Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolf shipyard Belfast, Ireland and designed to compete with the rival Conrad Line’s Lusitania and Mauretania. Titanic, along with her Olympic-class sisters, Olympic and the soon-to-be-built Britannic (which was to be called Gigantic at first), were intended to be the largest, most luxurious ships ever to operate. The designers were Lord Pirrie, a director of both Harland and Wolff and White Star, and the naval architect Thomas Andrews, Harland and Wolff's construction manager and head of their design department, and Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general manager. Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations, the equipment and all general arrangements, including the implementation of an efficient lifeboat davit design. Carlisle would leave the project in 1910, before the ships were launched.
Construction of RMS Titanic, funded by the American J.P. Morgan and his International Mercantile Marine Co, began on March 31st 1909. Titanic's hull was launched on 3 May 31st 1911, and her outfitting was completed by March 31st the following year. Her length overall was 882 feet 9 inches, She was equipped with two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine, each driving a propeller. There were 29 boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots (26 mph). Only three of the four 62 foot funnels were functional, the fourth served only for ventilation, was added to make the ship look more impressive. The ship could carry a total of 3,547 passengers and crew.
Titanic was fitted with five blast and bilge pumps, used for trimming the vessel, and three bilge pumps. Two 10-inch main ballast pipes ran the length of the ship and valves controlling the distribution of water were operated from the bulkhead deck, above. The total discharge capacity from all eight pumps operating together was 1,700 tons or 425,000 gallons per hour. During the disaster, the engineers reported that the pumps succeeded in slowing the flooding of No. 6-boiler room in the first ten minutes after the collision happened. The pumps also kept pace with the flooding on No. 5-boiler room. This does not indicate that the vessel could have maintained buoyancy indefinitely, but as long as the pumps had steam to power them, the ship could slow down the flooding. Titanic could not founder until these sections were flooded and the inrush of water overwhelmed the pumps.
Titanic surpassed all her rivals in luxury and opulence. The First-class section had an on-board swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash court, Turkish bath, Eclectic bath and a Verandah Cafe. First-class common rooms were adorned with ornate wood paneling, expensive furniture and other decorations. In addition, the Café Parisien offered cuisine for the first-class passengers, with a sunlit veranda fitted with trellis decorations. There were libraries and barbershops in both the first and second-class. The third class general room had pine paneling and sturdy teak furniture. The ship incorporated technologically advanced features for the period. She had three electric elevators in first class and one in second class. She had also an extensive electrical subsystem with steam-powered generators and ship-wide wiring feeding electric lights and two Marconi radios, including a powerful 1,500-watt set manned by two operators working in shifts, allowing constant contact and the transmission of many passenger messages. First-class passengers paid a hefty fee for such amenities. The most expensive one-way trans-Atlantic passage was £875 or $4,375 ($99,237 as of 2011)