Civil Engineering

Class notes

Construction and Civil Engineering (I)

Construction and Civil Engineering (I)

The construction industry is one of the largest segments of business in the United States and around the world, with the percentage of the gross national product spent in construction over the last several years averaging about 10%. For 2001, the total amount spent on new construction contracts in the U.S. is estimated at $481 billion. Of this total, about $214 billion is estimated for residential projects, $167 billion for non residential projects, and the rest for non building projects. Construction is the realization phase of the civil engineering process, following conception and design.

It is the role of the constructor to turn the ideas of the planner and the detailed plans of the designer into physical reality. The owner is the ultimate consumer of the product and is often the general public for civil engineering projects. Not only does the constructor have an obligation to the contractual owner, or client, but also an ethical obligation to the general public to perform the work so that the final product will serve its function economically and safely.

The construction industry is typically divided into specialty areas, with each area requiring different skills, resources, and knowledge to participate effectively in it. The area classifications typically used are residential (single- and multifamily housing), building (all buildings other than housing), heavy/highway (dams, bridges, ports, sewage-treatment plants, highways), utility (sanitary and storm drainage, water lines, electrical and telephone lines, pumping stations), and industrial (refineries, mills, power plants, chemical plants, heavy manufacturing facilities). Civil engineers can be heavily involved in all of these areas of construction, although fewer are involved in residential. Due to the differences in each of these market areas, most engineers specialize in only one or two of the areas during their careers.


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