An abbreviation for air conditioner or air conditioning.

A/C Condenser

The outside fan unit of the Air Conditioning system. It removes the heat from the freon gas and "turns" the gas back into a liquid and pumps the liquid back to the coil in the furnace.

A/C Disconnect

The main electrical ON-OFF switch near the A/C Condenser.

Abrasion Resistance (AC Rating)

Also referred to as the wear rating, it is the European Standard AC Rating. The range runs from the least resistant rating of AC1 To AC5, the most resistant to abrasion.


A pattern or design not based on natural forms.


Supporting structure at each end of a single span bridge. Types of abutments vary based on geotechnical, geographic, and constructability factors.

Accent wall

The wall in a room which has been given special design emphasis to attract attention from the adjacent walls.

Access Floor

Removable metal or concrete floor panels about 18" to 24" square which are supported on short steel pedestals so that wiring and ductwork may be installed, changed and maintained below the floor. The raised floor may be carpeted or tiled to create a finished floor surface.

Access Panel

A small metal or wood door flush with a wall or ceiling surface which provides a closure over a valve or other operable device which is recessed into the wall or located above a ceiling. The access door may be keyed and lockable.


Signifies access that requires the removal of an access panel or similar removable obstruction.


Are extra items that can be furnished in addition to the base joist or joist girder. They include: headers, top chord extensions, extended ends, ceiling extensions, bottom chord extensions, sloped end bearings, bridging, bridging anchors, joist girder bottom chord bracing, or angle units (joist substitutes).


A building product which supplements a basic solid panel building such as a door, window, light transmitting panel, roof vent, etc.

Accessory Structure

In one- and two-family dwellings not more than three stories high with separate means of egress, a building, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is located on the same lot.

Acoustical Tile, Acoustical Panel

A ceiling or wall tile finishing material with an inherent property to absorb sound; usually made of mineral, fiber or insulated metal materials. Not "Acoustic Tile" or "Acoustical Board."


An area measurement of land. An acre measures 43,560 square feet.

Acrylic (paint), Acrylic Latex

A paint composed of acrylic resins, thinned with water.

Active Door

The door people use every time they enter or leave the house. When there are double doors, it is the door that opens with an entry set knob or lever. The other door is called the inactive door and opens when the flush bolts are released.


A device operated either electrically, pneumatically, or hydraulically that acts as a motor to change the position of movable devices such as valves or dampers.


Written or graphic instruments issued prior to the execution of the Contract which modify or interpret the bidding documents, including Drawings and Specifications, by additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections. Addenda will become part of the Contract Documents when the Construction Contract is executed. (Plural-"Addenda".)


An extension or in crease in floor area or height of a building or structure.


A sticky substance to bond one material to another. Use the term "Adhere" instead of "Glue." Do not use "Glue," "Cement," or Mastic."


Abbreviation for 'After Dead Load is Applied'.

Administrative Origin

The person or corporate body responsible for gathering together and maintaining a group of documents.


A chemical which is added to concrete to accelerate or retard the setting process or to create air bubbles in the concrete, called "accelerators," or :air entraining agents."

Advanced Decay

The older stage of decay in which disintegration is readily recognized.


Having the sense of beauty or pleasing to the eye.


A mixture of sand and stone and a major component of concrete.


(1) A legally enforceable promise or promises between two or among several persons. (2) On a construction project, the document stating the essential terms of the Construction Contract which incorporates by reference the other Contract Documents. (3) The document setting forth the terms of the Contract between the Architect and a consultant.

Agricultural Building

A structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock or other agricultural products. Such structure shall not include habitable or occupiable spaces, spaces in which agricultural products are processed, treated or packaged; nor shall an agricultural building be a place of occupancy by the general public.

Air Admittance Valve

A one-way valve designed to allow air into the plumbing drainage system when a negative pressure develops in the piping. This device shall close by gravity and seal the terminal under conditions of zero differential pressure (no flow conditions) and under positive internal pressure.

