The IPA have issued the GCS 2016-20, summarising progress against BIM, PBAs, GSLs..

Baffled by construction acronyms? Especially all those one’s beginning with the letter C?!

To help you we have compiled a simple A-Z reference for construction.

Here we provide A – C. For a full list download our eBook. This book is by no means the finished item, if you find any we have missed please let us know.

And to be fully in the know about the construction industry book a place on our training: Construction Industry Overview.


AEC– Architect/Engineer/Contractor is a term used to describe the players in the construction industry. Often used when talking about target market.

AJ – Architects’ Journal is the UK’s best-selling weekly architecture magazine and is the voice of architecture in Britain.

ALMO – Arm’s Length Management Organisation is a not-for-profit company that provides housing services on behalf of a local authority. Usually an ALMO is set up by the authority to manage and improve all or part of its housing stock. Ownership of the housing stock itself normally stays with the local authority

Approved Documents – provide guidance on ways to meet the building regulations.

Architect– is a professionally qualified and licensed person who prepares plans and specifications for a building or structure.

ASBP – The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products is a cross sector, not for profit organisation, comprising, building product manufacturers and distributors, specifiers, designers, contractors, public interest and sustainability organisations, academics and other building practitioners. The alliance has a commitment to accelerating the transition to a high performance, healthy and low carbon built environment by championing the increased understanding and use of building products that meet demonstrably high standards of sustainability.


BAS – Building Automation System is a management system that provides automatic centralized control of a building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and other systems

BES 6001 – is a BRE Global Certification standard covering the responsible sourcing of construction products. The certification enables construction product manufacturers to ensure and then prove that their products have been made with constituent materials that have been responsibly sourced.

BIM – Building Information Modelling is an intelligent 3D model-based process for planning, design, construction and management of buildings. BIM is a way of working, using new  and existing technology to brings together all of the information about every component of a building, in one place. A means by which everyone can understand a building through the use of a digital model, linked to a database of project information; which can be used to generate cost estimates, energy projections, design comparisons, and other simulations.

BIM4M2 – is a working group consisting of people and organisations concerned with BIM for manufacturers (the organisations) and manufacturing (the process). Developed to support the work of the BIM Task group.

BIS – Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. A government department that invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business.

BoQ – Bill of Quantities is a document used in tendering in the construction industry in which materials, parts, and labour (and their costs) are itemized. The document prepared by the cost consultant (often a quantity surveyor) provides project specific measured quantities of the items of work identified by the drawings and specifications in the tender documentation.

BPCF – British Precast concrete Federation is the trade association for precast concrete manufacturers.

BRE– Building Research Establishment is a former government establishment; it carries out research, consultancy and testing for construction and the built environment.

BREEAM– Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology. The world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master planning projects, infrastructure and buildings.

BSI – British Standards Institution, a multinational business services provider whose principal activity is the production of standards and the supply of standards-related services.

The Building Centre – The Building Centre exists to promote innovation in the built environment. First established in 1931, the organisation has since developed to become a not-for-profit dedicated to providing education, information and inspiration to all sectors of the built environment

BuildUK – provides a strong collective voice for the contracting supply chain in construction. We bring together 27 of the industry’s largest Main Contractors and 40 leading trade associations representing over 11,500 Specialist Contractors.


CABE – Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE) is a leading body for professionals specialising in the design, construction, evaluation and maintenance of buildings. CABE provides the prime qualification of Building Engineer.

CAD – Computer-Aided Design software is used by architects, engineers, drafters, artists, and others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations.

CAPSIG – Construction And Property Special Interest Group is a specialist sub group of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

CAWS – Common Arrangement Works Specifications provides a consistent arrangement for specifications and bills of quantities. It consists of a set of detailed work section definitions, all within a classification framework of Groups and Sub-groups. The CAWS classification forms one of the fifteen tables of the Uniclass classification scheme.

CBI – Confederation of British Industry is one of the UK’s leading independent employers’ organisations. The CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI harness the collective strength of their members to keep business at the heart of policy in Westminster, across the UK, the EU and overseas.

CEN – the European Committee for Standardisation, is an association that brings together the National Standardization Bodies of 33 European countries.

CIBSE – Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers is the professional body for Building Services Engineers. It aims to ‘support the Science, Art and Practice of building services engineering, by providing our members and the public with first class information and education services and promoting the spirit of fellowship which guides our work.’

CIC – Construction Industry Council, established in 1988, provide a single voice for professionals in all sectors of the built environment.

CIMCIG– Chartered Institute of Marketing construction industry group is a specialist sub-group of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The group works on behalf of members to raise the status of the marketing profession within the construction industry.

CIOB – The Chartered Institute of Building is the world’s largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership.

CITB – Construction Industry Training Board works with employers to encourage training, which helps to build a safe, professional and fully qualified workforce. They are the Industry Training Board and a partner in the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry, working with industry, for industry to deliver a safe, professional and fully qualified UK construction workforce.

CLC – Construction Leadership Council draws together a number of senior business people from across the construction supply chain. Working between industry and government to identify and deliver actions supporting UK construction in building greater efficiency, skills and growth.

CMAs – Construction Marketing Awards are held annually and showcase the construction industry’s creativity, innovation and effectiveness in marketing.

CoBie – Construction Operations Building Information Exchange. This is an information exchange specification for the life-cycle capture and delivery of information needed by facility managers. COBie can be viewed in design, construction, and maintenance software as well as in simple spreadsheets.

Contractor – A constructor who is a party to the contract for construction, pledged to the owner to perform the work of construction in accordance with the contract documents.

CPA – The Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials.

CPD – Continuing professional development is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. It refers to the process of tracking and documenting the skills, knowledge and experience gained both formally and informally at work, beyond any initial training.

CPICConstruction Project Information committee is responsible for providing best practice guidance on the content, form and preparation of construction production information and making sure this best practice is disseminated throughout the UK construction industry.

CSI – Construction Specifications Institute (USA) was founded in March 1948 by the specification writers of government agencies who came together to improve the quality of construction specifications.


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