Construction Terms A, Construction Terminology A
Construction phrases A

Construction Terms A speaks to a Construction terminology A and Construction phrases A.

It is quite simply a list of common home and commercial building construction terminology used by architects, consultants and contractors of all kinds.

AAMA American Architectural Manufacturers Association, a trade organization that develops standards for windows, doors, skylights, storefront and curtain wall systems.

Abutment Joint A surface divider joint designed to aloe free movement between new and existing construction or between differing materials.

A/C Condenser The outside fan unit consisting of an air cooled condenser and compressor which removes heat from the Freon gas and converts the gas to a lower pressure gas and circulates it back to the evaporator coil.

Accelerating Admixture An admixture that causes concrete or mortar to cure more rapidly.

Access Flooring A raised finished floor surface consisting of small, individual removable panels beneath which wiring, ductwork and other building services may be installed.

Construction Terms A

Access Standard A set of regulations ensuring that buildings are accessible and usable by physically handicapped members of the population.

Acoustic Ceiling A ceiling of fibrous tiles that are highly absorbent of sound energy.

Acrylic A transparent plastic material widely used in sheet form for glazing windows and skylights.

Active Metal A metal relatively high on a galvanic series, tending to act as an anode in galvanic couples.

Actual Dimension The true dimension of a material, as distinct from its nominal dimension.

Construction Terms A

A/C Disconnect The main electrical ON – Off switch near the A/C Condenser.

Admixture In a concrete or mortar, a substance other than cementitious material, water, and aggregate included in the mixture for the purpose of altering one or more properties of the mixed material, either in its plastic working state or after it has hardened.

Advanced Framing Techniques A wood light framing system that minimizes redundant framing members, reducing the amount of lumber required and increasing the thermal efficiency of the insulated frame.

Aerogel A silicon based foam used to fill the interstitial space in insulating glazing units.

Aerator The round screened screw on tip of a sink spout. It mixes water and air for a smooth flow.

Construction Terms A

Air Space The area between insulation facing and the interior of exterior wall coverings. Normally a 1” gap.

Abstract Title A summary listing of the documents registered in the local land registry office and which affect title (ownership) of a particular property

Acceleration Clause
A clause in a mortgage or loan. If the borrower fails to live up to her obligations under the mortgage, the lender has the legal right to demand that the full principal of the mortgage may become due and payable immediately upon the failure.

Affidavit
A sworn statement setting out facts which the affiant states are true. Sworn before a Commissioner for swearing Oaths, Notary Public or other public official.

Aggregate Inert particles, such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, or expanded minerals, in a concrete, mortar or plaster.

Construction Terms A

Air Barrier A material that reduces air leakage through a building assembly.

Air Barrier Assembly An interconnected assemblage of materials that can effectively resist air pressure differentials acting across the boundary of a wall, roof or floor assembly.

Air Barrier System An interconnected collection of air barrier assemblies responsible for the overall leakage performance of a completed building. Air Entraining Admixture An admixture that causes a controlled quantity of stable microscopic air bubbles to form in concrete or mortar during mixing, usually for the purposes of increasing workability and resistance to freeze – thaw conditions.

Air Permeance A measure of a material’s permeability to airflow. A low air permeance is a desirable characteristic of an air barrier material.

Air Supported Structure A structure usually long span, with a fabric roof supported by an increase in air pressure inside the structure.

Airtight Drywall Approach An air barrier system relying on gypsum board interior finish and the sealing of joints between framing members of a light frame building, serving to reduce the air flow of air through the exterior walls and roofs.

Construction Terms A

Air to Air Heat Exchanger A device that exhausts air from a building while recovering much of the heat from the exhausted air and transferring it to the incoming air.

AISC American Institute of Steel Construction

Alkaline Copper Quat (ACQ) A chemical used to preserve wood against attack by decay and insects.

Allowance Allowance is the amount of money that might be allowed to purchase a particular item in the construction budget of a house.

Alloy A substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and non-metallic constituent.

Aluminum Aluminum is a silver coloured nonferrous metal that naturally forms a self protecting oxide layer.

Amortization
A schedule which provides for the gradual payment of a mortgage usually by the contribution to a sinking fund at the time of each periodic interest payment.

Construction Terms A

Anchorage The device that fastens the end of a posttensioning tendon to the end of a concrete slab or beam.

Anchor Bolt A bolt embedded in concrete for the purpose of fastening a building frame to a concrete or masonry foundation.

Angle A structural section of steel or aluminum whose profile resembles the letter L.

Angle of Repose The steepest angle at which an excavation may be sloped so that the soil will not slide back into the hole.

Annealed Cooled under controlled conditions to minimize internal stresses.

Anode The metal in a galvanic couple that experiences accelerated corrosion.

Construction Terms A

Anodizing Am electrolytic process that forms a permanent protective oxide coating on aluminum, with or without added colour.

ANSI American National Standards Institute, an organization that fosters the establishment of voluntary industrial standards.

Anticlastic Saddle shaped or having curvature in two opposing directions.

Appearance Grading The grading of wood for its appearance properties, as distinct from its structural properties, not to be confused with visual grading.

Application
Application is a document that supplies information needed for a lending institution to qualify an individual for a loan. This will provide personal and financial information.

Construction Terms A

Application Fee
The fees the lender charges the applicant. May include costs of a property appraisal and a credit report on the applicant. May be payable by applicant even if loan is not approved.

Appraisal
An estimate of the value of property by an authorized appraiser.

APR
APR is a term used to express Annual Percentage Rate.

Apron The finish piece that covers the joint between a window stool and the wall finish below.

Arch A structural device that supports a vertical load by translating it into axial inclined forces at its support.

