Common Definitions for terms you will hear in Construction

February 22, 2015

You will never know what you will never know. Becasue some terms are regional, some are slang, some you may have never heard of I wanted to write the following to refer my clients to. 


Contract Information Book - On large projects it is common to have a number of special provisions or specifications to address the non typical aspects of a project. These may include environmental provisions, penalties, contract commitments, letting dates, completion dates, liquidated damages fees, and the contract bid items index. This book is presented to the contractor along with the contract drawings to complete the bid package. However, the contract will still be under the standard specifications, standard industry practices, and standard drawings. 


 Standard Drawings - A drawing out of a library of drawings for a particular detail on a project that is recurring from one project to another. This may be a sidewalk detail, or a curb detail that may be called out by simply stating the standard drawing file number on the projects plans. This saves time, and money and allows the standard drawing to be improved upon over time without having to revise new contract drawings in the pipeline. 


Bid Letting - Is a formal process after a period of time known as the contract advertisement where contractors review the plan documents to price the bid items. This results in a total bid amount that is sealed and turned in. At the bid letting all bids are opened and recorded with the aparent qualified low bidder is awarded the work. 


LPA - Local Public Agency is a government agency responsible for a jurisdictions public assets. 


DBE - Disadvantaged business enterprise. An umbrella of socially or economically disadvantaged persons who are given special consideration to help create a level playing field for all. Typically used for government projects on a percent of the contract to be awareded to the DBE firm, say 7-15%. 


WBE - Woman Business Enterprise is a category of the DBE program devoted to helping women meeting certain criteria participate in government contracts. 


MBE - Minority Business Enterprise is a category of the DBE program devoted to helping minorites meeting certain criteria participate in government contracts. 


VBE - Verteran Business Enterprise is a category of the DBE program devoted to helping US Military Veterans  meeting certain criteria participate in government contracts. 


Change Order - When a contractor is selected for a project and the original contract documents require certain work and the documents provide individual bid line items but no item for the work needed a change order is created to add the item needed for the work. 




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