Air Break (Drainage System)

An arrangement in which a discharge pipe from a fixture, appliance or device drains indirectly into a receptor below the flood-level rim of the receptor, and above the trap seal.

Air Conditioning System

The process of treating air for simultaneous control of temperature, humidity, cleanliness, and distribution.

Air Flow

Expresses the amount air that flows through an air duct per minute. The air flow is measured and is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Air Infiltration

Amount of air that passes between a window sash and frame. In windows it is measured in terms of cubic feet or air per minute, per square foot of area. The lower the number, the less air the window lets pass through.

Air space

The area between insulation facing and interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1" air gap.

All-In Rate

Total expenses for a project that includes all direct and indirect costs.

Aluminum Coated Steel

Steel coated with aluminum for corrosion resistance.

Aluminum-clad window

A Window with wood construction covered with aluminum sheet. Has a factory-applied finish to protect from weather and solar degradation.


A payment plan by which a loan is reduced through monthly payments of principal and interest.


A measure of floor vibration. It is the magnitude or total distance traveled by each oscillation of the vibration.

Anchor Bolt Plan

A plan view drawing showing the diameter, location and projection of all anchor bolts for the components of the metal building system and may show column reactions (magnitude and direction). The maximum base plate dimensions may also be shown.

Anchor bolts

Bolts to secure a wooden sill plate to concrete, or masonry floor or wall.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Annual cost of credit over the life of a loan, including interest, service charges, points, loan fees, mortgage insurance, and other items.

Antique Brass

Finish on hardware that has a brown color.


A device or apparatus that is manufactured and designed to utilize energy and for which this code provides specific requirements.


An expert valuation of property.

Approval Drawings

Approval drawings may include framing drawings, elevations and sections through the building as furnished by the manufacturer for approval of the buyer. Approval by the buyer affirms that the manufacturer has correctly interpreted the overall contract requirements for the metal building system and it's accessories, and the exact location of accessories in the building.

Approval Plans

Plans sent by the joist manufacturer to the buyer, engineer, architect, contractor or other person for approval. The plans may include a framing plan, elevations, sections, and a material list.


A trim board that is installed beneath a window sill.


Can be round-headed, pointed, two-centered, or drop; ogee - pointed with double curved sides, upper arcs lower concave; lancet - pointed formed on an acute-angle triangle; depressed - flattened or elliptical; corbelled - triangular, peaked, each stone set a little further in until they meet, with a large capstone.


A person who designs buildings or other structures and has completed schooling in building design or similar subjects and is licensed by the state as an architect.


The name of the architectural company that is listed on the issued permits, yet who may not actually do the design for the construction project.


Is a type of shingle that is normally heavier in weight and has more definition or depth than the shingle itself.

Architectural documents

Any medium that refers to or depicts architectural works, structures, parts of structures, or designs, whether built or unbuilt. Included are textual documents such as specifications and letters; graphic documents such as drawings, prints, and photographs; models; and any other visual media that concern any portion of the built or unbuilt environment. Subjects may include not only architectural works, but also related subjects such as furniture, engineering designs, naval architecture, textiles, architectural ornaments, paper architecture, studies, landscape designs, and stage designs.

Architectural Drawing

A drawing which shows the plan view and/or elevations of the finished building for the purpose of showing the general appearance of the building, indicating all accessory locations.

Architectural work

Any subject or built work. It can be a study or a design of a structure, or the representation of a design as depicted on a drawing, model, print, or other medium.


Unit of measure of length times width expressed in square inches.

Argon Gas

An odorless, colorless, tasteless, nontoxic gas which is six times denser than air. It is used to insulate better and reduce heat transfer.

As Built

Survey is performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements may be located and delineated.

As-Built Drawing

A drawing or print marked by the Contractor to show actual conditions of a project as constructed after construction.

Aspect Ratio

For any rectangular configuration, the ratio of the lengths of the sides.


Most native asphalt is a residue from evaporated petroleum. It is insoluble in water but soluble in gasoline and melts when heated. Used widely in building for waterproofing roof coverings of many types, exterior wall coverings, flooring tile, and the like.

