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Construction Engineering and Management Research

It is generally agreed that the construction industry can be broadly divided into four major categories.

The first of these is defined as residential construction which includes both single family and multi-family dwellings. This category is dominated by small firms, is characterized as utilizing low levels of technology and usually requires small investments in equipment, personnel training, etc.

The second broad category of construction is defined as institutional / commercial. Projects in this category include government office buildings, schools, retail facilities, office buildings, hospitals and even sports stadiums and coliseums. This category has a higher cost and sophistication than the residential category and often utilizes specific design and construction specialists to successfully execute projects.

The third category of construction is defined as industrial construction. Considered the domain of the engineer, projects in this category include oil and chemical refining, manufacturing facilities, power generation facilities, and any facility that houses a production process. These facilities have a high degree of technological complexity and are designed and constructed by some of the most sophisticated engineering firms in the world.

The final category of construction is best described as heavy / highway. Projects in this category include highways, mass transit systems, tunnels, airfields, pipelines, drainage systems, sewage treatment plants, and dams. Most of these projects are publicly owned and financed. Such projects are typically very large in scale, are equipmentq intensive, and technologically challenging.

The CEM group focuses study and research on the categories of industrial and heavy / highway types of construction. To a somewhat lesser extent, commercial construction is incorporated but only as it concerns large projects such as high-rise office construction or stadiums and coliseums. Projects within these categories are extremely complex to design and construct, and require a multi-disciplinary team in every phase of project execution.