Key Terms and Definitions

AJB Plan Reviews
Throughout the design process AJB will review and re-review various plans and construction documents to acceptability, adequate level of detail and constructability. Changes may be required at various review stages to insure the plans are adequate for construction.

Background Plans
A to scale floor plan void of detail that is used by the MP&E team members to create detail for their respective trades in the final Design Document phase of the Design-Build process.

A General Contractor driven procurement method in which bids from competing subcontractors, suppliers, or vendors are invited by openly advertising the scope, specifications, and terms and conditions of the proposed contract as well as the criteria by which the bids will be evaluated. Competitive bidding aims at obtaining goods and services at the lowest prices by stimulating competition, and by preventing favoritism without jeopardizing project design or quality.

Budget Proposal
A proposal presenting the known design criteria and a related budget that takes the owner’s general concepts and transforms them into technical documents — plans and specifications — that are used by the contractor to build the owner’s facility.

Change Event and Change Orders
A change event is work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of work of a contract, which alters the original contract amount and/or completion date. Change events and change orders are common to most projects, and very common with large projects. After the original scope (or contract) is formed, complete with the total price to be paid and the specific work to be completed, a client may decide that the original plans do not best represent his definition for the finished project. Accordingly, the client will suggest an alternate approach.

Common causes for change orders are:

  1. The customer or project team discovers obstacles or possible efficiencies that require them to deviate from the original plan
  2. The customer or project team are inefficient or incapable of completing their required deliverables within budget, and additional money, time, or resources must be added to the project
  3. During the course of the project, additional features or options are requested.

In order for a project to be contructible or reach a point of contructability the project-design criteria/scope is relegated to plans that provide sufficient detail allowing tradespersons in the field the level of information that allows the project to be built as intended.

Construction Documents Phase
At this phase the final drawings and specifications are created for the project. The construction documents are used by Contractor to facilitate the receipt of final subcontractor and vendor bids, determine final projects costs and provide the literal blue print by which the project is to be constructed.

Construction Phase
At this point in time it is now time to start construction and begin building the project that has been the focus of the planning and organization developed in the design-build process.

Construction Project Manager
The person who is ultimately responsible for the success of a project. The construction project manger (CPM) plans, organizes and controls every detail of the project and must have knowledge of general management as well as specialized background in the particular nature of the project.

Construction Work
The actual building process that follows the design documents (plans and specifications) bringing the project from concept to reality. To successfully complete a construction project a great amount of pre-planning and organization is required before the first shovel of dirt is dug or the first nail is installed. Projects that are well planned are well run and cost less in time and money.

Consultant/Architectural Selection Pool
The Consultant or Architectural pool is a group of pre-qualified professionals consisting of architects, structural engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, environmental consultants and other. These individuals are selected based upon project type and complexity as resources in the design-build process.

Customer Delays
The single greatest contributor to design delays are customer changes and building permit time frames. Delays always have negative impacts on both time, money and project efficiencies.

Customer Plan Approval
See “Customer Plan Reviews” immediately below.

Customer Plan Reviews
Throughout the design process the Customer will receive plans for review and approval at various intervals. Customer approval is required before further design can continue. Therefore, timely reviews are critical.

Customer Selections
Background plans are presented to the customer to establish selection criteria such as:

  • Electrical receptacles, switches, lighting, thermostat locations, telephone and data requirements.
  • Finish details to include locations for paint colors, wainscot, chair rail, wall tile areas by type and color and other wall finishes.
  • Flooring types and colors for entires, meeting rooms, exam rooms, bathroom floors and all other flooring requirements.

Furniture, fixture and equipment layouts

Design – Bid – Build
Design-bid-build (or design/build, and abbreviated D-B or D/B) is  a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design-builder or design-build contractor. AJB manages and leads the design team comprised of the Owner, Architect, Engineers, Consultants and others depending upon project requirements.

Design Build Agreement
A Design and Construction Contract document where both the design and the construction of a structure are the responsibilities of AJB.

Design Development Phase
This step requires research and investigation into the materials and equipment that will be used as well as their cost.

Design Criteria/Scope
Information (verbal, conceptual and schematic) is provided by the Customer that establishes general project understanding initially. As the project moves forward with the Design-Build process more detail is identified to establish enough detail to reach a point of project detail and constructability.

Exclusions are a list of specific items or scope of work that is specifically excluded on the project.

Final Plans
Final plans represent the 100% set to be approved by the Owner prior to submitting to the Building Department for a building permit.

A list of specific items or a scope of work that is specifically included in the project.

Letter of Intent (LOI)
A letter of intent (LOI) is a document outlining an agreement between the Customer and AJB before the construction agreement is finalized. Typically, the LOI is used to allow the design-build process to move forward and reduce the design time while the Construction Agreement is drafted and signed by the parties.

MPE’s Plans
E (electrical) plans – this kind of plan describe the location and details of electrical wiring, fixtures and sub-station etc. It also shows the electrical load calculation.

P (plumbing) plans – this type of plan show the location of sanitary and water supply piping and fixture an how to connect every fixture etc.

M (mechanical) plans – this type of plan show the location of AC ducts, registers, return air supply, CFM or air volume and related interior temperature and air supply elements.

Permit Submittal
Upon approval of the 100% architectural plans the construction documents are assembled stamped and duplicated as required by the particular permitting authority and submitted for review and permitting by the particular Building Department.

Permit Submittal Process
This process is beyond the control of the General Contractor. The time for processing of a building permit is a variable that is solely controlled by the Building Department. The process generally is as follows:

  1. Permit is submitted and a PAC# is issued.
  2. Plans are distributed within the Building Department for numerous reviews.
  3. Backcheck letters and review comments are received periodically throughout the process and replies are provided to insure compliance with building code interpretations and unique design requirements. This process is closely monitored by AJB so response times are minimized.
  4. Once all reviews are approved the permit is submitted for final pricing and the General Contractor is notified when the permit can be paid for and picked up.
  5. Once the permit is received the General Contractor can call in for inspections so the construction process can proceed.

Preliminary Magnitude Budget Estimate (PMBE)
A rough budget derived from very limited information usually conceptual in nature and lacking detail. Based upon the very general information the Contractor (AJB) utilizes historical data and market pricing trends to define a rough project estimate (budget) to aid in project feasibility analysis. As further detail is added or deleted from the original concept, they will increase or decrease accordingly.

Project Superintendent
The superintendent’s job is to run the day-to-day operations on the construction site and control the short-term schedule. The role of the superintendent also includes important quality control and subcontractor coordination responsibilities. It is common for most finance-related tasks (especially labor and material cost control) and long-term scheduling to be handled by a project manager. The project manager and superintendent need to cooperate and share control effectively. Superintendents are almost universally stationed on the construction site, while project managers are usually based in the contractor’s office with part-time on site responsibilities.

Proprietary Design
Proprietary design in sensitive information that is owned by a company. Any designs, plans, renderings, pictures, displays or any other representation of the original work is the sole property of AJB. Any use of said works without express written approval of AJB is in violation of the law.

Schematic Design Phase
Schematic designs are sketches used to identify spaces, shapes, patterns, material types, general sizes and the overall general concept by which project plans are developed.

Structural Plans
Working drawings that provide cross-sectional views and details of the structural components required for building and/or permitting. These may include foundation footings, structural walls, roof trusses, floor joists and load-bearing beams. It explains everything about structure such as strength of different parts of the structure, structural material, placement, grade and size of reinforcement etc.