The building construction industry is as old as human civilization itself. The history of the industry evolves with evolution of human settlements and culture. It has its different feature in each age of human existence namely agrarian, industrial and information ages.
As such the building construction industry has over time, in an attempt to overcome evolving challenges as a result of increasing complexity of human settlement( town, country, city, megacity), culminated into specialization that seek to enhance efficiency and economical service delivery in the industry.
This development, however, has created confusion and mix-up impression to members of the public who are expected to be serviced by the industry.
This report, hereby, supplies hints of both general and specialized role of different key players in the industry, in addition to identifying them, while also their relevance.
List of Professionals.
Geographical Information System Analyst
Real Estate Developer
Realtor/Estate Surveyor and Valuer/Appraiser
Land Surveying is the art and science of taking measurement of different points over, on and below the surface of the earth crust or other planet crust. Also involved in this is the process of error control.
Land and other surface of the earth is a finite quantity that can be quantified. This quantification is relevant in modern day human society because it helps to solve problems relating ownership, boundary, town/city planning and development. However, the task of accomplishing the land measurement has challenges due to the nature and feature of the earth, such as earth curvature, rotation on its own axis, revolution around the sun, magnetism of the earth and its relationship with other entities of the universe in the field of energy. Also other challenges include standard of measurement, limitation of instrument, error-prone nature of man.
Hence there is need for high level man power with enough skill, knowledge and talent to tackle all the afore mentioned challenges. Land surveyor who is the custodian of land surveying profession is the right man power.
After carrying out surveying operation on the earth surface which may be cadastral survey, leveling, Perimeter survey, hydrological survey, route survey among others, he presents report of his work in a document known as plan or section showing whatever type of surveying he was handling.
Geographical Information System Analyst.
Physical environmental planning and management as a public policy occupation experienced a major challenge during industrial revolution phase of human existence. The technical limitation of ability to capture and process data into information compelled many planning activities to be a mere planning intuition. The cost of spearheading such exercise with the available technology was enormous for developing countries, who were left with the option of only “planning without adequate facts’
However, thanks to the emergence of information age in the 80s. this challenge culminated into marriage between telecommunication, space technology and information technology. This development proffer solution to the age long problems confronting ability of man to effectively capture, process and manage data and information that describe our visual world. GIS analyst is a land information database administrator and system manager.
It is his jurisdiction to help in the popular land search and information concerning public acquisition and the status of each parcel of land in relation to these acquisitions.
Land and other natural resources are the foundation that supports life and human activities. Lack of processed intervention in allocation of land and natural resources among competing interests of human activities had led to chaos and common inconvenience. This problem became profound as the human developmental phase moved from agrarian to industrial phase. As human settlement evolved from agrarian to industrial phase human settlements evolved from Agrarian Township to city and megacity comprising of different interest group with the complexity of their need pattern. Problems of overcrowding, slum, decay, traffic congestion, pollution, flood epidemic, visual intrusion emerged.
As a result it became necessary that a trained man power of town planner is imperative to control situation of town and cities in the public interest. The profession of town planning is the art and science of surveying, designing, evaluating alternative strategies of allocating land resources and implementing them to achieve optimum returns from spatial content organization of the environment. Human settlement like human body needs to be formed before it can be decorated. Town Planner’s job is to form the human settlement before it comes to the turn of other building and construction professionals to start decorating with bridges, houses, infrastructures, plants, trees e.t.c. he plays this role by specifying the exact location of the spatial content and defining their forms in human settlement.
Sometimes to achieve the above objectives, he prepares, site plan, layout subdivision plan, transportation plan, master Plan, regional among others. He is most popular with the function of development control, which has to do with processing building plan approval for proposed development.
The detailed outdoor environment of every human settlement play a major role in supporting many activities of human such as recreation and social gathering. Also. The outdoor environment needs to be protected from ecological and geomorphological imbalance due to intervention of man in the natural settings of ecosystem. There should be a way both natural and artificial to make outdoor environment, aesthetically, beautiful, capable of supporting outdoor activities such as recreation and be environmentally stable and mitigated from intervention of natural of natural system. All of the above are the responsibilities of Landscape Designer/Planner/Architect. His jobs can range from small scale to a very large scale level. He designs, estimate and implement the process of landscape element development. In a developing country like Nigeria, this role is still being played by Town Planner, Architects and Landscape contractors. Landscape design and architecture is a specialized discipline in Town Planning.
Building as a major content of the built environment is expected meet functional,
structural and aesthetic objectives which are all values of man. Building is a technical, social and psychological product. In order to satisfy the above requirements the superstructure of it which is visible to visual world need to be designed. This forms the jurisdiction of an Architect. To be precise he is saddled with the responsibility of designing the visible component of the building superstructure. (part above ground surface)
Most times, he present his work in form of working drawings showing plan, approach views(elevations), sections, three dimension physical or graphical models, fixture and fittings schedule(details), to aid estimate, construction and approval process.
Sometimes he make a three dimensional presentation to help the understanding of his client in form of physical and graphical model.
Indoor space as created by other member of the industry team is expected be of value and style expressing the status of the occupant/owner. Interior decorator/designer work on specification of stylish finishing such as cornice on ceiling, colours, texture of the wall, curtains, blinding, furniture, architave etc., to enhance desirable visual effect in the indoor. In Nigeria this role has not assume a full professional status.
