Construction Project Participants

The person, company, or other entity–public or private–that envisions, finances, and owns the construction project.
Public owner
Public owners are governmental agencies funded by taxpayer money.
Private owner
Private owners are individuals or companies with no taxpayer funding.
Facility manager
Manages finished construction projects and who often determines the need for new facilities. Owner representative.
Outside consultant
Hired by the owner to guide a particular construction project but who is not on permanent staff. Owner representative.
Building committee
Building users, financial backers, community residents who have an interest in the use of the finished building. Owner representative.
Owner’s three guideposts of the building project
Scope of work, budget, and timeline.
The lead designer of the project.
Three focuses of the architect
Physical context, activities that will occur in building, unique image of the project.
Two aspects of the architect’s thinking process
Intuitive, subjective.
The designer of the building’s systems and structures.
The engineer’s thinking process
Objective, breaking it down into identifiable components.
Architect’s responsibility
To translate and develop an owner’s requirements and graphically represent them so the contractor can accurately price, schedule and implement the design.
Drafter, CAD and BIM operators
Produce construction documents (prints) and computer files (CAD, 3-D BIM) associated with the project.
Specification writers
Prepares a document called specifications outlining the level of performance and quality requirements, and specific products and methods to be used on the project.
Interior designers
Designers of the project’s non-structural interior spaces.
Landscape architects
Designers of the outdoor space or indoor planting areas of a project, including setting grades, establishing walkways and parking areas, fencing, paving, etc.
Engineer’s responsibility
Understand the owner’s requirements of budget, operations, durability, and intended use of the facility.
Structural engineer
Calculates strengths and deflections of materials, foundation sizes, beam thickness, strength of floor slabs. Ensures that a building can withstand the forces of wind, gravity, and seismic activity.
Mechanical engineer
Designs heating, cooling, water supply, and sanitary systems.
Electrical engineer
Calculates overall electrical load, sizes electrical equipment, and designs the electrical systems.
Civil engineer
Determines location of the building site by studying subsurface soil conditions and topography. Also designs roads, bridges, tunnels, parking lots, etc.
Measures distances and elevations of land surfaces, locates natural features, and measures built features and property boundaries.
The professional responsible for all construction activities, whether contractor or construction manager.
BOT team
Build, Operate, and Transfer. Team that takes on the responsibility of building the structure and then operating it until it can be transferred to a more permanent facility manager.
A licensed professional responsible for all aspects of physically building the construction project.
Construction manager
A professional person or team–not a contractor–responsible for managing the construction of a project.
Uses design drawings and specifications to prepare a complete list of all job costs.
Schedules the various project tasks, monitors job progress, coordinates subcontractors, analyzes changes and the impact of delays, solves problems.
Company that specializes in a particular construction trade, including mechanical, plumbing, electrical, excavation, demolition, etc.
Material supplier
Provides various building materials to the jobsite, such as lumber, engineered products, steel, plastics, roofing, etc.
Equipment supplier
Sells or rents equipment–such as earthmovers, cranes, boom trucks, dozers, loaders, dump trucks, etc.–to subcontractors or contractors for construction work.
Banks and other lending institutions provide funding for construction projects.
Public agencies
Usually provide regulatory control of a project, such as planning and zoning boards, building commissions, inspections departments, environmental control, safety, etc.
Insurance companies
Provide insurance and bonding for projects, project participants, and workers.
Provide legal advice and assistance to project participants, especially in the areas of contract and project litigation.
Construction project manager
Builds the project team, schedules the job, sets up cost control system, negotiates changes, controls the timeline of the project.
Works on the job site to coordinate subcontractors and the flow of workers, supplies and equipment on the site, and ensures the schedule is met.
Field engineer
An entry-level person–also known as assitant project manager– who works under the project manager and who typically handles the flow of documents through a field office. (This person is not an engineer in the sense of a licensed, registered engineer).
A person in charge of a team of workers in a particular trade, such as carpenters, electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc.