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Glossary


AIA-MBA Joint Committee Best Practices Guide Glossary

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

ABA - American Bar Association.

Addenda - An update to a set of Bid Documents issued before bids are received.

ACEC - American Council of Engineering Companies.

AGC - Associated General Contractors of America.

Agency CM - A construction management system that manages the process of a construction project on behalf of the owner without physically delivering a construction project.

AIA - American Institute of Architects.

Allowance - A sum of money defined in the documents, to be included in the bid to cover the cost of work not fully defined by the documents.

Alternates - Amount to be added or deducted from the base bid if the corresponding change in project scope or alternate materials and/or method of construction is accepted.

ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers.

Bid Documents - The documents used to obtain pricing from prospective contractors. In a competitive bidding process, these documents include the advertisement or invitation to bid, instruction to bidders, the bid form and the proposed construction contract documents including an addenda issued prior to receipt of bids.

Books Architect / Engineer Act - Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 which provides guidelines for Qualifications Based Selection of firms.

Builder's Risk Insurance - Property insurance that covers against physical damage to the work while construction is in progress.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) - A BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle from inception onward.

BIM Execution Plan - A plan that is developed by the key stakeholders of a project at the inception of the project to identify the goals of the project, as they relate to the implementation of BIM, including who will implement what, and when the implementation will occur, in order to achieve the identified goals of the project.

BVC (Best Value Contracting) - A procurement method in which qualifications and price are weighted to select the constructor whose proposal represents the greatest value to the owner.

Central Model - The primary repository of information associated to a model, which re-incorporates the parts and pieces that are passed along to others for editing and updating via the use of worksets.

Certificate of Substantial Completion - The document that is prepared by the design professional, after an inspection of the work, to establish that the work, or portion of the work, is sufficiently complete in accordance with the Construction Contract Documents that the owner can occupy or utilize the work for its intended use.

Change Order - A written order to the contractor signed by the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, authorizing changes in the work or adjustments in the contract sum and/or contract time. The change order must also be signed by the contractor to indicate acceptance of the adjustment in the contract sum and/or contract time. The contract sum or contract time may be changed only by change order.

Clash Detection - The ability to electronically review the objects in a model for confirmation that more than one object does not physically occupy a given space (coincide), or that the necessary clearances exist between two adjacent objects.

CM-@-Risk (Construction Management At Risk) - A delivery method which entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project with a Guaranteed Maximum Price. The CM acts as a consultant to the owner in the development and design phases, and acts as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase.

Competitive (Sealed) Bidding - A sealed bid process to demonstrate fairness and objectivity.

Constructability - Ability to construct the designed work in a timely and cost effective manner. The extent to which the design of a facility provides for ease of construction yet meets the overall requirements. The integration of construction knowledge and experience in the planning, design, procurement and construction phases of projects consistent with overall project objectives.

CM (Construction Manager) - An entity that typically contracts with the owner to provide construction management services. The CM may provide construction expertise, estimating and scheduling services. Additionally the CM may perform contracting, purchasing and supervising of construction.

COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) - A process that involves entering material information into the BIM as it is created during design, construction, and commissioning that primarily supports facilities management and building operations processes.

Database - A repository of information. In the case of BIM, the model is built around a database, allowing for objects to incorporate data describing the object (known as metadata), which provides an additional layer of intelligence to the information that can be shared via the model.

DBE ( Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) - An entity that is at least 51% owned and operated by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individual (s).

DBIA - (Design Build Institute of America).

Design BIM Authoring Tool - A computer program interface capable of generating parametric modeling components that contain physical, technical and spatial information in a relational database form that can be exchanged by open-source metadata.

Delivery Method/System - The means by which design and construction work are provided.

Design-Assist - A procurement process in which prior to completion of a design, a constructor is hired to assist a design professional of record in completing the design.

