Most of the terms listed in glossaries are already defined and explained within itself. However, glossaries like this one are useful for looking up, comparing and reviewing large numbers of terms together. You can help enhance this page by adding new terms or writing definitions for existing ones.
Acre – is a unit of land area used in the imperial and US customary systems. It is traditionally defined as the area of one chain by one furlong (66 by 660 feet), which is exactly equal to 10 square chains, 1⁄640 of a square mile, or 43,560 square feet, and approximately 4,047 m2, or about 40% of a hectare.
Acrow prop – or BS prop is a piece of construction equipment. It is a telescopic tubular steel prop, used as a temporary support. A jackscrew is similar but not as long and not telescopic. Outside the UK an Acrow prop may be known as a jack post, adjustable post, telescoping prop or ... post, screw jack, adjustable steel column, adjustable steel prop or ... post, adjustable metal prop or ... post, as well as an adjustable shoring post or shore post.
Adhesion – is the tendency of dissimilar particles or surfaces to cling to one another (cohesion refers to the tendency of similar or identical particles/surfaces to cling to one another). The forces that cause adhesion and cohesion can be divided into several types. The intermolecular forces responsible for the function of various kinds of stickers and sticky tape fall into the categories of chemical adhesion, dispersive adhesion, and diffusive adhesion. In addition to the cumulative magnitudes of these intermolecular forces, there are also certain emergent mechanical effects.
Aggregate (composite) – is the component of a composite material that resists compressive stress and provides bulk to the composite material. For efficient filling, aggregate should be much smaller than the finished item, but have a wide variety of sizes. For example, the particles of stone used to make concrete typically include both sand and gravel.
Air conditioning – (often referred to as 'AC, A/C, or air con) is the process of removing heat and moisture from the interior of an occupied space to improve the comfort of occupants. Air conditioning can be used in both domestic and commercial environments.
Architrave – also called an epistyle; is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. It is an architectural element in Classical architecture. The term can also be applied to all sides, including the vertical members, of a frame with mouldings around a door or window. The word architrave is also used to refer more generally to a style of mouldings (or other elements) framing the top of a door, window or other rectangular opening, where the horizontal "head" casing extends across the tops of the vertical side casings where the elements join (creating a butt joint, as opposed to a miter joint).
Ashlar – is finely dressed (cut, worked) stone, either an individual stone that has been worked until squared or the structure built of it. Ashlar is the finest stone masonry unit, generally cuboid, mentioned by Vitruvius as opus isodomum, or less frequently trapezoidal. Precisely cut "on all faces adjacent to those of other stones", ashlar is capable of very thin joints between blocks, and the visible face of the stone may be quarry-faced or feature a variety of treatments: tooled, smoothly polished or rendered with another material for decorative effect.
Austenitization – means to heat the iron, iron-based metal, or steel to a temperature at which it changes crystal structure from ferrite to austenite. The more open structure of the austenite is then able to absorb carbon from the iron-carbides in carbon steel. An incomplete initial austenitization can leave undissolved carbides in the matrix. For some iron metals, iron-based metals, and steels, the presence of carbides may occur during the austenitization step. The term commonly used for this is two-phase austenitization.
Beam – is a structural element that primarily resists loads applied laterally to the beam's axis. Its mode of deflection is primarily by bending. The loads applied to the beam result in reaction forces at the beam's support points. The total effect of all the forces acting on the beam is to produce shear forces and bending moments within the beam, that in turn induce internal stresses, strains and deflections of the beam. Beams are characterized by their manner of support, profile (shape of cross-section), length, and their material.
Bearing capacity – is the capacity of soil to support the loads applied to the ground. The bearing capacity of soil is the maximum average contact pressure between the foundation and the soil which should not produce shear failure in the soil. Ultimate bearing capacity is the theoretical maximum pressure which can be supported without failure; allowable bearing capacity is the ultimate bearing capacity divided by a factor of safety. Sometimes, on soft soil sites, large settlements may occur under loaded foundations without actual shear failure occurring; in such cases, the allowable bearing capacity is based on the maximum allowable settlement. There are three modes of failure that limit bearing capacity: general shear failure, local shear failure, and punching shear failure.
Bending – In applied mechanics, bending, (also known as flexure), characterizes the behavior of a slender structural element subjected to an external load applied perpendicularly to a longitudinal axis of the element.
Benefit–cost analysis – Cost–benefit analysis (CBA), sometimes called benefit costs analysis (BCA), is a systematic approach to estimating the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieving benefits while preserving savings (for example, in transactions, activities, and functional business requirements). A CBA may be used to compare completed or potential courses of actions, or to estimate (or evaluate) the value against the cost of a decision, project, or policy. It is commonly used in commercial transactions, business or policy decisions (particularly public policy), and project investments.
Bent (structural) – Bents are the building blocks that define the overall shape and character of a structure. They do not have any sort of pre-defined configuration in the way that a Pratt truss does. Rather, bents are simply cross-sectional templates of structural members, i.e., rafters, joists, posts, pilings, etc., that repeat on parallel planes along the length of the structure. The term bent is not restricted to any particular material. Bents may be formed of wooden piles, timber framing, steel framing, or even concrete.
