What Is a Construction Developer?

Businessmen in hard hats looking up in office building Construction developer visiting a project. Image Credit: altrendo images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Financing a construction project relies on having considerable funds available and for many individuals this isn't possible. Though there are some wealthy individual developers, it's more common for a collective of people to form a development company to spread the costs and risks of a construction project among a group. A construction developer is an individual or organisation involved in the procurement of land and construction of buildings on that land.

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Project Feasibility

One of the principle roles of a developer is to assess the feasibility of a project. Feasibility studies look at all aspects of construction viability including construction site acquisition, planning consents, financing and appointing a professional team to undertake the design and construction. Historically, a developer's role was the remit of an architect and for many projects still is, but for larger projects it's more common for developers to take a managerial role and apportion work to construction professionals who can undertake and complete their own specialized roles within a project.

Financing and Project Timing

Developers are often the main financiers of construction projects. Many developers will have served apprenticeships in construction trades and will have a clear understanding of building design and construction related issues. Some developers will have in-house accountants who are aware of the financial aspects of running construction projects and more importantly when to begin them. Project success is often time-dependent as many buildings are built speculatively relative to economic trends that can quickly change.

Assembling a Team

The logistics of running construction projects is complex and one of the key objectives for a developer is the appointment of a professional team to undertake the design and construction. Though some development companies will have all the resources within their establishment, it's far more common to appoint consultants with specific experience in the nature of the project they are engaged in. One of the greatest demands on developers is the organization of the design and construction with their liaison to meet project deadlines.


Ultimately, construction developers are well-versed in project management and the demands of running a project in terms of resources and manpower. Working with multiple construction professionals who often have their own agendas requires patient and disciplined managers who are able to get different groups working together toward a combined goal. Project success is often time-dependent and meeting deadlines ranks among the most important aspects of a developer's responsibilities.