When developing infrastructure, there is plenty of engineering work to go from the initial concept to the completed project. Construction engineering focuses on the entire project delivery process, covering design and construction, but also operation and maintenance in existing infrastructure. Construction engineering is closely related with civil engineering, which deals with the same projects, but with a greater focus on design and analysis.
Construction engineers must have the technical qualifications to work in complex infrastructure projects. However, management and leadership skills are equally important, since they are closely involved in construction and operation.
- Qualified construction engineers are highly familiarized with the procedures and methods used in construction projects.
- They also have advanced project management skills. Some examples are planning, scheduling, cost estimation and personnel management.
Designing a project according to local building codes is very important, but design documents only ensure code compliance if the project is completed as specified. Construction engineering also has applications in existing buildings, especially during renovations and maintenance tasks. Engineering work does not end once an infrastructure project is completed; it must be kept under optimal conditions, and any future changes and renovations must be code-compliant as well.
Construction engineering involves constant oversight over the entire building delivery process. During the design phase, construction engineers may be called upon to clarify requirements, ensuring that plans and specifications are being completed according to client needs.
After starting project construction, there is an ongoing review process that answers three key questions. If the answer to any of them is no, corrective action must be taken as soon as possible.
- Is the project meeting the schedule?
- Is the project meeting the budget?
- Is the project meeting the scope?
As previously mentioned, construction engineering involves working across multiple technical disciplines, combined with project management activities such as planning and cost estimation. A well-designed project that is managed by qualified construction engineers is a successful project.