotten from other industries. Some of these materials include; cement, bricks, tiles, steel bars, granite, etc. Also, they (the materials) could be in raw form, semi-finished form, or finished form. This means that construction relies on other industries for materials, and these industries rely on construction for profits. It is a mutual partnership or relationship.

Construction contributes to the economy:

The construction gives a boost to the economy. It provides development through the revenue output generated. Likewise, through job creation, and revenue generated from mutual partnerships, the economy grows. Alternatively, it helps to satisfy human basic needs — either physical or social, while also providing shelter.

What Are The Benefits of Construction To The Individual?

You stay physically fit

People that work in the construction industry can stay active. The heavy lifting and constant movement keeps both bodies and mind healthy and fit. Maybe you haven’t heard, but sitting on your butt all day is completely disastrous for your health. (You read it here first!)

A considerable percent of employment security 

The construction industry delivers a considerable percentage of employment security. The workers are skilled in specific areas. As more people are leaning towards office jobs, those in skilled jobs are in higher demand.

You don’t need a university degree to get started 

The laborers and construction workers don’t necessarily need a degree to work in the field. Since they are responsible for heavy lifting and movement, a university degree is never a must-have.

High income and a satisfactory standard of living

One benefit of working in the construction industry is the reasonable salary. The standard of living for people in construction is also satisfactory. Based on the juicy salaries, they can live sufficiently well.

You can just as easily start a career in construction 

An additional benefit of being in construction is that the process for starting up a career isn’t cumbersome.  Entering the business is simplistic – you don’t need a long list of experiences. You can begin at any level as a laborer while learning the trade. Your skills will grow, your position increases side by side with your salary.

What Are The Stages In Construction?

There are three stages in the entire process of construction:

  • Prior phase/pre-construction stage
  • Construction stage
  • Post-construction stage

Prior phase/pre-construction stage: 

This stage covers all that needs to be carried out before building properly commences. Listed below are the things you need to do at this stage;

  • Procure the land
  • Talk with a consultant
  • Draw up the design strategy
  • Draw up your budget
  • Get your building permit
  • Get in touch with a contractor
  • Plan your building warranty period 

Construction stage:

This is the main stage. It covers all that is to happen during the building of the structure. The following are the main steps to take during the building process:

  • Clear the site
  • Excavation
  • Laying the foundation
  • Erect beams or slabs
  • Columns for the superstructure
  • Brick or stone masonry 
  • Setting the lintel over the doors and windows
  • Setting the floor slab and the roof
  • Plastering
  • Framing and fixing the windows and doors
  • Painting
  • Electrical work and plumbing work
  • Exterior finishes
  • Internal furnishing and finishes
  • Furniture and woodwork
  • Fence and gates erection
  • Landscaping

Post-construction stage:

Finally, after the structure has been built, there are certain things to put in place and inspect. They include;

  • Commissioning the building
  • Operation
  • Maintenance

Who Is Involved In Construction?

Wondering those who are involved in the construction process? There are quite a number of them in this industry. So before delving into construction, here are those people who you should know about:

  • Architects
  • Designers
  • Carpenters
  • Engineers
  • Contractors
  • Sub-Contractors
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Interior designers

What Are The Types Of Construction?

Broadly speaking, construction fits into two categories, either the:

  • Public
  • Or the private sector

Construction Types Based On The Sector

According to the structure being built, virtually every kind of construction venture would fall under one of these three categories:

  • Buildings and houses construction 

These buildings could either be for residential or for commercial purposes. Such as privately owned houses, or commercial buildings (offices, skyscrapers).

  • Infrastructures construction 

This covers public works, also referred to as civil construction. Such as bridges, roads, drainages, sewers, airports, dams, etc.

  • Industrial construction 

These facilities such as oil and gas companies, refineries, telecommunications buildings, power consumption companies, plants, etc.

Construction Types Based On Fire And Safety 

Construction in this category is classified based on their ratings for fire resistance. The extent to which a structure can withstand fire outbreaks is broken down into types. The types are clearly stated below with examples of the structures:

Type I: Fire Resistive Construction 

These buildings under this category are usually more than 75 feet tall. They could be either high-rise residential or commercial facilities. Such as apartments, hotels, offices, or hospitals. The structure is designed to withstand 3–4 hours of high temperature (fire outbreaks). This is particularly because the materials used to build are non-combustible and durable.

