Dictionary of architecture & construction


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Dictionary of architecture & construction

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  3. 3. DICTIONARY OFARCHITECTURE &CONSTRUCTION2300 illustrationsFourth EditionEdited byCyril M. HarrisProfessor Emeritus of ArchitectureGraduate School of Architecture, Planning, and PreservationColumbia UniversityMcGraw-HillNew York Chicago San Francisco Lisbon LondonMadrid Mexico City Milan New Delhi San JuanSeoul Singapore Sydney Toronto
  4. 4. Copyright © 2006, 2000, 1993, 1975 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Manufactured in the United States ofAmerica. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distrib-uted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.0-07-158901-5The material in this eBook also appears in the print version of this title: 0-07-145237-0.All trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Rather than put a trademark symbol after every occurrence of atrademarked name, we use names in an editorial fashion only, and to the benefit of the trademark owner, with no intention of infringe-ment of the trademark. Where such designations appear in this book, they have been printed with initial caps.McGraw-Hill eBooks are available at special quantity discounts to use as premiums and sales promotions, or for use incorporate train-ing programs. For more information, please contact George Hoare, Special Sales, at george_hoare@mcgraw-hill.com or (212) 904-4069.TERMS OF USEThis is a copyrighted work and The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (“McGraw-Hill”) and its licensors reserve all rights in and to thework. Use of this work is subject to these terms. Except as permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976 and the right to store and retrieveone copy of the work, you may not decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, reproduce, modify, create derivative works based upon,transmit, distribute, disseminate, sell, publish or sublicense the work or any part of it without McGraw-Hill’s priorconsent.You may use the work for your own noncommercial and personal use; any other use of the work is strictly prohibited.Your rightto use the work may be terminated if you fail to comply with these terms.THE WORK IS PROVIDED “AS IS.” McGRAW-HILL AND ITS LICENSORS MAKE NO GUARANTEES OR WARRANTIES ASTO THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY OR COMPLETENESS OF OR RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING THE WORK,INCLUDING ANY INFORMATION THAT CAN BE ACCESSED THROUGH THE WORK VIA HYPERLINK OR OTHERWISE,AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIEDWARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. McGraw-Hill and its licensors do notwarrant or guarantee that the functions contained in the work will meet your requirements or that its operation will be uninterrupted orerror free. Neither McGraw-Hill nor its licensors shall be liable to you or anyone else for any inaccuracy, error or omission, regardlessof cause, in the work or for any damages resulting therefrom. McGraw-Hill has no responsibility for the content of any informationaccessed through the work. Under no circumstances shall McGraw-Hill and/or its licensors be liable for any indirect, incidental, spe-cial, punitive, consequential or similar damages that result from the use of or inability to use the work, even if any of them has beenadvised of the possibility of such damages. This limitation of liability shall apply to any claim or cause whatsoever whether such claimor cause arises in contract, tort or otherwise.DOI: 10.1036/0071452370
  5. 5. We hope you enjoy thisMcGraw-Hill eBook! Ifyou’d like more information about this book,its author, or related books and websites,please click here.ProfessionalWant to learn more?
  6. 6. This book is dedicated to the memory of Adolph K. Placzek,Avery Librarian at Columbia University, whose leadershipmade Avery Library one of the world’s greatest collectionson architecture. I am grateful to him for long and fruitfuldiscussions, for his exemplary scholarship, and for thegenerosity of spirit with which he shared his experience, hiswisdom, and the gift of his friendship.
