- NPDES: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the United States. Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches. Individual homes that are connected to a municipal system, use a septic system, or do not have a surface discharge do not need an NPDES permit; however, industrial, municipal, and other facilities must obtain permits if their discharges go directly to surface waters. In most cases, the NPDES permit program is administered by authorized states. Since its introduction in 1972, the NPDES permit program is responsible for significant improvements to our Nation’s water quality.
- OAC: Abbreviation – Owner Architect Contractor. Typically used when referring to planning or coordination meetings.
- Overhead Costs: the costs to conduct business other than direct job costs; included in bidder’s markup.
- Payment & Performance Bond: A bond procured by a contractor from a surety as a guarantee to the owner that the labor and materials applied to the contract will be paid for by the contractor.
- Planning Department: The local regulatory agency which has control over the zoning and design approval of a project.
- Prairie Soil: A common term given to expansive clay. Otherwise known as “Gumbo clay”. Expansive or swelling soils, as their name implies, are soils that swell when subjected to moisture. These swelling soils typically contain clay minerals that attract and absorb water. Another category of expansive soil known as swelling bedrock contains a special type of mineral called claystone. When water is added to these expansive clays, the water molecules are pulled into gaps between the clay plates. As more water is absorbed, the plates are forced further apart, leading to an increase in soil pressure or an expansion of the soil’s volume.
Appearance – Soils containing expansive clays become very sticky when wet and usually are characterized by surface cracks or a “popcorn” texture when dry. Therefore, the presence of surface cracks is usually an indication of an expansive soil.
Drilling and Laboratory Analysis – In many cases, expansive soils are buried under a layer of topsoil or dense vegetation and cannot be identified at the surface. Therefore, collecting soil samples from various test holes each several feet deep is required. These test holes can be drilled by geotechnical and civil engineering firms or by some construction companies. After the samples are taken, they are sent to a laboratory where the swelling potential is determined. In areas where there is a high concentration of swelling soils, laboratory analysis of the soil is required by law. Consult the real estate agency to find out if a swelling soil report is available for your property.
- Program: A written statement presenting design objective, constraints, and project criteria, including space requirements and relationships, flexibility and expandability, special equipment, and systems and site requirements.
- Schematic Design: The phase of design services in which the design professional consults with an owner to clarify the project requirements. The design professional prepares schematic design studies with drawings and other documents illustrating the scale and relationship of the project’s components to the owner. A statement of estimated construction cost is often submitted at this phase.
- Site Work: All construction activities not specifically related to the construction of the building. These include but are not limited to the following: clearing & grading, demolition, paving, sidewalks, landscaping, retaining walls, wetland mitigation etc.
- Submittals: A sample, manufacturer’s data, shop drawing, or other such item submitted to the owner or the design professional by the contractor for the purpose of approval or other action, usually a requirement of the contract documents.
- Sustainable Building: is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources —energy, water, and materials—while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better site placement, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal—the complete building life cycle.
- Structural Design: All design aspects which deal with load-supporting members i.e. foundations, structural steel, walls, roof trusses etc.