Asphaltic Concrete

This is the term used for paving for roads and driveways. Not "Asphalt" or "Bituminous" Concrete.


A tax levied on a property, or a value placed on the worth of a property.


Allows a buyer to assume responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new loan.


The world's most popular computer-aided drafting software product for the personal computer in both DOS and windows by Autodesk, Inc. Anything that can be drawn on a drawing board can be drawn by AutoCAD.

Automatic Crane

A crane which when activated operates through a preset series of cycles.

Automatic Door

The combination of door, operator and controls constituting the system.

Automatic Operator

The power mechanism causing the opening and closing of a door upon receipt of a actuating signal.


Back charge

A charge against a contractor’s contract for costs incurred by another party that should have been incurred by the contractor. A back charge typically takes form in a deductive change order. For example, if the contractor in charge of fire sprinklers damaged a wall using a boom lift, that contractor may incur a back charge from the drywall contractor for the repair work.


The replacement of excavated earth into a trench around or against a basement /crawl space foundation wall.


Frame lumber installed between the wall studs to give additional support for drywall or an interior trim related item, such as handrail brackets, cabinets, and towel bars. In this way, items are screwed and mounted into solid wood rather than weak drywall that may allow the item to break loose from the wall. Carpet backingholds the pile fabric in place.


A loan that has a series of monthly payments with the remaining balance due in a large lump sum payment at the end.

Base or baseboard

A trim board placed against the wall around the room next to the floor.


A half-brick.


Narrow strips of wood used to cover joints or as decorative vertical members over plywood or wide boards.

Bay window

Any window space projecting outward from the walls of a building, either square or polygonal in plan.


A structural member transversely supporting a load. A structural member carrying building loads (weight) from one support to another. Sometimes called a "girder".

Bearing header

(a) A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for a chimney, stairway, or other opening. (b) A wood lintel. (c) The horizontal structural member over an opening (for example over a door or window).

Bearing partition

A partition that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.

Bearing point

A point where a bearing or structural weight is concentrated and transferred to the foundation.

Bearing wall

A wall that supports any vertical load in addition to its own weight.


A subsurface layer of earth that is suitable to support a structure.

Best Value Method

A construction procurement method where contractors are awarded the bid based on prices and quality measurements from previous work performance.


A formal offer by a contractor, in accordance with specifications for a project, to do all or a phase of the work at a certain price in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the offer.

Bid bond

A bond issued by a surety on behalf of a contractor that provides assurance to the recipient of the contractor's bid that, if the bid is accepted, the contractor will execute a contract and provide a performance bond. Under the bond, the surety is obligated to pay the recipient of the bid the difference between the contractor's bid and the bid of the next lowest responsible bidder if the bid is accepted and the contractor fails to execute a contract or to provide a performance bond.

Bid Package

Construction documents where the pertinent portions of information are placed into a suitable bidding package by the contractor.

Bid security

Funds or a bid bond submitted with a bid as a guarantee to the recipient of the bid that the contractor, if awarded the contract, will execute the contract in accordance with the bidding requirements of the contract documents.

Bid shopping

A practice by which contractors, both before and after their bids are submitted, attempt to obtain prices from potential subcontractors and material suppliers that are lower than the contractors' original estimates on which their bids are based, or after a contract is awarded, seek to induce subcontractors to reduce the subcontract price included in the bid.

Bid Solicitation

Notifying potential bidders regarding a bid opportunity as it may be a request to submit a bid or obtain a request for proposals.

Bid-Hit Ratio

Ratio involving where you have successfully bid on a construction project.

Bidding requirements

The procedures and conditions for the submission of bids. The requirements are included ion documents, such as the notice to bidders, advertisements for bids, instructions to bidders, invitations to bid, and sample bid forms.

Bifold door

Doors that are hinged in the middle for opening in a smaller area than standard swing doors. Often used for closet doors.


