There are many online free resources to assist all building and design professionals in their practice. One that we like is The National Dictionary of Building and Plumbing Terms which combines terms and definitions from three different sources:

  1. The National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 Amendment 1
  2. Australian/New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) referenced in the NCC
  3. Handbook 50, Glossary of Building Terms (HB50)

The reason this is so useful is the definitions for terms in these publications are often different, and it can easily become confusing when reading and interpreting the plethora of regulations and guidelines. The online dictionary aims to help industry find the right definition, highlight consistency and conflicts, and provide a general hierarchy of results to assist interpretation. The hierarchy of precedency is in the above order, with number 1 the NCC, taking precedence. This naturally follows the control of hierarchy where act, followed by regulations, overarch all other material and are mandated.

Here we have our 5 most used terms that can often be a mystery to those in and out of the industry.

Storey (Source: NCC)

Means a space within a building which is situated between one floor level and the floor level next above, or if there is no floor above, the ceiling or roof above, but not—

(a) a space that contains only—

(i) a lift shaft, stairway or meter room; or

(ii) a bathroom, shower room, laundry, water closet, or other sanitary compartment ; or

(iii) accommodation intended for not more than 3 vehicles; or

(iv) a combination of the above; or

(b) a mezzanine.

Provisional Sum Also called: PS (Source: HB50)

Means the amount of money included in the contract documents to cover works proposed as part of the contract but for which there is insufficient detail at the time of calling tenders

Prime Cost Item Also called: PC (Source: HB50)

Means the amount included in the contract documents to cover the purchase by the contractor of a specified item, such as a particular fixture or fitting, but excluding any associated labour

Superstructure (Source: Standards)

Means a portion of a completed building that is supported by the selected footing system, including slab where applicable

On-Site Stormwater detention Also called: OSD (Source: Standards)

Means a device for the temporary storage of stormwater, above or below ground, to reduce the peak flow to the stormwater drainage network

You can access the dictionary here: