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10 Wise Construction Quotes to Inspire Your Next Project

10 construction quotes title image with cartoon construction man carrying quotation marks

For millennia, humans have created structures and buildings, altering our environments to bring protection, comfort, and connection. While the construction methods and tools have changed over time, the reasoning and motivations behind why we build remain constant.

As we look to the future of building and design, we can learn from and be inspired by wise words from the past. Here are ten of our favorite construction- and design-related quotes.

1. “We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” – Winston Churchill
A building is more than the sum of its parts. It’s the environment in which we live, work, worship, and connect. How we design, build, and maintain them impacts how we feel and perform in them. What we choose to build says a lot about who we are and what we value.

2. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin
It’s often tempting to opt for the lowest-cost teams, materials, and finishes, but low cost ≠ best value. It’s not uncommon for the cheapest options to cost more in the long run. While you and your team need to stick to the budget, it’s also important to consider the total lifecycle cost of the building and its components.

 Learn more about life cycle cost and its role in value engineering in this blog.

3. “Each of us is carving a stone, erecting a column, or cutting a piece of stained glass in the construction of something much bigger than ourselves.” – Adrienne Clarkson
One of the most inspiring aspects of being in construction is seeing how our work contributes to the bigger picture. In isolation, each project team member’s contribution may be relatively small, but it’s far from insignificant. The final building is a result of the hard work of each and every team member.

4. “Building is about getting around the obstacles that are presented to you.” – Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Renner may be best known for his on-screen roles, but he’s no stranger to a construction site. This actor has renovated over 20 residential properties and gained some insight along the way. When it comes down to it, no construction project is going to be without challenges. Planning and collaboration can help reduce their impact, but only luck can eliminate them entirely. Instead, good construction and design teams know how to roll up their sleeves and find creative and effective solutions.

5. “Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.” – Stephen Gardiner
Plain and simple, this quote reminds us how important it is to choose the right building and design team. Choose firms that take the time to understand your vision for the project are committed to realizing that vision through their work.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right construction team for your project.

6. “You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it requires people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney
Throughout the design and preconstruction process, it’s imperative to keep in mind or involve the people who will be using the building on a daily basis. Sure, buildings that look new and beautiful can be a success, but what’s really important is that they work for the people they’re meant to serve.

7. “You can use an eraser on the drafting table, or a sledgehammer on the construction site.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
We love this quote because it speaks to the importance of early collaboration between all the project’s stakeholders. It’s much easier to make changes on the drawing board than to wait until the construction process. This type of collaboration is a key part of project delivery methods like design-build and IPD, and the construction process is smoother because of it.

Learn more about design-build and the benefits of collaboration in construction in this blog.

8. “A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” – Louis Kahn
When you’re first contemplating your new building, ask yourself what you’d truly like the space to accomplish. This could be to draw in new clients or members or to create a space that’s motivating and comfortable for your employees. These goals may be hard to measure, but your design and construction team will help you create a concrete space that helps you realize those goals.

9. “Construction is the art of making a meaningful whole out of many parts. Buildings are witnesses to the human ability to construct concrete things.” – Peter Zumthor
Construction transforms wood, concrete, metal, and glass into offices, homes, churches, hospitals, and businesses. Engineers, architects, project managers, and subcontractors come together to create the structures that house our communities.

10. “The door handle is the handshake of the building.” – Juhani Pallasmaa
Each day when you walk into your building, what are you shaking on?

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