Brick – is building material used to make walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Traditionally, the term brick referred to a unit composed of clay, but it is now used to denote rectangular units made of clay-bearing soil, sand, and lime, or concrete materials. Bricks can be joined together using mortar, adhesives or by interlocking them. Bricks are produced in numerous classes, types, materials, and sizes which vary with region and time period, and are produced in bulk quantities. Two basic categories of bricks are fired and non-fired bricks.
Bridge – is a structure built to span a physical obstacle, such as a body of water, valley, or road, without closing the way underneath. It is constructed for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle, usually something that can be detrimental to cross otherwise.
Calcium aluminate cements – Calcium aluminate cements are cements consisting predominantly of hydraulic calcium aluminates. Alternative names are "aluminous cement", "high-alumina cement" and "Ciment fondu" in French. They are used in a number of small-scale, specialized applications.
Camber beam – In building, a camber beam is a piece of timber cut archwise, and steel bent or rolled, with an obtuse angle in the middle, commonly used in platforms, as church leads, and other occasions where long and strong beams are required. The camber curve is ideally a parabola but practically a circle segment as even with modern materials and calculations, cambers are imprecise.
Castellated beam – is a beam style where an I-beam is subjected to a longitudinal cut along its web following a specific pattern in order to divide it, and reassemble the beam with a deeper web by taking advantage of the cutting pattern.
Cant – The cant of a railway track or camber of a road (also referred to as superelevation, cross slope or cross fall) is the rate of change in elevation (height) between the two rails or edges. This is normally greater where the railway or road is curved; raising the outer rail or the outer edge of the road providing a banked turn, thus allowing vehicles to maneuver through the curve at higher speeds than would otherwise be possible if the surface is flat or level.
Cantilever – is a rigid structural element, such as a beam or a plate, anchored at one end to a (usually vertical) support from which it protrudes; this connection could also be perpendicular to a flat, vertical surface such as a wall.
Earthquake engineering – is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering that designs and analyzes structures, such as buildings and bridges, with earthquakes in mind. Its overall goal is to make such structures more resistant to earthquakes.
Offshore construction – is the installation of structures and facilities in a marine environment, usually for the production and transmission of electricity, oil, gas and other resources. It is also called maritime engineering.
Rafter – is one of a series of sloped structural members that extend from the ridge or hip to the wall plate, downslope perimeter or eave, and that are designed to support the roof deck and its associated loads. A pair of rafters is called a couple. In home construction, rafters are normally made of wood. Exposed rafters are a feature of some traditional roof styles.
Ching, Francis D.K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 179, 186. ISBN 978-0-471-28451-2.
^ Ching, Francis D.K.; Jarzombek, Mark M.; Prakash, Vikramaditya (2007). A Global History of Architecture. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. p. 759. ISBN 978-0-471-26892-5.
^ Sharon, Ilan (August 1987). "Phoenician and Greek Ashlar Construction Techniques at Tel Dor, Israel". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Boston: The American Schools of Oriental Research (267): 32–33.
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^Gere, J.M.; Timoshenko, S.P. (1996), Mechanics of Materials:Forth edition, Nelson Engineering, ISBN 0534934293^
^Beer, F.; Johnston, E.R. (1984), Vector mechanics for engineers: statics, McGraw Hill, pp. 62–76
^David, Rodreck; Ngulube, Patrick; Dube, Adock (16 July 2013). "A cost–benefit analysis of document management strategies used at a financial institution in Zimbabwe: A case study". SA Journal of Information Management. 15 (2). doi:10.4102/sajim.v15i2.540.
^Charles Lee Crandall and Fred Asa Barnes, Railroad Construction, McGraw Hill, New York, 1913; Section 97, Principles of Construction, pages 213-215.
^W. S. Lacher, The Track Elevation Subways in Chicago, Railway Age Gazette, Vol 56, No, 10 (March 6, 1914); page 461.
^Joseph Moxon. Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine of Handy-Works. Applied to the Arts of Smithing, Joinery, Carpentry, Turning, Bricklaying. Printed for Daniel Midwinter and Thomas Leigh. 1703. London. Page 129. "Three or four or five courses of Bricks to be laid."
^Nicholson. "By a Course, in walling, is meant the bricks contained between two planes parallel to the horizon, and terminated by the faces of the wall. The thickness is that of one brick with mortar. The mass formed by bricks laid in concentric order, for arches or vaults, is also denominated a Course."
^Hewlett P.C. (Ed.) (1998) Lea's Chemistry of Cement and Concrete: 4th Ed, Arnold, ISBN 0-340-56589-6, Chapter 13.
^Ricker, David T. (1989). "Cambering Steel Beams" (PDF). Engineering Journal, American Institute of Steel Construction. 26 (4Q): 136–142. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
^Tsavdaridis, Konstantinos; Kingman, James; Toropov, Vassilli (31 July 2014). "Application of structural topology optimisation to perforated steel beams". Computers and Structures. 158: 108–123. doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2015.05.004.
^Campbell, F.C. (2008). Elements of Metallurgy and Engineering Alloys. Materials Park, Ohio: ASM International. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-87170-867-0.
^"rafter (1)". encarta.msn.com. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2007-01-25. Retrieved July 4, 2017.
^ASCE/SEI 7-05 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2006. p. 1. ISBN 0-7844-0809-2.
^"18.104.22.168". Eurocode 0: Basis of structural design EN 1990. Bruxelles: European Committee for Standardization. 2002.
^Avallone, E.A.; Baumeister, T. (eds.). Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill. pp. 11–42. ISBN 0-07-004997-1.