A receipt for a deposit to secure the right to purchase a home at an agreed term by a buyer and seller.

Bipass doors

Doors that slide by each other and commonly used as closet doors.


A construction technique to join, fill or reinforce the building structure.


The bill of quantities is a contract document that contains a list of materials and workmanship involved in a construction project. It is necessary for properly pricing a project.

Building automation system (BAS)

An energy management system, usually with additional capabilities, relating to the overall operation of the building in which it is installed; this includes equipment monitoring, protection of equipment against power failure, and building security. It’s the digital automation that takes operation of an HVAC design out of someone’s physical hands and moves it onto a computer interface.

Building Engineer

An expert in design, construction and assessment technologies.

Building management system (BMS)

An energy management system relating to the overall operation of the building in which it is installed. It often has additional capabilities, such as equipment monitoring, protection of equipment against power failure, and building security. It may also be a direct digital control (DDC) system where the mode of control uses digital outputs to control processes or elements directly.



CAD (computer-aided design) refers to using architecture software to create detailed models of buildings to speed up the design process, allow for more creativity, and ensure greater accuracy in measurements.


An angled surface or line that cuts a corner off.


A beam which is securely supported at one end, and hangs freely at the other, like balconies that have no pillars or columns supporting them.

Catastrophic Failure

An accident in the construction process that causes severe damage that creates a permanent loss.


A flexible, rubbery type of material that is used to seal gaps in a joint.

Ceiling joist

Parallel framing members that support ceiling loads and are themselves supported by load-bearing walls.

Change Order

A written document that modifies or changes the project’s plans, price or specifications in the construction contract.

Circuit breaker

A switch in the electrical panel that shuts off power to certain parts of the building.

Clear and grub

The process of removing vegetation and material from land in the construction area. This prepares the site for excavation and grading work to take place.


A structural enclosure installed to retain water in damp soil or bodies of water. The cofferdam is installed and water is pumped out of the enclosure to provide a dry and safe work environment.

Computer-Based System

A management system in which a computer is the central controlling device.


A building material created by a hardened mixture of cement, gravel, sand, and water. It is used for slabs, columns, and other types of structures.

Concrete Cover

Reinforced concrete as it is the least distance between the outer concrete surface and the reinforcement.

Concrete Slab

A horizontal platform used to construct the ceiling or the floor of the building.

Construction Build Out

Changing or modifying the existing commercial space to make it usable for business functions.

Construction daily reports (CDR)

A record of field notes, including work completed, weather conditions, and materials delivered or used on-site.

Construction Drawings

The final preconstruction drawings of the whole building.

Construction Estimate

Forecasting the construction costs for the building as it may be used to determine the feasibility of the project.

Construction Management at Risk (CMAR)

Project delivery method where the construction manager commits to delivering the project at within the guaranteed maximum price.

Construction Management Software

This software is designed for construction managers to help them more efficiently run a construction project; it can include features to manage accounting and financials, documentation, and team workloads.

Construction Management Software

An application used by construction managers to efficiently run the project as it features accounting, documentation and team workloads.


The cost provisions in the project budget that make allowance for oversights and unforeseen circumstances associated with the project. Depending on the nature of the contract, the contractor may require owner’s approval to draw funds from contingencies.

Contract Formation

A contract in the construction industry that indicates the offer and the acceptance between to agreeing parties as the agreement is signed.

Cost Codes

Codes used to track budgets and expenses of labor activities.

Cost-Plus Contract

A contract where the contractor is paid for all of their allowed expenses as well as an additional profit payment.


Concrete blocks, stones or bricks in a continuous masonry row.

Cross Bracing

Reinforcements in an X-shape that provides enhanced durability to a structure.


Daily Report

A report that documents materials installed, crew information, safety incidents and work completed as the document is created by the foreman at the end of each day.

Damp Proofing

A procedure used to keep the drywall interior dry and to prevent moisture absorption.


Also known as datum point, this refers to any elevation taken as a reference point for leveling.


A traditional project delivery method where the owner or agency contracts separate firms to design and construct the building.