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  8. 8. PREFACEThis Fourth Edition of the Dictionary of Architecture & Construction defines more terms inarchitecture and building construction than any other dictionary in the English language.Because there have been significant changes, advances, and new developments in buildingmaterials and services, construction techniques, engineering practices, specifications writing,environmental concerns, community regulations, legal requirements, and other areas overthe last decade, a total of 2500 new terms, as well as 100 new illustrations, have beenadded to this edition. This coverage provides an up-to-date working tool for practicingprofessionals in the many fields and numerous trades related to architecture and construction,as well as an invaluable resource for conservationists, planners, architectural historians,and students.The Dictionary is designed to be comprehensive in scope. Its range spans terms encounteredin the practice of architecture from Classical to green, from traditional materials to thelatest products, from precise definitions of architectural styles to the particulars ofspecifications writing. Many of the new terms are associated with major expansions in thefield of building services, including air-conditioning systems, electrical supply systems, gassupply services, illumination engineering, noise control engineering, vertical transportationsystems, security services, and waste disposal, water supply, and fire protection systems.Other definitions pertain to environmental concerns, conservation, building preservation,community regulations, and recent applications of the Americans with Disabilities Act.Equivalent values in Standard International units are given for U.S. Customary units.Cyril M. HarrisviiCopyright © 2006, 2000, 1993, 1975 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
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  10. 10. ixACKNOWLEDGMENTSThe editor owes a special debt to the core group of 54 contributors who helpedestablish the high standard of quality of the Dictionary; coming from widely diversebackgrounds, including practicing architects, professional engineers, specification writers,craftsmen, contractors, and art historians, they provided the necessary expertise requiredfor a comprehensive, authoritative work. I thank Walter F. Aikman; William H. Bauer;Bronson Binger, AIA; Donald Edward Brotherson, AIA; Robert Burns, AIA; A. E. Bye,F.A.S.L.A.; Richard K. Cook, Ph.D.; William C. Crager, C.S.P.; Frank L. Ehasz, Ph.D., PE;Francis Ferguson, AIA, AIP; Frederick G. Frost, FAIA; Alfred Greenberg, PE; JohnHagman; Michael M. Harris, FAIA; R. Bruce Hoadley, D.For.; Jerome S. B. Iffland, PE;George C. Izenour, AIEEE; Curtis A. Johnson, M.Sc., PE; Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., HAIA;Thomas C. Kavanaugh, Sc.D.; Robert L. Keeler; George Lacancellera, CSI; Paul Lampl,M.A., AIA; Valentine A. Lehr, M.S.C.E., PE; Robert E. Levin, Ph.D., PE; George W.McLellan; Emily Malino, AID; Roy J. Mascolino, R.A.; Donald E. Orner, PE; John BarrattPatton, Ph.D.; Adolf K. Placzek, Ph.D.; Albert J. Rosenthal, L.L.B.; Henry H. Rothman,F.F.C.S.; James V. Ryan, M.S.; John E. Ryan, PE, S.F.P.E.; Reuben Samuels, PE, F.A.S.C.E.;Joseph Shein, AIA; Joseph M. Shelley, B.S.Arch.; Kenneth Alexander Smith, AIA, PE;Perry M. Smith, PE; Fred G. Snook, M.S.; Carl A. Swanson, B.C.E., CSI; KennethThomas, M.Sc., C.Eng.; Charles W. Thurston, Ph.D., PE; Marvin Trachtenberg, Ph.D.;Everard M. Upjohn, M.Arch.; Oliver B. Volk; and Byron G. Wels.I would like to express my appreciation to the following organizations for permission toreproduce selected definitions and/or illustrations from certain copyrighted publications:the American Institute of Architects for selected definitions from the AIA Glossary ofConstruction Industry Terms; the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and theAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for material from the ASTM Bookof Standards; and the British Standards Institution for extracts from publications BS 56,BS 3921, and CP 121. Further reproduction is not permitted without the explicit per-mission of these copyrighted sources.Permission has also been granted to reproduce material from the following publications:The Asphalt Handbook of the Asphalt Institute; Facts and Figures of the Pioneer Division,Portec Inc.; CPM in Construction: A Manual for General Contractors of the Association ofGeneral Contractors of America; Brick and Tile Engineering by H. C. Plummer, StructuralClay Products Institute; Ceramic Glossary of the American Ceramic Society; Plastics Glossaryof Modern Plastics magazine, published by McGraw-Hill; Timber Construction Manual of theAmerican Institute of Timber Construction, published by John Wiley & Sons; Wood-working Technology by J. J. Hammond et al., published by McKnight & McKnight; Funda-mentals of Business Law, published by Callaghan & Co.; Product Line Dictionary, published bythe Canadian Construction Information Corp.; Glossary of Architectural Metal Terms of theNational Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers; ASCE Manual of EngineeringPractice; and Guide and Data Books, published by ASHRAE.I thank the following organizations for their permission to reproduce definitions and/orillustrations from their publications: Aluminum Association; American Institute of SteelConstruction; American Iron and Steel Institute; Architectural Aluminum ManufacturersAssociation; Copper Development Association; Revere Copper and Brass Co.; The SteelCompany of Canada; Steel Joist Institute; Zinc Institute, Inc.; National Fire ProtectionCopyright © 2006, 2000, 1993, 1975 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
  11. 11. xAssociation; Illuminating Engineering Society; National Builder’s Hardware Association;and American Concrete Institute (ACI) and ACI Committees. Further reproductionrequires permission from the above organizations. Certain other organizations andpublications have authorized reproduction of definitions or illustrations without formalacknowledgment. I thank William A. Pierson for permission to reproduce his photographof Round Arch style.I acknowledge the help of and thank Cary Sullivan, senior editor for architecture, design,and construction books, McGraw-Hill Professional. At International Typesetting and Com-position, whose task it was to work with the publisher to move the Dictionary from manuscriptto printed book, I thank Mona Tiwary for her exemplary diligence.
