Architectural and Engineering Glossary



Same as archivium.

Arched Barrel Roof

Same as barrel roof.

Arched Beam

A beam whose upper surface is slightly curved.

Arched Buttress

Same as flying buttress. 

Arched Dormer

A dormer having an approximately semicylindrical roof;the head of the upper sash in the dormer may be either round topped or flat-topped. archeion  See archivium

Arched Tomb

A tomb chest that lies within an arched niche in a wall.


In medieval fortifications,an aperture through which an archer or longbowman might discharge arrows.

Architect’s Scale

A scale having graduations along its edges so that scale drawings can be measured directly in feet (or meters);often triangular in shape.

Architectural Area

Total floor area of a building calculated from its exterior surfaces or from the center line of a common wall between two buildings;usually excludes open terraces.Roofed areas such as porches or arcades are calculated at one-half actual area.

Architectural Coating

A coating which is usually intended for on site application of interior and/or exterior surfaces of buildings.

Architectural Concrete

1.Reinforced concrete used for structural and ornamental work.2.In nonconcrete frame structures,the exposed concrete used for aesthetic effects.

Architectural Details

The relatively small elements of design and finish of a building.

Architectural Drawing

One of a number of drawings prepared by an architect for a construction project,e.g.plans,elevations,and details.

Architrave Cornice

An entablature in which the cornice rests directly on the architrave,the frieze being omitted.


In ancient Greece and Rome,a building in which archives of a city or state were deposited;also called archeion or tabularium.


An architrave modified by being carried around a curved opening instead of a rectangular one;an ornamental molding or band of moldings on the face of an arch following the contour of the extrados.


A medieval conduit or receptacle for waste materials,as a sewer or cesspool.


A passage through or under an arch,especially when long,as under a barrel vault.


An arched recess or sepulchral cell in a Roman subterranean burial place or catacomb.

Arcs Doubleaux

Same as arch band.


Based on,or characterized by,arches or archlike curves or vaults.It is common to distinguish between trabeated (beamed) and arcuated buildings.


A Syrian arch.


In ancient Rome,a structure formed by means of arches or arcades and employed to support a construction of any kind,such as an aqueduct.

Arcus Ecclesiae

In medieval architecture,the arch by which the nave of the church was divided from the choir or chancel.


An area equal to 100 sq m.


1.Measurement of surface within specified boundaries.2.Space either within or out- side a structure or location,designated for a specific purpose,as recreation and/or parking area.3.An uninterrupted interior space. 4.An areaway. 5.The cross-sectional area of steel reinforcement.

Area Divider

A raised edge on a roof membrane that divides it into smaller areas

Area Drain

A receptable designed to collect surface or rainwater from an open area.

Area Efficiency

Of a building,the ratio of the net usable floor area (or the net rentable area) to the gross floor area.

Area Light

1.A source of light with significant dimensions in two directions,such as a window or luminous ceiling.2.A light used to illuminate large areas.

Area Method

A method of estimating probable total construction cost by multiplying the adjusted gross floor area by a predetermined cost per unit of area.

Area Of Refuge

An area where individuals who are in a building may gather safely in case of fire and/or smoke;usually an outdoor area adjacent to the building,or an area protected by fire rated walls.

Area Separation Wall

A fire rated partition designed to prevent the spread of fire from an adjoining occupancy.

Area Wall

A retaining wall around an areaway. 


An open subsurface space adjacent to a building used to admit light and air or as a means of access to a basement or crawl space.

Arena Vomitory

A vomitory through a section of seats which provides a special access,for actors,to an arena stage.


Composed primarily of sand;sandy.


Composed primarily of clay or shale;clayey.


See arris.


An ornamental,enclosed repository in a synagogue for the scrolls of the Torah.


Sandstone containing 25% or more feldspar grains in abundance; used as building stone.

Arm Conveyor

A conveyor for building materials in the form of an endless belt or chain,to which are attached projecting arms or shelves which carry the materials.


Same as ambry.

Armored Clamp

A fitting which grips the armor of a cable where the armor terminates or where the cable enters a junction box.

Armored Faceplate

A tamperproof faceplate or lock front,mortised in the edge of a door to cover the lock mechanism.


1.A building used for military training or storage of military equipment.2.A weapons manufacturing plant.


A building or shrine dedicated to the worship of Artemis.


The fortress or citadel of an ancient town.


Abbr.for automatic sprinkler.


Abbr.for “American Standards Association;”see American National Standards Institute.