Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
Reading...
Front

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key

image

Play button

image

Play button

image

Progress

1/450

Click to flip

450 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Admixture:

A material other than water, aggregate, and cement used as an ingredient in concrete or mortar.

Adobe:

Large, roughly molded, sun-dried clay units of varying sizes.

Aggregate:

Any of a variety of materials, such as sand and gravel, added to a cement mixture to make concrete.

Air flow

The use of high air velocity to stop smoke movement.

Aluminum

A lightweight metal that is both malleable and nonmagnetic. This material has very good conductivity. This noncombustible material that has a low melting point and little mass per unit of area, so it disintegrates rapidly in fire

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A set of regulations passed in 1990 that includes, among other things, regulations requiring areas of refuge for disabled people in multistory buildings.

Anchor stores

Large stores (often department stores) attached to the mall that have all of their required exits independent of the mall.

Angles

Steel members that have two legs at right angles to one another.

Steel members that have two legs at right angles to one another.

Arch

Combines the function of a beam and a column.

Arched truss

A truss with an arched upper chord and a straight bottom chord, with vertical hangers between the two chords.

Architect

An individual who is engaged in the design of buildings and who often supervises construction.

Area of refuge

An area of a building separated from other spaces by fire-rated smoke barriers in which a tenable environment is maintained for the period of time that such areas may need to be occupied at the time of a fire.

Asbestos cement shingle

A “fireproof” roofing shingle that is composed of cement reinforced with asbestos fibers.

A “fireproof” roofing shingle that is composed of cement reinforced with asbestos fibers.

Ashlar masonry

Stone cut in rectangular units.

Stone cut in rectangular units.

Asphalt asbestos protected metal (AAPM)

Asphalt coating that is combustible and used as a weather-protective coating on galvanized steel walls.

Asphalt coating that is combustible and used as a weather-protective coating on galvanized steel walls.

Asphalt felt siding (gasoline siding)

Manufactured by saturating a dry felt with asphalt, then coating it with a fine glass fiber.

Atria

A large open space within a structure connecting two or more floors.

Automatic-wet standpipe system

Standpipe system attached to a water supply capable of supplying the system demand at all times, requires no action other than opening a hose valve to provide water at hose connections.

Axial load

A load that passes through the centroid of a section under construction and is perpendicular to the plane of the section.

A load that passes through the centroid of a section under construction and is perpendicular to the plane of the section.

Backdraft

Burning of heated gaseous products of combustion when oxygen is introduced into an environment whose oxygen supply has been depleted due to fire, often occurs with explosive force.

Bagasse

Low-density fiberboard made of wood fibers or sugar cane residue.

Low-density fiberboard made of wood fibers or sugar cane residue.

Balloon frame

A wooden structure in which all vertical studs in the exterior bearing walls extend the full height of the frame from sill to roof. No firestops are within the walls.

Bar joist

Lightweight steel truss joist.

Lightweight steel truss joist.

Bars

Plates less than six inches in width, may be square or round.

Batt insulation

Fiberglass or rock-wool insulation with various thicknesses. May or may not have a paper covering.

Fiberglass or rock-wool insulation with various thicknesses. May or may not have a paper covering.

Batten

A type of siding that uses vertical strips of wood to cover joints.

Beam

A structural member which transmits forces perpendicular to such forces to the reaction points.

A structural member which transmits forces perpendicular to such forces to the reaction points.

Bottom plate

Laid on the subfloor where the vertical studs are installed.

Laid on the subfloor where the vertical studs are installed.

Box column

A large hollow column built from steel plates.

A large hollow column built from steel plates.

Box girder

A large girder, hollow like box columns, and often used for highway bridges.

A large girder, hollow like box columns, and often used for highway bridges.

Bracket

Diagonal member that supports what would otherwise be a cantilever.

Brick

A solid or hollow masonry unit of clay mixed with sand, which is molded into a small rectangular shape while in a plastic state.

Brick and block-composite wall

Consists of an exterior wythe of brick directly mortared or parged to an inner wythe of concrete masonry unit (CMU).

Brick or stone noggin

Brick and mortar filling between studs utilized as a makeshift fire barrier.

Brick and mortar filling between studs utilized as a makeshift fire barrier.

Bridging

Braces placed between parallel frame members to prevent movement from their vertical axes. Also known as cross-bracing.

Braces placed between parallel frame members to prevent movement from their vertical axes. Also known as cross-bracing.

Btu

British thermal unit.The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1°F at the pressure of 1 atmosphere and temperature of 60°F.

Building code

Regulates the actual design and construction of new buildings, providing for minimum levels of health and safety. Regulates the level and amount of fire protection in a new structure.

Built-up girder

Made of steel plates and angles riveted together, as distinguished from one rolled from one piece of steel.

Bulb tee

A tee where the end of the cutoff is thickened.

Bulkhead

An upright partition that divides a ship into compartments and is meant to prevent the spread of leakage or fire.

Buttress

Mass of masonry built against a wall to strengthen it. Necessary when a vault or an arch places a heavy load or thrust on one part of a wall.

Cables

Special high-strength, cold-drawn steel cables. Also referred to as strands or tendons.

Caisson

A shaft of concrete placed under a building column or wall extending down to bedrock.

Calcination

The deterioration of a product by heating to high temperatures.

Caloric value

Measured in British thermal units (Btus); the amount of heat required to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Cantilever beam

A beam supported at one end only, rigidly held in position at that end.

Cantilever floor collapse

A collapse in which one end of the floor is still supported while the other end is unsupported. Voids can be created in such situations.

Cantilever wall

A free-standing wall unsecured at the top, which acts like a cantilever beam with respect to lateral loads, such as wind or a hose stream.

Cantilevered

An overhang supported from only one end where one floor extends beyond and over a foundation wall.

