Below are the various list of Building designing and construction professionals we have in our team.
The building construction industry is a wide industry that encompasses many professionals. Most of the building defects like cracks on walls, inadequate and non-functional facilities, flooding and dampness, poor drainage, poor safety design, poor staircases and even collapse to mention a few could be avoided. This article analysis the different professionals, their roles and responsibilities in avoiding defects and more in building construction.
Geotechnical engineering is a discipline within civil engineering related to the performance of soil and rock mechanics, including their subsurface conditions, determination of the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties that will influence the project under consideration, Site investigations are needed to gain an understanding of the area in or on which the engineering will take place. Investigations can include the assessment of the risk to humans, property and the environment from natural hazards such as earthquake, landslide and sinkhole. After necessary evaluation, design of the earthworks is carried out, and subsequently supervision of the site, foundation, and construction is carried out.
Based on findings the GE might recommend Ground Improvement which is a technique that improves the engineering properties of the soil mass such as the bearing capacity of the soil and capability of the soil in bearing more loads. Usually, the properties that are modified are shear strength, stiffness and permeability. Ground improvement has developed into a sophisticated tool to support foundations for a wide variety of structures.
A geotechnical engineer then determines and designs the type of foundations, earthworks, and/or pavement subgrades required for the intended man-made structures to be built. Foundations are designed and constructed for structures of various sizes for the proposed structure.
A land surveyor is the government authorized specialist who is licensed to determine boundaries, they determine the relative positions of places on or beneath the surface of the earth by measuring distances, directions and elevations. They are the first professionals to carry out physical work on the construction site.
Building construction is one of the fields of surveying, the preconstruction responsibilities involves determines the location (latitude and longitude), property boundary (shape), the area of the landed property (size), they establish the beacon on site to define boundaries. All these are represented in a plan called Cadastral survey which is duly stamped by registered surveyor and registered at Surveyor General’s office. Only the surveys made by licensed and registered Land Surveyors are legal and acceptable in courts.
In the construction phase surveying commences with correct placement of footings, foundations, piers and other items of building construction are essential for a sound structure. The second essential role is establishing a level for the proposed construction and establishing a benchmark that would be used as reference point throughout the construction phase. This is mostly neglected in Nigeria and the cause of flooding in most buildings.
Architects are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design, develop the concepts for structures and turn those concepts into images and plans. Before constructing a building, an architect needs to draw a plan of the building. It is very wrong to commence construction without a standard building plan, as the project would lacks focus and direction.
Architects create the overall aesthetic and look of buildings and other structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance. Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the needs of the people who use them. How many people are going to use the building at the same time? What types of activities will these people do in the building? Architects have to design building so that people can escape from the building in an emergency. The plans also specify the building materials and the interior furnishings. Architects consider all these factors when they design buildings and other structures.
The architects provide various designs, then prepares drawings and a report presenting ideas to the client based on his needs. Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology has replaced traditional paper and pencil as the most common method for creating design and construction drawings.
After discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal, architects develop final construction plans that show the building’s appearance and details for its construction. The plan is then passed to the Structural Engineer for his own design.
The role of an architect does not end in the design stage during construction (it’s not the responsibility of an architect to undertake the actual construction activities) continual revision of plans on the basis of client needs, budget and other constraints not envisaged during design stage is often necessary. As construction proceeds, he visit building sites to make sure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished.
Structural engineering is a branch of Civil engineering which carries out strength calculations, loads, forces and their interactions and effects on proposed construction and prepare drawings of structures to ensure they are strong enough to avoid collapse when loaded. Structures can include buildings, bridges, retaining walls, in-ground structures, footings, frameworks and space frames, including those for motor vehicles, space vehicles, ships, aero planes and cranes.
Structural Engineering is concerned with the research, planning, design, construction, inspection, monitoring, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of permanent and temporary structures, as well as structural systems and their components. It also considers the technical, economic, environmental, aesthetic and social aspects of structures.
After the architectural design is completed, SE are the next professionals to work on the design. He designs the structural members (slabs, beams, columns and foundations), he designs foundations working with the Geotechnic Engineer. He determines the sizes (thickness span and depth) of structural members and the quality, size, type and quantity of reinforcements. SE decides on the quality and type of materials used for structural members and the required concrete strength. He also designs the roof trusses to sustain all expected loads and forces. He produces the structural drawings which is required for building construction approval.
SE designs are based on codes which varies with countries and regions of the world, in Nigeria BS 8110 is still in use for reinforced concrete design. Though with different codes SE worldwide still work on basic principles: under the worst load the structure will be subjected to in its expected lifespan it must be safe. During the normal use the structure must perform all intended purpose.
During construction he inspects materials and supervise the construction of structural members, he gives approvals, conduct test on materials and structural integrity test on the structure as a whole and declares the structure safe or not. During building collapse Structural Engineers are called in to carry out research and determine the causes, effect and solution against reoccurrence.
A Quantity Surveyor is a construction industry professional who specialises in estimating the value of construction works. . This may include new buildings, renovations or maintenance work, from early design costs to final figures. QS works on a wide variety of projects covering all aspects of construction such as civil, mining and infrastructure projects to determine the cost of such facilities.