  12. 12. ABOUT THE EDITORCyril M. Harris, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Architecture in the Graduate School ofArchitecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where he was chairmanof the Division of Architectural Technology for 10 years. He is also the Charles BatchelorProfessor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Columbia. He became fascinated by thechallenge of writing succinct, lucid definitions many years ago, when he was working onCommittee C-20 of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), as well ason terminology committees of the American Standards Association (now called theNational Institute of Standards and Technology [NIST]).Dr. Harris has received the AIA Medal from the American Institute of Architects andthe Pupin Medal for Distinguished Service to the Nation from Columbia University. He isa member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engi-neering. He has received international recognition for his work in the acoustical design ofmany auditoriums, including the Metropolitan Opera House and the John F. KennedyCenter for the Performing Arts. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Insti-tute of Technology and has received honorary doctorates from Northwestern Universityand the New Jersey Institute of Technology.Other books on architecture written or edited by Dr. Harris include American Archi-tecture: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (W. W. Norton & Company), Illustrated Dictionaryof Historic Architecture (Dover Publications), and Acoustical Designing in Architecture(Acoustical Society of America). Seven of his books are currently in print.xiCopyright © 2006, 2000, 1993, 1975 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
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  14. 14. Å Abbr. for angstrom.A 1. Abbr. for ampere, a unit of electric current.2. Abbr. for area.AA Abbr. for the “Architectural Association,”the largest school of architecture in England;address 34–36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B3ES.AAA Abbr. for “Architectural Aluminum Asso-ciation.”AAI Abbr. for “Architectural Association ofIreland.”AAMA Abbr. for “Architectural AluminumManufacturers Association.”A&E See architect-engineer.Aaron’s rod An ornament or molding consist-ing of a straight rod from which pointed leavesor scroll work emerge on either side, at regularintervals.ABA Abbr. for Architectural Barriers Act.abaciscus 1. A tessera, as used in mosaic work.Also called abaculus. 2. A small abacus.abaculus See abaciscus, 1.abacus The uppermost member of the capital ofa column; often a plain square slab, but some-times molded or otherwise enriched.abated Said of a surface that has been cut awayor beaten down so as to show a pattern or figurein low relief; also see relief.abatement The wastage of wood when lumberis sawed or planed to size.abat-jour 1. In a wall, an aperture whose sideshave been cut back and/or whose underside hasbeen sloped downward so as to admit a greateramount of light to the interior of the room. 2. Askylight.A1abacus Aabamurus A buttress, or a second wall added tostrengthen another.abate 1. To remove material, as in stone carv-ing. 2. In metalwork, to cut away or beat downso as to show a pattern or figure in low relief.abaton A sanctuary not to be entered by thepublic; a holy of holies.abat-sons Descriptive of a surface said to reflectsound downward.abat-vent 1. Louvers that are placed in an exte-rior wall opening to permit light and air to enter,but break the wind. 2. A sloping roof. 3. In theFrench Vernacular architecture of New Orleans,an extension of a roof over a sidewalk.abat-jour, 1Copyright © 2006, 2000, 1993, 1975 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Click here for terms of use.
