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Construction, Architecture & Maintenance careers

Building Services: Planning, Management & Inspection

Career growth within the building services industry

Buildings are crucial. They keep us warm, they protect us and they come in all shapes and sizes. Skyscrapers, chapels, barracks, office blocks are just a few of the kinds of structures that building services professionals are responsible for.

The construction industry is very much back on its feet following the recession. Indeed it is predicted that by 2016 just under 2.6 million people will be working in this sector.

 So, whether you’re planning construction, managing projects or inspecting building sites, there are many career opportunities within the building services industry.

The building services sector touches on virtually every process involved in the construction industry, from planning and implementation to maintenance. Once Norman Foster has finished his musings and produced his masterpiece on paper, the architectural blueprint is converted into reality. However, this is by no means a straightforward or quick process. A construction project must go through many stages before the building is complete. Even then, it needs to be managed and inspected for years to come. The process is never ending!

Who creates and manages the plans for a building?

It all begins with the planner. Milestones need to be created, materials need to be sourced and a plan of action needs to be created. Although you could be responsible for planning a 150 storey skyscraper or a semi-detached dwelling, the principles are still very much the same, albeit on a very different scale.

Site managers, building surveyors and building services engineers are also very much part of the planning and management process. Surveyors need to ensure that the building is structurally sound, and simple to maintain once it’s complete. Site managers are responsible for making sure that all construction activity is being carried out in accordance with tight time constraints and budgets. Building services engineers are more concerned with making sure the building is comfortable to work and live in. These guys also have an input throughout the design, installation and maintenance of the structure.

Who inspects a building’s plans?

The process of inspection is not something that occurs once a building exists; it starts from the planning stage. Building inspectors have a crucial role to play during the construction process itself. They work alongside building services engineers to ensure that buildings are fit for purpose for years to come.

Inspectors, commonly known as building control surveyors, have the authority to take control of building projects and ensure that they conform to construction regulations. They are generally used by local authorities to ensure that all construction activity (within their domain) is compliant with these rules and regulations.

This industry offers a huge variety of options and a good mix of office and outdoor activity. At times you won’t be far from a hard hat, and on other occasions you’ll be drowned in blueprints.

You will rarely work on the same thing twice if you follow a career in the building services industry, so if you’re interested, take a shot at some building services roles. There’s just one fundamental question left to answer: are you ready to put that fabled ‘builder’s bum’ on show?