Design-Bid-Build - A project method in which the owner engages a designer to prepare the design of the complete facility, including construction documents and other contract documents. Once completed, the bid package is presented to interested general contractors who in turn prepare a bid for the work.

Design-Build - A project delivery method in which a single team develops a project, including design and construction.

Fast Track - Any project and process where there is an overlap between two or more project phases.

Federated Model - A composite BIM that links together models produced by various project participants to perform more comprehensive project analyses such as coordination, logistical planning and cost/budget. Federated BIM recognizes the fact that most current project delivery models do not support the collaborative process of Integrated BIM.

4D - The inclusion of time coordinated with the 3D objects to produce a construction sequencing simulation.

5D - The inclusion of cost either embedded into or linked to the 3D objects for budget management as it relates to time, materials, and methods.

General Liability Insurance - The most common form of insurance carried by constructors.

Georeference - A coordinate system and base point that will be common between all models to ensure that all models are referenced properly.

GMP (Guaranteed Maximum Price) - The owner agrees to reimburse the costs of the work, up to a prescribed ceiling amount.

IFC (Industry Foundation Class) - An international standard that establishes information data exchange protocol for building elements, allowing for the use of files created in one software platform (i.e. Bentley Systems) to be utilized in a different software platform (i.e. Autodesk).

Integrated BIM - A model that is produced collaboratively between project participants in an environment where data is openly shared and continually refined throughout the participants so that they may work collaboratively and requires a consistent BIM authoring platform.

IDP (Integrated Project Delivery) - An approach to a project where all parties sign a multiple party contract that includes the owner, the primary architect (s), the prime contractor (s) as well as other key members of the construction team. This incentivizes collaborative behavior and team risk-sharing to enhance project success.

Interoperability - The ability of technology used in the BIM process to exchange data without data loss or data repurposing. Interoperability between all involved parties should be outlined in the BIM Execution Plan.

Lean Construction - A management approach that focuses on maximum value and minimum waste. A system intended to manage and improve overall performance by using input from all team members.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) - Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED Rating System is a voluntary national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

LEED AP (LEED Accredited Professional) - LEED accreditation is awarded to building industry practitioners with detailed knowledge of LEED project certification requirements and processes and a command of integrated design principals.

Level of Development - The extent of the physical and functional characteristics that are included in a 3D object representation of a building intended to be constructed. The amount and extent of information provided, as well as who is responsible for providing this information, should be fully defined as is expected through the design, fabrication, construction, and occupancy (life-cycle) of physical structure.

Lump Sum - The lump sum is a fixed price for the scope of the work described in the contract documents. The general contractor assumes the risk of cost increases to perform the work required to complete the scope of the work described in the original contracts documents.

MBA (Master Builders' Association of Western Pennsylvania).

Metadata - Data that is associated to the parts and pieces that make up the contents of a model.

MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) - An entity that is at least 51% owned and operated by a minority.

Multiple Prime Delivery - Instead of contracting with a single entity, the owner contracts with multiple trade contractors for the completion of the work and the owner assumes the responsibility for the coordination.

Neutral Schema - A collection of database objects, including tables, views, indexes, and synonyms that are non-proprietary.

NBIMS (National Building Information Modeling Standard) - A living document drafted to promulgate standards for consistency in BIM. The document is a result of a project committee of the buildingSMART Alliance, which is a council of the National Institute for Building Sciences.

OmniClass - An emerging standard for comprehensively classifying the built environment that is attempting to unify the Uniform and MasterFormat systems.

OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration).

PA Separations Act - Enacted in 1913, this law requires a public owner to bid and award at least four (4) separate and multiple prime contracts for one (1) construction project. Pennsylvania is one (1) of only three (3) states in the country to abide by such a requirement.

Parametric - The ability to make a change to a single view of a model and have the change automatically translated to all other views of the model, maintaining uniform relationship in all aspects of the model.

Payment Bond - A surety bond that secures a constructor's obligations to pay subcontractors, supplies and other lower tier entities beneath a general contractor.