  15. 15. abat-voix In a church, a sound reflector behindand over a pulpit.a web between, so that two cells are formedwhen the block is laid in a wall.Abney level A hand level used for measuringvertical angles; comprised of a small telescope,bubble tube, and graduated vertical arc.above-grade building volume The volumeof a building (in cubic feet or in cubic meters)measured from the average adjoining grade levelto the average roof level, and from outside tooutside of exterior walls, but not includingbreezeways, porches, or terraces.abrade To wear away or scrape off a surface,especially by friction.Abrams’ law A statement applying to givenconcrete materials and conditions of test: For amixture of workable consistency, the strength ofconcrete provided by the mixture is determinedby the ratio of the amount of water to theamount of cement.abrasion A surface discontinuity caused byroughening or scratching.abrasion resistance The ability of a surfaceto resist being worn away or to maintain its orig-inal appearance when rubbed with anotherobject.abrasion resistance index A measure of theabrasion resistance of a vulcanized material orsynthetic rubber compound relative to that ofa standard rubber compound under specifiedconditions.abrasive A hard substance for removing mate-rial by grinding, lapping, honing, and polish-ing. Common abrasives include silicon carbide,boron carbide, diamond, emery, garnet, quartz,tripoli, pumice, diatomite, metal shot, grit, andvarious sands; usually adhered to paper orcloth.abraum A red ocher used to stain mahogany.abreuvoir In masonry, a joint or intersticebetween stones, to be filled with mortar orcement.ABS Abbr. for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene.abscissa In the plane Cartesian coordinate sys-tem, the horizontal coordinate of a point on aplane; the x-coordinate, obtained by measuringthe distance from the point to the y-axis along aline parallel to the x-axis.abat-voix2abat-voixabbey A monastery or convent; particularly thechurch thereof.abbey: Plan of abbey of St. Germain-des-Prés, Paris, 13thcent. A, church; B, cloister; C, city gate; E, chapter house;F, chapel; G, refectory; H, cellars and presses; I, abbot’s lodg-ing; K, ditches; L, gardensabbreuvoir Same as abreuvoir.ABC 1. Abbr. for “aggregate base course.”2. Abbr. for “Associated Builders and Con-tractors.”A-block A hollow, concrete masonry unit withone end closed and the opposite end open, having
  16. 16. abside Same as apse.absidiole Same as apsidiole.absolute humidity The mass of water vaporper unit volume of air.absolute pressure The sum of the gauge pres-sure plus atmospheric pressure.absolute volume 1.Of a granular material, thetotal volume of the particles, including the perme-able and impermeable voids, but excluding thespaces between the particles. 2.Of fluid, the vol-ume which the fluid occupies. 3.The displacementvolume of an ingredient of concrete or mortar.absorbed moisture Moisture that has entereda solid material by absorption and has physicalproperties not substantially different from ordi-nary water at the same temperature and pressure.Also see absorption.absorbency The property of a material thatmeasures its capacity to soak up liquids.absorbent A material which, owing to an affin-ity for certain substances, extracts one or moresuch substances from a liquid or gas with whichit is in contact, and which changes physically orchemically, or both, during the process.absorber 1.A device containing liquid for absorb-ing refrigerant vapor or other vapors. 2.In anabsorption system, that part of the low-pressureside of the system which is used for absorbing refrig-erant vapor. 3.That part of a solar collector whoseprimary function is to absorb radiant solar energy.absorber plate Same as solar collector.absorbing well, dry well, waste well Awell used for draining off surface water and con-ducting it underground, where it is absorbed.absorptance In illumination engineering, theratio of the absorbed flux to the incident flux.absorption 1.The process by which a liquid, or amixture of gases and liquid, is drawn into and tendsto fill permeable pores in a porous solid material;usually accompanied by a physical change, chemi-cal change, or both, of the material. 2.Theincrease in weight of a porous solid body resultingfrom the penetration of liquid into its permeablepores. 3.The increase in weight of a brick or tileunit when immersed in either cold or boiling waterfor a stated length of time; expressed as a percent-age of the weight of the dry unit. 4.The process bywhich radiant energy, which is incident on asurface, is converted to other forms of energy.5. See sound absorption. 