Even for the experienced construction professional or specialist legal practitioner, the availability of an intelligent and usable dictionary of construction terms is vitally important. It is only once one understands the terms being used that one can begin to understand the problem or issue which needs to be addressed. Some 35 years ago, a deputy judge dealing with a case only about the alleged inadequacy of purlins in a roof left it until the fourth and fi nal day of the trial to ask what a purlin was.
Whilst one would not blame any normal person for not knowing what a purlin was, it did not create any confi dence amongst the lawyers and clients involved in the case that the judge left it until the last day to ask. If he had had access to this Dictionary, the judge would have been told that it is “A horizontal beam in a roof carried on the principal rafters”. He would have been a better informed judge at the beginning of the case. This particular Dictionary has an extensive list of defi nitions not only of the technical construction and engineering terms but also of the related legal, litigation, adjudication or arbitration terms about which parties need to know in the modern world.
It is important that parties involved in construction, engineering and technology understand what the words used by other parties actually mean. It will often be as important to understand what a “quoin” is as to appreciate what an actual or would-be lawyer means by referring to a “quantum meruit”. This Dictionary draws together thousands of words and terms both from the technical and legal sides of the business and that is vitally important, in my view, for people at all levels involved in the construction, engineering and technology business.
For trainees and fully experienced personnel within the construction and engineering business and for people within and indeed outside the legal and construction professions, a good widely drawn dictionary is essential. I would commend this Dictionary as an extremely useful aid to everyday practice both for trained and untrained and experienced and even inexperienced people involved in the construction, engineering and technology areas. This Dictionary of Construction Terms is intended to cover a wide range of the more common as well more esoteric yet important terms a building professional, lawyer, student, judge, arbitrator, adjudicator, engineering economist or the like may require definition upon in the construction law field.
The intention is to clear the fog, and to do so concisely in clear English in an alphabetical format. So whether you are looking for the answer to a spandrel panel, chequerplate, revetment, or NAECI or what is meant by nemo dat quod non habet or the rule in Pinnel’s case, we have it here, and a whole lot more. How did it start? In about 1994 I started assembling a construction database on my Psion Organiser (for those that can remember such pocket computers) regularly adding building and engineering terms, legal references etc relevant to the fi rm’s work as construction lawyers. I was always excited to learn new terms and add to the record.
Then about 10 years ago with the advent of powerful networked computing and software systems, Fenwick Elliott created its own intranet platform, and that database was uploaded to it. It was coined by the offi ce, “Simon Says”. This data rapidly grew with our busy international practice and with projects that are more complex the legal issues thrown up blossomed in tandem with the new technologies.
Download Dictionary of Construction Terms by Simon Tolson, Jeremy Glover and Stacy Sinclair easily in PDF format for free.