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1. A scheduling term
2. The smallest work unit within a project; the basic building block
of a project.
The Americans with Disabilities Act which gives civil rights protection
to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals
on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion.
It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities
in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and
local government services, and telecommunications.
(Addenda) Written information adding to, clarifying or modifying
the bidding documents. An addendum is generally issued by the owner
to the contractor during the bidding process and as such, addenda
are intended to become part of the contract documents when the construction
contract is executed.
One authorized by a client (principal) to act in his/her stead or
behalf and owes the client a "fiduciary duty" (Trust). Example:
Construction Manager for fee but classified as an independent contractor
for tax purposes. A construction manager for fee does not have any
financial responsibility whereas a construction manager at-risk
does have financial risk similar to a general contractor.
An arrangement between the parties regarding a method of action.
1. A term used to describe partial construction work performed within
an existing structure
2. Remodeling without a building addition.
Amount stated in the bid to be added or deducted from the base bid
amount proposed for alternate materials and/or methods of construction.
Application for Payment
Contractor's written request for payment for completed portions
of the work and, for materials delivered or stored and properly
labeled for the respective project.
One who designs and supervises the construction of buildings or
Architects Basic Services
A recognized series of phases performed by an architect as follows:
1st Schematic Design Phase, 2nd Design Development
Phase, 3rd Construction Document Phase, 4th
Bidding or Negotiated Phase, 5th Construction Phase.
An individual or firm offering professional services as both architect
A line drawing showing plan and/or elevation views of the proposed
building for the purpose of showing the overall appearance of the
As-Built Drawings (also known
as Record Drawings)
Contract drawings marked up to reflect changes made during the construction
process. It is good practice to make As-Built drawings by
marking the changes on reproducible drawings such a sepias for the
duplication purposes later.
1. An offer or proposal of a price
2. The amount offered or proposed. (see RFP)
A written form of security executed by the bidder as principal and
by a surety for the purpose of guaranteeing that the bidder will
sign the contract, if awarded the contract, for the stated bid amount.
The due date and time set by the owner, architect or engineer for
A standard written form furnished to all bidders for the purpose
of obtaining the requested information and required signatures from
the authorized bidding representatives.
The actual process of opening and tabulating bids submitted within
the prescribed bid date/time and conforming with the bid procedures.
A Bid Opening can be open (where the bidders are permitted to attend)
or closed (where the bidders are not permitted to attend). (see
Bid Date/Time, Open Bid, Closed Bid)
The stipulated sum stated in the bidder’s bid.
A summary sheet listing all bid prices for the purpose of analyzing
the bid results. Bid tabulations include the required items of the
invitation to bid and usually include bid amount, completion time,
addenda's included, contract exclusions, bonding rate, etc. Often
times, the apparent low bidder is not the low bidder. (see Bid Form
A buyer or client who seeks to play one proposed supplier or subcontractor
against the other for the purpose of reducing a purchase price.
Bid Time (see Bid Date/Time)
The published advertisement or written invitation to bid , instructions
to bidders, the bid form and the proposed contract documents including
any acknowledged addenda issued prior to receipt of bids.
The calendar period allowed from issuance of bidding requirements
and contract documents to the prescribed bid date/time. ( see Bid
The written minimum acceptable requirements set forth by the owner
to the contractor during bidding process. The owner usually reserves
the right to reject a bid if the Bidding Requirements are not met.
(see Bidding Documents)
Bond (see Bid Bond; Contract
Bond; Contract Payment Bond; Contract Performance Bond; Labor and
Material Payment Bond; Performance Bond; Subcontractor Bond; surety)
A properly licensed firm or corporation willing to execute a surety
bond, or bonds, payable to the owner, securing the performance on
a contract either in whole or in part; or securing payment for labor
1. An itemized summary of estimated or intended expenditures for
a given period of time
2. The total sum of money allocated for a specific project.
1. To form by combining materials or parts
2. A structure enclosed within a roof and within exterior walls
housing, shelter, enclosure and support of individuals, animals,
or real property of any kind.
The legal requirements set up by the prevailing various governing
agencies covering the minimum acceptable requirements for all types
of construction. (See Codes)
Building Envelope (Sometimes referred
to as Building Shell)
1. The waterproof elements of a building which enclose conditioned
spaces through which thermal energy may be transferred to or from
2. The outer structure of the building. (See Tenant and Leasehold
improvements for building interiors)
A qualified government representative authorized to inspect construction
for compliance with applicable building codes, regulations and ordinances.