Carbon dioxide system

Used to protect materials that can be damaged by water. Uses carbon dioxide to suppress the fire.

Cast iron box

An iron box built into a wall to receive the end of a girder.

Cast-in-place concrete

Includes plain concrete, reinforced concrete, and post-tensioned concrete. This concrete is molded in the location in which it is expected to remain.

Casting

A process of placing fluid concrete into molds, generally called forms, in which the concrete is permitted to harden to a certain shape.

Cavity or hollow wall

Built of two wythes (a single vertical thickness of masonry) separated by a space for rain drainage or insulation.

Cavity wall

Hollow wall in which wythes are tied together with steel ties or masonry trusses.

Cement-asbestos board

Cement-asbestos board Noncombustible material often used for friable construction.

Centroid

The center point at which a body would be stable, or balance, under the influence of gravity.

Chairs

Small devices designed to keep the rods up off the surface of the form, so concrete will flow underneath.

Small devices designed to keep the rods up off the surface of the form, so concrete will flow underneath.

Chamfer

To cut off the corners of a timber to retard ignition.

Channel

Steel structural component that has a square U-shaped cross-section

Chipboard

Wood chips that are glued together to make flat sheets. Often used in the floor construction of mobile homes.

Chord

An outside member of a truss, as opposed to the inner “webbed members.”

Civil engineer

An engineer who specializes in the design of parking lots, drainage areas, and roadways.

Clean agent system

Gaseous fire extinguishing agent that does not leave a residue when it dissipates.

Cockloft
Void space between the top floor ceiling and the roof.
Very common in Type 3 ordinary construction buildings

Cold smoke

Smoke that falls downward.

Cold-drawn steel

Used in the construction of cables that are sometimes used to brace failing buildings or as tendons in tensioned concrete. It fails at 800° Fahrenheit.

Column

A vertical structural compression member with support loads.

Combustible acoustical tile

Fiberboard in which holes have been punched.

Compartmentation

Subdivision of a building into small areas so that fire or smoke is confined to the room or section in which it originates.

Composite

Built up of different parts, pieces or materials.

Composite and combination columns

Columns that use steel and concrete combined into one unit.

Composite construction

Buildings in which different load-bearing materials are used in different areas of the building.

Composite material

Built up of different parts, pieces and materials, intended to act as one unit.

Composite wall

Two different masonry materials, such as brick and concrete block, used in a wall and designed to react as one unit under load.

Compression

Direct pushing force, in line with the axis member; the opposite of tension.

Concentrated load

A load acting on a very small area of the structure’s surface; the exact opposite of a distributed load.

Concrete masonry unit

Precast hollow or solid structural block. Sometimes referred to as cinder block.

Concrete topping

Concrete placed over the first floor wood floors for fire resistance or to provide sanitary floors.

Conflagration

Rapid involvement of a fire situation that goes beyond the normal attack situations that fire departments encounter.

Conflagration breeder

A building which provides such exposure problems that it is capable of creating fire which is capable of being contained.

Connector

The means by which truss systems are connected together.

Construction safety regulations

Occupational health and safety regulations (enforced by state and/or federal authorities such as OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) that apply to construction sites. These include provisions to prevent falls (through the use of safety barriers) and protection from being hit or crushed.

Continuous beam

A beam supported at three or more points. Structurally advantageous because if the span between two supports is overloaded, the rest of the beam assists in carrying the load.

Continuous casting

Process for casting or pouring concrete without interruption from start to finish.

Continuous slipforming

Pouring concrete continuously as forms move upward so that continuous casting may be accomplished.

Control area

A building or portion of a building within which hazardous materials are allowed to be stored, dispensed, used, or handled in quanti­ties not exceeding the maximum allowable quan­tities.

Corbelled

A series of projections, each one stepped progressively outward from the vertical face of the wall as it rises up to support a cornice or overhanging member above.

Core construction

No external braces involved; bracing is done within the core of the structure.

Corrugated metal siding

Grooved panels utilized on industrial buildings of wood or steel framing. Poses an electrical hazard from stray electrical wires or lightning.

Corrugation

Grooved ridged material, often metal.

Course

A horizontal line of masonry.

Covered mall

A single building enclosing a number of tenants, including retail stores, drinking and dining establishments, entertainment facilities, offices, and other similar uses where the tenants have an opening onto one or more malls.

Cross wall

Any wall set at a right angle to any other wall; the walls should brace one another.

Crosslot bracing

Internal bracing that transfers the lateral earth pressures between opposing walls through compressive struts.

Cured

Concrete that is hardened to full strength.

Curtain fall wall collapse

Often associated with brick veneer non-load-bearing walls, but also including other masonry walls. The wall falls like a curtain—straight down.

Curtain wall

A non-load-bearing wall that carries no weight other than its own. It is installed only to keep out the weather.

Damper

Valve or plate for controlling draft or the flow of gases, including air.

Dead load

The weight of a building; the dead load consists of the weight of all materials of construction incorporated into a building, including but not limited to walls, floor, roofs, ceilings, stairways, built-in partitions, finishes, cladding, and other similarly incorporated architectural and structural items, as well as fixed service equipment, including the weight of cranes.

Deflects

The deformation or displacement of a structural member as a result of loads acting on it.

Demand area

Gallons per minute per square foot required within a sprinkler system.

Demising wall

Wall bounding a tenant space.

Density

The unit rate of water application to an area or surface; expressed in gpm/ft2 [(L/min)/m2].

Dewatering pump

A pump that removes water from the ground or excavations that hinders construction from an area of the site.

Diagonal brace

Braces set at an angle which connect columns and are often concealed within walls.

Diaphragm floor

Designed to stiffen a building against wind and other lateral loads such as earthquakes.

Dog iron

Connects the girders and imparts some lateral stability under normal conditions; resembles a big staple.

