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(also design). (1) A building, organization, formation, or structure.
(2) In engineering, the design is a diagram of the arrangement and operation of a machine, building, or assembly, as well as the machines, buildings, and assemblies themselves and their components. A design provides for the relative positioning of the parts and elements of a machine, the way in which they are joined, and their interaction, as well as the material from which the individual parts (elements) must be made.
(3) The creation of a scientific or artistic work.
(4) A combination of words making up a syntactic unit.
in linguistics, a syntactic type characterized by the sum total of the morphological, syntactic, and semantic properties (including the order in which the parts are arranged) that determine it.
Despite the great diversity in constructions, the number of them is entirely conceivable in comparison with the infinite multitude of concrete word-combinations and sentences. The world’s languages differ both in the constructions themselves and in the sets of their characteristics. Revealing from this standpoint the most important similarities and differences between languages is part of the task of syntactic typology. The term “construction” sometimes designates the actual linguistic expression in which the syntactic type is realized.
(in Russian, konstruktsiia), in the theater:
(1) Hard scenery, a frame for the three-dimensional elements of the set (for example, tree trunks, rocks, columns, stairs, architectural arches, and vaults).
(2) A parallel, or a structure that is hidden from the audience’s view. It consists of a collapsible framework, with a lid fitted at the top. It is used for changing the level of the set (to create elevated areas, platforms, or slopes).
(3) A device for changing, or shifting, the set (a boat truck) or for fastening the set (braces and girders).
(4) A frame onto which a canvas is attached; the canvas serves as a pictorial backdrop.
a branch of production; the process of the erection and reconstruction of various types of buildings and structures; a building or structure being constructed, together with the site; in the broadest sense, the process of building something. The final products of construction are the industrial enterprises, dwellings, public buildings and structures, and other objects that have been completed and prepared for use.
Construction has a number of distinctive features associated with the nature of its product. K. Marx pointed out that “a part of the instruments of labor ... is produced from the outset in its immovable localized form, such as improvements of the soil, factory buildings, blast furnaces, canals, railways, etc. The constant attachment of the instrument of labor to the process of production in which it is to function is here also due to its physical mode of existence. . . . But the fact that some instruments of labor are localized, attached to the soil by their roots, assigns to this portion of fixed capital a peculiar role in the economy of nations” (Marx, K., and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 24, p. 182). In construction, consequently, the product has a fixed location, and the active assets of construction organizations are mobile. Other characteristic features of construction are the relatively long production cycle—from several months to several years—and the fact that the process takes place, as a rule, out of doors under various climatic conditions.
In prerevolutionary Russia construction was generally carried on by private contracting organizations that usually did not have their own technical resources, such as construction machinery, transportation facilities, and industrial enterprises. Even the most laborious work was done manually, and the building-materials industry was at a very primitive stage. Wood and brick were the most common building materials. Construction work was seasonal, and there were no permanent construction crews; the majority of the work was performed by seasonal workers.
Development in the USSR. The most important task of construction in the USSR is to provide for the extended reproduction of the fixed capital stock in the national economy by the efficient use of capital investments, the intensification of construction output, and, on this basis, improvement in the efficiency of public production. Many factors contribute to the importance of construction to the national economy in developing productive forces. For example, construction plays a leading role in the planned development and reequipment of all branches of the national economy, in the development of new production processes, in the selection of more efficient sites for enterprises and the incorporation of newly discovered natural resources into production, and in the integrated development of the economies of the Union republics and the economic regions of the USSR. Construction is also of prime importance in the realization of long-term urban development projects, in the preservation, reorganization, and restoration of the environment, in the acceleration of the development of advanced branches of industry, in the improvement of the material basis for science, and in the creation of a material basis for the improvement of the standards of life and culture of the people.
Construction is carried out by general-construction and specialized organizations. These organizations may be contractors, or they may build for their own needs using their resources (non-contracted construction); they also make major repairs on buildings and structures. Construction is also carried out by organizations for exploitation and exploratory drilling and by organizations for design, development, and surveying. Construction also includes the building of individual dwellings by citizens at their own expense or on government credit. Construction organizations are equipped with construction machines and means of transportation, and they have at their disposal facilities for maintenance and repair of the equipment; they also possess other production and auxiliary subdivisions that contribute to construction. In 1974 construction accounted for 10.6 percent of the country’s gross national product and 11.0 percent of the national income. More than 10 million people, or 14 percent of the total number of workers and employees engaged in production, were working in construction. Construction continues developing at a rapid rate (see Table 1).
