In project architecture and civil engineering, construction is the building or assembly of any infrastructure on a site or sites. Although this may be thought of as a single activity, in fact construction is a feat of multitasking. Normally the job is managed by the construction manager, supervised by the project manager, design engineer or project architect. While these people work in offices, every construction project requires a large number of laborers, carpenters, and other skilled tradesmen to complete the physical task of construction.
For the successful execution of a project effective planning is essential. Those involved with the design and execution of the infrastructure in question must consider the environmental impact of the job, the successful scheduling, budgeting, site safety, availability of materials, logistics, inconvenience to the public caused by construction delays, preparing tender documents, etc.
Building construction is the process of adding structure to real property. The vast majority of building construction projects 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, and legal considerations. Many projects of varying sizes reach undesirable end results, such as structural collapse, cost overruns, and/or litigations reason, those with experience in the field make detailed plans and maintain careful oversight during the project to ensure a positive outcome.
In construction, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) is the governmental agency or subagency which regulates the construction process. In most cases, this is the municipality in which the building is located. However, construction performed for supra-municipal authorities are usually regulated directly by the owning authority, which becomes the AHJ.
During the planning of a building, the zoning and planning boards of the AHJ will review the overall compliance of the proposed building with the municipal General Plan and zoning regulations. Once the proposed building has been approved, detailed civil, architectural, and structural plans must be submitted to the municipal building department (and sometimes the public works department) to determine compliance with the building code and sometimes for fit with existing infrastructure. Often, the municipal fire department will review the plans for compliance with fire-safety ordinances and regulations.
During the construction of a building, the municipal building inspector inspects the building periodically to ensure that the construction adheres to the approved plans and the local building code. Once construction is complete and a final inspection has been passed, an occupancy permit may be issued.
An operating building must remain in compliance with the fire code. The fire code is enforced by the local fire department.
Any changes made to a building including its use, expansion, its structural integrity, and fire protection items, require acceptance by the AHJ. Anything affecting basic safety functions, no matter how small they may appear, may require the owner to apply for a building permit, to ensure proper review of the contemplated changes against the building code.