Several Type 1 constructions have installed self-pressurizing stairwell and HVAC structures. This is meant to contain the fire, preventing it from further spreading. 

Type II: Non-Combustible Construction

Type II constructions are similar to Type I, as the buildings are made with non-combustible materials too. The difference is that Type II withstands the fire pressure for 1–2 hours. Making them inclined to collapse.

Mid-rise school buildings, office buildings, and hotels are some of the structures that fall under Type II. 

Type III: Ordinary Construction

Unlike the first two types, Type III provides 0–2 hours of resistance to fire outbreaks. The exterior walls and some interior structures are made with non-combustible materials. While other interior structures are made of combustible materials. 

Most warehouses and residential houses are under this category. 

Type IV: Heavy Timber Construction

For the Type IV constructions, they have non-combustible exterior walls made of large lumber. They can also withstand 2 hours of fire pressure. The interior structures are made of laminated wood. They are non-combustible too.

Examples of Type IV constructions are warehouses, churches, small commercial structures, factories, etc. These types of construction have very specific measurements, which make them durable against collapsing.

Type V: Wood-Frame Construction

Constructions in this category Type V are the most combustible structures. This is because both the exterior and interior elements are rather combustible—providing little or no fire resistance. These structures are either completely made of wood, or partly made of wood. Such as wall and window frames, roof and walls, floors, and ceilings. 

They are quite cheap and are becoming increasingly popular in some garages, and single-family residences. Nonetheless, these buildings are sturdy, but they could collapse easily during a fire.

Construction Types Based On Ownership

The laws care most about who owns the building when granting the permits. Perhaps, it is also pertinent to classify construction types based on this. The following are the four types:

  • Owners of private residential construction — these buildings are designed for residential use. Apartments, condominiums, fall under this category.
  • Owners of private commercial construction — these buildings were designed to perform commercial services to the general public. Ownership rests with the private sector (individuals, boards, business groups).
  • Owners of state construction — funding, control, and ownership lie with the state government. Public schools and bridges are typical examples.
  • Owners of federal construction — funding, control, and ownership lie with the federal government. Buildings such as highways, government-owned structures, courts buildings, etc.

Construction Types Based On Occupancy

There are 10 broad categories for this building type:

  • Assembly Construction (Group A): This covers structures built for large group gatherings. People gather in large masses in these places. Such as stadiums, restaurants, cinemas, churches, etc.
  • Business Construction (Group B): This covers structures built for the provision of commercial services (no sales of retail/wholesale products). Buildings such as government-owned buildings, banks, hair salons, etc.
  • Educational Construction (Group E): This covers structures built to cater to education. Buildings such as daycare/creche centers, primary schools, secondary schools, universities, etc.
  • Factory Construction (Group F): This covers structures built to house the fabricating, production/manufacturing, assembling, or rehabilitation of products. Buildings such as furniture workshops, paper mills, breweries, auto mechanics, etc.
  • High-Hazard Construction (Group H): This covers structures built to host the production and/or storage of toxic or hazardous or flammable materials. Flammable materials like explosives, fireworks, toxic liquids, etc.
  • Institutional Construction (Group I): This covers structures built for occupants who need physical aids/assistance or occupants who are in confinement. Buildings such as prisons, hospitals, physiotherapy facilities, nursing homes, etc.
  • Mercantile Construction (Group M): This covers structures built for displaying and selling goods (retailing). Buildings like shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmaceutical stores, fueling stations, etc.
  • Residential Construction (Group R): This covers structures built for short or long overnight visits. Buildings like Airbnb, hotels, apartment buildings, motels, resorts, etc.
  • Storage Construction (Group S): This covers structures built to house non-hazardous materials. Buildings like storage garages, warehouses, parking lots, etc.
  • Utility and Miscellaneous Construction (Group U): This covers structures for any other purpose besides those already mentioned above. Buildings such as barns, greenhouses, farms, water boards, etc.

As mentioned above, the construction industry acts not only as an economic boost but also for individual development. There are also many types of construction but they are broadly classified as public or private. Along with showing you the types, we have also shown you that there is more to construction than just building. As well as those involved in the entire operation and the stages of construction. We hope this helps you!

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