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Features of Construction Industry
Construction projects (activities) have some unique features with respect to other industrial projects. The construction industry is a unique industry with its own inherent complications that involves multiple stakeholders and agencies. Dependent on contractors and seasonal labor-force it has multiple linkages with other industries. Productivity and safety hazards are peculiar to this industry.
The conventional image of construction is an amalgamation of a series of manual and semi-manual activities. This concept is highly misleading. Construction projects, today, are high-tech, highly mechanised, and complex. A typical construction project is characterized by the consumption of numerous types of materials, variety of tools, equipment, plants and machinery working in tandem, several different contracting agencies, big and small, sub-contractors, petty contractors, vendors and suppliers, area specialists, consultants, supervisors and managers, each with independent organisational setups, participating with complex interactions, working in cooperation, sometimes even at cross purposes. In addition to this highly interactive and complex environment at a construction site, thousands of activities each of different nature are arranged simultaneously, many of them, sequentially or at random. Thus, the construction project today is much more complex than any other production process, manufacturing, or service industry.
Stakeholders in Construction Work
In general, there are three groups of stakeholders involved in a construction project, each group contributing a specific component, namely the owner group, the engineering group, and the construction group.
(a) The owner group supplies the "need" of the project and the finances required to fulfill this need.
(b) The engineering group consists of area experts like architects, structural designers, and construction managers. These area experts supply the specifications, method statements, designs, and schedules of the project and perform supervision and quality control functions.
(c) The construction group consists of a matrix of contractors executing the various work packages.
In its most widely used context, construction covers the processes involved in delivering buildings, infrastructure and industrial facilities, and associated activities through to the end of their life. It typically starts with planning, financing, and design, and continues until the asset is built and ready for use; construction also covers repairs and maintenance work, any works to expand, extend and improve the asset, and its eventual demolition, dismantling or decommissioning.
Size of Industry
As an industry, construction accounts for more than 10% of global GDP (6-9% in developed countries) and employs around 7% of the global workforce - over 273m people. The output of the global construction industry was worth an estimated $12.8 trillion in 2019.
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