Drop panel

Thicker section of floor on top of columns to assist in resisting the natural tendency of the floor to shear off at the column.

Dry chemical system

An automatic fire extinguishing system that discharges a dry chemical agent.

Early suppression fast response (ESFR)

A type of fast-response sprinkler capable of providing fire suppression of specific high-challenge fire ­hazards.

Eccentric load

A force which is perpendicular to the plane of the section but does not pass through the center of the section.

A force which is perpendicular to the plane of the section but does not pass through the center of the section.

Egress

Adequate exits within a building.

Electrical contractor

Subcontractor hired by the contractor to oversee all electrical installation.

Electrical engineer

Specializes in the design of lighting, power telecommunications, and emergency power of a structure.

End matched

Lumber with tongues and grooves at the ends.

Engineered wood

In the construction trade, this typically refers to laminated timbers. In this text, it refers to wood modified from its natural state.

English Tudor

Balloon-frame structure finished to resemble post and frame construction.

Excess flow valve

Valve that senses a sudden increased flow, as from a broken line, and shuts off flammable gas.

Exit

That portion of a means of egress that is separated from all other spaces of a building or structure by construction or equipment as required to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge.

Exit acces

That portion of a means of egress that leads to an exit.

Exit discharge

That portion of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and a public way.

Exit passageway

Hallways, corridors, passages, or tunnels used as exit components and separated from other parts of the building in accordance with NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.

Falsework (Formwork)

Temporary shoring, formwork, beams, or lateral bracing to support the concrete work in the process of construction.

Finger joints

Interlocking wood pieces that are glued together to create a longer piece of dimensional lumber.

Fire alarm/security contractor

Subcontractor hired by the contractor to oversee all fire and security alarm installation.

Fire code

Regulates the activities that take place in existing buildings including the maintenance of existing fire protection features such as automatic sprinklers and fire doors, hazardous processes such as spray finishing, the storage of hazardous materials, and general fire safety precautions.

Fire cut

The end of a joist cut at an angle to permit the joist to fall out of a wall without acting like a lever and cushing the wall above it out of place.

The end of a joist cut at an angle to permit the joist to fall out of a wall without acting like a lever and cushing the wall above it out of place.

Fire limit

Older code provision that would not allow a structure to be built without the use of exterior masonry walls that would limit fire extension.

Fire load

The potential fuel available for a fire in a building.

Fire partition

A fire-rated assembly that subdivides a building to prevent the spread of fire such as between dwelling units in a multiple dwelling.

Fire protection engineer

Specializes in the design of fire protection systems including sprinkler and standpipe systems, and fire alarm systems of a structure.

Fire resistance

The ability of a material to avoid ignition, combustion, and the thermal effects of fire.

Fire resistant

Construction designed to provide reasonable protection against fire.

Fire retardant

Substance that helps delay or prevent combustion.

Fire wall

Wall with a fire-resistive rating and structural stability that separates buildings or subdivides a building to prevent the spread of fire.

Fire-rated

The classification indicating in time (hours) the ability of a structure or component to withstand a standardized fire test. Does not necessarily reflect performance in an actual fire.

Fireproof

Material applied to structural elements or systems, which provides increased fire resistance; usually serves no structural function.

Fireproofing contractor

Subcontractor hired by the contractor to spray a layer of cementitious material onto steel for fire-resistance purposes.

Fixed beam

Beam supported at two points and rigidly held in position at both points. This rigidity may cause collapse of a wall if the beam collapses and the rigid connection does not yield properly.

Flame retardant

Constructed or treated so that it will not support flame.

Flameover

Rapid spread of flame over one or more surfaces.

Flameproof

Resistant to fire.

Flammable

Combustible that is capable of easily being ignited and rapidly consumed by fire. Flammables may be solid, liquid, or gas.

Flashover

Stage of a fire at which all surfaces and objects in a room or area are heated to their ignition temperature and flames develop on all contents and combustible surfaces at once.

Flat Plate Structural System

Cast-in-place floor in which there are no beams supported by columns; the floor plate itself rests directly on the columns.

Flitch plate girder

Composite of a steel plate or plywood sandwiched between two beams.

Composite of a steel plate or plywood sandwiched between two beams.

Flying buttress

Masonry pier at a distance from the wall and connected to it that resists the outward thrust of the roof.

Foam system

Provides for the delivery of a proportioned foam and water mixture for use in fire extinguishment.

Folded plate

Used to strengthen the roof of a structure over large areas.

Footing

Thick concrete pads, usually heavily rein­forced, that transfer the loads of piers or columns to the ground.

Formwork

Mold that shapes the concrete.

Foundation

The lower division of a building that serves to transmit and anchor the loads from the superstructure directly to its earth or rock, usually below ground level.

Frame floor collapse

A collapse in which one end of the collapsed floor is supported by an interior wall, creating two void spaces.

Framing

A system of rough timber structural woodwork that is joined together in order to support or enclose, such as partitions, flooring, and roofing.

Friable

Easily disintegrated.

Galvanized steel walls

Galvanized steel walls Walls made of weatherized steel. Can conduct heat easily.

Gang nail

Connecting plate made of lightweight metal used in trusses.

Connecting plate made of lightweight metal used in trusses.

General contractor

The prime contractor who oversees and is responsible for the overall work on the site.

Girder

A beam that supports other beams.

Glass-fiber reinforced plastic

A composite material made of plastic reinforced with glass fibers.

Glitch plate girder

Made by sandwiching a piece of steel between two wooden beams.

Global (total) collapse

Results in the complete failure of the building.

Glued laminated timber

Planks glued together to form a solid timber.

Gravity connection

Depends on the weight of the building to hold it in place.

Gravity resistance system

Consists of all the structural elements and the connections that support and transfer the loads.

Gravity vents

Vents that are located in buildings where dangerous gases are handled.

