I attend to engineering design of a new irrigation system, comprising 4 pump stations and 3 lengthy water mains between them.

Definitions by ISO 12006-2:

Construction Entity is an independent construction result of significant scale serving at least one user activity or function.

Construction Complex means two or more adjacent construction entities collectively serving one or more user activity or function.

In my case, the irrigation system must be identified as a construction complex, comprising 4 pump stations + 3 pipe mains = 7 'construction entities'.

How can I collectively and separately name the mentioned parts of the project? (In my native language those all are 'objects', however, definition for 'construction object' by ISO is something different).

Please advise, can I use the term 'entity' in English-written documents (e.g. 'list of newly built entities', 'entity # 1'), or it is better to use such terms as works, structure, facility, unit, site, plant? So that it be understandable for English-speakers in construction environment. (Note that the words used do not need to conform to ISO 12006-2; I have just used it as a reference.)

What terms have you really met and used for such cases?

  • $\begingroup$ Andy, thank you ever so much for perfect understanding! Really, I do not write for ISO, I have just found ISO 12006-2 as a possible reference. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2016 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ It is very good solution, on my opinion, to use works but I was not sure. You have really answered my question, regretfully, I am new in this site and cannot find how to confirm or vote your answer, please advise. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2016 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering.SE. What I have posted so far are comments, not an answers. I will try and convert into an answer, and also edit your post to add the clarification. Answers have big arrows next to them allowing you to upvote or downvote; and if you asked the question you can select the tick (or check mark, depending on what you call it) to mark the best/"correct" answer. $\endgroup$
    – AndyT
    Oct 26, 2016 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


I am a native English speaker and practising civil engineer who had never heard of ISO 12006-2 until this question, and if you had talked about "Construction Entities" I wouldn't have had a clue what you were on about.

Consider using "4 pump stations and 3 water mains", as this is clear.

If you want a word which covers all 7 "construction entities" I could comprehend:

  • 7 separate works
  • 7 separate components
  • 7 separate subsystems (though this may be more suitable for relatively complicated mains)

I don't think "structure" would be appropriate for a water main, and your other suggestions sound even less appropriate.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Depending on how large an complicated the mains and pumps are, you might also consider "subsystems." $\endgroup$
    – Ethan48
    Oct 26, 2016 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Ethan48 - Good suggestion, I've incorporated that into my answer. $\endgroup$
    – AndyT
    Oct 26, 2016 at 15:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.