Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Air Compressor

A machine which draws in air at atmospheric pressure,then compresses it to pressures higher than atmospheric and delivers it at a rate sufficient to operate pneumatic tools or equipment.


On drawings,abbr.for “air condition.”

Air Conditioner

A device for providing air conditioning.

Air Control Valve

Same as air maintenance device.

Air Door

Same as air curtain.

Air Drain

An empty space left around the external foundation wall of a building to prevent the earth from lying against it and causing dampness.

Air Drill

Same as pneumatic drill.

Air Drying

The process of drying slowly under ambient conditions of temperature and humidity,as in the natural seasoning of lumber or the hardening of paint.

Air Duct

A duct,usually fabricated of metal,fiberglass,or concrete;used to transfer air from one location to another.

Air Eliminator

In a piping system,a device used to remove air from water,steam,or a refrigerant.

Air Entrained Concrete

Concrete made with air entraining cement or an air entraining agent.Same as cellular concrete.

Air Entraining

Descriptive of the capability of a material or process to develop a system of minute bubbles of air in cement paste,concrete,or mortar.

Air Entraining Hydraulic Cement

Hydraulic cement which contains an air-entraining agent in an amount such as to cause air to be entrained in the mortar,within specified limits. 

Air Entrainment

The occlusion of air in the form of tiny bubbles (generally smaller than 1 mm) during the mixing of concrete or mortar;used toimprove its workability.

Air Filter

Any device used to remove solid and/or gaseous pollutants from air.

Air Filtration

The use of an air filter to provide clean air.

Air Flue

See flue.

Air Gap

1.The unobstructed vertical distance between the lowest opening of a faucet (or the like) which supplies a plumbing fixture (such as tank or wash bowl) and the level at which the fixture will overflow.2.In a drainage system,the unobstructed vertical distance between the out- let of a waste pipe and the flood-level rim of the receptacle into which it discharges.3.A gap in an electric or magnetic circuit;usually acts as a high-resistance path in the circuit.

Air Grating

1.A fixed metal grille on the exterior of a building through which air is brought into,or discharged from,the building for purposes of ventilation.2.An air diffuser.

Air Grille

A type of air grating.

Air Hammer,pneumatic Hammer

A portable tool,driven percussively by air pressure,into which is set a chisel,hammer,or the like.

Air Heating System

See warm-air heating system.

Air Hole

In the foundation of a house,an opening that provides ventilation for a crawl space.

Air House

Same as pneumatic structure.

Air Inlet

In an air-conditioning system,a device through which air is supplied to the system.

Air Intake

Same as outside-air intake.

Air Lance

A rod-shaped device for directing a high velocity stream of compressed air;used to clean away debris from a surface.

Air Line

A duct,hose,or pipe that supplies compressed air to a pneumatic tool or piece of equipment.

Air Maintenance Device

A valve required to introduce air into a tank which stores water under pressure.

Air Meter

A device for measuring the air content of concrete and mortar.

Air Monitoring

During the removal of asbestos in buildings,the measurement of asbestos fiber content in the air.

Air Motor

An air-operated device used to open or close a damper,1 or valve.

Air Moving Device

See fan.

Air Outlet

In an air-conditioning system,a device at the end of a duct through which air is exhausted.

Air Permeability Test

A test for the measurement of the fineness of powdered materials,such as portland cement.

Air Pipe

A seldom used synonym for vent pipe. 

Air Pocket

An air-filled volume within a section of piping (or an apparatus) which is normally filled with liquid.

Air Pressure Relief Vent

A relief vent.

Air Pump

A pump used to exhaust or to compress air,or force it through another apparatus.Also see air compressor.

Air Purge Valve

A device which eliminates trapped air from a piping system.

Air Quality

See indoor air quality.

Air Receiver

On an air compressor,the air storage tank.

Air Register

Same as register.

Air Regulator

A device for regulating airflow,as in the burner of a furnace.

Air Reheater

In a heating system,any device used to add heat to the air circulating in the system.

Air Right

The legal property right for use of the space above a specified elevated plane;usually includes the right to ground support but excludes other rights to ground use,e.g,the right to construct a building over a railroad track.

Air Scrubber

See air washer.

Air Separator

An apparatus for separating ground-up materials pneumatically into various sizes.

Air Shaft,air Well

A ventilating shaft;a roof- less enclosed area within a building or between buildings;may have openings such as windows.

Air Shutter

A device for regulating the quantity of air being mixed with gas for combustion.