Construction Glossary

We've compiled a list of relevant abbreviations and terms that are used within the construction industry.



An RFI (request for information) is a document involved parties use to clarify drawings, plans, agreements, and specifications. The RFI clarifies information gaps in construction documents.


A request for quote (RFQ) is a formal document used for gathering information about goods from the potential vendor. The RFQ will detail the quantities and specifications of these goods.


Request for bid (RFB) is a line type item building paper made by an organization for vendors. As an example, an RFB can be used when contractors need carpenters.


Round Trip Time (RTT) is the acronym used for total trip time made by employees.


Site Work Instructions (SWI) are technical instructions written by the engineering consultant to the contractor to execute a particular job or work that does not affect the contract sum or time.


A Nominated Subcontractor (NSC) is selected by the client to carry out an element of the work. NSC are given to the main contractor after they are appointed..


A Non-conformance Report is a construction-related document used to address specific deviation or when work fails to meet quality standards.


Material Inspection Request-A purchaser’s document submitted requesting formal inspection and verification that all materials delivered to the site meet the MAR specs in quality and volume.


Material Approval-Approved construction materials for use in the specific project.


Letter Of Acceptance-A purchaser’s letter communicating the acceptance of a bid for services or products according to agreed terms between parties.


Letter Of Intent-A purchaser’s letter of intent to award a bid or purchase from the bidding or offering company.


Invitation For Bid-A purchaser’s invitation for a company or provider to submit bids for materials or services.


Variation Order-A formal order in writing from the EOC to a contractor for example,


A structured plan for periodic as well as continuous inspections of the project by the Project Inspector.


(Intellectual Property Rights) is when the structure or property designed is protected.


Engineering Instruction (EI) is the process of planning out the project that is being constructed.


TOC - Top of Concrete.


Bureau Of Construction Codes (BBC) is who makes the procedures and processes that you need to follow during construction.


DWG is a type of format that construction sites will use to file two and three dimensional designs to. It stands for drawing standards.


The Fire Alarm Control Panel, or FACP, is a panel that is used to control the fire alarm.


FL is the acronym used to describe when something is Floor Level.


High Voltage (HV) means that you need to use caution when working around this type of electricity. It has enough power to cause harm to someone if electrocuted.


Manhole, or MH, is a location that is cut out in the ground to allow a worker to enter into for underground work.


Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) is referring to the amount of product that you have to buy for a project.


A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is a type of permission given by the Building Department to show proof of the building being up to code.


The BUA (Built Up Area) is known as the entire property of which the construction is being done on.


Design-Build (DB) is the plans that are drawn up by the contractor.


The Air Handling Unit (AHU), also known as the HVAC, is the unit that is used to circulate the air on the inside of a building.


A Fan Coil Unit (FCU) is a fan that has a coil unit inside of it.


IFC is an acronym for Industry Foundation Classes. IFC is used in the construction world to help model the data for the construction and architectural design.


Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP) is a pipe that is used in sewage systems and other drainage locations. It is made out of concrete and very sturdy.


Interim Payment Certificates (IPC) is what is referred to as an agreement or contract for payment.


Uninterrupted Power Supply, also known as UPS in the construction world. That is when you are guaranteed that you will not lose connection to your source of power.


VCD is the acronym for Variable Control Damper.


DLB stands for dig-lay-bury


PPE, also known as Personal Protective Equipment, is what construction workers wear to keep them protected while on the job.


QA is the abbreviation that is used to mean Quality Assurance. QC is the abbreviation that is used to mean Quality Control. These two terms are used when stating that the job was done according to plans.


BIM is an acronym for Building Information Model. It is the process of collecting information to create a design. It allows the process to run more efficiently due to many aspects being built ahead of time.


Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a design program that is used to create two or three-dimensional views of the projected project.