Grillage

A series of closely spaced beams designed to carry a particularly heavy load.

Gusset plate

Connecting plate made of lightweight metal used in trusses.

Gypsum

A natural mineral used in the manufacture of drywall and plaster.

Halon system

Provides for the transfer of halogenated agents between fire extinguishers, supply containers, and recharge and recovery containers so that none of the halogenated agents escape into the atmosphere.

Hazardous materials inventory statement (HMIS)

Required in most codes; this statement lists the materials, hazards, and quantities of hazardous material products within a building.

Hazardous materials management plan (HMMP)

Required in most codes; this plan explains how hazardous materials are to be stored and safely used within a building.

Header

A joist which parallels floor/roof beams and is used to create an opening.

Header or bond course

Bricks laid so that the end is visible.

Heat release rate (HRR)

Indicates how fast the potential heat in a fuel is released.

Heavy timber

Buildings constructed with noncombustible or limited combustible exterior walls and floors made of large dimension combustible materials. Also known as Type IV construction.

Hip

The rafter at the angle where two sloping roofs or sides of a roof meet.

Hollow masonry wall

Two connected wythes of masonry with an air space in between.

Hollow tile

Tile unit composed of vertical hollow cells, utilized in early efforts to lighten concrete floors.

Homogeneous

When describing wall construction, a wall which acts as one unit (good bonding exists between bricks blocks, and mortar).

Houseline

Class II standpipe system that supplies 100 gpm at 65 psi. Intended for use by building occupants.

I-beam Beam

shaped like the letter I.

Idle pallet storage

Pallets without product.

Impact load

The effect of a moving load upon a stationary structure.

In-rack sprinklers

Sprinklers that are placed within racks to control fires where overhead sprinklers are not adequate.

Inherent fire resistance

Flame resistance that is derived from an essential characteristic of the structural member.

Initiating device

A system component that originates transmission of a change-of-state condition, such as in a smoke detector, manual fire alarm box, or supervisory switch.

Insurance regulations

The rules of the insurance company in regard to coverage. These regulations may require more fire protection for structures than local building and fire codes require.

Interior finish

The exposed material on a wall, ceiling, or floor.

Interstitial space

Interstitial space Void space made by utilizing deep parallel-chord trusses.

Inversion layer

A layer of air that is warmer than the air below.

Inverted king post truss

An inverted single compression member where the compression member extends downward.

Inward outward collapse

A collapse in which the exterior wall fails horizontally, with the interior wall “folding” horizontally. The top portion of the building fails inward while the bottom half fails outward.

Joist

Wooden 2 3 8’s, 10’s, or 12’s that run parallel to one another and support a floor or ceiling, and are supported in turn by larger beams, girders, or bearing walls.

Joist hanger

Metal angle or strap used to support an individual joist against a beam or a girder.

K-bracing

An arrangement of braces between columns that resembles the letter “K.”


Kilojoule

Metric equation approximately equivalent to one British thermal unit (Btu).

Kilowatts (KW)

A measurement energy release rate of a fire.

KIP

1,000 pounds force.

Lally columns

Steel pipes filled with concrete to increase their load-carrying capacity.

Landing zone

In reference to an elevator, this zone is 18 inches above or below the landing floor.

Lateral impact load

A force that acts on a structure from a horizontal direction, such as wind or seismic forces.

Lattice column

Lattice column Column made of vertical units connected with diagonal pieces.

Lean over collapse

Limited to wood frame structures, this type of collapse is characterized by a wooden building that shifts at the upper levels, leaning into adjacent buildings or totally collapsing sideways in the absence of adjacent buildings.

Lean-to-floor collapse

A collapse of a building’s floor(s) in which one end of the floor is still supported, sometimes at or near the original point of connection to the wall. A triangular void space is created.

Ledger board

A wood board typically attached to a walls studs which are used to wood joists.

Left-in-place form

Concrete floors that are cast onto corrugated steel.

Legacy code

A source code that is no longer supported or printed.

Lift slab

Type of building construction where concrete slabs are cast on the ground and lifted into place.

Light well

Small court commonly placed in large buildings to admit daylight into interior areas not exposed to an open view.

Lightweight truss

A collection of lightweight structural components joined in a triangular unit that can be used to support either floors or roofs.

Lightweight wood truss

A collection of lightweight wood structural components joined in a triangular configuration that can be used to support either floors or roofs.

Lintel

The horizontal beam that forms the upper structural member of an opening for a window or door and supports part of the structure above it.

Live load

The weight of the building contents

Load

Force or other action that result from the weight of all building materials, occupants and their possessions, environmental effects, differential movement, and restrained dimensional changes.

Load-bearing wall

Any wall which carries a load in addition to its own weight.

Local

An extinguishing system that will operate on an individual piece of equipment or hazard.

Log cabin

Structure constructed of entire tree trunks, as opposed to boards sawn from trees.

Low-density fiberboard

Sometimes used as an interior finish, made up of wood particles such as wood shavings and bound together with a suitable binder.

Lumber

Wood that has been sawn and planed.

Malleable

The property of a metal that allows it to be shaped by bending, hammering, or extruding without cracking or rupturing.

Manual-dry standpipe system

Dry standpipe system that does not have a permanent water supply attached to the system.

Manual-wet standpipe system

Wet standpipe system connected to a small water supply for the purpose of maintaining water within the system, or sharing a water supply with an automatic sprinkler system but not having a water supply capable of delivering the system demand attached to the system.

Masonry column

Masonry bracing incorporated into unstable masonry walls; also called piers, buttresses, pilasters, or columns.

Masonry unit

Describes the type of masonry used on a given structure. Examples include bricks or concrete block.

Masonry walls

Masonry walls The most common walls for un­­protected steel-framed buildings; made of con­crete block or a composite of concrete block and brick.

