A person who is registered with the relevant Architects Registration Board (or equivalent) in their state or territory.

A document provided by the client that describes the client's requirements for a project including accommodation, cost and program.

A person who engages an architect to provide architectural services.

A person who is consulted for paid, expert advice and related services.

A sum of money included in a building contract or preserved outside it for expenditure, if necessary, on matters unforeseen at the time that the contract price was calculated.

A sum of money allowed in the project budget to cover the cost of matters that are unknown or unresolved at the time the budget is established. The design contingency will typically be proportionally high early in the design process and reduce as the design develops.

Contract documents include: a particular written contract, including the agreement between the owner and the contractor, any special conditions, the drawings and specifications, and any other relevant documents.

The total amount including GST paid or to be paid by the owner to the contractor.

A builder or other trade who carries out the construction work under a construction contract. A contractor can be a head contractor or a subcontractor.

The actual net cost of the works excluding any amounts for GST.

A judgement or forecast of the cost of a project based on knowledge, experience and available information.

A person who has completed a recognised architectural qualification, but who is not registered as an architect under the relevant Architects Registration Board (or equivalent) in their state or territory.


Goods and services tax levied under the GST Act - A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999.

A physical condition on, underlying or adjacent to the site which a reasonable contractor would not have anticipated if the contractor had examined the site information and inspected the site before starting/commencing works.

The transfer by agreement of contractual rights and obligations. For example, the original contract between an architect and the client may be replaced at the start of construction by a contract between the architect and the contractor.

Payments made 'on account' are payments that are provisional as a partial advance payment to the final price. In the construction context, a payment made 'on account' does not signify that the person paying the amount accepts the work or services the invoice relates to. This leaves it open for the principal, or the head consultant, paying the invoice to later claim defects in the work or a shortfall in the standard of the services.

Usually, the owner of the land. However, in some building contracts such as for a tenancy fit-out, one party is called 'the owner' but they do not own the land. Instead they own the works as a leaseholder or tenant or a licensee of the land owner. In every case the owner has legally enforceable rights in connection with use of the land or a building on it.

A firm or person selected by the owner and specifically identified in the contract as the legal entity whom the owner wants to perform work or to supply and/or install an item forming part of the works in the building contract.

A consultant, often the architect, whose responsibilities include direction and coordination of the work of specialist consultants. The primary consultant is in contract with the client.

A sum included in the contract for a foreseeable 'off the shelf' item, the precise identity of which was not known or had not been decided at the date of the contract.

A progress payment is a payment under a contract or client-architect agreement for work partly completed.

An amount established by the client which represents the total available funds for the project including building costs, provisional sums, escalation, contingency sums, consultant's fees, GST, furniture and equipment, approval costs and any other cost, allowance or item defined by the client.

A sum included in the contract for foreseeable work, which could not be fully described at the date of the contract, because some details were unknown.

A consultant whose work is subject to the direction and coordination of the primary consultant. The secondary consultant is in contract with the client.

A consultant who is a specialist in a particular field. Such consultants contribute to parts of the design but generally not the whole design. When engaged, the specialist consultant will become either a secondary consultant or a subconsultant.

A consultant whose work is subject to the direction and coordination of the primary consultant. The subconsultant is in contract with the primary consultant.

A firm or person (under contract to the main contractor) who performs work or who supplies and/or installs an item forming part of the works in the contract. The contractor is responsible for the selection, engagement, supervision, performance and payment of all subcontractors in accordance with the contract. Subcontractors do not include any firms or persons directly engaged and paid by the owner for work outside the contract. These are separate contracts.

An offer to perform work and/or supply goods at a given price, usually made in writing.

A change in the scope of works, the order of precedence of the contract documents, or to dimensions, levels, materials, details, workmanship or quality of any part of the works.

A warranty is an undertaking that one's work or product attains a certain standard. If the subject of the warranty is found to be other than as warranted, liability may be either expressed or implied. A warranty involves two parties and applies to the warrantor’s own work or goods.

The activities, labour or processes involved in construction of the works.

The completed construction as set out in the contract documents. Generally works can be seen as the product of the work carried out under the contract.