Phasing - The ability to breakdown a model into chronological layers, allowing for the isolation of new items created / demolished during a particular phase, or the sequential build-up of a project from start to finish.

Prime Contractor - A contractor on a project that has direct agreement with the owner.

Project Manual - Contracting requirements and specifications usually bound into one or more volumes.

Punch List - A list made near the completion of work, indicating items to be furnished or work to be performed by the contractor and/or subcontractor in order to complete the work as stipulated in the construction contract documents.

QBS (Qualifications Based Selection) - Selection based on qualifications of a firm, team, experience and project capability.

Quantity Take-Off - The ability to automatically generate and extract quantities from the objects within a model, from the individual selection of an object within a model, the creation and export of a schedule, or the user of third-party software that automatically extracts the information from the model.

Retainage - Money earned by the constructor but held by the owner pending completion of the project.

RFI (Request For Information) - A written request for more specific information about a certain aspect of a project.

RFP (Request For Proposal)
- A written request from an owner, architect or constructor for cost proposal for design, management or construction services. The RFP defines the scope of proposed work.

RFQ (Request For Qualifications) - A written request from an owner, architect or constructor documenting a scope of work and requesting professional qualifications for that scope of work.

Schematic Design - The stage at which the design is developed on a conceptual basis.

Shop Drawings - Detailed drawings by suppliers and manufacturers of various material and equipment. They must confirm to the original drawings, but not construction contract documents.

Solibri Model Checker - A software solution that analyzes BIMs for integrity, quality and physical safety and provides some rudimentary code checking capabilities.

Spatial Coordination - Also called "clash detection", a model review that identifies interferences between objects within the BIM prior to work in the field.

Specifications - A description of the performance, materials and workmanship required for a construction project. The written material containing the standard provisions and special provisions as may be necessary, pertaining to the types and qualities of material to be furnished under the contract.

Standards - A rule or principal that is used as a basis for judgement as established by authority, custom or general consent as a model or example.

Submittals - Shop drawings, product data, samples, certifications, calculations and project closeout documents prepared and submitted to the design professional by the contractor / subcontractor. Submittals more fully describe the work the contractor will install that the design professional needs to review for general compliance with the design intent. The information is typically more detailed than what is shown in the construction contract documents and provides specific data on the material to be used. Submittals are not construction contract documents but they are contract requirements.

Substitution - This allows for the constructor to recommend different products from those specified.

3D - The representation of construction elements intended to be used in the actual physical construction that digitally and virtually represents size, geometry, and spatial relationship in an X, Y, and Z coordinate system.

Tri-Party Agreement - An agreement between Owner, Designer, and the Contractor that in essence creates a new single entity for the duration of a project, in which all members of the project team share in the potential risk and reward for a project, for the promotion of collaboration (see also Integrated Project Delivery).

Uniformat II - ASTM E1557 Standard that provides a common structure linking the building program, specifications, and estimates through its classification for building elements and related site work.

Unit Prices - These are used to identify costs of materials or activities when actual quantities can only be estimated prior to construction.

Value Engineering - A process whose objective is to affect economy in the cost of constructing a project or to improve the constructability without detrimental impact on project quality.

Virtual Design & Construction - A synonym of BIM.

WBE (Woman Business Enterprise) - An entity that is at least 51% owned and operated by a woman.

Worksets - The ability to breakdown a model into related parts and pieces, which can be temporarily separated, edited, and brought back together, allowing multiple people to "checkout" and work on different aspects of the project simultaneously.

XD - Any use of BIM that is not currently categorized as 3D, 4D or 5D (i.e. the incorporation of as-built documentation into a model).


The AIA-MBA Joint Committee Best Practices Guide is an evolving resource that adapts to the changing construction industry. If you come across a topic that should be included or terminology that should be added to the glossary, please do not hesitate to contact the Joint Committee.
 
     

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