North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 1997

23 - Construction

This sector comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing, repairing and renovating buildings and engineering works, and in subdividing and developing land. These establishments may operate on their own account or under contract to other establishments. They may produce complete projects or just parts of projects. Establishments often subcontract some or all of the work involved in a project. Establishments may produce new construction, or undertake repairs and renovations to existing structures.

A construction establishment may be the only establishment of an enterprise, or one of several establishments of an integrated real estate enterprise engaged in the land assembly, development, financing, building and sale of large projects.

Establishments classified in this sector are known by a variety of trade designations depending on the scope of the projects they undertake, the degree of responsibility and risk that they assume, and the type of structure that they produce. Prime contractors are primarily engaged in the construction of complete works, while trade contractors primarily undertake a component of a project, under contract to a prime contractor or a principal.

There are two main types of construction produced - buildings and engineering works. Buildings are distinguished by their primary function, such as residential, commercial and industrial. Engineering works include dams; non-building industrial works such as refineries; highways, roads and streets; bridges; sewers; power and communications transmission lines; and similar structures and works.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • manufacturing and installing building equipment, such as power boilers; manufacturing pre-fabricated buildings(31-33)
    • operating highways, streets and bridges(48-49)
    • project management (See 56 Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services)

231 - Prime Contracting

This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing complete works, whether buildings or engineering works. Projects undertaken by these establishments typically have several components, varying proportions of which can be subcontracted to trade contractors or done by the establishment's own labour force.

Establishments in this subsector operate under a variety of contractual arrangements, and assume varying degrees of risk. General contractors bid on contracts let by principals; they assume responsibility for successfully completing the structure but not for its sale. Developers build on own account, that is, for sale, or for transfer to a real estate operating establishment of an integrated enterprise. This type of establishment is often known in the trade as an own-account or speculative builder. Construction managers are paid to manage a construction project on a fee-for-service basis.

Prime contractors may operate under standard contractual arrangements between client and builder, or may employ arrangements such as joint venture, design-build and turnkey. In all cases, establishments in this subsector primarily undertake or manage the construction activity, as distinct from doing design work, project financing, building operation or similar activities classified to other sectors.

Establishments primarily engaged in erecting prefabricated buildings on site, and establishments acting as the prime contractor on repair projects involving more than one construction trade, are also included in this subsector.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • undertaking a component of a project (See 232 Trade Contracting)

2312 - Building Construction

This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing residential and non-residential buildings. Contractors primarily engaged in work on existing buildings, involving more than one trade, are included in this industry group. Work on existing buildings includes repairs, renovations, additions, rehabilitation, retro-fitting and conversions.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • constructing heavy industrial plants and mills, of which a building is incidental to the complex (See 2313 Engineering Construction)
23121 - Residential Building Construction

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing residential buildings, such as houses, garden homes, cottages, apartments and townhouses. Establishments primarily engaged in erecting prefabricated homes are also included.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • constructing hotels and motels (See 23122 Non-Residential Building Construction)
23122 - Non-Residential Building Construction

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in constructing commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. Important types of commercial and institutional buildings are offices, hotels, restaurants, arenas, churches and penitentiaries. Important types of industrial buildings are factories, and heavy industrial plants for the production of such products as aluminum and cement. The erection of prefabricated commercial or institutional buildings is also included.

  • Exclusion(s):

    Establishments primarily engaged in:

    • constructing apartment buildings (See 23121 Residential Building Construction)
    • constructing water filtration, sewage treatment and garbage disposal plants (See 23139 Other Engineering Construction)
    • constructing heavy industrial plants and mills, of which a building is incidental to the complex (See 23139 Other Engineering Construction)
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