Despite the serious consequences of World War I and of the Civil War and Military Intervention of 1918–20, measures to organize construction in the country were already being taken in the first years of socialist power. In May 1918 the Committee of State Construction was established as part of the Supreme Council on the National Economy and charged with planning and carrying out state construction. In 1920 the Eighth All-Russian Congress of Soviets approved the plan of the State Commission for the Electrification of Russia (GOELRO), which had been developed in accord with a proposal of V. I. Lenin. By the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of Feb. 21, 1921, a unified construction plan was to be provided for each year. In 1925 and 1926 the V. I. Lenin Shatura Electric Power Plant and the Volkhov Hydroelectric Power Plant were put into service.
The years between 1921 and 1928 saw large-scale construction work on major projects, including Dneproges, the Stalingrad Tractor Plant, and the Turkestan-Siberian Railroad. During these years construction was carried on mainly by the noncon-tracted method. In the years of the first five-year plan, major industrial enterprises were constructed and put into operation (seeFIVE-YEAR PLANS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMY OF THE USSR). The country’s second coal and metallurgical base was created in the eastern part of the country. Housing construction was greatly increased, and new cities and villages were built. During the second five-year plan, the rate of construction rose substantially. In December 1935 the Central Committee of the ACP(B) held a conference on construction and in February 1936 a decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR and of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) was adopted; the decree determined the course of further improvements in construction and cost reduction. Plans called for the creation of a large-scale construction industry and the performance of construction work by permanent contracting organizations with their own material and technical resources and permanent construction staffs. The implementation of this resolution during the subsequent years ensured the growth and strengthening of contracting organizations and a substantial increase in the volume of work and the number of projects completed.
In accordance with the decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of Feb. 26,1938, measures were taken to improve the design and cost-estimation processes and to regulate construction financing; these measures contributed to the growth of contract construction. In 1938 the Committee on Construction Affairs under the Council of People’s Commissars was established and charged with the management of design and construction activities, the establishment of production and estimating standards and classifications, and standardization in construction. In May 1939 a people’s commissariat for construction was organized and entrusted with the implementation of industrial construction and the associated housing and public construction projects.
During the years of the prewar five-year plans (1929–40), 9,000 new, major industrial enterprises were built and put into operation, including the Magnitogorsk and Kuznetsk metallurgical combines and the Volkhov, Urals, and Dnieper aluminum combines. Many major machine-building and aircraft plants, chemical factories, and petroleum refineries were constructed, as well as dozens of electric power plants, new railroad main lines, and canals. Considerable capital investments were directed to developing production resources for construction organizations and increasing the fixed capital stock of such organizations. The organizational and technological standards of the construction industry were raised. Between 1928 and 1940, labor productivity in construction increased by a factor of 2.5.
During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, party policy for construction was directed toward creating the production facilities required to supply the needs of the battlefront. Construction crews and machines were assigned to the construction of munitions factories and affiliated enterprises. Restoration operations were begun in areas just freed from the occupation by fascist German troops. During the war years, 3,500 major industrial enterprises were rebuilt and put into operation, and more than 7,500 were restored in the liberated areas.
After the war, industrial plants and nonproduction facilities and buildings that had been destroyed were quickly restored, and new construction was begun with the aim of developing the national economy further and improving the people’s standard of living. At the end of 1954, the All-Union Conference on Construction was held, which made important decisions regarding the industrialization and economics of construction. These decisions were reflected in the decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Aug. 23, 1955, Measures for the Further Industrialization, Quality Improvement, and Cost Reduction of Construction. Between 1946 and 1975, massive capital investments made it possible to commit fixed capital stock of state and cooperative organizations, collective farms, and the population valued at 1.3061 trillion rubles. Housing construction and public construction projects were carried out on a large scale. During this period construction provided 2.4688 billion sq m of new living space.