Buildings and other construction activities are capital, material and labour intensive at any scale of it. Even the most modest type of building has a considerable cost and labour implications. This is why the concept of “phased implementation is a common place in the industry. There is a natural inquisitive to have firsthand idea of the cost before embarking on the building construction exercise. The knowledge of the cost assists in budgeting and therefore helps to prevent project abandonment. The mechanism of price as a function of demand, supply, time. vis-à-vis the identification of qualitative material and technical knowledge of its quantification necessitate the relevance of the expertise skill. The cost estimation and control in building construction involves a deep understanding of building construction process. All of the above constitute the jurisdiction of the Quantity Surveyor.
He prepares a document known as Bill of Quantities (BOQ). The document can assist the project owner in obtaining mortgage fund to finance the project.
Civil structures such as building, wall, embankment, bridges, road, drainage, sewers, bunkers, tunnels, canal embankments, dam, towers, masts e.t.c. is both functional and structural and in modern cities, an aesthetic products. Their importance in modern infrastructures, transportation and telecommunication systems cannot be overemphasized. Their safety implication is also major factor. As such their design and construction form the jurisdiction of a civil engineer.
He prepares structural detail drawings to guide the construction operation.
The invisible structural content of both substructure (foundation) and superstructure Part above ground level) of building must be capable of bearing and sustaining both the dead weight and imposed weight of the building. Also, the material composition of the building structure must be able to last to the end of the life span of such building. All these requirements are contained in building code which is the reflection of man’s values and objectives on safety of human lives.
Structural engineers informed intuition and experience is invaluable in many special cases that are outside the scope of safety code. Such relevance and influence is felt more in high rise structure such as high rise structures, such as tower, mast, reservoir e.t.c. He prepares structural detail drawings to guide the construction operation.
The conscious efforts to achieve the above constitute the jurisdiction of structural engineer. In a developing country like Nigeria the field still remains a specialization in civil engineering.
Another specialization of civil engineering that concerns itself with relationship between the surface of the earth, its soil and the structure it bears with a view of coming up with appropriate design for the superstructure (foundation).In developing country like Nigeria, this role is being played by structural engineer.
He conducts and present report on, geophysical survey in respect of a site.
Building construction operation is a very vast one. Apart from structural requirement, building element needs to satisfy other requirements of safety, convenience and health.
Also the implementation of building concepts and design involves coordination of other team players such as subcontractors, technicians, artisans and unskilled labour. At this junction, a builder comes in as man-power capable of interpreting the specifications of other survey and design professionals. Also he plans and organizes implementation of building operations.
Outside the jurisdiction of a builder are other options of financing personnel management and plant scheduling, which a consulting builder cannot foot bill, especially if the scale is very large. At this point comes the general contractor.
Another middle level contractor is the project manager. He can be hired in lieu of general contractor/Builder. He must be the one of the professionals in the building construction industry who has talent, skill and experience in building operations. The advantage of having him can reduce the cost of construction if he is hired at either at conception and construction, or at design and construction stage.
Real Estate Developer
Real Estate in their raw form without structure or with a structure put to a particular use may have a potential of “latent” (hidden value) by virtue of their location. This value is known as redevelopment value and can only be realized if the land is put to such optimum use. Often time title holders of such properties lack, either knowledge of this due to property market imperfection or finance or financial capacity achieve this.
At this point comes in the jurisdiction of Real Estate Developer as an investor. He sometimes partner with financial institution and the title holders. He undertakes the feasibility and viability studies and the eventual implementation of the development. This is done to the natural benefit of all parties concerned.
Realtor/ Estate Surveyor and Valuers/Appraiser.
He is both involved at conception stage and operational stage of project development cycle. If the building construction is being undertaking for investment purposes, there is a dire need of conducting feasibility and viability study to protect the investment of the investor. This forms part of his jurisdiction. The basis of his relevance lies in the fact that property market is imperfect. As such information of price and product are too tied to location and not freely accessible. At the operational stage of project development when it comes to sale, rent, lease of properties he acts as agent to correct market imperfection by bringing the seller and the buyer together at an equilibrium price.
Again due to property market imperfection the market value of property products are not readily available. Again it became his jurisdiction to assist in determining such market value in an exercise known as valuation and present his report in form of document known as valuation report. The document can be required when real estate is being used as security to obtain credit facility. His other duties include management of the interest of title holders in property.
The built environment, which is the product of construction, is a planning process, within natural environment culminating into enormously dynamic complex system.
Virtually all human field of endeavor has a role to play in delivering ideal built environment. However, at a professional level ideal built environment service delivery forms major focus of the aforementioned professions. Building as a product of building construction industry, involves contributions of team of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled man- power. A situation that necessitates high level of co-ordination which can be best handled by a team member with vast multidisciplinary exposure, background and experience, if appreciable degree of economy and efficiency in the service delivery is to be gained. The building and construction industry can be said to possess the following nature:
.building construction industry is one of such that involves some natural endowment of talent and creativity such as you have in the entertainment industry
It involves application of high level of man power development.
It involves high level of integrity on the part of practitioners.
It involves high level of vast experiences in many fields of study.
The situation is so dramatic that there is hardly any building or construction projects that can be completed without either a major or minor conflict between the client and the contractors/consultants, either in public or private sector. Conflict in building or construction projects is so common that it has become a subject of study in our professional training programme.
This is exactly why this article is published to inform the general public that the only way to either avoid or minimize frequency of conflict is to ensure that cost should not be the only consideration in selecting professional or project manager in the industry, but the criteria as highlighted above should be considered alongside with cost when making such decisions.