Construction Terms Glossary

  • BIM - 'Building Information Modeling' is the process where structure designs are compiled in a software program to model the actual construction end product (usually in 3D), to detect potential problems, and to record products/design for future use in building maintenance.
  • BUR (roofing term) - in the attached PDF, 'built up roofing' is a type of roofing where multiple layers of roof felts are laminated together with bitumen to create a watertight product.
  • CBEDS - 'California Basic Educational Data System', an annually collected repository of school-related data (enrollments, graduates, dropouts, enrollment, etc.)
  • CDE - 'California Department of Education', a state entity which is involved in the review of our work, primarily as it relates to state curriculum requirements.
  • CM Multi-Prime - 'Construction Management - Multiple Prime', a project delivery method where the District (acting through the Construction Manager), holds trade contracts directly to maintain control over schedule and individual contractor performance.
  • CUPCAA – California Uniform Public Construction Accounting Act is a voluntary election school districts can make, whereby they are permitted to create and maintain a list of ‘prequalified’ bidders.  It allows the District to bid projects less than $125k to firms on the list, without having to go through a full advertised public bidding process.
  • DSA - 'Division of the State Architect', the entity which is responsible for overseeing state property, particularly schools.  This entity must review and approve designs before contracts may be awarded.
  • EMS – ‘Energy Management System’ is a series of controls that allow owners to monitor and control various energy consumption points in a building (i.e. air conditioning), typically resulting in long-term cost savings from reduced energy use.
  • FA (as in "provide FA devices") - 'fire alarm'.
  • IDF/MDF - IDF is an 'intermediary distribution frame', which is a data rack that manages connections between the MDF ('main distribution frame') and the workstations.  MDF's are typically larger and located at the MPOE ('main point of entry') for telecommunications wiring.
  • IOR - 'Inspector of Record', a representative of DSA that monitors the construction process onsite for compliance with regulations and code.
  • KIPP - 'Knowledge Is Power Program', a network of college preparatory schools, generally (in California) with a charter from a local school district.
  • LCP - 'Labor Compliance Program' is a requirement for any program receiving state funds, or which may be reimbursed in any part by state funds, where an entity is approved by the DIR to create and enforce a program to ensure contractors pay prevailing wages.
  • LLB – ‘Lease-Leaseback’ is a project delivery method whereby the District leases a property to a qualified firm for the purposes of facility improvement s which will take place over the term of the lease.  It requires a collaborative effort where the design team adequately reflects the District’s needs on a set of drawings, which used to determine a GMP (guaranteed maximum price) that the LLB entity will comply with to complete the required improvements on the District’s scheduled timeline.
  • OPSC - 'Office of Public School Construction', a state entity primarily involved in school construction as it relates to funding (as opposed to DSA, which concerns itself with code and health/safety issues).
  • PLA - 'Project Labor Agreement' is an agreement with local building trade councils requiring contractors to unionize their workforce on an awarded project for at least the duration of the work performed under the Agreement.
  • Prequalification – a process where Districts solicits and reviews information from potential bidders, to determine their ability to bid on and perform projects.  This allows the District to disqualify contractors not suited to perform public construction projects, based on a variety of factors (financial capacity, bonding capacity, prior history, references, etc.).
  • Prevailing Wages - required by the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, mandates that government-funded projects pay 'prevailing wages', compiled either federally or at the state level (the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in California does this).  Contractors must pay their workers these wages.
  • RFI - 'request for information', a document generated by contractors who have questions about the intent or workability of a design.  These are reviewed and answered by the design team.
  • RSP - 'resource specialist program', a category of special education.
  • SDC (in special classrooms) - 'special day class', usually related to special education curriculum.
  • Site Plan letters: "P", "K",  "A/C Paved area" - these generally refer to Portables, Kindergartens, or asphalt-concrete (AC) paved areas (blacktop).
  • Special Inspector - an outside agency required to be contracted by a District to sample and test certain construction processes and products, to ensure compliance with DSA regulations.
  • Submittal - a document or package prepared by contractors listing products or methods to be used on a project, which is reviewed by the designers to ensure conformance with the design intent.