A PIERCING LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF CONSTRUCTION:
THE VENGEFUL RETURN OF THE MASTER BUILDER
On 18 August 1418, the arte Della Lana announced a structural design competition for erecting Neri’s Dome for the Basilica di Santa Maria Del Fiore or the “Florence Cathedral”. The two main competitors were two master goldsmiths, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi won and received the commission.
Brunelleschi was a Guild Master not an architect. He Designed the Dome, Supervised the construction, he even invented machinery to aid in its construction.
200 years later, design started to be done by architects and not master builders. Further separating design from construction. And this, leads to the appearance of the general contractor business.
And as construction technologies advanced, more specialization evolved and separate entities started to appear in design and multi-discipline professions become standard. Even in construction, specialized entities start to pop up as subcontracting firms.
In addition, Supervision became a profession on its own, hence the appearance of Consulting firms, and if you add to this complexity the Financial and Document Management needs, new entities appeared in Project Management.
The overall result was the emergence of a Complex but Fragmented Solution in the Industry.
Today, architects are excited about a new IDEA: Integrated Project Delivery – IPD. This IDEA is a good one but is not new, we all used IPD centuries ago, and IPD is an idea whose time has come again.
For a 250 years period of recent history we have celebrated the construction separateness and forgot the need to work together.
With the emergence of the new Virtual Construction Technologies, a return to the simple Master Builder have once again become possible, even in the 21st century highly complicated and advanced construction industry.
Virtual Construction can and is becoming the single centralized platform and in a way is the new form of GUILD MASTER
The master builder is returning with a Vengeance!