Courts have ruled that building inspections are exempt from errors
and omissions liabilities.
A written document issued by the appropriate governmental authority
permitting construction to begin on a specific project in accordance
with drawings and specifications approved by the governmental authority.
A term used to express every step of a construction project from
it’s conception to final acceptance and occupancy.
A written document between the owner and the contractor signed by
the owner and the contractor authorizing a change in the work or
an adjustment in the contract sum or the contract time. A change
order may be signed by the architect or engineer, provided they
have written authority from the owner for such procedure and that
a copy of such written authority is furnished to the contractor
upon request. The contract sum and the contract time may be changed
only by change order. A change order may be in the form of additional
compensation or time; or less compensation or time known as a Deduction
(from the contract) the amount deducted from the contract sum by
Change Order Proposal (See Change
A change order proposal is the written document before it has been
approved and effected by the Contractor and Owner. A change order
proposal can be issued by either the contractor or the owner. The
change order proposal becomes a change order only after it has been
approved and effected by the Contractor and Owner.
Change Order Request
A written document issued by the owner requesting an adjustment
to the contract sum or an extension of the contract time; generally
issued by the architect or owners representative.
A service offered by constructionplace.com where only invited bidders
or estimators are given access to the project specific RFP (Request
for Proposal) information is given access to project specific
RFP (Request for Proposal) information. This option is for those
seeking bids/estimates from a pre qualified and selected list of
professionals or service. For security and easy access, the RFP
poster receives an e-mail showing the list of bidders/estimators
and links to View the RFP Details and View any Bids as
they are received.This e-mail gives the poster the ability to file
and track their respective RFP's using their own e-mail filing system.
(see Open Bid/Estimate)
Prevailing regulations, ordinances or statutory requirements set
forth by governmental agencies associated with building construction
practices and owner occupancy, adopted and administered for the
protection of public health, life safety and welfare. (see Building
All drawings, specifications and addenda associated with a specific
To assemble and combine construction materials and methods to make
The act or process of constructing.
1. The direct contractor costs for labor, material, equipment, and
services; contractors overhead and profit; and other direct construction
costs. Construction cost does not include the compensation paid
to the architect and engineer and consultants, the cost of the land,
rights-of-way or other costs which are defined in the contract documents
as being the responsibility of the owner. (see Soft Costs)
A term used to represent all drawings, specifications, addenda,
other pertinent construction information associated with the construction
of a specific project.
Construction Documents Phase
The third phase of the architect's basic services wherein the architect
prepares working drawings, specifications and bidding information.
Depending on the architects scope of services the architect may
assists the owner in the preparation of bidding forms, the conditions
of the contract and the form of agreement between the owner and
The owners review of the borrowers construction documents (plans
and specifications), list of materials, and cost breakdowns for
the purpose of confirming that these documents and estimates are
feasible and are in accordance with the proposed loan or project
Construction Inspector (see Project
Organizing and directing men, materials, and equipment to accomplish
the purpose of the designer.
Construction Management Contract
A written agreement wherein responsibilities for coordination and
accomplishment of overall project planning, design and construction
are given to a construction management firm. The building team generally
consists of the owner, contractor and designer or architect.
The fifth and final phase of the architect's basics services, which
includes the architect's general administration of the construction
One hired by the owner or client to give professional advise.
Cost Breakdown (see Schedule of
A numbering system given to specific kinds of work for the purpose
of organizing the cost control process of a specific project.
Cost of Work
All costs incurred by the contractor in the proper performance of
the work required by the plans and specifications for a specific
Cost Plus Contract (see Cost
Plus Fee Agreement)
Cost Plus Fee Agreement (Cost-Plus)
A written agreement with the owner under which the contractor or
the architect and engineer is reimbursed for his/her direct and
indirect costs and, in addition, is paid a fee for his services.
The fee is usually stated as a stipulated sum or as a percentage
1. An agreement between two or more parties, especially one
that is written and enforceable by law
2. The writing or document containing such an agreement.
The contractual duties and responsibilities of the architect and
engineer during the construction phase of a specific project.
A written form of security from a surety company, on behalf of an
acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor, guaranteeing
complete execution of the contract and all supplemental agreements
pertaining thereto and for the payment of all legal debts pertaining
to the construction of the project.
Contract Date (see date of agreement)
A term used to represent all executed agreements between the owner
and contractor; any general, supplementary or other contract conditions;
the drawings and specifications; all addenda issued prior to execution
of the contract; and any other items specifically stipulated as
being included in the contract documents.
