Industrial Construction

Industrial construction

From the time of the ancient Egyptians industrial construction has been a part of mankind. Despite the fact that most of the labour was provided by slaves engineering techniques evolved from the placement of the huge stones and towers. This was copied by the Romans and, later, fine-tuned by the European city builders. The main thrust behind the building of the cities of these empires was to portray power to both visiting dignitaries and to the population.

During the Industrial Revolution large buildings were needed to house the machinery of the cloth plants and this lead to the rise of plasters and bricklayers in industrial applications. Today, the construction of office towers and large factories rely on concrete and steel, two materials which have enabled structures to go as high as the Burj Dubai building in Dubai which tops out at 2,684 feet.

Industrial construction differs from the downtown office buildings and waterfront developments because there has to be specialized crews to handle large, heavy-duty projects like power plants, oil refineries, hospitals and manufacturing plants. And within each structure is housed machinery and floor designs that are rarely transferable to another sector of the industry.


The key to any large project is the design team and this is especially true in the industrial sector. The client's requirements are crucial to the planning because all the factors that will make the facility a success have to be included. For example, if the planners at a distribution plant calculate that it will take 80,000 square feet of conveyor systems leading into 24 truck bays to make the operation profitable then the design team has to make it happen. This includes architects, mechanical engineers, robotic engineers, structural electrical engineers, costing professionals, surveyors and interior design experts. They must work as a fluid unit s that each part fits the next seamlessly.

Some large construction firms have all these parts under one roof. Because of this the components of the project are not only include working on this project but providing the bid for several others. Therefore they all know each other and each person's capabilities. This can be advantageous when speed is important. Not only that, the company can offer a “design-build” production where the client's wishes can be quickly put into motion without having to send pieces of the plan out to other engineering firms.

Legal and Building Codes

Every part of the country has building codes to protect the citizens both in the short run and longer. These laws can be there to prevent building a glass skyscraper in a heritage section of town where the destruction of 150 year-old buildings is required. It is also necessary to curtail a chemical plant or steel smelter from being built in a residential area. However, sometimes the laws are very subtle and this takes a legal department or contracted law firm to coordinate.

In addition, codes are needed to prevent accidents and even deaths. For example, in Japan most buildings are required to be earthquake-proof. In other words they have to be able to withstand a certain size of option caused by ground tremors. In the northern parts of our country the buildings have to be insulated to a factor specified by the government to conserve energy.

To deal with these cases each levels of government assigns an inspection team to review the plans and then report back to the lead inspector. He or she then is the liaison with the builders and either agrees with the plans or send them back to re-design certain aspects so they will up to government specifications.

As well, the legal team verifies the many contracts and subcontracts required to complete the project. There are also legal obligations like time considerations where a day's delay could cost tens of thousands of dollars to the builder. As well, the legal team will clarify all aspects of each of the contracts so that changes down the road will not affect the fortunes of the builder.

Project Management

To manage a large project there is always one person responsible. However, the project management may fall on the shoulders of a dozen individuals who are specialized in key areas. In most companies these are well-trained and experienced professionals who are adept at problem solving and keeping to schedules. They are tasked with executing, controlling and monitoring the plans the design team has given them. In addition they report to the manager right to, and past, the completion stage. In some cases a few of these individuals stay with the structure for a year after completion to ensure the seamless hand-over of the operation.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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