Interkolkhoz contracting organizations were established after 1960 in connection with measures taken to improve agriculture; by early 1976 there were 3,600 such organizations. In 1975 these organizations accounted for work valued at 4.1 billion rubles. During the eighth five-year plan (1966–70), the Dnieper Oredressing Combine, the Volga Pipe Factory, the Vakhsh Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant, the Polotsk chemical combine, and the Pavlodar Tractor Plant became operational. The development of a petroleum industry was begun in Western Siberia and Western Kazakhstan.
A substantial increase in capital investments during the ninth five-year plan (1971–75) permitted the fixed capital stock for production to be increased by a factor of 1.5. During this period, approximately 2,000 major state industrial enterprises were constructed, as well as many new shops and plants in existing enterprises. Approximately 544 million sq m of new living space were created, which improved the living conditions of 56 million people. An extensive program for the construction program of new health, educational, and public and cultural establishments was also completed. Construction was begun on many large-scale projects, including the Baikal-Amur Main Line. The capital invested in the reconstruction and expansion of existing enterprises was increased. In many cases new enterprises were built as a part of industrial centers (seeINDUSTRIAL CONSTRUCTION).
Material and technical basis for construction. Construction is a highly developed branch of the national economy, backed by a large network of industrial plants. The construction industry is an aggregate of construction organizations that use industrialized methods to erect, reconstruct, and expand buildings and structures and to install equipment. By the beginning of 1976, there were approximately 23,000 state primary contracting construction organizations and more than 2,700 trusts. By comparison with prewar days, the construction industry’s fixed capital production stock was 35 times greater (with a value of 32 billion rubles
|Table 1. Fixed capital stock and capital investments committed and volume of construction work completed in the USSR (in billions of rubles; on the basis of adjusted prices)|
|Period||Total fixed capital stock committed1||Total capital investments2||Volume of construction work (including kolkhozes)3|
|1By state and cooperative enterprises and organizations, kolkhozes, and private citizens|
|2By state and cooperative enterprises and organizations, kolkhozes, and private citizens|
|3Excluding private houses|
|191 8–28 (excluding fourth quarter of 1928) ...............||3.9||4.4||1.6||0.2|
|First five-year plan (1929–32, including fourth quarter of 1928) ...............||9.4||8.8||7.2||2.5|
|Second five-year plan (1933–37) ...............||17.4||19.9||15.8||4.8|
|Third five-year plan (1938 to first half of 1941) ...............||18.6||20.6||15.7||8.0|
|Second half of 1941 to 1945 ...............||19.1||20.8||15.3||8.1|
|Fourth five-year plan (1946–50) ...............||42.8||48.1||30.2||19.9|
|Fifth five-year plan (1951–55) ...............||81.1||91.1||58.1||42.5|
|Sixth five-year plan (1956–60) ...............||158.0||170.5||104.9||80.1|
|Seventh five-year plan (1961–65) ...............||231.9||247.6||150.3||123.3|
|Eighth five-year plan (1966–70) ...............||324.4||353.8||211.9||181.1|
|Ninth five-year plan (1971–75) ...............||467.9||501.4||294.0||260.2|
on Jan. 1, 1975), and labor productivity had increased by nearly six times. In 1974 the volume of work completed by contracting construction organizations was valued at more than 58 billion rubles—considerably greater than for the entire fifth five-year plan (43.8 billion rubles). In 1965 and 1970 this figure totaled 28.0 and 41.8 billion rubles, respectively.
The development of the material and technical basis is a critical prerequisite for the industrialization and continuing technological progress of construction, for the reduction of the required time and costs, and for the improvement of quality. Construction requires the products of more than 70 industries. More than 90 percent of the material resources supplied to the construction industry are produced by the building-materials, metallurgical, chemical, woodworking, machine-building, metalworking, and light industries. At the end of 1974 the construction organizations had large complements of construction machines and equipment: 132,600 power shovels, 38,700 scrapers, 131,200 bulldozers, and 148,800 mobile cranes. The level of integrated mechanization in construction in 1974 was high: 97.9 percent in excavation work, 97.4 percent in erection work, 92 percent in the mixing of concrete (including work done in prefabrication plants), 82.8 percent in the preparation of mortar (including work done in prefabrication plants), and 91.6 percent in concrete and reinforced-concrete construction. Seventy percent of all plastering work and 75.1 percent of painting were mechanized. The use of prefabricated structural components increased, and the production of precast reinforced-concrete items grew from 1.2 million cu m in 1950 to 109 million cu m in 1974.