6. See light absorption.absorption bed A pit of relatively largedimensions which is filled with coarse aggregateand contains a distribution pipe system; used toabsorb the effluent of a septic tank.absorption coefficient See sound absorptioncoefficient.absorption field, disposal field A system oftrenches containing coarse aggregate and distri-bution pipes through which septic-tank effluentmay seep into the surrounding soil.absorption field3absorption field composed of absorption trenchesExtent of coarse aggregate indicated by shaded areaabscissa: P, any point; NP, abscissa
  17. 17. absorption rate, initial rate of absorptionThe weight of water absorbed when a brick is par-tially immersed for one minute; usually expressedin grams per minute or ounces per minute.absorption system A refrigeration system inwhich the refrigerant gas evolved in the evapo-rator is taken up in an absorber and (upon theapplication of heat) released in a generator.absorption trench A trench containing coarseaggregate and a distribution tile pipe throughwhich septic-tank effluent may flow, coveredwith earth.abutment piece See solepiece.abuttals Those boundaries of one piece of landthat abut on adjacent pieces.abutting joint A joint between two pieces ofwood, in which the direction of the grain in onepiece is at an angle (usually 90°) to the grain inthe other.abutting tenon One of two tenons which areinserted in a common mortise from oppositesides, so as to touch each other.ac, a-c, a.c. Abbr. for “alternating current.”AC 1.On drawings, abbr. for “alternating current.”2.On drawings, abbr. for armored cable. 3.Abbr.for air conditioning. 4.Abbr. for “asbestos cement.”acacia Same as gum arabic.Acadian cottage Same as Cajun cottage.acanthus A common plant of the Mediter-ranean, whose leaves, stylized, form the charac-teristic decoration of capitals of Corinthian andComposite orders. In scroll form it appears onfriezes, panels, etc.absorption rate4absorption-type liquid chiller Equipmentutilizing a generator, condenser, absorber, evapo-rator, pumps, controls, and accessories to coolwater, or other secondary liquid, using absorp-tion techniques.ABS plastic A plastic of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene; has good resistance to impact, heat, andchemicals; esp. used for piping.abstract of title An outline history of the own-ership of a parcel of land, from the originalgrant, with changes in title, and with a state-ment of all mortgages, liens, encumbrances, etc.,affecting the property.abut To adjoin at an end; to be contiguous.abutment A masonry mass (or the like) whichreceives the thrust of an arch, vault, or strut.absorption trenchacanthusabutment AACB 1. Abbr. for asbestos-cement board. 2.Abbr. for “air circuit breaker.”accelerated aging The speeding-up of theaging process in a material; obtaining, in ashort time, the results that would occur in agingunder normal conditions. The most commonfactors that increase aging include exposure ofthe material to water, ozone, oxygen, or sun-light.accelerated life test A test in which one ormore parameters (e.g., temperature) is increasedor decreased beyond its normal or rated value todetermine the resulting deterioration within areasonable time period.accelerated weathering A laboratory testingtechnique to determine, in a relatively shorttime, the weather resistance of a paint film orother exposed surface.
  18. 18. accelerating admixture An admixture thatspeeds the setting and/or the early strengthdevelopment of hydraulic concrete.acceleration 1. The rate of change of thevelocity of a moving body. 2. The rate of change,esp. the quickening of the natural progress of aprocess, such as hardening, setting, or strengthdevelopment of concrete.acceleration of gravity (g) The accelerationproduced by the force of gravity at the surface ofthe earth. (By international agreement the valueof g is 386.089 inches per second square =32.1740 feet per second square = 9.80665 metersper second square.)acceleration stress In a wire rope (or thelike), the additional stress imposed as a result ofthe acceleration of the load.accelerator 1.A substance which, when addedto concrete, mortar, or grout, increases the rate ofhydration of a hydraulic cement, shortens thetime of set, or increases the rate of hardening orstrength development. 2.A substance, added witha curing agent, to speed a vulcanization processand enhance the physical properties of a vulcan-ized materia