Contract Over-run (under-run)
The difference between the original contract price and the final
completed cost including all adjustments by approved change order.
Contract Payment Bond
A written form of security from a surety company to the owner, on
behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor,
guaranteeing payment to all persons providing labor, materials,
equipment, or services in accordance with the contract.
Contract Performance Bond
A written form of security from a surety company to the owner, on
behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor,
guaranteeing the completion of the work in accordance with the terms
of the contract.
The elapsed number of working days or calendar days from the specified
date of commencing work to the specified date of completion, as
specified in the contract.
The total agreeable amount payable by the owner to the contractor
for the performance of the work under the contract documents. (see
The time period set forth established in the contract documents
for completing a specific project; usually stated in working days
or calendar days. The contract time can only be adjusted by valid
time extensions through change order.
The liability assumed by a party under a contract.
A properly licensed individual of company that agrees to furnish
labor, materials, equipment and associated services to perform the
work as specified for a specified price.
A written provision in the contract documents giving the contractor
the option of selecting certain specified materials, methods or
systems without changing in the contract sum.
Contractor's Qualification Statement
A written statement of the Contractor's experience and qualifications
submitted to the Owner during the contractor selection process.
The American Institute of Architects publishes a standard Contractor's
Qualification Statement form for this purpose.
An official representative of the owner with specific authority
to act in his behalf in connection with a specific project.
The set of activities that must be completed on time for the project
completion date to be met. Activities on the critical path have
no slack time.
Critical Path Method (C. P.M.)
A planning scheduling and control line and symbol diagram drawn
to show the respective tasks and activities involved in constructing
a specific project.
Construction Specification Institute
CSI Master Format
The CSI Master Format is a system of numbers and titles for organizing
construction information into a regular, standard order or sequence.
By establishing a master list of titles and numbers Master Format
promotes standardization and thereby facilitates the retrieval of
information and improves construction communication. It provides
a uniform system for organizing information in project manuals,
for organizing project cost data, and for filing product information
and other technical data.
Current Date Line
A vertical line on the chart indicating the current date.
A written document and record that has two main purposes:
1. they furnish information to off-site persons who need and have
a right to know important details of events as they occur daily
and hourly, and
2. they furnish historical documentation that might later have a
legal bearing in cases of disputes. Daily reports should be as factual
and impersonal as possible, free from the expression of personal
opinions and feelings. Each report should be numbered to correspond
with the working days established on the progress schedule. In the
event of no-work days, a daily report should still be made, stating
"no work today" ( due to rain, strike, or other causes). The report
includes a description of the weather; a record of the total number
of employees, subcontractors by name, work started and completed
today, equipment on the job site, job progress today, names and
titles of visitors, accidents and/or safety meetings, and a remarks
column for other job related information.
Date of Agreement
1. Usually on the front page of the agreement
2. If not on front page it may be the date opposite the signatures
when the agreement was actually signed
3. or when it was recorded
4. or the date the agreement was actually awarded to the contractor.
Date of Commencement of the Work
The date established in a written notice to proceed from the owner
to the contractor.
Date of Substantial Completion
The date certified by the architect when the work or a designated
portion thereof is sufficiently complete, in accordance with the
contract documents, so the owner may occupy the work or designated
portion thereof for the use for which it is intended.
The boundaries that separate your space from your neighbors' and
from the public corridor.
A graphical representation consisting of plan views, interior and
exterior elevations, sections, and other drawings and details to
depict the goal or purpose for a building or other structure.
When a Prime or Main contractor bids or negotiates to provide Design
and Construction services for the entire construction project.
A written agreement between and contractor and owner wherein the
contractor agrees to provide both design and construction services.
The second phase of the architect's basic services wherein the architect
prepares drawings and other presentation documents to fix and describe
the size and character of the entire project as to architectural,
structural, mechanical and electrical systems, materials and other
essentials as may be appropriate; and prepares a statement of probable
1. An individual part or item
2. A graphical scale representation (drawing at a larger scale)
of construction part(s) or item(s) showing materials, composition
Direct Cost (or expense)
All items of expense directly incurred by or attributable to a specific
project, assignment or task. Direct Costs, Hard Costs, and Construction
Costs are synonymous. (see Construction Costs and Hard Costs)
1. A term used to represent that portion of the contract documents
that graphically illustrates the design, location and dimensions
of the components and elements contained in a specific project
2. A line drawing.
The length of an activity, excluding holidays and other non-working
(see Professional Engineer)
1. To calculate approximately the amount, extent or value of something
2. To form an opinion of estimated costs.
Estimate of Construction Cost,
A calculation of costs prepared on the basis of a detailed analysis
of materials and labor for all items of work, as contrasted with
an estimate based on current area, volume or similar unit costs.
