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C c


 Carolina Association of General Contractors (i.e. the AGC in North and South Carolina).

Capital Budget Plan

 Plan to raise large sums for investment in construction projects over a period of time.

Change Order

A written document between the owner and the contractor signed by the owner and the contractor authorizing a change in the work or an adjustment in the contract sum or the contract time. A change order may be signed by the architect or engineer, provided they have written authority from the owner for such procedure and that a copy of such written authority is furnished to the contractor upon request. The contract sum and the contract time may be changed only by change order. A change order may be in the form of additional compensation or time; or less compensation or time known as a Deduction (from the contract) the amount deducted from the contract sum by change order.

Change Order Proposal

A change order proposal is the written document before it has been approved and effected by the Contractor and Owner. A change order proposal can be issued by either the contractor or the owner. The change order proposal becomes a change order only after it has been approved and effected by the Contractor and Owner.

Change Order Request

A written document issued by the owner requesting an adjustment to the contract sum or an extension of the contract time; generally issued by the architect or owners representative.

Civil Engineer

 (a) Handles the design and maintenance of public works on all private and public projects. Designs roads, bridges, water and energy systems, as well as facilities like ports, railways and airports. (b) Handles planning and design of site work and infrastructures

Closed Bid/Estimate

A service where only invited bidders or estimators are given access to the project specific RFP (Request for Proposal) information is given access to project specific RFP (Request for Proposal) information. This option is for those seeking bids/estimates from a pre qualified and selected list of professionals or service. (see Open Bid/Estimate)


Prevailing regulations, ordinances or statutory requirements set forth by governmental agencies associated with building construction practices and owner occupancy, adopted and administered for the protection of public health, life safety and welfare. (see Building Code)

Conceptual Design

 Conceptual renderings on which a proposed design approach is based. 

Conceptual Stage

 The stage in the Construction Process when the owner comes up with the concept, permit and funding, as well as hires an architect, engineers and a spec book writer to put the plan to paper.  


To assemble and combine construction materials and methods to make a structure. The act or process of constructing.

Construction Cost

The direct contractor costs for labor, material, equipment, and services; contractors overhead and profit; and other direct construction costs. Construction cost does not include the compensation paid to the architect and engineer and consultants, the cost of the land, rights-of-way or other costs which are defined in the contract documents as being the responsibility of the owner. (see Soft Costs)

Construction Documents/Working Drawings

 Include all building plans, specifications and supporting documents used during the completion of a construction project. They help translate the needs of the owner or developer into a buildable format that can be universally understood within the construction industry. They may also allow the owner to put the project out for bid and they are used to obtain permits from local authorities. They also provide comprehensive instructions to the contractor as to how the project should be constructed.  

Construction Documents Phase

The third phase of the architect's basic services wherein the architect prepares working drawings, specifications and bidding information. Depending on the architects scope of services the architect may assists the owner in the preparation of bidding forms, the conditions of the contract and the form of agreement between the owner and contractor.

Construction Document Review

The owners review of the borrowers construction documents (plans and specifications), list of materials, and cost breakdowns for the purpose of confirming that these documents and estimates are feasible and are in accordance with the proposed loan or project appraisal.

Construction Inspector

(see Project Representative)

Construction Management

Organizing and directing laborers, materials, and equipment to accomplish the purpose of the designer.

Construction Management Contract

A written agreement wherein responsibilities for coordination and accomplishment of overall project planning, design and construction are given to a construction management firm. The building team generally consists of the owner, contractor and designer or architect.

Construction Phase

The fifth and final phase of the architect's basics services, which includes the architect's general administration of the construction contract(s).

Construction Manager (CM)

Plans, coordinates, budgets and supervises construction projects from early development to completion. One who directs and coordinates construction activity. The construction manager can be the agent of the owner or the contractor typically on larger scope projects. On land development projects, civil engineers can offer construction management services.

Construction Manager at Risk

 Hired to oversee the process prior to construction but may not act as the official builder. 

