As I sit here and package up chocolates for the wife and hope she got me that hoodie-footie I have been seeing so much on TV, I have been thinking about my 2nd love Construction. It seems like the other 364 days of the year construction gives us plenty of reasons to complain and sometimes hate it, but let's reflect on Valentine's Day all of the reasons we love this dynamic industry.
- We build stuff! There is nothing more satisfying to me than utilizing our hands to make something from nothing. As a kid the Lincoln Logs at my Grandparents house and the Lego's at home made for some interesting times. Taking a bunch of little pieces and making them into a house, sea port, or even a school with a space port and auxiliary ice rink could keep me busy for hours. There is no better feeling in this industry than driving past a previous barren piece of land and seeing a skyscraper, sports stadium, house, or industrial plant and saying: "I built that".
- Everything is custom! No matter what we are building, there are new challenges everyday from space constraints, to new Owner requirements, to Architects new visions. These challenges always tax our imagination and it takes true brain power to find solution to each of these challenges. I love solving these challenges and realizing that I came up with a solution to a problem.
- It is not easy! There is nothing easy about construction. There is tremendous intellect needed to perform construction. We need to know engineering, code requirements, tools, safety, our own trade, other trades, schedule, human sociology, art, architecture, along with hundreds of other skills. For the tradesmen in the field there are also specific physical skills and stamina that is needed. Not everyone can install 100' of 6" galvanized pipe in day.
- In the end it is a mix between an art and a science. Every aspect of our business contains this mix. Look at estimating. Learning the science of estimating is one thing, but learning the dynamics of bidding and learning how to put a final number together becomes a bit of an art form. Installation of decorative lighting or installing conduit that is exposed takes a sense of art as well as a knowledge in the science.
- We make the world work! No other industry can move forward without us. Doctors cannot heal people, industries cannot build things, lawyers cannot practice, kids cannot learn without construction first building the facilities that allow them to do their job. Innovations in other industries start in construction. New medical treatments require specific facilities that we provide to conduct these treatments. Even our understanding of why we are here and the origins of the universe cannot be investigated without construction projects leading the way.