Architecture / January 13, 2018 / .
Construction involves the production of large scale capital assets which affect not only the client, designers and constructors but also users, the public, and the environment at large. Common law regulates the rights and obligations of the contracting parties not only to each other but also their duties of care to society in general.
All construction work is ultimately undertaken for the benefit of a client. Clients fund the construction process, whether they are individuals extending their homes, or a multi-national corporation developing a cutting-edge production facility, or a government department providing much needed social infrastructure. The importance of clients cannot be over-emphasized. Very often clients do not get the building they want, because they do not know how to ask for it and the architect or other consultants think the building should look a different way. Clients expect that the project will be a success and that the providers will deliver a competent service. They will be dissatisfied, if these expectations are not met.
The site topography i.e. the natural site features, ground conditions and obstructions, existing and adjoining building, and underground and over-ground services all impact on how the building is designed and subsequently constructed. The nature of each site must be individually checked to establish potential problems. Greenfield developments cost less than brownfield sites which may incur significant demolition, site clearance and remediation costs. Heavily sloped sites require extensive stepping or cut and fill operations and such sites may be dangerous and adversely affect the working conditions and productivity of operatives and plant output. Sites with poor loadbearing capacity will require more expensive foundations while exposed or waterlogged sites will also reduce overall productivity. The cost of dealing with unforeseen ground conditions, archaeological finds and encountering uncharted buried services may be substantial and will be borne by either the client or contractor, depending on the form of contract employed.
In general it can be said that larger buildings with simple, rectangular, regular floor plans and elevations will be less expensive per sq.m. of floor area than smaller, complex shaped, curved or angular buildings. Economies of scale apportion fixed overheads to a larger extent of productive space. Simple setting out and buildable solutions encourage greater plant use and generate higher productivity and less waste. Complex layouts and details are slower to assemble and may involve a number of trades with a consequent greater risk of mistakes and defects. The degree of compartmentation and repetition will also affect the overall cost of the work. New building work is considerably cheaper than work of a repairing nature or work in existing buildings. Single storey structures tend to be more costly than buildings up to three storeys high, beyond which point they become progressively more expensive.