Construction Stage

 The stage in the Construction Process that begins 60 days before ground breaks. 


One hired by the owner or client to give professional advice.

Context Menu

The small menu that displays when you right-click (or for left-handed users, alternate-click) on an object or screen. It is called a Context Menu because its options are contextual, they are relevant to whatever object on which the right-click occurred. They are often called the "Right-click menu", but that sort of alienates left-handed users.


  1. An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law

  2. The writing or document containing such an agreement.

Contract Administration

The contractual duties and responsibilities of the architect and engineer during the construction phase of a specific project.

Contract Bond

A written form of security from a surety company, on behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor, guaranteeing complete execution of the contract and all supplemental agreements pertaining thereto and for the payment of all legal debts pertaining to the construction of the project.

Contract Documents

A term used to represent all executed agreements between the owner and contractor; any general, supplementary or other contract conditions; the drawings and specifications; all addenda issued prior to execution of the contract; and any other items specifically stipulated as being included in the contract documents.

Contract Over-run (under-run)

The difference between the original contract price and the final completed cost including all adjustments by approved change order.

Contract Payment Bond

A written form of security from a surety company to the owner, on behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor, guaranteeing payment to all persons providing labor, materials, equipment, or services in accordance with the contract.

Contract Performance Bond

A written form of security from a surety company to the owner, on behalf of an acceptable prime or main contractor or subcontractor, guaranteeing the completion of the work in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Contract Period

The elapsed number of working days or calendar days from the specified date of commencing work to the specified date of completion, as specified in the contract.

Contract Sum

The total agreeable amount payable by the owner to the contractor for the performance of the work under the contract documents. (see Change Order)

Contract Time

The time period set forth established in the contract documents for completing a specific project; usually stated in working days or calendar days. The contract time can only be adjusted by valid time extensions through change order.

Contractual Liability

The liability assumed by a party under a contract.


A properly licensed individual of company that agrees to furnish labor, materials, equipment and associated services to perform the work as specified for a specified price.

Contractor's Option

A written provision in the contract documents giving the contractor the option of selecting certain specified materials, methods or systems without changing in the contract sum.

Contractor's Qualification Statement

A written statement of the Contractor's experience and qualifications submitted to the Owner during the contractor selection process. The American Institute of Architects publishes a standard Contractor's Qualification Statement form for this purpose.

Contracting Officer

An official representative of the owner with specific authority to act in his behalf in connection with a specific project.

Critical Path

The set of activities that must be completed on time for the project completion date to be met. Activities on the critical path have no slack time.

Critical Path Method (C.P.M.)

A planning scheduling and control line and symbol diagram drawn to show the respective tasks and activities involved in constructing a specific project.

Cost Breakdown

(see Schedule of Values)

Cost of Work

All costs incurred by the contractor in the proper performance of the work required by the plans and specifications for a specific project.

Cost Plus Contract or Cost Plus Fee Agreement

A written agreement with the owner under which the contractor or the architect and engineer is reimbursed for his/her direct and indirect costs and, in addition, is paid a fee for his services. The fee is usually stated as a stipulated sum or as a percentage of cost.

Cost Codes

A numbering system given to specific kinds of work for the purpose of organizing the cost control process of a specific project. 

Cover Sheet

Project details/properties (Name, Location, Estimator, Architect, etc.)

CSI (Construction Specification Institute)

Specifies the type of work required, standardized by divisions and sections. Corresponds to a sequence of numbers that corresponds to specific trades. CSI codes appear as the table of contents in every spec book. For instance, Division 03 corresponds to Concrete, etc. Note that the term “Master Format” may also be used in reference to CSI codes. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) publishes the MasterFormat, which is the standard that is used most often for formatting construction specifications (see Specs).

Current Date Line

A vertical line on a chart indicating the current date.

Current Set

Takeoff term indicate the set of plans created by using the most current version of each plan/drawing available. Often, the Current Set will include plans from multiple Plan Sets as not every Plan Set includes a version or revision of each plan.

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