Architecture Dictionary


The wastage of wood when lumber is sawed or planed to size.

A masonry mass (or the like) which receives the thrust of an arch, vault, or

strut. A supplement to bidding documents, issued prior to the submission of bids, for the purpose of clarifying, correcting, or adding to the specifications previously issued.

A small recessed space opening directly into a larger room. A passageway around the apse of a church.


Material, equipment, or method proposed by the contractor and approved by the architect for incorporation in or use in the work as equivalent in essential attributes to the material, equipment, or meth od specified in the contract document.

A semicircular or semipolygonal space usually in a church terminating an axis and intended to house an altar.

A light open structure of trees or shrubs closely planted either twined together or self supporting on a light lattice.

A line of counter thrusting arches raised on columns or piers.

A designation reserved, usually by law, for a person or organization professionally qualified and duly licensed to perform architectural service s.

A horizontal beam or lintel, that rests on columns or piers; or the lowest portion of an entablature; or a decorative molding around a door, a window, or an arch.

One of several parallel curved, and often decorated, moldings on the inside of an arched opening; a curved architrave.

Stone that has been cut square and dressed.

In classical architecture, an interior courtyard that is open to the weather. In contemporary architecture, a significant interior space, of ten sky lighted, used for circulation.

An entire railing system including top rail and its balusters, and sometimes

a bottom rail.

and welfare. typically with a high central space lit by a clerestory and lower aisles all around it. BREEZEWAY: Regulations. CAMBER: CANTILEVER: CANTON: A structural member which projects beyond its supporting wall or column. BATTEN: BID: An offer to perform the work described in a contract at a specified cost. ordinances or statutory requirements o f a government unit relating to building construction and occupancy. A declaration in writing that a particular product or service complies with a specification or stated criterion. . BUILDING CODES: A slight convex curvature built into a truss or beam to compensate for any anticipated deflection so that it will have no sag when under load. A hollow member or round concave molding containing at least the quadrant of a circle used in cornices. CATHEDRA: CAVETTO: The bishops throne. architect. open to the outdoors. A corner of a building decorated with a projecting masonry course. containing the cult statue of the god. safety. a pilaster or similar feature. generally adopted and administered for the protection of public health. CHANGE ORDER: CLERESTORY: An upper zone of wall pierced with windows that admit light to the center of a lofty room. CELLA: The sanctuary of a classical temple. A covered passageway. BALUSTER: A Roman hall of justice. Construction Budget: The sum established by the owner as available for construction of the project. including contingencies for bidding to contractors and for changes during construction. BASILICA: A narrow strip of wood applied to cover a joint along edges of two parallel boards in the same plane.One of a number of short vertical members often circular in section used to support a stair handrail or a coping. and contractor that authorizes a change in the work or an adjustment in the contract sum or the contract time or both. set at the end of the apse in early Christian churches. CERTIFICATION: An amendment to the construction contract signed by the owner. connecting either two parts of a building or two buildings.

EASEMENT: ENTABULATURE: In classical architecture the elaborated beam member carried by the columns. CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS: In masonry a projection or one of a series of projections each stepped progressively farther forward wi th height. shaped like a dove's tail. a structural element that is shorter than usual. A hoisting machine for heavy loads. and elegance of proportion s. . A right of accommodation in land owned by another. as a stud above a door opening or below a windowsill. or sanding one or more surfaces. DESIGN/BUILD The architect prepares more detailed drawings and finalizes the design plans. showing correct sizes and shapes for rooms. toothlike blocks utilized in an ornamental manner.A covered walk surrounding a court. or stone which has been prepared. broader at its end than at its base. or finished by cutting. such as right of way or free access to light or air. In a building frame. lumber. Descriptive of brick. DESIGN DEVELOPMENT A structure projecting from a sloping roof usually housing a window or ventilating louver. shaped. DORMER: DOVETAIL: DRESSED: A splayed tenon. DERRICK: A method of project delivery in which the owner contracts directly with a single entity that is responsible for both design and construction services for a construction project. square. Any flat horizontal member or molding with little projection. CLOISTER: Drawings and specifications created by an architect that set forth in detail requirements for the construction of the project. planing. DENTIL: A band of small. orderliness. Also included is an outline of the construction specifications. usually has a vertical mast and a horizontal or sloping boom whose movement is controlled by wire rope. EURYTHMY: FASCIA: Harmony. CORBEL: CORNICE: CRIPPLE: Any molded projection which crowns or finishes the part which it is affixed. rubbing. listing the major materials to be used. usually linking a church to other buildings of a monastery.

The ridge. A portico having seven columns at one or both ends. The architect calculates expected future operating. A frieze and cornice arranged and decorated in various ways for the lintel HYPOTHYRUM: of a door. A natural or artificial cave. and replacement costs of desired designs and features to assist homeowners in developing a realistic de sign and budget estimate. sometimes with an upper level. A temporary construction to contain web concrete in the required shape while it is cast and setting. maintenance. either standing on a base or projecting from a wall. or curved line formed by the intersection of the surfaces of two intersecting vaults. HEPTASTYLE: HIERON: HIP: The sacred enclosure of a temple or shrine. and visual privacy. A shutter or blind with fixed or adjustable slats which exclude rain and provide ventilation. often decorated wi th shells or stones and incorporating waterfalls or fountains. The external angle at the junction of two sloping roofs or sides of a roof. edge. shade. LINTEL: An arcaded or colonnaded structure. JALOUSIE: KEYSTONE: LANCET: In masonry the central often embellished voussoir of an arch. LOGGIA: . A narrow window with a sharp pointed arch typically found in Gothic architecture. ie the luminou s flux per unit area. ILLUMINANCE: The luminous flux density incident on a surface. LIFE CYCLE COST ANALYSIS A horizontal structural member over an opening which carries the weight of the wall above it. open on one or more sides.FENESTRATION: FORMWORK: The arrangement and design of windows in a building. GIRANDOLE: GROIN: A branched light holder. GROTTO: HAUNCH: The middle part between the crown and the springing of an arch.