The term quantity surveyor is derived from the role taken in quantifying the various resources that it takes to construct a given project, such as labour, supervision, plant and materials. He estimates the project budget, analysis the effect of design changes on the budget and the most noticeable role preparation of Bill of Quantities that assist in the tender process, produce tender document and manage the tender process, clarify and evaluate tenders, variations control, contract administration and assessment of claims, negotiate and settlement of accounts, Valuing completed work and arranging for payments, expert witness report in case of dispute.
In Nigeria today Builders are the most monopolised professionals in the construction industry with the way things are structured other have taken up most of their responsibilities. They are unique in that they are the only professionals that works on buildings only, other professionals works on building and non-building structures. A Builder (or Professional Builder) is an academically trained specialist and statutorily registered professional responsible for Building Production Management, Construction and Maintenance of Buildings for the use and protection of mankind and his assets.
The Builder study the production information that is the drawings, schedules and specifications they analyse the buildability and maintainability of buildings. He writes on the construction method and program, assess the workmanship skill of artisan and suggest solution to technical problems
Building Service Engineers
Imagine living in a building without electricity, no functional toilet or bath, no heating or cooling system or a sky scrapper without lift definitely such is not habitable. Building services engineers provides all these, bring buildings to life by designing the mechanical and electrical systems that allow people to function within an enclosed structure.
Building services engineering is an aspect handled by Mechanical and Electrical Engineers they are referred to as (M&E), in the local Nigerian parlance it called plumbing and electrical, in some countries it’s called (MEP) engineering adding plumbing or public health. This involves the production and maintenance of a stable internal environment that has the correct temperature, air quality and lighting levels. It requires the provision of all the necessary backup support systems such as power, hot and cold water and lifts. The installation of life protection systems such as fire alarms, and sprinkler systems is an important responsibility as well. These functions must be linked to sophisticated building management systems to ensure effective control and to minimise energy consumption.
Building services engineers work closely with other construction professionals such as architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors. They influence the architecture of a building and play a significant role on the sustainability and energy demand of your building. They design layouts and requirements for building services for residential or commercial developments which is one of the requirements for building approval. Design and development of electrical systems required based on envisaged power consumption for safety and energy sustaining operation of buildings, construction and operation of Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
These are the real workmen on site. They are mostly technicians that have acquired various skills either on the job or in various skill acquisition institutes. They have improved skill on- the -job. They work with the various professionals carrying out their duties based on instructions though imputing their skills.
There are various artisans in the building construction industry for example masons, carpenters, electricians, iron fixers, tillers, and plumbers to mention a few.
There are other workers that are non-artisans. They are referred to as unskilled labours but they are actually skilled. The nature of their job requires little skill and they are usually non-persistence on the job. Their range of jobs include site clearance, minor excavation and other petty site jobs.
The building consultancy teams bring together project managers, building surveyors, quantity surveyors, architects, engineers, interior designers and other construction professionals, but his loyalties is with the building owner. To bridge the knowledge gap, the owner should hire a construction consultant. The consultant should be engaged early in the project, so the owner can utilize the consultant’s services in selecting construction professionals and contractors and in reviewing plans and budgets.
The construction consultant’s role is to represent the owner and to lend practical expertise to the job. The construction consultant is simply the client representative that wants the owner to achieve what the owner has contracted for from the contractors. He is the value-for-money bargainer! Working on behalf of the owner, the consultant can identify and address potential construction problems in the design stages and, as an independent party, may be in the best position to suggest cost saving or time saving alternatives and to evaluate suggestions made by the other parties.
Mostly owners are non-construction professionals, thereby find it difficult to take antagonistic positions with members of the construction team, whether the issue is design, construction method, cost of change orders or scheduling. Instead, the construction consultant can deal with the contractors and professionals on the owner’s behalf.
The Building Contractor
Looking at the volume of professionals and artisans involved in building construction working with a building owner who is a non-professional, it will be a HELL talking to each of them. There is a need for a firm to harness all this together and do all the jobs required. The contractor brings a team of all the required professionals together, oversees the construction and ensures that all necessary measures are taken to execute a project. A building contractor is an organisation that engages in the Planning, Developing and Coordinating activities in the building of structures.
The building contractor draws up a plan to carry out the construction project. This extends anywhere from hiring workers to developing a step-by-step timeline that the project will follow from start to finish. The BC is responsible for hiring, supervising, firing and payment of workers alongside obtaining materials for the project to precise specifications, mostly using the services of suppliers.
The BC must also do his/her research regarding relevant regulations and laws guiding the construction process, he has the responsibility of completing the project in a law abiding manner. He acquire all necessary licenses and permits from relevant entities so that the building project can begin. In Nigeria for example you need a building approval, you pay development levies to mention a few.
He/she works based on agreed contract sum with building owners so, he controls Budget issues, follow that budget as closely as possible though there might be slight variation at the end of the project. He/she ensures that the project is completed within the specified time frame as well as reviewing the progress and implementing any changes along the course of completion.
The BC deals with all emergencies and surprises which relate to the project that occurs on-site and sometimes off-site as well that affects the project.