Matchboarding

Ceilings made of embossed steel and wooden boards.

Matched lumber

Tongue and grooved lumber (usually lengthwise).

Mechanical engineer

A person trained in a branch of engineering related to mechanical equipment. Usually designs the HVAC systems and plumbing of the building.

Mechanical vent

Process of removing heat, smoke, and gases from a fire area by using exhaust fans, blowers, air conditioning systems, or smoke ejectors.

Megastructure

A very large structure.

Megawatts (MW)

Measurement energy release rate of a fire.

Metal siding

Made to look like another type of siding. Can be made to look like stone and/or ­clapboards.

Mezzanine

A low-ceilinged story located between two main stories; usually constructed directly above the ground floor, often projecting over it as a balcony.

A low-ceilinged story located between two main stories; usually constructed directly above the ground floor, often projecting over it as a balcony.

Mill

The earliest form of heavy timber construction.

Model code

Complete regulatory documents that can be adopted by cities and states as they are written.

Modulus of elasticity

Modulus of elasticity Measures the ability of steel to distort and restore.

Monolithic concrete

All successive poured concrete castings are joined together so that a structure seems to be like one piece of stone.

Monolithic construction

Method in which all the concrete in a building is properly bonded together and acts as one.

Method in which all the concrete in a building is properly bonded together and acts as one.

Mortise and tenon

Joints that are fitted together to transfer loads properly.

Mudsills

Planks on which formwork shores rest.

Mushroom cap

Tapered extension at the tops of columns that assists in transfer of loads from floor to column.

Needle beam

When any change is to be made in the foundation of an existing wall, the wall must be supported. Often holes are cut through the wall, and so-called needle beams are inserted and supported on both sides. They pick up the load of the walls.

Neutral axis

The line along which the length of the beam does not change.

Non-load-bearing wall

A wall supporting no load other than its own weight.

Nonambulatory people

Individuals who are not capable of self-preservation.

Noncombustible

A material that, in the form in which it is used and under the conditions anticipated, will not aid combustion or add appreciable heat to an ambient fire.

Novelty siding

Combustible siding laid over the sheathing of a building. This type of siding comes in many different shapes and is laid horizontally.

Occupancy

Used in building codes to refer to the intended use of a building.

One-way structural system

System that incorporates floors that have beams running in one direction only.

Open office plan

A plan in which low-height partitions create cubicles for personal space; essentially one large, open room.

Ordinary construction

Buildings in which the exterior walls are noncombustible or limited combustible, but the interior floors and walls are made of combustible materials.

Oriented flakeboard

Another name for oriented strand board (OSB)

Oriented strand board (OSB)

Made of layers of strands of wood cut from logs, with a fairly constant width to length ratio.

Overhanging beam

Projects beyond its support, but not far enough to be a cantilever.

Pancake collapse

A collapse of a building’s floors (and possibly roof) in a pancake stack fashion with each floor (roof) laying flat on top of the one below.

Panel points

Connection points of a truss system.

Panel wall (curtain wall)

Non-load-bearing enclosing wall on framed buildings.

Parallel-chord truss

A truss system in which the top and bottom chords are parallel.

Parging (or pargetting)

Application of mortar to the back of the facing material, or the face of the backing material.

Application of mortar to the back of the facing material, or the face of the backing material.

Partial collapse

Results from a failure of a portion of a building. A situation in which a section of floor gives way without bringing down the rest of the building would be a partial collapse. A partial collapse can be just as deadly as a global collapse.

Partition wall

A non-load-bearing wall that subdivides spaces within any story of a building or room.

Party wall

A load-bearing wall that is common to two structures.

Passive fire protection

A material that is applied to a substrate and is designed to protect it from thermal effects.

Pause

In reference to atmospheric conditions, the layer of air warmer than the air below it.

Peened or peening

Peened or peening Imbedded into the surface.

Phase I operation

Elevators are recalled to the first floor lobby of the building by the activation of a smoke detector located in an elevator lobby or on one of the upper floors. Upon arrival at the first floor, the doors open and allow the occupants to leave. The doors remain open for fire fighters to begin their use of the elevators.

Phase II operation

A fire fighter selects one of the elevators in a bank to access the upper floors. Fire fighters can then control the elevators using a special key and set of procedures.

Pier

A short column of masonry, usually rectangular in horizontal cross-section, used to support other structural members.

Pilaster

A masonry column built on the inside surface of the wall.

A masonry column built on the inside surface of the wall.

Pile

One of a series of large timbers or steel sections driven into soft ground down to bedrock to provide a solid foundation for the superstructure of a ­building.

Pinned

Structural elements are connected by simple connectors such as bolts, rivets, or welded joints.

Pintle

Square metal device used to transfer loads of columns on upper floors by passing the loads through intervening beams and girders to metal column caps on the column below.

Plain concrete

Concrete that has no reinforcement, except possibly light reinforcement to resist temperature changes.

Plank and beam

Used in modern construction, these buildings are built with heavier beams that are spaced much farther apart than the traditional 16 inches.

Plastic

A synthetic material that can be heated and shaped.

Plastic design

Connections that redirect overloads to other sections of the building.

Plates Flat

Plates Flat pieces of steel.

Platform

A raised area in a building for presentations, wrestling matches, and the like where there are no hanging curtains, drops, or scenery other than lighting and sound effects.

Platform frame

Subflooring is laid on the joists, and the frame for the first floor walls is erected on the first floor.

Plumbing contractors

Subcontractors hired by the contractor to oversee the installation of plumbing within a building.

Plumbing, mechanical, and electrical codes

Plumbing codes apply to the installation of domestic water systems, sanitary systems, and the like. Mechanical codes apply to systems likes air-­handling systems and smoke control systems. ­Electrical codes apply to the installation of electrical systems.

