A Church Guides Its Flock Through the Maze of Steel Construction

Specialty subcontractors in construction including Bender/Rollers (companies that curve structural steel and plate) function in a complex web of parties each with its own role.  The world of construction has its own vocabulary, concepts, and relationships.  At times, understanding these relationships and concepts can be daunting.  Companies supplying structural steel bending, for example, typically provide their services to a structural steel fabricator who in turn provides services for a general contractor.  But Bender/Rollers might also become involved with budgets, engineers and architects.

A church that was putting on an addition with curved steel to from an arched roof wanted to explain to its members the various aspects of the new construction.

Curved Steel for St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

To their credit, the church supplied a glossary of construction terms and concepts for its following.  This glossary not only provides definitions, it also indicates that the church is being fully transparent in its construction decisions.  What follows is the glossary from St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church.

Construction Budget – A budget that takes into account the hard costs of construction, such as masonry, mechanical equipment, steel, fixtures, finishes, etc.  This includes all charges including labor.

Project Budget – A complete budget for the development project including all the hard costs plus soft costs such as financing cost or interest carry, contingencies, fees such as building permit application fees, builder’s risk insurance and the like.  Also included are the architect’s fees, engineers’ fees, and other specialist fees.

Construction Manager (CM) – A builder who signs a form of construction agreement with the owner that obligates the firm to construct the building in cooperation with the designer and owner, buying all the construction services including subcontracts on behalf of the owner where all the bids are transparent and are awarded by the owner.  The paper flow is typically managed by the construction manager.

Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) – An element of many construction management agreements where after the design is complete and the subcontractor bids have been received, the CM will guarantee the maximum price to deliver the project.

Construction Loan – Typically a bank loan secured by certain assets such as land, and work in progress, liquid assets, and for private developers, personal guarantees of completion and repayment, used to fill the gap between available funds and the total project cost.  While fundraising on a non-profit continues, construction may commence in accordance with the schedule of the institution.

Divisions of Construction – A very succinct method of accounting for the work of certain contractors under the tasks they are obligated to perform.  There are sixteen (16) divisions:

  • Division 01 – General Requirements
  • Division 02 – Site Construction
  • Division 03 – Concrete
  • Division 04 – Masonry
  • Division 05 – Metals
  • Division 06 – Wood and Plastics
  • Division 07 – Thermal and Moisture Protection
  • Division 08 – Doors and Windows
  • Division 09 – Finishes
  • Division 10 – Specialties
  • Division 11 – Equipment
  • Division 12 – Furnishings
  • Division 13 – Special Construction
  • Division 14 – Conveying Systems
  • Division 15 – Mechanical
  • Division 16 – Electrical

Mechanical Equipment – All the equipment used for the functioning of the building such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, electrical and others.

Acoustical Engineer – An engineer concerned with advising the design team on elements of design that ensure the proper propagation of sound in a structure in order to fulfill the buildings purpose effectively.

Civil Engineer – The engineers who design all the structures and systems that relate to the building such that these are in full compliance with the permitting authorities.  These tasks may include traffic engineers, septic system design, water and fire protection systems, code compliance of the building’s design and placement, and more.

Mechanical Engineer (ME) – The engineer who designs the mechanical systems required by the new structure.

Structural Engineer – The professional who collaborates with the architect to provide for the structural soundness of the new building.


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