Construction is widely believed to be the oldest profession; simple prehistoric structures as old as 1.7 million years have been discovered near fossils of human ancestors. Early builders were certainly engineers as well. They relied on their instincts to determine how to build the strongest structure using materials readily available to them. Proof of the builder-engineer link can be seen in many of these structures that have weathered years of natural disasters and human interaction.

Machu Picchu, Peru
Incan construction engineered to last over five hundred years

Centuries of practice in this field have paved the path for better coordination between architect, engineer, owner, and builder. The dynamics of construction have changed, and in response to these changes, there are now a variety of ways to approach the design and construction of a project. Also, new programs have been created to help model a project from start to finish; these include 3D MEP coordination, scheduling, cost-loaded schedules, LEED and more.

For an engineer or architect, construction can simply be thought of as putting your design to work. However, for a contractor or skilled tradesman, construction is a love-hate relationship full of accomplishments and disappointments alike.

Important Aspects of Construction

These pages are an overview of the construction process; they closely parallel requirements for the Professional Engineer (PE) Exam that covers construction in the general portion of the exam. I strongly suggest looking into these pages as a reference for the PE. The construction specialty portion of the exam is relatively new; these notes are an attempt to help study for this part of the exam. Visit this page for more information on PE requirements related to engineering.

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