Plywood

Wood panels manufactured with the grain of alternatate plies laid at right angles to develop the approximate equal strength in either direction.

Plywood siding

Four-foot-wide sheets that give the appearance of four-inch-wide strips about a half inch apart.

Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)

Commercially produced organic compound used in capacitors and transformers due to its electrical insulator properties and low flammability rating.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Widely used plastic as an excellent electrical insulator.

Portal bracing

Heavy riveting of girders to columns from the top to the bottom of the frame.

Portland cement mortar

Most common type of cement in use today. The powder, when mixed with water, will become a hydrated solid over time.

Post and frame

Identifiable frame or skeleton of timber fitted together. Joints are constructed by mortise and tenon, fitted together to transfer loads properly.

Precast

A concrete member that is cast and cured in a place other than its final position in the structure.

Precast concrete tilt slab wall

This is a vertical cantilever when being erected and is braced by tormentors or temporary bracing poles.

Prefire planning

A document developed by gathering general and detailed data used by responding personnel to determine the resources and actions necessary to mitigate anticipated emergencies at a specific facility.

Pretensioning and post-tensioning

Processes by which steel tendons or rods are placed under tension, drawing the anchors together. Tensioned steel places the concrete in compression.

Progressive collapse

Extensive structural failure initiated by local structural damage, or a chain reaction of failures following damage to a small portion of a structure.

Projected beam detectors

Used in smoke control systems. These detectors can cover large areas with a single beam of light.

Proscenium arch and wall

Found on a stage, it is the large ornamental opening and wall that separates the audience from the stage.

Purge

Flow of air or an inert medium at a rate that will effectively remove any gaseous or suspended combustibles and replace them with air.

Purlins

Beams set at right angles to trusses or roof rafters to provide support for lightweight ­roofing.

Beams set at right angles to trusses or roof rafters to provide support for lightweight ­roofing.

Pyrolytically

The chemical decomposition of a compound into one or more other substances by heat alone; pyrolysis often proceeds combustion.

Pyrophoric gas

Gas that ignites in air without the introduction of an ignition source.

A designation of the heat release rate (HRR); refers to the rate at which a fuel will burn.

Quarried stone

Natural stones such as granite, marble, limestone, and sandstone. Can be used in the construction of walls and foundations.

Queen post truss

A truss system that has two compression members.

A truss system that has two compression members.

RACE

An acronym: R—remove all people in immediate danger to safety; A—activate manual pull station and have someone call 911; C—close doors to confine the spread of smoke and fire; and E—extinguish the fire, if possible.

Racks

Any combination of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal members that supports stored materials.

Rafters

Wood members used to support the roof sheeting and loads

Raker

Braced sheeting used in soil walls to protect against collapse.

Braced sheeting used in soil walls to protect against collapse.

Rakers

Diagonal columns that brace an entire structure.

Rated fire resistance

Quality ascribed to a wall, floor, or column assembly that has been tested in a standard manner to determine the length of time it remains structurally stable (or resists the passage of fire) when attacked by a test fire.

Reaction

The response in structures to the imposed loads, which are generally developed at the supports.

Reinforced concrete

In concrete masonry structure, steel reinforcement that is embedded in such a manner that the two materials act together in resisting forces.

Reinforcement bar

Steel bar placed in concrete to increase its overall tensile strength.

Remote annunciator

Device indicating an off-standard or abnormal condition by both visual and audible signals.

Repeated load

A load that is applied intermittently.

Reshoring

Shores that are put back into concrete to help carry the load of the still-curing concrete.

Ridge board

Placed on the ridge of the roof onto which the upper ends of rafters are fastened.

Rigid-foamed polyurethane

Foam that is used as an interior finish. Organic units joined by urethane.

Rigid-framed

Structural frame in which all columns and beams are rigidly connected. There are no hinged joints, and the angular relationship between beam and column members is maintained under load.

Rising roof

A metal-plate truss roof system that can bow upward, causing separation of ceilings from walls.

Robertson protected metal

Asphalt-coated steel.

Rolled or built-up members

Rolled or built-up members Steel structural members; rolled members are one solid piece of metal; built-up members are made up of different sections riveted, bolted, or welded together.

Rough carpentry

Also known as framing, this includes all of the wood framing members and sheathing of a building.

Rough lumber

Lumber that is left as sawn on all four sides.

Rubble masonry

Rough stones of irregular shapes and sizes, used in rough, uncoursed work in the construction of walls and foundations.

Rubble masonry wall

A wall composed of an inner and outer wythe of coursed masonry. The space between is filled with random masonry sometimes mixed with mortar. Such walls are unstable to a lateral thrust.

Safety factor

Represents the ratio of the strength of the material just before failure to the safe working stress.

Sand-lime mortar

Water-soluble mixture; when water is applied the mortar can be washed away from the wall.

Sawn beam

Wooden beam sawn out of a tree trunk. To some extent, they have been replaced by the wooden I-beam due to the weight and cost of the true wooden beam.

Secondary collapse

An additional collapse that occurs after the initial collapse. Often occurs when loads shift after a primary collapse, causing additional portions of the structure to fail.

Seismic protection

Stabilization of outer walls, overhangs, floors, and walls to resist destruction by an earthquake.

Self-extinguishing

Characteristic of a material such that, once the source of ignition is removed, the flame is quickly extinguished.

Self-weight

Another term for dead load.

Semiautomatic-dry standpipe system

Standpipe system that is attached to a water supply capable of supplying the system demand at all times and that requires activation of a control device to provide water at hose connections.

Serpentine wall

A curving wall.

Shear wall

Walls that counteract the effects of lateral loads such as wind and earthquakes.

Shelves

Storage on structures that are less than 0.75 m (21?2 ft) deep, with shelves usually 0.6 m (2 ft) to 0.9 m (3 ft) apart vertically and seldom exceeding 4.5 m (15 ft) in total height.