A process of calculating the amount of material, labor and equipment
required for a given project necessary to complete the work as specified.
or Site Analysis
A visual inspection of a building and on-site improvements for functional
or physical deterioration; prepare optional Replacement Cost
Estimate for making recommendations to improve functional and
physical deficiencies to increase market value; AND/OR prepare a
Reserve Study over five (5) years to increase Net Operating
Income (NOI) for the facility.(See Site Analysis)
Fast Track Construction (Fast
A method of construction management which involves a continuous
design-construction operation. When a prime or main contractor starts
the construction work BEFORE the plans and specifications are complete.
(See Design-Build Construction)
A written order effecting a minor change or clarification in the
work not involving an adjustment to the contract sum or an extension
of the contract time.
Field Report (see Daily Construction
Field Work Order
A written request to a subcontractor or vendor, usually from the
general or main contractor, site for services or materials.
The action of the owner accepting the work from the contractor when
the owner deems the work completed in accordance with the contract
requirements. Final acceptance is confirmed by the owner when making
the final payment to the contractor.
A final site review of the project by the contractor, owner or owner’s
authorized representative prior to issuing the final certificate
The last payment from the owner to the contractor of the entire
unpaid balance of the contract sum as adjusted by any approved change
orders. (see Final Acceptance)
The date that an activity or project is completed.
A set contract amount for all labor, materials, equipment and services;
and contractors overhead and profit for all work being performed
for a specific scope of work.
Fixed Limit of Construction Costs
A construction cost ceiling agreed to between the owner and architect
or engineer for designing a specific project. (See Budget)
1. An abbreviation for furniture, fixtures and equipment
2. Items classified as personal property rather than real property
3. An abbreviation generally associated with interior design and
planning of retail stores or office facilities.
The schedule of activities for a project. A Gantt Chart shows start
and finish dates, critical and non-critical activities, slack time,
and predecessor relationships.
A written portion of the contract documents set forth by the owner
stipulating the contractor’s minimum acceptable performance requirements
including the rights, responsibilities and relationships of the
parties involved in the performance of the contract. General conditions
are usually included in the book of specifications but are sometimes
found in the architectural drawings.
Properly licensed individual or company having primary (prime) responsibility
for the work.
General Contracting (the traditional
When a prime or main contractor bids the entire work AFTER the final
design, plans and specifications are complete and have been approved
by the owner. (see Design-Build Construction and Fast Track Construction)
Costs (see Construction Costs and Direct Costs)
One free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or
others and does not owe a "fiduciary duty". Example: architect,
engineer, prime or main contractor, construction manager at-risk.
1. A term sometimes used to describe TI'S or Tenant Improvements.
2. Improvements can be in the form of new construction or remodel
work. (see TI'S)
1.The act of indemnifying.
2. The condition of being indemnified.
Indirect Cost (or expense)
A contractor’s or consultant’s overhead expense; expenses
indirectly incurred and not chargeable to a specific project or
task. The terms Indirect costs and soft costs are synonymous . (see
1. The act of inspecting.
2. An official examination or review of the work completed or in
progress to determine its compliance with contract requirements.
for Disbursement of Funds
An independent vehicle for the disbursement and accounting of construction
funds allowing construction obligations to be paid (progress payments)
when work is completed, inspected and approved. Job Costs are reviewed
prior to making disbursements to establish that the actual construction
payments are within the confines of the original estimate confines
or schedule of construction values.
Inspection List (punch list)
A list prepared by the owner or his/her authorized representative
of items of work requiring immediate corrective or completion action
by the contractor.
Sometimes used to describe an Inspection List. (see Inspection
One who is appointed or employed to inspect something.
