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Top 200 Construction Acronyms You Need To Know
5 minute read
Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
May 21, 2024

Top 200 Construction Acronyms You Need To Know

Construction professionals are no strangers to the vast array of acronyms and abbreviations in their documentation and conversations. From architects and engineers to project managers and contractors, understanding the most common shorthand expressions provides clear communication and efficient workflow in the construction industry. To make it simple, we've put together a list of the top 200 construction acronyms for professionals.

The following acronyms are derived from a wide range of sources, including Architectural Graphic Standards, Time Saver Standards, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Drafting Standards, Holabird & Root Drafting Standards, Nagle Hartray & Associates Standards, Murphy/Jahn Office Reference Manual, Braun/Skiba Standards Manual, Recommended Standards on Production Procedures, Northern California Chapter AIA, Graphic Communication in Architecture, William J. O’Connell, Interior Graphic and Design Standards, S.C. Reznikoff, and the Fluix Construction Abbreviation List. While there are many differences in abbreviation standards among firms and individual authors, there are ongoing standardization efforts that should be given a high degree of consideration.

Construction Acronyms and Terms:

AL: Aluminum

AMP: Ampere, Ampacity

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

AOR: Architect of Record

AP: Access Panel

ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials

AWG: American Wire Gauge

AWSPH: Asphalt

B.O.M.: Bill of Materials

BDRM: Bedroom

BIM: Building Information Modeling

BM: Beam, Bench Mark

BL: Base Line, Building Line, Block

BLK: Block

BR: Bedroom, Brick, Brass, Boiler Room Branch

BRDG: Bridge, Bridging

BP: Base Plate, Blueprint, Bypass

BSMT: Basement

BTU: British Thermal Units

BV: Butterfly Valve

C.O.: Cased Opening

CA: Construction Administration

CCTV: Closed Circuit TV

CC: Cubic Centimeter

CCT: Circuit

CD: Construction Documents

CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute

CBL: Concrete Block

CI: Cast Iron

CM: Construction Management or Construction Manager

CMP: Corrugated Metal Pipe

CMT: Ceramic Mosaic Tile

CMU: Concrete Masonry Unit

CO: Certificate of Occupancy

CO: Change Order

CNTR: Center, Counter

CMAA: Construction Management Association of America

COAX: Coaxial

CONC: Concrete

CONT: Continuous, Continue, Control

CONTR: Contractor

CP: Cathodic Protection, Clothes Pole, Cesspool

CPM: Critical Path Method

CPT: Carpet

CRS: Course, Cold Rolled Steel

CWR: Condensate Waste Return

CYL: Cylinder

DB: Design-Build

DBB: Design-Bid-Build

DBE: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

DC: Direct Current

DEMO: Demolition

DH: Double Hung

DISP: Dispenser

DWG: Drawing

E: East, Enamel, Exhaust

EC: Exposed Construction

ELEV: Elevator, Elevation

EL: Elevation, Elevator

ELEC: Electrical

EM: Emergency

ENCL: Enclosure

ETC: Estimate to Complete

EW & C: Electric Wiring and Communication

EXC: Excavate

EXEC: Executive

EXIST: Existing

EXT: Exterior, Extinguish

FACP: Fire Alarm Control Panel

FDN: Foundation

FF&E: Fixtures, Furnishings & Equipment

FHC: Fire Hose Cabinet

FHMS: Flat head machine screw

FHR: Fire Hose Rack

FHS: Fire Hose Station

FHWS: Flat Head Wood Screw

FHY: Fire Hydrant

FLASH: Flashing

FLEX: Flexible

FLG: Flange, Flashing, Flooring

GFCI: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter

GFI: Ground Fault Interrupter

GP: Galvanized Pipe

GPM: Gallons Per Minute

GR: Grade, Grille, Granite

GRTG: Grating