Shingle and shake

A type of siding; these thick wooden shingles are formed by splitting a short log into tapered sections.

Ship’s ladder

A completely vertical stair with a width that is not more than 24 inches wide.

Silence switch

When flipped, the fire alarm is silenced but still active.

Sill

Found on the bottom of the frame of a wood structure. It rests on and is bolted to the foundation.

Simple beam

Supported at two points near its ends. In simple beam construction, the load is delivered to the two reaction points and the rest of the structure renders no assistance in an overload.

Skewbacks

Tiles shaped to fit around steel.

Slipforming

Technique by which forms are moved upward as the concrete is poured.

Slow burning

A characteristic of a building that should allow a fire in that building to be brought under control before the building itself becomes involved.

Slurry wall

A foundation wall in an excavation that is heavily reinforced with steel and temporarily filled with a liquid slurry mixture that is subsequently displaced by concrete.

Smoke barrier

A continuous membrane, either vertical or horizontal, such as a wall, floor, or ceiling assembly, that is designed and constructed to restrict the movement of smoke. A smoke barrier might or might not have a fire resistance rating. Such barriers might have protected openings.

Smoke control

System that utilizes fans to produce pressure differences so as to manage smoke movement.

Soffit

False space above built-in cabinets, usually in a kitchen, or in the undersides of stairways and projecting eaves.

Solid masonry walls

Masonry units (either solid or hollow) laid contiguously with the joints filled with mortar.

Solid pile

Storage that is either box on box or pallet load on pallet load.

Spall

A small fragment or chip dislodged from the face of a stone or masonry unit.

Spalling

Loss of surface material when concrete is subjected to heat.

Spandrel girder

Girders that tie wall columns together in a framed building.

Spandrel space

Spandrel space Distance between the top of one window and the bottom of the one above.

Spliced timber

Due to the shortage of solid timbers, these members are joined together by various metal connectors to transfer loads so that the spliced timber acts as a single member.

Spline

Wooden strips that fit into grooves in two adjacent planks to make a tight floor.

Wooden strips that fit into grooves in two adjacent planks to make a tight floor.

Sprinkler contractor

A subcontractor hired by a contractor to oversee the installation and design of sprinkler systems within a building.

Stack effect

The vertical airflow within buildings caused by the temperature-created density differences between the building interior and exterior or between two interior spaces.

Stage

Performance area in a theater that has a proscenium arch and wall; hanging curtains, drops, and scenery; lighting; and support rooms (dressing room, etc.).

Stairwell pressurization system

System that introduces positive pressure into a stairwell to provide a tenable environment within the stair tower in the event of a building fire.

Standpipe system -

An arrangement of piping, valves, hose connections, and allied equipment installed in a building or structure, with the hose connections located in such a manner that water can be discharged in streams or spray patterns through attached hose and nozzles, for the purpose of extinguishing a fire, thereby protecting a building or structure and its contents in addition to protecting the occupants.

Steel expansion joints

A metal connection which allows for movement of floors.

A metal connection which allows for movement of floors.

Steel joist

An open web design used for the support of floors and roofs.

Steiner tunnel test

A common term that refers to NFPA 255: Standard Method of Test of Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials.

Stiffness

The capacity of a member or framework to resist imposed loads without excessive deflection.

Strain

The actual percent of elongation (deformation) when a material is stressed.

Strands

Special high-strength, cold-drawn steel cables. Also referred to as cables or tendons.

Stress

Force per unit area which produces a deformation.

Stressing the tendons

After concrete is poured and reaches its specified strength, steel tendons are stretched and anchored at the ends of the unit. Also referred to as “jacking the cables.”

Stretcher course

Bricks laid so that the long side is visible.

Stretchers

A masonry unit laid horizontally with its length in the direction of the face of the wall.

Strip mall

Ordinary construction building of one-story occupancies that have a lightweight wood truss roof and concrete block walls.

Strut

A bracing column.

A bracing column.

Structural engineer

Used in large buildings to design the structural frame.

Stucco

Made of Portland cement, it is an exterior plaster finish.

Stud

Columns in frame buildings, usually nominal two inches by four inches (2 3 4) or two inches by six inches (2 3 6).

Subcontractor

A specialist who undertakes part of a main building contract from a contractor.

Subflooring

Laid on top of the joists, it serves as the base for the finished floor.

Substructure

The foundation and footings.

Superstructure

Any structure above the substructure.

Suspended beam

A simple beam, with one or both ends suspended on a tension member such as a chain, cable, or rod.

Suspended load

A hanging load supported from above.

Tee

A standard I-beam cut lengthwise through the web forms two such beams with T-shaped cross-sections.

Temperature rods

Thin rods installed near the surface of concrete, usually at right angles to the main reinforcing rods, to help the concrete resist cracking due to temperature changes.

Tendons

Special high-strength, cold-drawn steel cables. Also referred to as strands or cables.

Special high-strength, cold-drawn steel cables. Also referred to as strands or cables.

Tension

A pulling or stretching force in line with the axis of the body; the opposite of compression, which is pushing, crushing stress.

Terra cotta tile

Made of clay and fine sand and fired in a kiln.

Thermal pane windows

Units composed of two or more glass panes in a hermetically sealed frame.

Thermoplastic

Construction material that softens when heated and rehardens when cooled.

Thermoset

Plastic that chars and burns, but does not flow.

Tie

Used in truss systems and subjected to tensile and/or pulling forces. Also known as a tension member.

Tie rod

A rod in tension; used to hold parts of a structure together.

Tieback

Braced sheeting used in soil walls to protect against collapse.

Tied arch

Arch in which a steel tension rod ties the ends of the arch together to eliminate the need for the masonry.

Tin ceiling

Tin ceiling Embossed steel; will transfer heat in either direction.