The industrialization of construction has caused a fundamental shift in the types of material resources used. Building materials are factory processed to an ever greater degree, and they arrive at construction sites in various forms, including large ready-to-use elements, prefabricated reinforced-concrete, wood, and steel structural members, panels, assembled modules, and semifinished parts. The industrialization of construction is responsible for the increased share of embodied labor and the higher relative share of expenditures for material resources in the costs of construction and assembly work. Moreover, the introduction of more efficient designs together with scientific and technological progress in the production of structural elements and materials has resulted in a reduction in the consumption of materials. For example, the basic materials required for a comparable physical unit volume of construction product have been reduced, and the total weight of material resources required for 1 million rubles of construction work is less.
The most important economic principle in the industrialization of construction is that the rates of development of the production base are higher than the growth in the volume of construction work. Further improvement of the material and technical basis for construction is linked with the development and modernization of major enterprises for the manufacture of reinforced-concrete, steel, aluminum, and wood structures and with the use of new building materials, such as plastics and aluminum alloys, alongside traditional materials. The creation of the material and technical basis for construction in economic regions by means of the cooperation and integration of enterprises is provided for during the planning stage. In order to accomplish this, patterns for siting the enterprises are worked out, feasibility reports are prepared, and products to be manufactured are specified, all based on the needs of the region (with interregional needs taken into account) and on the existing centers of concentrated construction.
The use of material and technical resources makes it possible to enlarge the enterprises to economically expedient sizes, to specialize and integrate the enterprises, and to tool up with modern high-efficiency equipment. An important task in the development of a material and technical basis of construction is to produce larger structural units and elements for buildings as well as assembly units for technological, sanitary-engineering, electrical, and other equipment. This makes it possible to convert construction sites into assembly areas, shorten the construction time, and improve the quality of construction.
The improvement in the technological standards of the fixed capital stock for construction is directed toward the further growth of productivity of construction workers. This is achieved by means of various programs: by providing construction organizations with highly efficient excavating, earth-moving, pipe-laying, and other machines mounted on conventional tractors or wheeled prime movers with ratings between 180 and 500 hp; by substantially increasing the production of loaders, including those in the 10-to 15-ton class; by increasing the production of mobile jib cranes mounted on truck chassis with telescoping booms and load-carrying capacities of 25,40,63, and 100 tons; by designing and manufacturing machine systems for the rapid construction of roads; and by providing the construction industry with more and better mechanized tools, finishing and roofing machines, and other small mechanized equipment. The load-carrying capacity of motor-vehicle transport equipment used in construction is being increased, dump-trailer trains are being introduced, and the number of types of specialized transport facilities for hauling large structural components from factories to construction sites is being expanded. Enterprises manufacturing structural components and parts are being equipped with specialized production lines that permit the integrated mechanization of production and the partial automation of some production processes. The development of the material and technical basis for construction has been a most important factor in reducing the number of workers per 1 million rubles of estimated costs for construction work from 342 in 1950 to 85 in 1975.
Provision is being made for large capital investments to develop the production base for construction organizations and to equip these organizations with the latest machinery. Between 1971 and 1975 the state’s capital investment for the development of the construction industry amounted to 16.7 billion rubles, compared to 11.5 billion rubles between 1966 and 1970. Moreover, when major construction projects are carried out in remote, undeveloped regions of the country, additional capital investments for the development of production bases of construction organizations are made by the industries for which the construction is being done.
Technological progress. The Program of the CPSU, the decisions of the party congresses, and the decrees of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR take into account the need for the rapid development and technological improvement of the construction and building-materials industries. These industries must reach a level that meets the needs of the national economy and that minimizes construction times, reduces costs, and improves quality. These needs can be met by means of systematic industrialization and the fastest possible transition to the use of finished, large-size structural components to erect fully prefabricated buildings and structures.