GSU: Glazed Structural Unit

GT: Grout

HB: Hose Bib

HVAC: Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning

HTR: Heater

HW: Hot Water

HWR: Hot Water Recirculating Return

HWS: Hot Water Supply

HP: Horse Power

HTG: Heating

HYD: Hydraulic

INS: Insulate, Insulation

INT: Interior, Internal

IPD: Integrated Project Delivery

IPS: Iron Pipe Size

IW: Indirect Waste

J-BOX: Junction Box

JB: Junction Box

JT: Joint

LAV: Lavatory

LB: Pound (weight), Lag Bolt

LBL: Label

LBR: Lumber

LC: Light Control, Lead Covered

LD: Leader Drain

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LF: Linear Foot

LMS: Limestone

MB: Mail Box, Machine Bolt, Mop Basin

MCC: Motor Control Center

MCM: Thousand Circular Mils (electrical wire size)

MH: Manhole

MIR: Mirror

MLD: Molding

MTR: Motor

NC: Normally Closed, Noise Criteria

NEC: National Electrical Code

NF: Near Face

NFWH: Non-freeze Wall Hydrant

NMT: Non-Metallic

NR: Noise Reduction

NRC: Noise Reduction Coefficient

NS: Near Side

NTP: Notice to Proceed

NTS: Not To Scale

PAF: Powder Actuated Fasteners

PARTN: Partition

PB: Pull Box, Push Button, Panic Bar

PBD: Particle Board

PC: Precast Concrete, Professional Engineer

PD: Pump Discharge, Plaza Drain

PE: Professional Engineer, Porcelain Enamel

PLYWD: Plywood

PREFAB: Prefabricated

PRV: Pressure Reducing Valve

PS&E: Plans, Specifications and Estimates

PSC: Prestressed Concrete

PSI: Pounds per Square Inch

PTC: Post-Tensioned Concrete

PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride

PVF: Polyvinylidene Finish

PVMT: Pavement

RCP: Reflected Ceiling Plan, Reinforced Concrete Pipe

REBAR: Reinforcing Bar

REC: Receiver

RECP: Receptacle

RED: Reducer

REV: Reverse, Revise, Revision

RFI: Request for Information

RFP: Request for Proposal

RFQ: Request for Qualifications

RPM: Revolutions Per Minute

RVT: Rivet

RW: Redwood

RWC: Rain Water Conductor

RWL: Rain Water Leader

S4S: Surfaced 4 Sides

SACT: Suspended Acoustical Tile

SALV: Salvage

SAN: Sanitary

SB: Setting Basin

LV: Sleeve

SNGG: Sponge Neoprene Glazing Gasket

SNR: Sanitary Napkin Receptacle

SNT: Sealant

SP: Soil Pipe, Standpipe, Soundproof, Single Pole

SPC: Spacer

SPD: Sump Pump Discharge

SPDT: Single Pole Double Throw

SPEC: Specification, Specifications

SUSP: Suspended, Suspend

SV: Safety Relief Valve

SW: Switch

SWBD: Switchboard

SWGR: Switchgear

SY: Square Yard

SYM: Symmetrical

SYN: Synthetic

SYS: System

TS: Time Switch

TSL: Top of Slab

TST: Top of Steel

TSTAT: Thermostat

TT: Terrazzo Tile, Traffic Topping

TTC: Telephone Terminal Closet

TW: Top of Wall, Thin Wall (conduit), Tempered Water

TZ: Terrazzo

VR: Vapor Retarder, Vacuum Return, Vertical Riser

VRM: Vermiculite

VS: Vent Stack

VT: Vinyl Tile

VTR: Vent Through Roof

VWC: Vinyl Wall Covering

W&M: Washburn & Moen Gauge


As construction professionals navigate building projects, the importance of clear communication is essential. Whether it's working with specialized subcontractors or training new staff, the acronyms and abbreviations serve as the shorthand language of the industry and are important to know. While this list of 200 construction acronyms is by all means not a finalized list, it provides a good baseline for those looking to succeed in the field.

Looking for more information about the construction industry? Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter and blog content by inputting your email below. We have a comprehensive database of over 600 blogs about construction equipment, construction techniques, industry insights, and much more!

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Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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