PEDIMENT: A garden structure with an open wooden framed roof. usually constructed above the ground floor. design expectations and available budget. OBELISK: ORTHOSTYLE: PAGODA: A multistoried shrine like tower. cavity. pertinent building code and zoning regulations. A low ceilinged story or extensive balcony. as at the edge of a terrace. supported by regularly spaced post or columns. The architect and homeowner first discuss the goals. PARAPET: In classical architecture. MEGALITHIC: MEZZANINE: Structure built of unusually large stones. PERGOLA: PERIPTERAL: PIAZZA: Surrounded by a single row of columns. A colonnade in a straight line. and criteria for a project. LUNETTE: MASTERSPEC: A proprietary master specification for the construction industry developed by the AIA. constraints. slot. and site requirements. A hole. notch. often latticed. including special requirements and systems. roof. originally a Buddhist monument crowned by a stupa. A recess in a wall usually to contain a sculpture or an urn. the triangular gable end of the roof above the horizontal cornice. PROGRAMMING PROJECT BUDGET The sum established by the owner as available for the entire project. four-sided stone shaft tapering to a pyramidal tip. or recess cut into a timber or piece of another material usually receives a tenon. A low guarding wall at any point of sudden drop. MORTISE: NAVE: NICHE: The middle aisle of a church. A monumental.A crescent shaped or semicircular area on a wall or vaulted ceiling framed by an arch or vault. . needs and function of the project. A public open space or square surrounded by buildings. or balcony. The architect prepares a written statement setting forth design objectives.

SQUARE FOOTAGE . Any rule prescribing permitted or forbidden conduct. chasing. builders and realtors each measure square footage differently. The addition of water and remixing of concrete or mortar which as started RETEMPERING: to stiffen. land costs. PROSCENIUM: In a theater. SCALLOP: The architect consults with the owner to determine the requirements of the project and prepares schematic studies consisting of drawings and other documents illustrating the scale and re lationships of the project components for approval by the owner. or other unit costs.including the construction budget. SCHEMATIC DESIGN SCUPPER: An opening in a wall or parapet that allows wat er to drain from a roof. QUADRIPARTITE: Divided by the system of construction employed. SPECIFICATIONS Can be calculated as both gross and net square footage. No uniform standard for computing residential square footage yet exists. compensation for professional services. Buyers are encouraged to ask for an explanation of which spaces were included in the square footage calculation. furnishings. financing costs. standards and workmanship. REGULATION: RELIEF: Carving. equipment. One of a continuous series of curves resembling segments of a circle used as a decorative element. Architects. The architect also submits to the owner preliminary estimate of construction cost based on current area. whether found in legislation or in the actions of an administrative agency. and similar established or estimated costs. construction systems. An electrical connector that attaches the utility company's conductors to the customer's wiring. volume. and equipment. contingency allowance. SERVICE CONNECTION: The portion of service conductors between the last pole of the utility supply and the junction wit h service entrance conductors of the building supplied. into four compartments. the part of stage which lies between the curtains and the orchestra. Square footage is not always an indication of the livable space available in a structure. or embossing raised above a background plane. costs of furnitu re. cost of owner furnished goods and services. SERVICE DROP: A part of the construction documents contained in the project manual consisting of written requirements for materials. as a vault.

opened to at least one side for exercising in bad weather. TRIFORIUM: A material such as plywood placed on a subfloor to provide a smooth even surface for applying the finish. through which accumulated condensation or water may drain to the buildings exterior.An exterior finish. An open grating or latticework. The projecting end of a piece of wood. a mortise. TORCHERE: TRACERY: An indirect floor lamp which sends all or nearly all of its light upward. to form a secure joint. UNDERLAYMENT: VISTA: A usually unobstructed view into the distance. WEEP HOLE: In classical architecture. XYST: YOKE: The horizontal piece forming the head of a window or door frame. of either metal or wood. usually banded. VOMITORY: A wedge shaped masonry unit in an arch or vault whose converging sides are cut as radii of one of the centers of the arch or vault. STUCCO: TABERNACLE: TENON: A decorative niche often topped with a canopy and housing a statue. or other material. lime. a shallow passage above the arches of the nave and choir and below the cleresto ry. usually textured composed of portland cement. so that it may be inserted into a corresponding c avity. The curvilinear openwork shapes of stone or wood creating a pattern within the upper part of a Gothic window. ZONING: . a roofed colonnade. and sand. In medieval church architecture. which are mixed with water. WAINSCOT: A small opening in a wall or window member. VOUSSOIR: A decorative or protective facing applied to the lower portion of an interior partition or wall. TRAVERTINE: TRELLIS: A variety of limestone deposited by springs. The control by a municipality of the use of land and buildings. which is reduced in cross section. An entrance or opening usually one of a series which pierce a ban k of seats in a stadium.