A term used to represent the visible elements, materials and applications
applied to a building’s interior excluding furniture, fixtures
and equipment. (see FF&E)
A list sent to a purchaser containing the items and charges of merchandise.
and Material Payment Bond
1. A written form of security from a surety (bonding) company to
the owner, on behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or
subcontractor, guaranteeing payment to the owner in the event the
contractor fails to pay for all labor, materials, equipment, or
services in accordance with the contract. (see Performance
Bond and Surety Bond)
A term used to mean Tenant Improvements. Generally, this
term is used when building in retail stores as contrasted with the
term Tenant Improvements which are generally associated with
office buildings. The terms are often used interchangeably. (see
Lien, Mechanic's or Material
The right to take and hold or sell an owner’s property to satisfy
unpaid debts to a qualified contractor for labor, materials, equipment
or services to improve the property. (see Preliminary Lien Notice)
A written document from the contractor to the owner that releases
the Lien, Mechanic’s or Material following it’s satisfaction.
1. An written document from a contractor, subcontractor, material
supplier or other construction professional(s), having lien rights
against an owner’s property, relinquishes all or part of those
2. Lien waivers are generally used for processing progress payments
to prime or main or subcontractors as follows: Conditional Lien
Waiver, Unconditional Lien Waiver, and Final Lien Waiver.
Lump Sum Agreement (See Stipulated
Lump Sum Bid
A single entry amount to cover all labor, equipment, materials,
services, and overhead and profit for completing the construction
of a variety of unspecified items of work without the benefit of
a cost breakdown.
Lump Sum Contract
A written contract between the owner and contractor wherein the
owner agrees the pay the contractor a specified sum of money for
completing a scope of work consisting of a variety of unspecified
items or work.
A form consisting of three columns (individuals name, individuals
title, and company the individual represents). This form is given
to all persons attending any meeting. Each person attending the
meeting will complete their respective information. The date of
the meeting should be included for reference.
A written report consisting of a project number, project name, meeting
date and time, meeting place, meeting subject, a list of persons
attending, and a list of actions taken and/or discussed during the
meeting. Generally, this report is distributed to all persons attending
the meeting and any other person having an interest in the meeting.
An activity with a duration of zero (0) and by which progress of
the project is measured. A milestone is an informational marker
only; it does not affect scheduling.
A service offered by constructionplace.com where any bidder or estimator
is given access to project specific RFP (Request for Proposal) information.
This option is for those seeking bids/estimates from any interested
professionals or service with out pre qualifying them. For security
and easy access, the project poster receives an e-mail showing the
links to View the RFP Details and View any Bids as
they are received. This gives the RFP poster the ability to file
and track the respective RFP's using their own e-mail filing system.
(see Closed Bid/Estimate)
1. An individual or corporation that owns a real property.
A written form of contract between architect and client for professional
A term used to describe an Owner who takes on the responsibilities
of the general contractor to build a specific project.
Contract between owner and contractor for a construction project.
Owner-Construction Management Agreement
Contract between construction manager and client for professional
1. A written form of security from a surety (bonding) company to
the owner, on behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or
subcontractor, guaranteeing payment to the owner in the event the
contractor fails to perform all labor, materials, equipment, or
services in accordance with the contract.
2. The surety companies generally reserve the right to have the
original prime or main or subcontractor remedy any claims before
paying on the bond or hiring other contractors. (see Labor and Material
Payment Bond and Surety Bond)
The written material containing the minimum acceptable standards
and actions, as may be necessary to complete a project. Including
the minimum acceptable quality standards and aesthetic values expected
upon completion of the project.
An abbreviation for Program Evaluating and Review Technique. (see
Activity; Critical Path Method)
A diagram that illustrates, charts and reports a projects estimated
start and completion times; and work in progress.
1. A line drawing (by floor) representing the horizontal geometrical
section of the walls of a building. The section (a horizontal plane)
is taken at an elevation to include the relative positions of the
walls, partitions, windows, doors, chimneys, columns, pilasters,
2. A plan can be thought of as cutting a horizontal section through
a building at an eye level elevation.
A term sometimes used to describe a building department official
who examines the building permit documents.
A person who forms a scheme or method for doing something; an arrangement
of means or steps for the attainment of some object; a scheme, method,
design; a mode of action.
A term used to represent all drawings including sections and details;
and any supplemental drawings for complete execution of a specific
Pre-Construction Planning and Team
A process used for the purpose of establishing below market dollar
budget(s), overall project scheduling and design criteria; also
identification and selection of the most feasible planning, design
and construction team.
An activity that must be completed before another activity can begin.
1. The drawings that precede the final approved drawings.
2. Usually these drawings are stamped or titled "PRELIMINARY";
and the "PRELIMINARY" is removed from the drawings upon
being reviewed and approved by the owner.
