Generally refers to the major structural elements, exterior enclosure, utility infrastructure, and vertical circulation systems of a building. Examples of a building's Core and Shell include the foundation, floor systems, external walls and windows, roof, boilers, sprinkler system infrastructure, egress stairs, and elevators. When negotiating a lease, tenants should ensure that the items comprising Core and Shell are clearly defined and that responsibility for the design, permitting/approvals, and construction of these items clearly assigned, as part of the overall effort to clarify the specifics of the space's Fit-Out.
Because the elements comprising Core and Shell are numerous and vary somewhat by building type, there is significant divergence of definition from project to project and across the building industry.
If a site is suspected of having pollution or contaminants in its soil, groundwater, or building materials, an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) will need to be conducted. Characteristics of the site, such as its historical use and the nature of any materials produced on site, will guide the assessment process. A Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. Phase I rarely includes the actual sampling of soil, groundwater, building materials, or other aspects of a site. Based on its findings, a Phase I ESA may lead to further investigations. A Phase I ESA is typically required when acquiring a property, seeking financing for a construction project, or undertaking a major development of a property. Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing are often grouped together in design and construction projects, as they comprise three essential systems that make a space operable beyond the architectural work. Examples of these systems include HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) systems, drainage systems for pantries and bathrooms, telephone line infrastructure, security systems, and fire alarm systems.
Despite the MEP grouping, projects may involve separate engineering consultants for each area of expertise.
In New York City's Zoning Resolution, activities that have similar functional characteristics and that are generally compatible with each other are grouped together under a Use Group. There are 18 use groups in total, and each falls under the larger categorization of Residential, Community Facility, Retail & Commercial, or Manufacturing. For example, a community facility use, listed in Groups 3 and 4, is a use that provides educational, health, recreational, religious or other essential services for the community it serves.