Published here June, 2009.

Introduction | Commentary


Yes, the chapters in this book Building a Century are self-congratulatory, as might be expected of a proud company like Bechtel. However, the descriptions and many pictures of very large and challenging projects show what can be done in projects involving major civil engineering works. What this book does is to trace great works of building and civil engineering often with innovative and high-risk technological approaches. And it does so over a time span of more than 100 years.

Suggested issues for discussion

  1. Is it still possible to build such a company "dynasty" today?
  2. If so, why or why not?
  3. Should we be building "Big Projects" today, given the current economic crisis?
  4. If no, then why not, or if yes, then what "Big Projects" would you suggest?
  5. And who should pay for them, or where will the money come from?
  6. What is the difference between projects like these and social projects?
  7. Which types of project have the most lasting effect?
  8. And does it mean that those projects provide the most long-lasting value?
  9. How do projects such as those portrayed compare to, say, large IT projects?
  10. Which would you prefer to work on and why?
Introduction  Introduction

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