A project delivery method where the owner or agency hires a single firm or company to handle both the design and construction of the building.


Structure reinforcement technique using steel beams placed in diagonal grids.


A dimension is used in the planning stage and refers to a measure between two points.

Direct digital control (DDC)

A type of control where controlled and monitored analog or binary data (e.g., temperature, contact closures) are converted to digital format for manipulation and calculations by a digital computer or micro-processor, then converted back to analog or binary form to control physical devices.

DLB (dig, lay, bury/backfill)

Term used in underground construction that describes the activity of utility installation. Dig/excavate dirt, lay your utility line, and backfill.


A panel made from gypsum plaster that is wrapped in cardboard. It is commonly used as a fundamental material for framing a building.


Piping that carries air throughout a structure.



A way of exiting a structure, such as a window or door. Laws require a certain number of egress windows in certain parts of a home.

Elevation Drawing

A drawing of a structure that shows the front or side of the buildings facades; it is a first angle projection.


An elevated landmass made of compacted soil or aggregate. Embankments help create roads and level surfaces for slabs or levees.


The encasing of underground pipes in concrete or when encasing hazardous materials that have been installed.

Energy management system (EMS)

A system of computer applications used by building engineering staff to monitor, control, and optimize the building’s operating performance (e.g., energy consumption, occupant comfort levels). EMS optimizes building operating performance through supervisory control programs that utilize core BMS functionality. An EMS is a more refined definition of a building management system (BMS) focused exclusively on operating performance with things like indoor air quality (IAQ), occupant productivity and comfort, and energy output as key metrics.



A temporary structure used to support an arch or bridge during the construction or repair process.

Field measure

Taking measurements within the structure itself rather than relying on blueprints.

Field Work Order

The general contractor’s document given to the subcontractor regarding the completion of work that is not included in the original scope of the project.

Floor plan

The floor plan refers to the layout of the building. It is a drawing of the horizontal section that shows how the different spaces relate to each other.


The leading supervisor at the construction site who is in charge of the work crews. He ensures workers perform daily tasks based on established schedules while creating documents regarding completed work.


Formwork is falsework’s best friend. It is the construction of a temporary structure into which concrete is poured for it to be settled and set in the desired form.


General Contractor

The main contractor for the building construction. Their main responsibility is the oversight of the project as they manage subcontractors, handle scheduling and monitor the budget.


The main horizontal support of a structure that supports smaller beams.

GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price)

A contract where the contractor is paid for the actual costs that are incurred in addition to a fixed fee that has a price ceiling cap.


Hip roof

A roof where all four sides slope down towards the walls.


An abbreviation that stands for heat, ventilation, and air conditioning.


The equipment, terminals, and distribution systems that provide, either collectively or individually, the processes of heating, ventilating, or air conditioning to a building or portion of a building. Basically, the setup of machines that make a room or space warmer, cooler, or more conditioned in some regard.


A space or group of spaces within a building with heating, cooling, and ventilating requirements that are sufficiently similar so that desired conditions (e.g., temperature) can be maintained throughout using a single sensor (e.g., thermostat or temperature sensor).



A beam that has a cross-section that looks like the capital letter I. Girders often have an I-beam cross-section.

IFB (Invitation for Bid)

Request given to contractors for them to submit a project proposal regarding their provided services and products.


Material that’s designed to prevent heat from leaving or entering a building. Insulation material is placed within the walls, ceiling, or floor of a structure.

Integrated Labor Delivery

A construction model where the project labor is brought in at the design phase as subcontractors perform roughly 80% to 100% of the labor.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)

A construction model where a single multi-party contract is established between the owner, architect and builder. The contract outlines that all stakeholders will share both the risks and incentives of the project.


This stands for “inspection request” which is a form required by independent third-party inspectors to confirm an installation detail or method. It is often used for work such as welding, anchoring, and concrete pours.


Job Costing

Accounting method used to track construction work that is completed and measures whether the amount of activity aligns to the project budget.