Top plate

Top horizontal member of a wood frame wall that supports the ceiling joists.

Torsion

 A force tending to twist a structural member.

A force tending to twist a structural member.

Total flooding

Act and manner of discharging an agent for the purpose of achieving a specified minimum agent concentration throughout a compartment.

Transfer beam

Used to laterally relocate the vertical load of columns to clear an opening area.

Transmitted

Shows how a load is spread from the point of application to the ground.

Triage

To evaluate and categorize.

Triangular truss

Used in the majority of modern roof systems, this truss gives a triangular shape and provides a peaked roof.

Trimmer -

A piece of lumber that supports a header and can be found in floor openings such as stairwells (runs perpendicular to floor joists).

Trunnel

Wooden peg used to pin together mortise and tenon joints.

Wooden peg used to pin together mortise and tenon joints.

Truss frame

Developed by the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory, it substitutes sawn beams for truss members used in roofs and floors. It is held together with nails.


Truss void

Found within a truss roof system, this void space is between the top floor ceiling and the roof. Also known as a cockloft.

Tube

A steel structural member that is rolled in cylindrical, square, or rectangular shapes.

Tube construction

Externally braced structure.

Turned-mass dampers

Heavy weights installed high up in a building that are adjusted by computers to counter wind-induced oscillations.

Heavy weights installed high up in a building that are adjusted by computers to counter wind-induced oscillations.

Two-way structural system

System that incorporates floors that have beams running in two directions.

Type III construction

Also called Ordinary construction.

Type IV construction

Heavy timber construction.

Ultimate strength

The highest load that a member or structure can sustain before failure occurs.

Underwriters blocks

Concrete blocks poured per Underwriters Laboratories’ classifications.

Uniformly distributed load

A load which is applied evenly over an area.

Unreinforced masonry

Ordinary masonry walls are not reinforced, so they have no resistance to lateral movement.

V-shaped floor collapse

A collapse in which the floor fails near its center, with the perimeter of the floor still partially supported by the walls. Two voids are created in this type of collapse.

Valley

The lower slope formed by the connection of two inclined planes of a roof.

The lower slope formed by the connection of two inclined planes of a roof.

Veneer wall

A wall with a masonry facing that is not bonded but is attached to a wall so as to form an integral part of the wall.

Vermiculite

Mineral used as bulk insulation and as an aggregate in insulating.

Vierendeel truss

A rectangular truss with very rigid corner bracing.

A rectangular truss with very rigid corner bracing.

Vinyl siding

A thermoplastic that will deform and drip when introduced to a fire situation. Often made to look like wood siding.

Voussoir

A wedge-shaped block whose converging sides radiate from a center forming an element of an arch or vaulted ceiling.

A wedge-shaped block whose converging sides radiate from a center forming an element of an arch or vaulted ceiling.

Waffle concrete

Two-way structural system with closely spaced beams set at tight angles to one another in which unnecessary concrete is formed out; lower side resembles a waffle.

Waler

A horizontal beam that ties rows of soldier beams together.

A horizontal beam that ties rows of soldier beams together.

Wall

Transmits to the ground the compressive forces applied along the top or received at any point on the wall.

Wall column

A column of steel, reinforced concrete, or solid masonry (such as brick or solid block) in a block wall. Concentrated loads such as main girders are applied to the wall directly above the wall column.

Wall-bearing

Indicates a structure where the entire structural load is carried on the walls. As opposed to a curtain wall.

Wallboard

A large, rigid gypsum sheet that is fastened to the frame of a building and provides the surface finish.

Wallboard contractor

A subcontractor hired by a contractor to oversee the surface finishes of walls that are fastened to the frame of the building.

Water flow switch

Detects the movement of water in a sprinkler system and transmits a signal to the alarm system.

Water mist system

Distribution system connected to a water supply or water and atomizing media supplies that is equipped with one or more nozzles capable of delivering water mist intended to control, suppress, or extinguish fires and that has been demonstrated to meet the performance requirements of its listing.

Water spray system

Special fixed pipe system connected to a reliable fire protection water supply and equipped with water spray nozzles for specific water discharge and distribution over the surface or area to be protected.

Watt

Measurement energy release rate of a fire.

Web

In the case of a truss, the sloping and vertical components (in a triangular arrangement) that connect the upper and lower chords.

Wet joint

Cast-in-place concrete unites rods that pro­ject from precast sections.

Wide-flange shapes

I-beams that have flanges wider than standard I-beams.

Wind load

The positive or negative force of the wind acting on a structure.

Wood

A hard fibrous material forming the major part of trees. It is usually milled or otherwise processed for use in construction.

Wood framed

Building with exterior walls, interior walls, floors, and roofs made of combustible wood material.

Wood lath

Narrow, rough strips of wood nailed to studs. Plaster is spread on wood laths. Generally no longer used, wood lath is present in many existing buildings.

Narrow, rough strips of wood nailed to studs. Plaster is spread on wood laths. Generally no longer used, wood lath is present in many existing buildings.

Wooden I-joist

Composite lightweight wood material used in an “I” cross-section.

Wooden-walled building

A wall-bearing building that carries the load of the structure and the contents.

Wrought iron

A commercially pure iron of fibrous nature; used for water pipes, rivets, and other ornamental forged work.

Wythe

A single continuous vertical wall of bricks, one masonry unit in thickness.

A single continuous vertical wall of bricks, one masonry unit in thickness.

Zees

Members with a Z-shaped cross-section.

Zone

Defined area within the protected premises.

Zoned smoke control

Smoke-control system that includes smoke exhaust for the smoke zone and pressurization for all contiguous smoke-control zones.

Zoning regulations

Dictate land usage in specific cities (and are written by the cities themselves). Spell out what types of buildings can be built in specific locations and their permitted uses.