Construction management is a vital part of the construction process, overseeing each level of a project and co-ordinating every member of the on-site workforce - from labourers and electricians, to administrators and architects. Construction work is generally organised into five project groups: residential, commercial, heavy civil, industrial and environment - and each present construction management personnel with a wide variety of challenges.
Dealing with individual homes, large estates, condominiums, high-rise flats and every other kind of 'domestic' project, residential construction management jobs can be extremely varied - and, in the case of bigger projects, involve the organisation of a large workforce. A residential construction manager should be prepared to facilitate labour across the site and monitor the various build stages that different homes have reached. In areas with lots of homes already standing, local government regulations and social concerns may also have to be taken into account as a project moves forward.
Construction managers working on commercial projects have a long list of physical and administrative concerns to take into account - not least a focus on deadlines and finances - on top of on-site responsibilities, like safety and resource management. Financial regulation governs many commercial construction projects - managers will have to be aware of the concerns of investors and funding bodies and be prepared to adapt to these challenges as and when they crop up. Commercial projects include shopping centres, theatres, hospitals and even some government buildings.
Civil construction projects include the building of railways, tunnels, bridges and airports - and construction managers engaged in them will likely find themselves in charge of a huge workforce and a vast amount of resources. Heavy civil construction tends to fall under the authority of national government bodies, and involve significant financing - as such, the pressure is firmly on managers to run their projects on time and in keeping with budget constraints. Beyond those concerns, heavy civil project managers will have strict safety regulations to consider at every stage of construction - which may last for decades.
Industrial and economic growth tends to generate massive construction projects in the form of chemical plants, factories, oil refineries and pipelines. Private investment is often a driving force behind these kinds of projects so construction managers will have to be capable of handling high pressure work environments and impressive budgets. Many industrial construction projects create environmental, safety and social issues - managers need to keep a detailed and comprehensive overview of every aspect of their operation - and give each concern close scrutiny at every stage of the process.
While environmental concerns are part of every modern construction site, certain projects are built with the environment as their defining purpose. Sewage, waste management and water processing plants all serve environmental purposes and construction managers need to be aware of the strict regulations in place to ensure the integrity of in-progress building work. Managers must maintain the safety of their project site and its surroundings - a task which involves monitoring their workforce, checking the quality of construction materials and performing frequent safety inspections. Most environmental projects are commissioned through local government, making budgets and deadlines a priority management concern.
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