Preliminary Lien Notice
A written notice given to the property owner of a specific project
by the subcontractors and any person or company furnishing services,
equipment or materials to that project. The notice states if bills
are not paid in full for the labor, services, equipment, or materials
furnished or to be furnished, a mechanic's lien leading to the loss,
through court foreclosure proceedings, of all or part of the property
being so improved may be placed against the property even through
the owner has paid the prime contractor in full. The notice explains
how the owner can protect himself against this consequence by 1.
requiring the prime contractor to furnish a signed release by the
person or firm thus giving the owner notice before making payment
to the prime contractor or 2. any other method or device which is
appropriate under the circumstances. The state of California mandates
that a Preliminary Lien Notice must be given to the property
owner not more than 20 days after starting the work on the specific
Pre-qualification of prospective
A screening process wherein the owner or his/her appointed representative
gathers background information from a contractor or construction
professional for selection purposes. Qualifying considerations include
competence, integrity, dependability, responsiveness, bonding rate,
bonding capacity, work on hand, similar project experience, and
other specific owner requirements.
A written contract directly between a prime or main contractor or
subcontractor for work on a specific project.
1. Any contractor having a contract directly with the owner.
2. Usually the main (general) contractor for a specific project.
1. The leading participant of professional practice.
One who is professionally engaged in a branch of engineering.
An ordered list of events to take place or procedures to be followed
for a specific project.
A payment from the owner to the contractor determined by calculating
the difference between the completed work and materials stored and
a predetermined schedule of values or unit costs. (see Schedule
of values; Unit Costs).
A line diagram showing proposed and actual starting and completion
times the respective project activities. (see Activity)
A word used to represent the overall scope of work being performed
to complete a specific construction job.
All costs for a specific project including costs for land, professionals,
construction, furnishings, fixtures, equipment, financing and any
other project related costs.
A written list of all parties connected with a specific project.
The list usually includes a classification or description of the
party (i.e..., Owner, Architect, Attorney, General Contractor, Civil
Engineer, Structural Engineer, etc.); name, address, telephone and
FAX numbers opposite their respective classifications or description.
It is particularly important that the emergency or after hour telephone
numbers are included. These numbers should be kept confidential
if requested by the respective parties.
Manager (Project Management)
A qualified individual or firm authorized by the owner to be responsible
for coordinating time, equipment, money, tasks and people for all
or specified portions of a specific project. (see Construction Manager)
A organized book setting forth the bidding requirements, conditions
of the contract and the technical work specifications for a specific
project. (see Specifications)
A qualified individual authorized by the owner to assist in the
administration of a specific construction contract.
Project Site (see Site)
Inspections and Reports
A limited visual inspection to identify the general features and
major deficiencies of the property. Any area not exposed to view,
is concealed, or is inaccessible is not included in this inspection.
A written offer from a bidder to the owner, preferably on a prescribed
proposal form, to perform the work and to furnish all labor, materials,
equipment and/or services for the prices and terms quoted by the
bidder. ( see Bid)
Proposal Form (see Bid Form)
A written document from a buyer to a seller to purchase materials,
services, equipment or supplies with acceptable purchase terms indicated.
Punch List (see Inspection
An individual or firm with a recognized degree, certificate, or
professional standing; or who by extensive knowledge, training and
experience, has successfully demonstrated his/her abilities to identify
and solve or resolve problems associated with a specific subject
matter or project type.
Drawings (see As-Built Drawings)
Release of Lien
A written action properly executed by and individual or firm supplying
labor, materials or professional services on a project which releases
his mechanic's lien against the project property. (see Mechanic's
Reimbursable Expenses (or Costs)
Amounts expended for or on account of the project which, in accordance
with the terms of the appropriate agreement, are to be reimbursed
by the owner.
A cost of constructing a building or structure that would have similar
utility, but constructed with modern materials, current building
standards, design and layout less depreciation. A land value and
cost of on-site improvements can be added if desired.
An architect permanently assigned at a job site who supervises the
construction work for the purpose of protecting the owner's interests
Resident Engineer (inspector)
An individual permanently assigned at a job site for the purpose
of representing the owner's interests during the construction phase.
(see Owner's Inspector)
1. An abbreviation for Request for Information.
2. A written request from a contractor to the owner or architect
for clarification or information about the contract documents following
1. An abbreviation for Request for Proposal.
2. A written request from the requestor (usually the owner or a contractor)
to a contractor, design professional or subcontractor for an estimate
or cost proposal. The RFP usually contains a specific scope of work.
