What is Construction?
Construction meaning Construction of new buildings or completion of shell space in existing buildings (including the installation of fixed equipment, but excluding the cost of land acquisition and off-site improvements). The construction of shell space is not allowable as a construction activity since shell space does not provide usable space for research activities. New construction, or activities that would change the “footprint” of an existing facility (e.g., relocation of existing exterior walls, roofs, or floors, attachment of fire escapes) is considered construction. (See the NIH Grants Policy Statement: 10 Construction, Modernization, or Major Alteration and Renovation of Research Facilities).
reference: Glossary of NIH Terms