The principal trend in the scientific and technological progress in construction is toward a higher level of industrialization. Industrialization makes it possible to convert work at construction sites into mechanized, assembly-line erecting of buildings and structures from prefabricated, large-size structural components. The development of housing construction using large panels reduces the construction time and labor expenditures required for standardized designs and reduces the weight of the materials and structural components in apartment buildings.
Research on major problems has provided solutions that raise construction to the level of an advanced industry in the national economy. Many new, efficient structural elements have been developed that employ lightweight concretes, high-strength reinforcement, high-strength and very high-strength steels, asbestos cement, laminated wood, and polymeric materials. The technological development of buildings and structures in industrial construction is based on the extensive application of standardized and flexible designs, the integration of major and subsidiary shops, and the use of new types of industrial buildings, such as pavilion-type structures with service floors and two-story buildings with wider spacing between support columns. The principal trends in the construction of agricultural buildings and structures are toward larger buildings grouped together, integrated mechanization and automation of agricultural production, and provision of a controlled climate for the production premises.
In housing construction (seeHOUSING AND CIVIL CONSTRUCTION), new types of dwellings have been developed for standardized construction that are more adapted to the different climatic conditions of the country, better designed architecturally and structurally, and more hygienic. There is extensive construction of nine-, 12-, and 16-story dwellings with improved heating and sound insulation. The modernization and technological improvement of large-panel housing construction are being achieved by a more extensive use of large-size, lightweight structural components incorporating heat-insulating, finishing, waterproofing, and sound-insulating materials, by the wider use of load-bearing and enclosing structural components made of lightweight concretes with porous aggregates, and by an increase in the degree to which prefabricated structural components are completed at the factory. In public and cultural construction projects new types of buildings are designed by integrating and enlarging individual buildings having different purposes; the aesthetic qualities are also being improved. Frame-panel structural components have been developed for public buildings; they permit a higher level of industrialization, a reduction in construction time, and a reduction of the labor required for construction by 15 to 30 percent.
Engineering improvements in construction production are governed by the introduction of new designs, efficient building materials, parts, and structural components with a high degree of prefabrication, and new, highly efficient erection and production processes. Along with the modernization of traditional methods of erecting buildings and installing technological equipment, new methods are being developed, for example, the lift-slab method and the progressive and modular assembly of buildings and structures. Progressive assembly and installation has been used for very large construction projects, such as the Kama Truck Plant. In comparison with piece-by-piece erection, it has resulted in higher labor productivity, shorter construction time, lower costs, and better quality work.
The installation of technological equipment is being improved by enlarging the units to be assembled both at the factories and at the construction sites, by installing structural components and equipment simultaneously, and by using the thrust method. Techniques for earth moving, masonry, finishing, and other operations are also being improved. In order to reduce the amount of laborious finishing work, greater use is being made of methods for dry-finishing, such as facing surfaces with large panels made of various materials. In addition, drill-filling piles are used for foundations.
Other important trends in technical progress in construction include raising the level of integrated mechanization, providing new types of high-efficiency machines, mechanized tools, and transportation facilities, eliminating manual work, and improving the technology, organization, and management of construction. In the future, the industrialization of construction will bring about conditions close to those of industrial production and will convert construction sites into assembly areas.
The development of construction is associated with greater specialization, cooperation, and integration and with closer ties between construction and other branches of industry. As the engineering level of construction is raised, so is the engineering level in the manufacture of materials, structural components and parts produced for construction by related branches of industry.
Measures taken to improve the planning of capital construction projects and to increase the economic incentive to construction call for more effective capital investments, a higher rate of completion of industrial projects, an increase in labor productivity, and lower construction costs on the basis of the latest achievements in science and technology.
Construction science. Construction science studies various construction practices and draws generalizations, recognizes objective principles for the development of construction, and from these principles works out proposals for accelerating the scientific and technological progress of construction. Construction science includes several theoretical disciplines, such as structural mechanics, strength of materials, soil mechanics, and structural physics; the design and manufacture of structural components; the problems of engineering equipment and sanitary engineering for cities, buildings, and structures; the methods for the organization, mechanization, and automation of construction; the problems of hydraulic engineering, construction of transportation installations, and other specialized types of construction; the economics of construction.