(see Bid) (see Closed Bid/Estimate)
(see Open Bid/Estimate)
A loose term used to describe the rapid succession (completion)
of similar projects over a given time period.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 clearly states the
common goal of safe and healthful working conditions. A Safety Report
is prepared following a regularly scheduled project safety inspection
of the specific project.
A plan for performing work or achieving an objective.
Schedule of Values
A statement furnished by the contractor to the architect or engineer
reflecting the portions of the contract sum allotted for the various
parts of the work and used as the basis for reviewing the contractor's
applications for progress payments. *455
A preliminary sketch or diagram representing the proposed intent
of the designer.
Schematic Design Phase
The first phase of the architect's basic services in which the architect
consults with the owner to ascertain the requirements of the project
and prepares schematic design studies consisting of drawings and
other documents showing the scale and project components for the
1. A chart, a diagram, or an outline of a system being proposed
2. An orderly combination of related construction systems and components
for a specific project or purpose.
A written range of view or action; outlook; hence, room for the
exercise of faculties or function; capacity for achievement; all
in connection with a designated project. (See Performance Specifications)
The flexibility with non-critical jobs that allows their start dates
to be adjusted without affecting the project completion date.
The place where a structure or group of structures was, or is to
be located (a construction site).
Soft Costs are cost items in addition to the direct Construction
Cost. Soft Costs generally include architectural and engineering,
legal, permits and fees, financing fees, construction Interest and
operating expenses, leasing and real estate commissions, advertising
and promotion, and supervision. (see Construction Cost)
A detailed, exact statement of particulars, especially statements
prescribing materials and methods; and quality of work for a specific
project. The most common arrangement for specifications substantially
parallels the CSI (Construction Specification Institute) format.
A section of the conditions of the contract, other than the General
Conditions and Supplementary Conditions, which may be prepared for
a particular project. Specific clauses setting forth conditions
or requirements peculiar to the project under consideration, and
covering work or materials involved in the proposal and estimate,
but not satisfactorily covered by the General Conditions. (See General
A drawing or illustration sufficiently complete and detailed for
use on other projects with minimum or no changes.
A measurement unique to a specific manufactured item.
Standards of Professional Practice
A listing of minimum acceptable ethical principals and practices
adopted by qualified and recognized professional organizations to
guide their members in the conduct of specific professional practice.
The date that an activity or project begins.
A copy or summary of any account covering a stated period. (See
Statute of Limitations
The period of time in which legal action must be brought for an
alleged damage or injury. The period commences with the discovery
of the alleged damage or injury; or in construction industry cases
with completion of the work or services performed. Legal advise
should be obtained.
Stipulated Sum Agreement
A written agreement in which a specific amount is set forth as the
total payment for completing the contract. (See Lump Sum Contract)
A term used to represent the proportioning of structural members
to carry loads in a building structure.
Structural Systems (frames)
The load bearing assembly of beams and columns on a foundation.
The beams and columns are generally fabricated off site and assembled
on site. Other systems such as non load bearing walls, floors, ceilings
and roofs are generally constructed within and on the structural
1. Something constructed
2. A building put together based on specific plans and specifications.
An abbreviation for Subcontractor.
A written form of agreement between the prime or main contractor
and another contractor or supplier for the satisfactory performance
of services or delivery or material as set forth in the plans and
specifications for a specific project.
A qualified subordinate contractor to the prime or main contractor.
A written document from a subcontractor given to the prime or main
contractor by the subcontractor guaranteeing performance of his/her
contract and payment of all labor, materials, equipment and service
bills associated with the subcontract agreement.
To subcontract all or a portion of a contracted amount.
Substantial Completion (see
Date of Substantial Completion)
A proposed replacement or alternate offered in lieu of and represented
as being equivalent to a specified material or process.
The supporting part of a structure; the foundation.
An individual or firm having a written contract with a subcontractor
to perform a portion of the work.
1. A term used to represent an examination of soil conditions below
2. Investigations include soil borings and geographical laboratory
tests for structural design purposes.
1. One that succeeds another
2. A scheduled activity whose start depends on the completion of
one or more predecessors.
The part of a building or other structure above the foundation.
1.The act, process, or function of supervising construction materials,
methods and processes for a specific project
2. Hands on field direction of the contracted work by a qualified
individual of the contractor.