Construction Terms A

Architectural Concrete Concrete intended as a finish surface and produced to a higher quality standard.

Architectural Sheet Metal Roofing A roof covering made up sheets of metal in a traditional shop or site fabricated pattern such as standing seam, flat seam or batten seam

Architectural Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) Structural steel intended to be left exposed in the finished building and fabricated and installed to a higher quality standard

Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI) A trade organization that develops standards for custom millwork.

Construction Terms A

Arc Welding A process of joining two pieces of metal by melting them together at their interface with a continuous electric spark and adding a controlled additional amount of moltem metal from a metallic electrode.

Area Divider A curb used to partition a large roof membrane in to smaller areas to allow for expansion and contraction in the deck and membrane.

Articulation Class (AC) A measure of a finish ceiling’s absorption and reflection of sound, particularly with regard to speech clarity in an open office environment.

ARM
Also known as a Variable Rate Mortgage, a loan secured against land which has an interest rate that changes according to some outside index -- such as the federal prime rate or the interest rate paid on government bonds -- over the term of the mortgage. The change in interest rate will result in a change in the periodic payments due under the mortgage.

Construction Terms A

Ash Dump A door in the under fire of a fireplace that permits ashes from the fire to be swept into a chamber beneath from which they may be removed at a later time.

Ashlar Squared stonework.

As Is agreement
A statement in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale that confirms that the Purchaser shall accept the property and all chattels included in the Purchase in the condition in which they are found at the time the Agreement is signed.

Asking Price
The price at which the Vendor advertises a property. When used in the advertisement, may suggest flexibility on the part of the Vendor regarding the price.

Asphalt A tarry brown or black mixture of hydrocarbons; one type of bitumen.

Construction Terms A

Asphalt Roll Roofing A continuous sheet of the same roofing material used in asphalt shingles.

Asphalt Saturated Felt A water resistive sheet material available in several different thicknesses, usually consisting of matted cellulose fibers that have been impregnated with asphalt; used to provide a protective layer in an exterior wall or roof assembly; also called building felt.

Asphalt Shingle A roofing unit composed of a heavy organic or onorganic felt saturated with asphalt and faced with mineral granules.

Assessed value
The value assigned to a given property by the municipality for the purpose of establishing realty taxes payable by the owner of the property.

Construction Terms A

Assessment
A value placed on a property in order to set a rate for a tax to be levied.

Assignment
The transfer of any right, claim or interest to another person or corporation. Often used to refer to the transfer of a mortgage from one lender to another. Also a noun describing the document which represents the assignment of the right etc.

Assume Mortgage
The agreement of a purchaser to take on personal liability for a mortgage already registered on title to the property and to make payments under the mortgage. Purchaser takes the place of the vendor in the contract with the lender.

Assumption
Assumption allows a buyer to assume the responsibility for an existing loan instead of getting a new one.

Construction Terms A

ADA
ADA stands for Americans with Disabilities Act . This act sets standards to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.
Features that are added because of this will be designated as handicap floor plans and details..

Air Damper
Air Damper is a mechanical device used to control the amount of air flow that goes through an air duct. These dampers can be permanently set to balance a system or electronically controlled, depending on the demand of the system such as in a zone system where the air flow will be adjusted.

Air Handler
Term used to refer to the mechanical device that produces the forced air in a air conditioning system. The air handler is part of the furnace unit in a house. This can be in either a vertical or a horizontal furnace unit, depending on its location. It usually consists of a motor and a squirrel cage fan. The air handler will be sized to produce a certain CFM (cubic feet per minute). There is an “A coil ” in the air handler which is filled with refrigerant. This allows the air to be cooled as it is forced across the coils by the motor driven squirrel cage fan. The plenum sits on top of the air handler and creates a supply air duct for the system.

Anchor Bolt
An anchor bolt is a threaded bolt used to bolt the bottom plate of an exterior wall to the foundation. These bolts are embedded in the wet concrete when the slab is poured. They are also sometimes called “J” bolts because of their shape.

Construction Terms A

ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials, an organization that promulgates standards for testing, materials and methods of building construction.

Atactic Polypropolene (APP) An amorphous form of poltpropolene used as a mofifier in modified bitumen roofing.

Attic
The attic is the upper most space between the ceiling joist and rafters. The amount of attic space will vary depending on the size of the house and the pitch of the roof.

Attic Insulation
Attic insulation refers to insulation put in the attic. This is usually either batt insulation or blown insulation. The thickness will
vary depending on the “R” value that is specified in the plans.

Auger A helical tool for creating cylindrical holes.

Construction Terms A

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) Concrete formulated so as to contain a large percentage of gas bubbles as a result of a chemical reaction that takes place in an atmosphere of steam.

Auxiliary Drain
All air conditioning systems have a primary condensation drain as part of the furnace unit. The auxiliary drain in an air conditioning system refers to an extra condensation drain. It consists of a drain pan installed under the inside furnace unit in a closet or attic. If the primary condensation drain gets clogged, the water will flow into the auxiliary pan and out the PVC pan drain. Usually the PVC drain is routed to a place where it will draw attention if water begins to drain.

Acre
An acre is an area measurement of land. An acre measures 43,560 square feet.

As Built Survey
An "As Built" survey is performed to obtain horizontal and/or vertical dimensional data so that constructed improvements may be located and delineated

Construction Terms A

Attic Access
Attic Access is a term that is used to refer to the hole normally in the hallway or a convenient place in order to give access to the attic.The normal dimensions are at least 2x2 or maybe 2ft by 3ft, depending on the house.

AWI Architectural Woodwork Institute

Awning Window A window that pivots on a horizontal axis at the top edge of the sash and projects to the outdoors.

Axial In a direction parallel to the long axis of a structural member.

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