A network of research institutes has been established in the USSR for all the major branches of construction. The training of construction specialists at higher educational institutions has been expanded considerably. In 1975 research was being conducted in more than 100 research institutes, with a total staff of approximately 15,000. Important achievements of Soviet scientists have included research on the theory of structures and the development of new types of structural components, including the limit-state design, on which the Construction Code is based, complex spatial systems, and design of metal structures for fatigue strength and brittle failure. Based on a large group of studies in the theory of structures and soil mechanics, conducted with extensive use of digital computers, computation and design methods for very tall structures and methods for construction at low temperatures have been developed. Efficient designs have been developed for frame and large-panel high-rise buildings and for buildings and structures constructed underground or under complex environmental conditions, such as permafrost, seismic activity, and settling ground. Experimental checks are made on methods of economic activities in construction.
In order to bring theory and practice closer together and to create more favorable conditions for the rapid incorporation of scientific advances into designing and construction, several research institutes have been combined with design organizations.
Construction management in the USSR. The organization of construction management in the USSR is constantly being refined. In accord with a resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR, since 1967 the system of construction management has been based on the territorial-branch principle: construction organizations are directed by the all-Union, all-Union and republic, and republic construction ministries, but the organization of these ministries also includes the principal territorial construction directorates, combines, associations, and other bodies.
Industrial, housing, and civil construction is carried on by the Ministry of Construction for Heavy Industrial Enterprises of the USSR, by the Ministry of Industrial Construction of the USSR, and by the Ministry of Construction of the USSR. These ministries specialize in construction projects for the corresponding branches of industry and conduct their own operations in certain regions of the country. The construction of transportation facilities, such as railroad lines, roads, bridges, tunnels, subways, facilities for ocean and river transport, and airfields, is entrusted to the All-Union Ministry of Transportation Construction. Rural construction is carried on chiefly by the All-Union and Republic Ministry of Rural Construction of the USSR. A special role is filled by the All-Union and Republic Ministry of Installation and Specialized Work of the USSR, which stands in relation to the other ministries as a subcontractor for the installation of production, electrical, and sanitary-engineering equipment, monitoring and test instruments, and automation devices and for the erection of complicated structures and facilities.
The construction of gas and oil pipelines is entrusted to the All-Union Ministry of Construction for Oil and Gas Industrial Enterprises. The Ministry of Energy Resources and Electrification of the USSR constructs and maintains electric power plants and transmission lines. The Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Use Management of the USSR constructs and maintains water-management structures. The Ministry of the Coal Industry of the USSR constructs and maintains buildings and structures for the coal industry.
In the largest cities, such as Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev, construction is mostly directed by central boards, which are subordinate to the city executive committees of the local soviets of people’s deputies; in Tashkent, the central board is subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the Uzbek SSR.
The organizational structure of construction management is continually being refined. The principal trend is to shorten administrative channels by creating large construction amalgamations and combines responsible for their own profit and loss. Prefabricated-housing combines, which have become common in residential construction, are a typical example. Similarly organized rural-construction combines are now operating successfully. Factory-construction combines have been created for industrial construction work. The level of specialization is rising; in 1974 it reached 61 percent of the total volume of contracted work completed.
New possibilities for improving management organization arise with the introduction of automated systems of construction management that use the methods of mathematical economics and computer technology. These systems are being applied in all-Union and republic construction ministries as well as in large construction organizations.
In May 1950 the USSR State Committee for Construction (Gosstroi) was established under the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Its tasks include (1) the pursuit of a common technical policy aimed at accelerating technical progress and improving efficiency in construction, (2) improvement of urban development and architecture and of the planning and building of cities, settlements, and villages, (3) refinement of the process of establishing technical and economic norms in construction and design, (4) the development and implementation of proposals for the introduction of scientific labor management, the reduction of costs and construction times, and the improvement of quality (in conjunction with the ministries), (5) the advancement of structural science, (6) the improvement in the efficiency of research, and (7) the introduction of scientific and advanced practical achievements into design and construction.
