Architectural and Engineering Glossary



 Abbr. for “Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.”


1.On drawings, abbr. for “fresh air” duct section.2.Abbr. for “fire alarm.”


On drawings, abbr. for “fabricate.”


The basic elements making up a building; the carcass without finishings or decoration.

Fabricated Structural Timbers

The structural timbers that are fabricated in a shop and moved to the job site for installation.


A process in which a steel member is prepared for erection; before use, it is cut to length, punched, and drilled as required.


The exterior face of a building which is the architectural front, sometimes distinguished from the other faces by elaboration of architectural or ornamental details.

Façade Gable

A wall gable on the architectural front of a building.

Façade Retention

The incorporation of the exterior face of a historically significant building in the building’s reconstruction.


1.The exposed surface of a wall, masonry unit, or sheet of material. 2.The surface of a unit designed to be exposed, as in finished masonry, or plywood having one side which is finished.3.The broad surface of a board, timber, or panel. 4.The exposed vertical surface of an arch. 5.The striking surface of a hammer. 6. During a construction operation  in  a  tunnel,  the surface being excavated. 7.To install a surface layer of one material on another, as to face a concrete block wall with brick.

Face Clearance

The distance between the face of a panel or light of glass and the nearest face of its retaining frame or stop, measured normal to the plane of the panel or glass.

Face Feed

In welding, the application of filler metal to the joint, usually by hand, during brazing or soldering.

Face Glazing

Glazing set in an L shaped or rabbeted frame and fixed in place with a triangular bead of glazing compound.

Face Guard

A prefabricated strip, or the like, which protects the face of a wall or column against damage by carts, wagons, etc.

Face Hammer

A hammer having a cutting peen at one end and a flat striking face at the other; used in preparing stone for finer tool work.

Face Joint

A joint which is visible on the face  of a masonry wall, usually more carefully pointed or struck than the others.

Face Mark

A pencil mark (X) which identifies the work face of a planed timber.

Face Measure

1.The  measurement  of  the area of a board; surface measure; superficial measure.2.The face width.

Face Mix

A concrete mixture used for the exterior face of cast stone,superior in appearance and durability to the its retaining frame or stop,measured normalconcrete cast immediately behind,to which it is fully bonded.

Face Mold

1.A template for marking the board out of which are cut ornamental handrailings, etc.2.A template for checking the shape of wood or stone surfaces.

Face Nailing

Nailing in which the nails are driven perpendicular to the face of the material.

Face Panel

In a flush door constructed of wood, a plywood panel, having a veneer finish, which is bonded to the core and/or crossbanding.

Face Putty, Front Putty

The putty on the exposed side of glass in a window frame;formed with a putty knife in the angle of the sash after the glass has been set in place.

Face Shell

The sidewall of a hollow concrete masonry unit.

Face Side

See work face.

Face Stone

Stone that is used as the facing of a building.

Face String, Finish String

An outer string,usually of better material or finish than the roughstring which it covers; may be part of the actual construction or applied to the face of the supporting member.

Face Velocity

The velocity of air at the face of an air diffuser or air terminal unit.

Face Veneer

Wood veneer selected for its decorative qualities rather than its strength.

Face Wall

1.A retaining wall.2.The front wall of a building.

Face Weight

See carpet face weight.

Face Width

The width of the face of a piece of dressed lumber.

Face-bedded, Edge-bedded

Stone set so that its laminae are vertical and parallel to the exposed face.

Face-to-face Dimension

In a valve or fitting,the dimension from the face of the inlet port to the face of the outlet port.

Faced Block

A concrete masonry unit having a special ceramic, glazed, plastic, or polished, face surface.

Faced Plywood

 Plywood faced with any sheet material other than wood.

Faced Wall

A wall in which the facing and backing are so bonded as to result in a common action under load.


Any protective plate, such as an escutcheon or the plate over a mortised lock.  


1.One surface of a polyhedron.2.A flat surface between two column flutes,a fillet.

Faceted Glass

Same as chunk glass.


Same as facet.


See facing.


The term used by German speaking immigrants to America in the 18th and 19th centuries for half timbered construction, i.e., the medieval system of braced timber framing of a house in which the space between the structural timbers is usually filled with brick or filled with a nogging consisting of clay mixed with chopped straw to act as a binder; then the exterior sides of the walls were coated with plaster (although the timbers were often left exposed).


See fascia.

Facilities Planning

The long term planning of a building and its building services,includingequipment operations,maintenance,possible renovation and expansion,as well as lifecycle planning.


All or any portion of a building,area,or structure, including the site on which it is located,wherein specific services are provided or activities are performed.

Facility Management

Any activity related to the maintenance and management of a building (such as equipment operations and security) after the building has been completed and occupied.

Facing Bond

Any bond, 6 in which the face of the wall shows mostly stretchers.

Facing Brick, Face Brick

Brick esp.made or selected to give an attractive appearance when used without rendering or plaster or other surface treatment of the wall; made of selected clays,or treated, to produce the desired color.

Facing Hammer

A hammer having a notched, rectangular head; used for dressing concrete or stone.