The construction industry in Pakistan is quite diverse, considering the technical terms used by developers, contractors, and property agents in different parts of the country. At times, these terminologies are not understandable for commoners or newbies. Therefore, we’ve put together a Pakistan construction glossary to help you understand the most common construction terms used in the country and their definitions and meanings.
Common Construction Terms Used in Pakistan and Their Meaning
We had previously discussed the most common terminologies used in Pakistan’s real estate market. Similarly, here’s an overview of common construction vocabulary and terminologies used in Pakistan:
The first mention in our list of construction terms commonly used in Pakistan is aggregate. It is a particulate material formed by combining different minerals and rocks. The most common aggregate used in the building industry is a combination of sand or crushed stone used in a concrete mix.
Backfilling is a crucial part of the construction process. Just like the name sounds, backfilling is the process of refilling after excavation, when the soil is compacted back into holes and trenches. The purpose of backfilling is to help provide greater protection to the foundation of any structure, whether it is a building, walkway, or roadway.
Beam – also known as a lintel – is a horizontal structure of iron that runs along the main walls at the ceiling level. It provides decisive support to the structure and maintains structural integrity. For further clarification, check our recent post on the most popular types of beams in Pakistan.
BIM stands for building information modelling, a process for creating a digital model of a structure from its basic layout to the smallest measurements.
Bill of Quantities
Bill of Quantities (BOQ) is a document or contract in Pakistan that details the statement of work, dimensions, prices, list of materials, and workmanship involved in constructing a structure. It is among the main elements required to calculate the cost of a construction job.
Caulk or caulking is the name of the material used to seal joints, seams, or leakages in various structures [mostly piping]. Modern caulk is usually made of a rubbery material used to seal or close gaps against water, air, or dust in Pakistan’s construction industry.
Cement is a widely known and used element in the construction industry in Pakistan. It is a binder [or adhesive] used in combination with aggregates that sets [or hardens] other materials together, such as bricks and beams.
Concrete is what you get from hardened cement, aggregate, and water, which is used to form slabs and columns.
A contractor or construction contractor is an inclusive term used to define a person [or organisation] appointed by plot-owners to carry out construction projects. If you need help with hiring the right contractor for your building venture, take a look at our recent post where we have discussed some ways to select the right contractor in Pakistan. Also, read our post on architect vs. contractor to better understand the major differences between both.
Contractor Responsible Engineer
The Contractor Responsible Engineer (CRE) is used by technical experts responsible for quality assurance and safety of a design. Their job is to develop or construct a structure that is practical and meets the criteria of engineering and safety standards.
Dimension is widely used and among the most common construction terms used in Pakistan’s building and real estate industry. It is mostly used in the planning phase of a structure and refers to the measurement of length, width, depth, and height. It is basically a numerical value indicated between two points to define the size of an object.
Ducts can include pipes, tubes, or passageways in a building used to carry air throughout the structure. The main purpose of ducts is to provide better ventilation in a house or apartment.
The list of common terms used in the construction industry also includes egress. The word egress means an alternate way of exiting a structure, and it is different from the main entrance. It is usually a small window/door in certain parts of a home used only in emergency situations.
The floor plan is a widely used building terminology in Pakistan. It is basically a layout or sketch of a home that shows the anticipated layout of a home or office.
In Pakistan’s construction industry, a foundation is the lowest part of a building, even below the ground floor. The main purpose of the foundation is to act as a load-bearing feature and prevent the building from collapsing.
Girder is a large beam and compound structure made of metal. It provides parallel support to small beams and is mostly used in bridges and large buildings.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, mostly used in commercial and industrial setups, including offices, shopping malls, commercial plazas, and shopping complexes. It is used to meet the environmental requirements of a structure and ensure the comfort of occupants or visitors.
A beam with two flanges connected by one vertical component is called an I-Beam. The beam gets its name from the shape of the letter Ɪ.
Insulation is placed within walls, ceilings, or floors of a building to provide resistance from external weather and make your house energy efficient. It regulates the flow of heat and lowers the heating and cooling expenses.
For further assistance, take a look at our recent post, where we have discussed the most common types of insulation for homes in Pakistan.
Joist is the linking or joining point between the surfaces of two components. It is normally settled horizontally to support a floor or ceiling.
A load-bearing wall is also known as a partition in the construction lingo. These types of walls play a vital role in carrying the weight of a structure.
The next term that we will explain on our list of construction vocabulary used in Pakistan is the mortar. Basically, it is an adhesive made up of asphalt, pitch, or clay and binds slabs, stones, and bricks during a construction process.
A particle board is widely used as a substitute for plywood in the construction lingo. It is composed of a mixture of sawdust and resin.
Composed by compressing multiple layers of veneer, plywood also makes it to our list of commonly used construction terminologies in Pakistan. It is an extremely versatile product used for different applications.
PVC pipe is a standard form used of polyvinyl chloride pipe commonly used in the plumbing systems.
Ready Mix Concrete
Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) is a prepared concrete mixture composed of aggregates and cement. It only requires water to bind, and it triples the speed of a construction project.
A section is more or less like a floor plan. The only difference between the two is that Sections are drawings that show the vertical model of a building and its layers from top to bottom.
Shuttering is a temporary structure made from wood planks.
Construction site – alternatively known as a building site in the construction lingo – is a piece of vacant land where the construction is taking place.
Skirting is a material that covers up the joist in the interior of a building. It is mostly used for aesthetic purposes.
Stucco is a fine plaster used to coat different surfaces [walls and ceilings] and also for making architectural decorations. It is composed of aggregates, binders, and water.
Tender is a process where government institutions invite bids to construct large projects such as highways, dams, or other structures of significant importance.
Trim is used to provide a clean finish or cut down something superfluous or dispensable around windows and door openings.
A veneer is an extremely thin sheet of wood made from high-quality wood. It is mostly used as a decorative cover for low-quality wood.
Warping is a distortion of material indicating the risks of water damage.
Zoning is government regulation on a piece of vacant land, restricting how a property should be constructed. For instance, it is because of zoning laws that we cannot build residential buildings in areas reserved for industrialisation and vice versa.
This is where we discuss the gist of our post. We have discussed some of the most common construction-related terms used in Pakistan. Before we sign-off, we hope our glossary helps you develop a better understanding of the property and construction market.
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