Construction in other socialist countries. A major program of capital construction is being carried out in the other socialist countries. Between 1950 and 1974, the volume of construction work in Hungary increased by a factor of 5.4; in the German Democratic Republic, by 6.7; in the Mongolian People’s Republic, by 34; in Poland, by 12; in Rumania, by 15; and in Czechoslovakia, by 7. In Bulgaria construction work increased by a factor of 6.3 between 1952 and 1974. Construction has become a major branch of production, with high growth rates of capital investments (see Table 2).
|Table 2. Rates of growth of capital investments in the foreign socialist countries (in percent; compared with 1950)|
|German Democratic Republic ...............||100||569||1,072|
|Mongolian People’s Republic ...............||100||1,983||3,250|
Capital construction in the countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) features mutual design and construction assistance and cooperative construction of various projects. The USSR gives considerable help to the other socialist countries. As of Jan. 1, 1975, the number of enterprises and other projects that have been built, are being built, or are being planned in these countries with the technical cooperation of the USSR totaled 2,018, of which 1,416 had been put into operation. In turn, the other socialist countries have assisted in capital construction of the USSR with consignments of various products.
Joint construction work on the part of the COMECON member countries has been carried out on major industrial complexes and projects, such as the Mir integrated energy systems, the trans-European oil pipeline Druzhba, and several gas pipelines. Multilateral cooperation in the construction of major industrial complexes is developing in many countries. For example, the USSR has under construction the Ust’-Ilimsk Pulp-and-paper Combine, the Kiembai Asbestos Combine, and the main gas pipeline from Orenburg to the western border of the USSR; in Poland, a metallurgical plant in the vicinity of Katowice is under construction. The principal trends in the cooperation among COMECON member countries in construction during the last 10–15 years have been formulated by the Comprehensive Program for the Further Extension and Improvement of Cooperation and the Development of Socialist Economic Integration of the COMECON Member Countries.
COMECON member countries are providing economic and technical assistance to the developing countries. As of Jan. 1, 1975, 899 projects have been completed, are being built, or are being planned in the developing countries with the technical cooperation of the USSR; of these, 472 are now in operation. Major power-engineering, metallurgical, and machine-building plants and enterprises for the building-materials and construction industries are being built in India, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries with the assistance of COMECON member countries. The construction work performed with the assistance of the USSR and other socialist countries also serves as a school for the large-scale training of technical personnel and skilled construction workers.
The socialist countries are also developing cooperation in construction with developed capitalist countries. On mutually beneficial terms, they usually participate in the construction of major industrial projects.
Construction in developed capitalist countries. Construction is an important branch of the economy in the developed capitalist countries. The construction of superhighways, military projects, educational and other public buildings, and water-supply and sewage systems is chiefly done at government expense. The processes of concentration of production and capital are becoming more entrenched, and construction monopolies are being formed. Thus, in the USA the number of large construction companies is diminishing, while the volume of work performed is increasing.
Large monopolies in the USA include Ralph M. Parsons Co. and Bechtel Corporation. Many firms appear as subsidiaries of large monopolies, for example, M. W. Kellogg Co. (USA), a subsidiary of Pullman Incorporated, and Kaiser Engineers, Inc. (USA), of Kaiser Industries Corporation. The Japanese companies and groups Mitsui, Mitsubishi, and Hitachi have special construction branches.
Design and construction work is also done by such monopolies as FIAT (Italy) and Imperial Chemical Industries (Great Britain). Specialized divisions of monopolies and consortia are created for the construction of projects requiring large amounts of capital, such as atomic power plants. Such divisions include Atomics International Division (USA), a subsidiary of North American Aviation, Inc., and the construction-engineering consortium Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. (Great Britain). In general, the rate of growth of capital investments in the developed capitalist countries is substantially lower than the corresponding figures in the socialist countries (see Table 3).
|Table 3. Rates of growth of capital investments in the developed capitalist countries (in percent; compared with 1950)|
|Federal Republic of Germany ...............||100||353||432|
|Great Britain ...............||100||228||288|
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I. T. NOVIKOV