A construction interface between two separate building elements that do not have a physical connection to each other but may overlap or align to the other element.


The location where the surfaces of two components are joined.


King stud

A framing member that runs from the bottom to the top of a panel or sheet.



A metal wire on the frame of a building that serves as a base for laying down stucco or plaster.

Lean Construction

A construction methodology where all stakeholders share relationships and goals to manage the project so as to reduce waste while maximizing the project’s value.


A project delivery method where a school will lease a site to a contractor who will construct a building to be used by the school. The contractor will then lease the constructed building back to the school. At the end of the lease, the title of the building would be vested to the school.


A property claim made by the contractor against the owner when they are not paid for the completed work.

Lift Slab Construction

Construction method where concrete slabs are cast on the ground level and then are lifted into place using hydraulic jacks.

Load-bearing wall (partition)

A partition or load-bearing wall carries the load of the structure above it. As a result, they cannot be removed without compromising the integrity of the structure.

Low Bid Procurement

A construction bedding method where the lowest bid is automatically accepted and awarded the job.

Lump Sum Contracts

A contract where a single price is quoted for the entire construction project.



A pneumatically-driven device inserted into the ground to create holes for construction elements such as pipes and heat pump systems.

Monocrete Construction

A construction method that uses precast concrete panels which are bolted together to make concrete structures.


In masonry, mortar is the paste that is used to bind stones, bricks, and other similar types of units used to construct the walls of a building. Mortar can be made up of a variety of things, such as asphalt, pitch, or clay.


Negotiated Procurement

A government procurement method where a contractor is chosen without formal price competition or formal advertising.


Particle board

A substitute for plywood that is composed of sawdust mixed with resin.

Pay Applications

A construction document that details how the contractor will be paid.

Performance Gap

A performance gap is an instance where the expected work progress does not match to the results that are given.


A panel of wood that is made from multiple layers of veneer, compressed together.


A method for prestressing (strengthening) concrete whereby cables are pulled or the concrete is jacked up after it has been placed.


This stands for “personal protective equipment” which is basically the proper attire for a construction job. Such equipment often includes a hard hat, hard-soled boots, reflective vest, safety glasses, long pants, and a shirt with at least 6” long sleeves.

Precast Concrete

Concrete elements created offsite that are transported to the construction site for final assembly.

Procurement log

A spreadsheet that tracks how long it will take for certain materials to be delivered on-site, especially those with long lead times. It tracks when the submittals for these materials need to be approved so that they can be ordered for fabrication and delivery. Some examples of items that may be on a procurement log are structural steel, HVAC equipment, lighting fixtures, and custom cabinetry.

Project Manager

The project manager handles the entire management of the construction project. They oversee project deliverables, schedules and budgets.

Project schedule

The contract timeline for the duration of the project, usually in Gantt chart format showing relationships and the critical path (what items are driving the overall schedule). It is generally composed of long duration tasks, sorted by scope and location, as opposed to the 3 week look ahead (which is very detailed and short term).


A project delivery method where a government agency and a private sector company collaborate to fund, build and maintain construction projects as the private generates income from the project.

Punch List

A document listing construction work that does not meet the customer’s specifications. It is made at the end of the project as the contractor needs to complete the job to receive the payment.

Purchase Orders (PO)

In construction, a purchase order is a document from the buyer that indicates their intent to purchase services and products from the seller, such as a supplier.


A horizontal and longitudinal beam used on the roof structure to support the rafters.


Short for polyvinyl chloride, this common plastic is used most commonly for water pipes and sometimes for flooring.



This stands for “quality assurance/quality control” which is the formalized process of confirming proper installation methods and materials on-site.



A series of roof frame pieces that are connected to the supports and hold up the roofing and sheathing.

Reinforced concrete

Concrete that is strengthened by adding steel bars or mesh within the concrete.

RFI (Request for Information)

This preliminary document contains general information about the capabilities provided by potential vendors or suppliers.

RFP (Request for Proposal)

A document request to vendors to obtain an overview of their costs and offerings for specific services.

