Your daddy may have been a steel-drivin' man, but here, we raise Void-forged titanium struts into a framework with nanoscopic lash and weld techniques into a modular and easily-customizable structure, son. “The Ballad of Henry Johns”, old Eridani folk song
The Construction sphere is centered around the building and maintenance of other Houses' facilities. It offers a discount on your own facility building times, and allows you to profit from other Houses raising their own facilities - but nerfs have meant that it is also a quickly saturated and not often entirely profitable sphere!
This sphere of activity allows a House to earn income from the facility-building activities of other Houses - as well as effectively giving the operating House a discount to all of its own facility building operations. Additionally, a house operating construction as a primary or secondary sphere of activity will benefit from reduced facility building times.
In order to gain income from construction, your House must first build a construction facility on a planet. Whenever any House then builds, upgrades or dismantles any facilities on that planet, you will profit, as your operation will receive some or all of the work involved in the construction of that facility. If the facility being built is one of your own, then you will regain some of the cost of building the facility - in the form of income for your construction facilities on that planet.
Additionally, construction facilities will receive a share of a small percentage of the total maintenance costs of all facilities operating on a planet, to represent ongoing repair and renovation work. So, even if nobody builds any new facilities on a planet where you have construction facilities, you will still earn a little income.
Note that the income gained from construction for a facility is reported on your construction operations page by month, rather than by day. This is because of the erratic nature of much construction income, as outlined above - some days you will receive only a little income from facility maintenance, other days hundreds or even thousands of solars.
As with all spheres, you conduct your operations by following the relevant link from your HQ page in the 'Spheres of Activity' section - in this case, 'Construction'. From this screen, you may build and administer your construction facilities. There are three types of construction facility:
The actual cost to build any facility is influenced by the distance of the site from your homeworld and the competence of your sphere leader. Maintenance costs are likewise affected by your leader's competence. Also, build and maintenance costs are reduced on poorer planets, and increased on richer worlds, due to differences in labour and materials costs. Construction facilities also increase the demand for machinery on planets where large numbers of such facilities are built.
Like all income-generating operations, the larger the facility, the greater the potential profit. In the case of construction, the larger facilities will gain a bigger share of the construction profits generated on a given planet. Roughly 20% of all facility building costs go into the 'pool' of available construction income for that planet, so on worlds where many facilities are being constructed, this sphere of activity can be highly profitable.
In order to construct a new facility, go to your Construction Operations screen from your HQ, and click on the 'plus' sign to the right of the 'Construction Facilities' heading. This will open up a new row for you to select the planet and facility type, and name your facility to help distinguish it from others of the same type. Submit the new details by clicking on the green tick at the end of this row. Alternatively, you may go to the planet where you want the facility constructed, click on the 'View Facilities' link, and then use the link in the top right hand corner of the screen to build your facility. Once you have ordered the construction of a facility you must wait for it to be completed, which will take some time. To view the facilities you currently have under construction, you can follow links both from the Construction Operations screen and any planet's 'View Facilities' screen. This will also tell you how many game days remain before completion of the facility.
From your Construction Operations screen you can also upgrade an existing facility to the next largest type, by clicking the 'upgrade' icon which appears to the left of each facility's type. You can also dismantle a facility using the red cross icon, should you have no further use for this facility. In this case, you will recoup around one third of the original cost of building the facility, once dismantling is complete.
You can rename a facility simply by clicking on the existing facility name, which will make it amendable. Submit your new name by clicking the green tick that will appear alongside the input box.
It should be noted that there is a cap on the daily amount of construction income any one facility can take, based on the size of the facility, to reflect the maximum output possible for that facility. This will not normally be noticeable except in the case of very large construction projects. The construction of a huge fortress for example, will require the combined efforts of many construction plants and so even if you are the only House with a construction plant on a given planet, you will only receive the (still ample) capped income - the rest being assumed to go to 'non-player' construction plants.
As seen in the Rulebook
Construction is one of the more easily saturated spheres in Imperium Nova. Since the latest patches which made Technology pyramids much more difficult to maintain, and which slashed construction income, it's become even more difficult to make sustainable. Usually any more than one competitor (and sometimes one is enough) can make the sphere completely unprofitable.
Construction facilities will generate an increase of 3.5 solars (one increment) to the machinery price on a planet for every three facilities. The majority of planets cannot support that many, and very few can support more than nine, so it is a minor factor. It should be noted that construction's effect on demand hasn't been fully tested.
Generally, only one construction facility per 100-150 other facilities can be profitable, if no new facilities are being constructed in the planet.