Building construction is the process of adding structure to real property. The vast majority of building construction jobs are small renovations, such as addition of a room, or renovation of a bathroom. Often, the owner of the property acts as laborer, paymaster, and design team for the entire project. However, all building construction projects include some elements in common – design, financial, estimating and legal considerations. Many projects of varying sizes reach undesirable end results, such as structural collapse, cost overruns, and/or litigation reason, those with experience in the field make detailed plans and maintain careful oversight during the project to ensure a positive outcome.
Commercial building construction is procured privately or publicly utilizing various delivery methodologies, including cost estimating, hard bid, negotiated price, traditional, management contracting, construction management-at-risk, design & build and design-build bridging.
Residential construction practices, technologies, and resources must conform to local building authority regulations and codes of practice. Materials readily available in the area generally dictate the construction materials used (e.g. brick versus stone, versus timber). Cost of construction on a per square meter (or per square foot) basis for houses can vary dramatically based on site conditions, local regulations, economies of scale (custom designed homes are always more expensive to build) and the availability of skilled tradespeople. As residential construction (as well as all other types of construction) can generate a lot of waste, careful planning again is needed here.
The most popular method of residential construction in the United States is wood framed construction. As efficiency codes have come into effect in recent years, new construction technologies and methods have emerged. University Construction Management departments are on the cutting edge of the newest methods of construction intended to improve efficiency, performance and reduce construction waste.
New techniques of building construction are being researched, made possible by advances in 3D printing technology. In a form of additive building construction, similar to the additive manufacturing techniques for manufactured parts, building printing is making it possible to flexibly construct small commercial buildings and private habitations in around 20 hours, with built-in plumbing and electrical facilities, in one continuous build, using large 3D printers. Working versions of 3D-printing building technology are already printing 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) of building material per hour as of January 2013, with the next-generation printers capable of 3.5 metres (11 ft) per hour, sufficient to complete a building in a week. Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars's performative architecture 3D-printed building is scheduled to be built in 2014