RFQ (Request for Quote)

A document featuring predetermined specifications for the project as it requests the vendor’s costs to fulfill these specifications.

Rim Joist

In flooring, a rim joist is attached to the end of the main joists to give lateral support.


The initial stage of the wall framing, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing installation. This includes all of the components that won’t be seen after the completion of the project. All trade rough-ins must generally be inspected prior to insulation and application of finishes.

RTT (Request for Tender)

A formal invitation to vendors to submit their bid to supply products and services to the construction project.


During the construction project, unwanted concrete is broken down into small pieces that are used in the base for new surfaces.


Schedule of Values

A project’s work item list that corresponds the items to their value as the list represents the entire amount of the work project.

Schedule of values

The breakdown of a contract amount into sub-items and sub-costs for identifiable construction elements. This is usually used as the basis for submitting and reviewing progress payment.

Scope Creep

Scope creep involves when continuous changes and modifications are made or when the work grows uncontrollably beyond the original scope of the project.

Scope of Work (SOW)

A detail in the agreement outlining the work that will be performed for the project.


This is a drawing or model that shows what it would look like if you sliced vertically through a building and were able to see its various components or layers, showcasing exactly how a building is constructed top to bottom.

Section Drawing

A drawing that shows the building’s view as if cut on a vertical plane.


A device or instrument designed to detect and measure a variable.


Wood panels on the sides of buildings, barns and other structures.

Shop Drawings

A contractor’s drawings that details the fabrication of components.


A construction method that uses wood or metal props to support the structure while it is worked on.


Concrete that is shot onto a reinforced surface, usually wire mesh, by way of air pressure and hose. Shotcrete is a typically installed on soil nail walls.


Material that covers up the joint between the floor and a wall in the interior of a building, for aesthetic purposes.

Soil Stockpile

A pile of soil created when bulldozers excavate the site as the soil may later be used for grading purposes.

Soul Source Procurement

A procurement method where only one contractor is selected without a competitive process to fulfill all the project’s requirements.


The specifications provide details regarding the materials and work quality desired for the building design.


A material made from aggregates, a binder, and water. It is often used as a decorative coating on walls and ceilings.


An agreement made with the contractor and subcontractor that outlines the specific work services for the project.


The subcontractor is specialized in a specific construction or building trade, such as electrical or plumbing. They are contract workers who are hired by the general contractor.


Material data, shop drawings, and product data for architects and engineers so they can verify that the correct products were installed.


A structure that is built on top of another structure.



A document that lists the types and quantities of materials that will be required for the construction project.

Target Value Design

This design method involves all key stakeholders — including the owner, subcontractors, designers and contractors — who will design the construction project to meet the owner’s goals and budget.


A contractor’s or supplier’s submission response about the supplies and services that they can offer to the project when receiving a bid invitation.

Three(3)-week look ahead

The schedule that is published each week by the general contractor that outlines what is occurring in the next three weeks of the project. This is broken down into small, actionable tasks, as opposed to the main project schedule (which is the overall timeline).


Construction elements used to tie to separate materials together inside cavity walls.

Time and Materials Contracts

A contract method where the contractor is paid for the actual costs, which include time and materials.


The materials used to provide a clean finish of the building, such as moldings around window and door openings, or the baseboards in rooms, for example.



Construction technique to strengthen the foundation of an existing structure with the use of beams, concrete or base pining.

Unit Price Contracts

A contract where the contractor is paid based on the estimated quantity of items for the project and their unit prices.



A very thin sheet of wood. It is typically a finer wood that is used as a decorative cover for lower-quality wood.

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

All of the multi-disciplinary project models which can include the analysis model, visualizations, costs, and engineering modeling.

Voided Biaxial Slab

Concrete blocks with voids inside that maintain their strength and durability while using less concrete.



A distortion of material, which can be a sign of water damage.



A government regulation that involves restricting how a property is used. For example, industrial buildings cannot be constructed in areas zoned solely for residential.