The construction of housing, commercial property, and infrastructure projects--roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, airports--for both the private and public sectors is one of the biggest industries in the world. It contributes around 10 per cent of world GDP, employs 7 per cent of the global workforce, and consumes around 20 per cent of the world's energy (and generates a third of the world's CO2 emissions). So important is the contruction industry that it is widely seen as the best indicator of a national economy's health.
Stephen Gruneberg and Noble Francis, two of the UK's leading construction economists, present an up-to-date analysis of the construction industry's business model and the risks and challenges the industry faces in the twenty-first century. The book explores the many distinctive features of the economics of the industry, such as how firms use cost-reduction rather than profit maximizing behavior, the processes of tendering and procurement, and the often cyclical nature of demand. Some of the issues touched on include the nature of the government-client relationship, the difference between commissioned and speculative construction development, operating as well as building infrastructure, the advantages of off-site construction, the demand for green and sustainable construction, and the competition from government-backed Chinese companies in major infrastructure projects.
As well as examining industry-wide issues, the book looks at how individual projects are costed. These can range from the construction of Dubai's Yas Island or Heathrow's third runway, to the construction of a local hospital, or a residential housing estate. Finance, cash flow, cost overruns, and labor relations are all shown to be fundamental to completing a project on time and within budget, regardless of size.
The book offers authoritative analysis and expert insight to provide a survey suitable for students in both business schools and departments of architecture and the built environment.