Commercial Real Estate Acronyms



ACI – American Concrete Institute

AIA – American Institute of Architects

AICP – American Institute of Certified Planners

ANSI – American National Standards Institute, a private non-profit organization that coordinates the voluntary standardization system in the US private sector

AREAA – Asian Real Estate Association of America

ARES – American Real Estate Society

AREUEA – American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association

ASA – American Society of Appraisers

ASAE – American Society of Association Executives

ASHE – The American Society for Health Care Engineering

ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers

ASME – American Society of Mechanical Engineers, develops and maintains the ANSI/ASME A17.1 Elevator Standards, among other things

ATBCB – Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board

BOMA – Building Owners and Managers Association

BOMI – Building Owners and Managers Institute

CBRE – Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis

CRE – The Counselors of Real Estate

CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women

GRESB – Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark

ICC – International Code Council

IFMA – International Facility Management Association

IREM – Institute of Real Estate Management

IWBI – International WELL Building Institute

IWCA – International Window Cleaning Association

NAFA – National Air Filtration Association

NAHREP – National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

NAIOP – National Association for Industrial and Office Parks

NAREB – National Association of Real Estate Brokers

NAREIM – National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers

NAREIT – National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts

NCREIF – National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries

NFPA – National Fire Protection Association, they develop building codes

NPA – National Parking Association

NRCA – National Roofing Contractors Association

PCI – Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute

REAP – Real Estate Associate Program

SIOR – Society of Industrial and Office Realtors

USGBC – U.S. Green Building Council, this group develops and maintains LEED

WCR – Women’s Council of REALTORS


Professional & Building Designations


AP – Accredited Professional, such as in LEED AP

BOMI-HP – High Performance Sustainable Buildings designation from BOMI

CAE – Certified Association Executive

CCIM – Certified Commercial Investment Member

CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst

CPM – Certified Property Manager

Esq. – Esquire, denotes that someone is a lawyer (when attached to a name)

FASAE – Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives

FMA – Facilities Management Administrator

LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, pronounced “Lead”

PE – Professional Engineer

RPA – Real Property Administrator

SE – Structural Engineer

SMA – Systems Maintenance Administrator

SMT – System Maintenance Technician

WELL – Not an acronym, WELL is a certification focused on the health of the people inside buildings




AA – Administrative Assistant

ACE – Assistant Chief Engineer

AM – Asset Manager

AP – Accounts Payable

APM – Assistant Property Manager

AQI – Air Quality Index

AR – Accounts Receivable

BAS – Building Automation System, an integrated and automated system that controls several aspects of building operation

BE – Building Engineer, this term is specific to the US South, “Maintenance Technician” or “Maintenance and Repair Technician” are synonymous

BTU – British Thermal Unit, a unit of heat measured by the amount of heat to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit, equal to roughly 1,055 Joules (SI unit)

CAM – Common Area Maintenance

CDs – Architectural Construction Drawings, comprehensive drawings of a building, also see MEPs

CE – Chief Engineer

CEM – Certified Energy Management

CID – Community Improvement District, aka BID (Business Improvement District)

CO – Certificate of Occupancy or Change Order

COI – Certificate of Insurance

CRE – Commercial Real Estate

CSC – Customer Service Coordinator

EBITA – Earnings Before Interest, Taxes and Amortization

EBITDA – Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization

ESFR – Early Suppression, Fast Response Sprinkler

ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance, the three headed approach many groups take to sustainability

FF&E – Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment

GM – General Manager

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

IBC – International Building Codes, primarily used in the USA

IRC – Internal Revenue Code

KwH – Kilowatt Hours

LA – Lease Administrator

LLC – Limited Liability Corporation

LOI – Letter of Intent

LOU – Letter of Understanding – Confirms the Lease commencement data after construction

MEP – Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing architectural drawings, see CDs

MSDS – Material Safety and Data Sheet, chemical information form explaining possible hazards, these sheets are included with materials that could be hazardous to humans or the environment

NNN – Triple Net Lease

NOI – Net Operating Income, Gross Income – Operating Expenses = NOI

NPV – Net Present Value

O+M (or O&M) – Operations and Maintenance

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturers

OpEx – Operating Expenses

PA – Property Administrator

PM – Preventative Maintenance

PM – Property Manager (when referencing a person’s position)

PPE – Personal Protective Equipment

PSA – Purchase and Sale Agreement

PSI – Pressure Measurement for water, concrete… “Pounds per Square Inch”

Quad – A measure of energy used by the United States to measure large economies/counties, refers to a “Quadrillion BTU”

REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust

ROI – Return on Investment

SI – International System of Units, meter, gram, joule etc.

SPM – Senior Property Manager

TI – Tenant Improvement

TOBY – The Outstanding Building of the Year, an award given by BOMAs around the country.

TSC – Tenant Service Coordinator

WPV – Workplace Violence, this acronym is usually seen in reference to building security




AI – Artificial Intelligence, sometime used in building automation systems or “Smart Buildings”

ATS – Automatic Transfer Switch

CCTV – Closed Circuit Television

ESFR System – Early Suppression Fast Response System, a type of sprinkler system for fire suppression that releases 100 gallons a minute

EV – Electric Vehicle

GUI – Graphical User Interface, commonly referred to as UI

HEPA – High Efficiency Particulate Air, filtration equipment that forces air through high efficiency filters designed to remove 99.97% of air particulates, sometimes referred to as High Efficiency Particulate Arresting

HVAC – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

IoT – Internet of Things, the connected nature of certain technologies such as cloud-based building controls

LAN – Local Area Network

LED – Light Emitting Diode, highly efficient form of lighting

PIU – Powered Induction Unit

SWUD – Self Contained Water Cooled Unitary Devices

UI – User Interface, typically found in computer applications

UV – Ultraviolet (as found in filters or lights)

VAV – Variable Air Volume

VFD – Variable Frequency Drive


Government Related


ADA – American with Disabilities Act, important in the development of building codes

ADAAG – American with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines

CBECS – Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey, used to calculate ENERGY STAR® scores

DOE – US Department of Energy

EPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration