What are the 4 Major Types of Construction?
Generating over $360 billion in revenue and producing 9% of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the construction industry is going from strength to strength. Despite COVID-19, this industry has a projected annual growth of 2.4% for the next 5 years.
The construction process involves the demolition, building, landscaping, renovating and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure. It involves detailed designs and plans that show how the different materials and elements should be placed/attached on site to form a specified structure. This industry covers a wide range of services, from surveying and planning, to the physical construction of the structure, to the finishing touches (painting etc.).
These projects are usually managed by a project manager, with supervision from a project architect and a construction engineer. Their roles are to ensure the construction process is kept on schedule, and that the building follows the plans and is functional and safe.
The actual construction part of the process is usually done by contractors, with suppliers and subcontractors hired to complete parts or all the work. It often begins with procurement, and an official hand over of the site to the contractor (from the client), and the process ends with a handing back of the completed project.
There are 4 major types of construction: residential housing, institutional and commercial, specialised industrial, as well as infrastructure and heavy construction. Each of these types come with their own processes and requirements.
Type 1: Residential Housing Construction
Residential construction is the building, assembly, and renovation of housing structures. Essentially, it is any structure being built for people to live in (high-rise apartment or single-storey family home). Houses, apartments, villas, retirement living, and student accommodation are all examples. Garages and outbuildings are also included in this type of construction.
Often for single-family homes, builders are responsible for all construction stages. Optional subcontractors are hired to complete technical and skilled trades. Examples include electrical, mechanical, and structural work.
Construction companies often complete larger residential buildings (multi-storey apartments and units, or large-scale residential development projects). Like smaller-scale housing, construction companies can hire subcontractors.
Engineers and architects usually design the building, the scale depending on the size and difficulty of the job. For example, a small, single-storey house may need one architect, while a multi-story apartment complex may need an architecture firm.
Type 2: Institutional and Commercial Construction
The building, assembly and renovation of institutions and commercial structures is the second type of construction. Schools, universities, sports arenas/stadiums, hospitals, shopping centres and retail stores are all examples.
These types of projects can be funded by a company, a private owner or the local, state and national government. Stadiums, schools and hospitals are examples of structures usually funded and managed by the government.
Construction companies are often contracted to complete the project, with subcontractors employed for trades. Like residential construction, engineers and architects are responsible for the structure’s design. Specialists can be consulted to check the structure is functional for each occupation.
Type 3: Specialised Industrial Construction
The third type is the building, assembly, and renovation of specialised industrial structures. Oil refineries, solar power plants and hydroelectric facilities are all examples.
For-profit or industrial corporations usually fund this type of construction. These structures are highly specialised and need specific technical skills when planning, designing and constructing the project.
Specialised construction companies are contracted to complete these projects, with subcontracted, skilled tradesmen. Mainly, engineers are responsible for the design and function of the structure.
Electrical engineers check whether power generation and transmission are possible. They work with all electronic devices to certify they are compliant and working effectively.
Civil engineers are responsible for the construction, building and expenses of the power plant. They certify that the structure, location, and design of the power plant makes it safe to use.
Mechanical engineers maintain and control the machinery used to power the structure. They certify that the heavy machinery (ie. boilers, drills, and turbines) are working at maximum capacity so that power is generated continually.
Type 4: Infrastructure and Heavy Construction
The fourth type of construction is infrastructure and heavy construction. Infrastructure and heavy construction is the transportation of essentials (people, water, waste, power, supplies, and internet). Railways (underground trains, metro systems, tram lines), airports, roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply (dams, pipelines, aqueducts), ship ports, waste management (drainage), communication channels, and power channels, are all examples.
Government agencies and large private corporations (ie. Telstra) fund these projects. They are often completed in the interest of the public. Like industrial structures, these projects are highly specialised and need specific technical skills in the planning, design and construction stages.
Engineers are responsible for the design and function of these structures. Specialised construction companies are contracted, with subcontracted, skilled tradesmen.
The construction industry is heavily regulated in many sectors and occupations. Each of the 4 major types of construction come with their own regulations and requirements so every building or structure is compliant, safe and functional. Hard Bakka is a strong player in this landscape, potentially supplying 100t of fabricated steel weekly, to the construction industry. Our certifications (ISO 9001, 14001, 45001) ensure clients our steel fabrications and welds are compliant and quality made.
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