Two Aspects (Methods) Of Building Construction
There are two main aspects involved in the construction of buildings: conventional or traditional methods, and modern or industrialized methods. In most construction courses, the first two years focus on studying conventional or traditional methods to establish a strong foundation of knowledge before delving into advanced techniques in the final years. However, there is often a blend of traditional and contemporary methods used in the construction of a single building. For example, a prefabricated steel-framed commercial building or a factory-made timber-framed house may incorporate traditional brick facing.
Initial studies in building construction primarily concentrate on smaller structures, such as domestic dwellings consisting of one or two storeys. These structures are typically built using labor-intensive traditional methods, as it is more cost-effective unless a large number of similar units are required on the same site. In such cases, economies of scale may justify the use of factory-manufactured, prefabricated structural elements. These industrialized methods involve a streamlined manufacturing process that produces complete elements, such as floors, walls, and roof frames, in standardized dimensional increments of 300 mm.
In the UK and other developed countries, building contractors generally do not employ a large number of staff directly. Instead, they tend to be relatively small companies compared to the value of the projects they undertake. This is partly due to the fluctuating economic conditions of the construction industry and the need for flexibility. As a result, most practical aspects of building construction are outsourced to specialized subcontracting organizations, such as bricklayers, electricians, and carpenters, in response to the workload of the main contractor.
The primary contractor functions as a building management firm, capable of undertaking a range of projects. These projects may include large-scale developments for a single client, maintenance tasks, aftercare programs, expansions to existing structures, or even small individual projects. It is crucial for all students studying building to possess knowledge about the various construction methods and material applications in both traditional and industrial practices. This understanding will enable them to adapt their career trajectory to meet the diverse demands of the industry.