Algemene aannemers in de Belgische bouwsector (1870-1970) Afbakening van de beroepsactiviteiten in een interprofessionele context



The turn of the twentieth century was a tuming point for the Belgian construction sector.
The emergence of general contractors enacted a re-examination of job responsibilities
among general contractors, architects and engineers. This paper analyses how Belgian
general contractors claimed their new position as organisers and executors of
construction, and how they interacted with other construction actors. The analysis shows
it took a long time to capture the gradual shift of tasks legally, started in the 1890s yet
only finalized by the 1960s. This slow legislative adaptation gave rise to many conflicts
on job responsibilities, yet also collaborative actions were undertaken. This allows us to
conclude that general contractors, architects and engineers mainly engaged in conversation
with each other in order to identify and outline their changing functions and