The construction terms you need to know

26 August 2020
Matthew Eccles

Commercial construction can be a funny old world. From BOQ to RFQ, there are so many niche terms and acronyms sometimes it sounds like a completely different language. We’ve pulled together a quick glossary so when it comes to getting on site you can both walk the walk, and talk the talk.

Who’s who on the job?

Client: This is the person or organisation who’s commissioning and paying for the building work. They are the key decision maker on any construction project.

Client side project manager: This is the representative of the client – their job is to make sure everything is built aligned to the clients needs (aka, done right and done on budget).

Head contractor: The head contractor – often referred to as the builder – is the company put in charge of the building project. They talk to the client and procure a series of subcontractors to ensure the project is built. 

Subcontractor: Affectionately referred to as a ‘subbie’, a subcontractor is a person or organisation contracted under the builder (head contractor) to perform a specific scope of works. 

When it comes to the docs:

RFQ: Request for quotation – These are the invitations head contractors send to subbies and suppliers asking them to price a project.

BOQ: Bill of quantities. Bill of quantities – an itemised list of the products to be supplied in the project.

EOI: Expression of interest – This is when a subcontractor expresses interest in supplying a quote for a project.

SOW: Scope of works – this is a list of all the requirements for a subcontractor to complete on the job. 

RFI: Request for information – An RFI is a formalised (i.e. in writing) communication between two parties when clarification around a particular piece of information is needed.

Drawing Register: A record of all drawings and schedules with their respective revisions. To an Estimator, it’s a spreadsheet used in the process of allocating drawings, specifications and other tender docs to specific trade packages.

Document Register: A list of documents given to a subcontractor. Used to make sure that the subcontractors quote has been sent in using the latest docs. 

Tender time:

Tender: A bid or offer to provide goods/or services for a stated fixed amount of money. A builder will submit a tender to the client basing their price off a series of subcontractor quotes. 

Estimator: A person responsible for constructing a price for a specific scope (or scopes) of work. The estimator for a builder will compile subcontractor quotes in order to put together an accurate and educated price to the client. 

Trade coverage: Also referred to as coverage, this refers to the amount of quotes a builder has received for each trade package. In order to put in an accurate and educated quote, builders require multiple quotes for each trade package. 

 Addendum: During a project’s life the drawings will need to be updated to reflect changes being made. An addendum is the process in which these documents are updated. 

Now you should be ready to get on site. If you’re looking to find more jobs in your area, find out how we could help with that here.