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Glossary >EFGH
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This glossary provides terms from the world of project management, without intending to be exhaustive.
In the end of the day, we want to understand each other well.


Economic efficiency analysis

It shows methods with whose help the advantages of microeconomic investment measures should be checked and valued in view of the objectives of the respective investor. It belongs to the economic investment calculation. The examined expense factors and use factors are always in monetary terms of expenditure and revenue. Factors not in monetary units can be discussed in addition, only verbally (intangible effects)1)

Environmental impact assessment

Regulates the administrative procedure for the estimation of future impacts of particularly environmentally relevant projects. The regulation of Environmental Impact Assessment of 12th Feb 1990 (official federal journal, part 1, page 205) provides standard principles for an effective environmental protection with environmentally impactive projects, in order to ensure that
- environmental impacts are early identified and extensively analysed, described and assessed;
- the result of the environmental impact assessment is considered, as early as possible, in all official decisions on permissibility.
Environmental impact assessment is an independent part of administrative procedures leading to a decision on the permissibility of projects. It encompasses appraisal, description and evaluation of the impacts a project will have on environmental receptors, i. e.
- humans, animals and plants;
- soil, surface and groundwater, air, climate and landscape with their reciprocal effects;
- cultural and other material goods.1)

Equipment program

Provision of operational and building equipment as well as machinery, tools and fixtures.1)

Expert certificate

Expert consultation for the building owner with regard to specific problems.

Facility Management

Comprehensive management of buildings and facilities with the aim to create optimal value added through real estate, which includes:
- area and event management;
- maintenance and power supply management;
- lease, administration and controlling;
- information and communication management; and
- development and monitoring of programs for the preservation of properties.
FM takes advantage of project management methods but is normally not a project management discipline - the feature of uniqueness is missing, for example. However, in particular cases the relocation of a big company, e. g., can have the character of a project.1)

Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers

Regulation of 17th Sep 1976 (BGBl. I p. 2805 – federal official journal), 5th ed. of 21th Sep 1995 (BGBl. I p. 1174), applying to all clients – not only public authorities – as well as architects and engineers, to regulate the remuneration of architect’s and engineer’s services.1)

Final acceptance

A client’s legal obligation, pursuant to § 640 BGB (German Civil Code), to accept the completed contracted works and to pay the agreed remuneration, pursuant to § 641 BGB. For building contracts § 12 VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, part B) applies additionally, if it is part of the contract.1)

Final invoice

Pursuant to § 14 no. 3 VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, part B), a final invoice for services with a contracted realisation period of maximum three months, shall be submitted within 12 working days after completion, if not stipulated otherwise. This time limit will be prolonged by 6 working days for each further three months of realisation.1)

Final payment

Pursuant to § 16 no. 3 (1) VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, part B), final payment shall be effected immediately after the final invoice submitted by a contractor has been assessed and verified, at latest within two months after receipt. Pursuant to (2), a contractor´s unreserved acceptance of the final invoice exludes additional claims, if the client informed the contractor about the final payment and the exclusion rule, in a written form. Pursuant to (5), a contractor shall express a reservation within 24 working days after receipt of the notification about the final payment. It becomes invalid if no perusable invoice for the reserved claims has been submitted within 24 working days or, if this is not possible, the reservation has not been convincingly explained.1)


Amount of time that the position of an activity can be delayed by or the duration of a process can be prolonged by, under certain conditions (DIN 69900). Please, compare with ’total float’, ‘free float’, ‘free reverse float’ and ‘independent float’.1)

Free float

The amount of time that an activity or process can be delayed by or prolonged by without influencing the earliest position of other activities or processes.

Function program

Regulates the allocation of single workrooms, operational systems/divisions and plant sections, with regard to their operational interdependencies, material and energy flows.1)

General co-ordinating contractor (GÜ)

In contrast to general contractors (GU), general co-ordinating contractors (GÜ) take on construction works for all branches of industry, without performing any in-house construction activities. The disadvantage for a GÜ’s client is that the GÜ’s business assets, not including own construction operations, are often smaller than those of a GU.1)

General contracting (GU/GÜ) and guaranteed maximum price models

GU is the abbreviation for the German word ‘Generalunternehmer’. A GU is a performing company which normally provides all crafts from one single source. Within the scope of a general contract, orders with sub-contractors are placed, to cope with the wide spectrum of required services. This contractual constellation is characterised by self-co-ordination within general contracting. GU performance includes all planning services that are necessary for realisation, normally from performance stage 5 onwards, pursuant to HOAI (Fee Structure for Architects and Engineers). Depending on the order, there are also combinations of general contract models and models for the placement of single orders.
GÜ is the abbreviation for the German word ‘Generalübernehmer’. In contrast to a GU, a GÜ is also responsible for all planning stages and timely submission of required permits. Herewith, stipulation of the contracted targets,qualities and quantities, through reference objects etc., is of substantial importance.
GMP stands for Guaranteed Maximum Price. To achieve the contracted performance, normally through a GU, an upper price limit is stipulated. (Changes in performance are excluded and will normally be surcharged.) The general contractor takes the order risk. The price is normally below the most favourable achievable price. The GMP-model includes a bonus regulation, to reward both client and contractor for economic behaviour. Parts of a GU contract, e. g., can be regulated by GMP.