Supplemental Conditions (See
A written section of the contract documents supplementing and qualifying
or modifying the contracts general conditions. (See Conditions of
An individual or firm who supplies and/or fabricates materials or
equipment for a specific portion of a construction project but does
not perform any labor on the project. ( see Vendor)
Surety (see Bonding Company)
1. An abbreviation for a contracting method called Time and Materials
( 2) A written agreement between the owner and the contractor wherein
payment is based on the contractor's actual cost for labor, equipment,
materials, and services plus a fixed add-on amount to cover the
contractor’s overhead and profit.
Tenant's Rent able Square Feet
Usable square feet plus a percentage (the core factor) of the common
areas on the floor, including hallways, bathrooms and telephone
closets, and some main lobbies. Rent able square footage is the number
on which a tenant's rent is usually based.
Tenant's Usable Square Feet
The square footage contained within the demising walls. (see Demising
TI'S (Tenant Improvements)
TI'S is a term used to define the interior improvements of the project
after the Building Envelope is complete. TI'S usually include finish
floor coverings; ceilings; partitions; doors, frames, hardware;
fire protection; HVAC consisting of branch distribution duct work,
control boxes, and registers; electrical consisting of lighting,
switches, power outlets, phone/data outlets, exit and energy lighting;
window coverings; general conditions; and the general contractor’s
fee. The cost of tenant improvements are generally born by the tenant
and the costs of tenant improvements will vary with every building,
and with tenant requirements. (see Work Letter)
Time (as time of the essence associated
with a construction contract)
A provision in a construction contract by the owner that punctual
completion within the time limits or periods in the contract is
a vital part of the contract performance and that failure to perform
on time is a breach and the injured party is entitled to damages
in the amount of loss sustained.
A term meaning any individuals normal billing hourly rate is increased
by a multiple of 1.5 following predetermined normal working hours.
Completing the work of the contract before the date required.
Time of Completion
The date or number of calendar or working days stated in the contract
to substantially complete the work for a specific project. (see
Date of Substantial Completion)
A written document used to identify information being sent to a
receiving party. The transmittal is usually the cover sheet for
the information being sent and includes the name, telephone/FAX
number and address of the sending and receiving parties. The sender
may include a message or instructions in the transmittal. It is
also important to include the names of other parties the information
is being sent to on the transmittal form.
Wages paid to workmen under certain union contracts and under certain
job conditions for the time spent in traveling from their place
of residence to and from the job.
Laboratories Label (UL)
A label on a product or manufactured item showing the material is
regularly tested by, and complies with the minimum standards of
the Underwriter's Laboratories specification for safety and quality.
U. B.C. (Uniform Building Code)
The Uniform Building Code is one of the family of codes and related
publications published by the International Conference of Building
Officials (ICBO) and other organizations, such as the International
Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which have similar
goals as far as code publications are concerned. The Uniform Building
Code is designed to be compatible with these other codes, as together
they make up the enforcement tools of a jurisdiction.
Uniform System (see CSI Format)
Unit Price Contract
A written contract wherein the owner agrees to pay the contractor
a specified amount of money for each unit of work successfully completed
as set forth in the contract.
A predetermined price for a measurement or quantity of work to be
performed within a specific contract. The designated unit price
would include all labor materials, equipment or services associated
with the measurement or quantity established.
A written document used by the contractor to receive a subcontract
or material cost proposal over the telephone prior to the subcontractor
or supplier sending their written proposal via mail or facsimile.
One that sells materials or equipment not fabricated to a special
The successful performance of the entire scope of the project being
performed for a specific construction project including labor, materials,
equipment, and other associated items necessary to fulfill all obligations
under the contract.
A drawing sufficiently complete with plan and section views, dimensions,
details, and notes so that whatever is shown can be constructed
and/or replicated without instructions but subject to clarifications.
A written order, signed by the owner or his representative, of a
contractual status requiring performance by the contractor without
negotiation of any sort.
A written statement (often called Exhibit B to a lease or rental
agreement) of the specific materials and quantities the owner will
provide at his own expense. The work letter defines the building
standards, including the type of ceiling , the type and number of
light fixtures, the size and construction of the suite-entry and
interior doors. Building standards define the quality of tenant
spaces. Generally, a Work Letter is associated with the leasing
or renting of office space by a tenant within a Building Envelope.
(see TI'S and Building Envelope)
Restrictions of areas or regions of land within specific geographical
areas based on permitted building size, character, and uses as established
by governing urban authorities.
A document issued by a governing urban authority permitting land
to be used for a specific purpose.