General contractor (GU)

General contractors (GU) are commissioned with the construction works for all branches of industry. A client’s order can include parts of the realisation planning. In this case, they are called ’qualified general contractors’. GUs often assume a cost and deadline guarantee, including a contractual penalty should the guarantee fail to be maintained. They perform substantial works, e. g., structural works, shell and core, on their own. The other construction works are commissioned to sub-contractors, who perform independently, on their own responsibility, sometimes on the basis of contracts for work and services.1)

General planner

Engaging a general planner means to lay the whole responsibility, including liability and guarantee for all planning services in one hand. General planners are free to perform all planning works with their own employees. On a case to case basis, they can commission technical planners on a sub-contractor basis for those works exceeding their capacity. Normally, the clients have a say in the the selection of sub-contractors.1)

General planner selection procedure

A selection procedure for a general planner should be a very objective evaluation of submitted tender offers for general planner services at the end of a GP selection procedure. It is a decision process for the award of a contract, under the criteria of cost-efficiency, completeness of works and services offered and, as the case may be, performance restrictions. Furthermore, the personal qualifications and competences of the offered project teams are assessed in conversations, also as objectively as possible. The results are summarised, e. g., in an assessment matrix, and quantified through a point system, aligned with the project requirements. On the basis of the results, the bidder with the highest number of points or the most economic bid will be selected.

General process planning

Gives an overview of schedules for all project preparation stages, planning, preparation of services, realisation and completion. It contains key dates, i. e. the start of planning, the building application, the beginning of construction, the completion of the structural shell, winterproofing of the building shell, the completion of the building as well as the beginning and end of the hand over to the user.1)

General service provider

Contractors providing several internal or external special services, e. g., general planners, general contractors (GU), general co-ordinating contractors (GÜ), total contractors (TU), total co-ordinating contractors (TÜ) and construction managers (CM).1)

General technical planner

A general technical planner resembles a general planner, but is normally not commissioned for all stages of the architect’s/object planning, since architects are engaged on an individual contractual basis and sometimes only commissioned for the performance stages 1 to 4 or 5, pursuant to § 15 (2).1)

German Construction Contract Procedures

The German Construction Contract Procedures resulting from the necessity to complete the contract regulations for works and services of §§ 631 ff BGB (German Civil Code), which do not fully satisfy the demands of the parties involved in a construction project and the requirements for construction processes, with construction-specific and practice-related regulations. Their principal importance of the contracting terms for the award of construction performance contracts lies, e. g, in their practical relevance, just treatment of contract partners and, owing to the lacking legal character, in the possibility of continual, quick and flexible adaptation to changing conditions.1)

GP co-ordinator tasks

Co-ordination of the involved experts in a general planner team.

Handling of business

Handling of business is a discretionary, commercial, self-employed, ungratutious business activity on behalf of the client und thus, management-like behaviour as client representative. As client’s decease does not result in release from contractual duties. Handling of business can be concluded as service contract or contract for work and services.


1) AHO(2004a) Hrsg. - Untersuchungen zum Leistungsbild, zur Honorierung und zur Beauftragung von Projektmanagementleistungen in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft, Heft 9 des AHO e.V., Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft, Köln

2) AHO(2004b) Hrsg. - Neue Leistungsbilder zum Projektmanagement in der Bau- und Immobilienwirtschaft, Heft Nr. 19 des AHO e.V., Bundesanzeiger Verlagsgesellschaft, Köln

3) FM NRW (2003) Hrsg. - Public Private Partnership im Hochbau - Leitfaden "Wirtschaftlichkeitsvergleich". Finanzministerium des Landes NRW, Düsseldorf

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Mother company DU Diederichs is one of the leading project management companies in Germany's building sector. Since 1978, DU has represented a high level of professionalism and independence with competencies in various fields including program management, project management, public private partnership, sustainable real estate consulting, urban planning, technical due diligence, supervision, and quantity surveying, composing whole and comprehensive range of real estate consulting services.