Architectural and Engineering Glossary



Abbr.for “high-intensity discharge.”

Hidden Joint

A joint between slabs of stone which is made invisible by caulking.

Hidden Line

On an architectural drawing,a dashed line that represents a line which exists but is concealed from view.

Hidden Nailing

Same as blind nailing.

Hide Glue

See animal glue.


A figure representing (a) an idea,and intended to convey a meaning,(b) a word or root of a word,or (c) a sound which is part of a word;esp.applied to the engraved marks and symbols found on the monuments of ancient Egypt.


The sacred enclosure of a temple or shrine.

High Altar

The primary altar in a church.

High Brass

See common brass.

High Density Overlay

An overlay consisting of paper that is impregnated with a thermosetting resin and then applied to plywood;provides a smooth,hard,wear resistant surface for high-quality concrete formwork and decking. 

High Explosive

A material that detonates almost instantaneously.

High Gloss

See gloss.

High Gothic

Same as the Decorated style,the second of the three phases of English Gothic architecture.

High Hat

1.A recessed downlight.2.A black circular tube which is mounted on the front of a spotlight to reduce the stray light on the sides of the main beam.

High Polymer

A substance composed of a large molecule which usually but not always consists of repeat units of the low molecular weight; one having a molecular weight greater than 10,000.

High Renaissance

A term referring primarily to the culmination of the Italian Renaissance style in the 16th century (cinquecento).Saint Peter’s in Rome is the most famous example.

High School,secondary School

In the US,a school which provides education beyond elementary school,usually from grade 9 to grade 12 but occasionally including grades 7 and 8.

High Steel

Steel containing a comparatively large amount of carbon (0.5 to 1%).

High Tension Bolt

A high strength bolt which is tightened with a calibrated torsion wrench;used in place of a rivet.

High Tomb

Same as altar tomb.

High Transmission Glass

A glass that transmits a very high percentage of light which is incident on its surface.

High-bay Lighting

A lighting system with luminaires of the direct or semidirect type,mounted high above the floor;used principally in industrial installations.

High-bond Bar

A deformed bar.

High-bond Mortar

Any mortar for masonry construction that provides higher bond strength than can be obtained with the usual mortar.

High-build Coating

A coating composed of a series of uniform tile-like films which are applied in thicknesses (minimum 5 mils) greater than those normally associated with paint films and thinner than those normally applied with a trowel.

High-calcium Lime

A lime which contains mostly calcium oxide or calcium hydroxide and not over 5% magnesium oxide or hydroxide.

High-carbon Steel

A steel having a carbon content between 0.6% and 1.5%.

High-challenge Fire Hazard

A fire hazard typically produced by a fire in combustible piled high storage.

High-early-strength Concrete

Concrete which,through the use of high-early-strength cement or admixtures,is capable of attaining specified strength at an earlier age than normal concrete.

High-hazard Contents

Building contents that are liable to burn with extreme rapidity and/or from which poisonous fumes or explosions are to be feared in the event of fire.

High-intensity Discharge Lamp

One of a group of mercury,metal halide,or high-pressure sodium lamps.

High-joint Pointing

Pointing done during the progress of the work,while the mortar is still soft,first by trimming the joints flush with the face of the wall,and then scraping grooves along the edges of the brick at both sides of the joint.


A building having a large number of floors,usually constructed where land costs are high.

High-rise Building

Said of a building that is many stories in height,usually higher than ten to twelve stories.

High-silicon Bronze

See silicon bronze.

High-strength Bolt

A bolt made of either high strength carbon steel or quenched and tempered alloy steel.


1.In a field of view,a local region that is emphasized,usually by increased local illumination.2.An area on a metal surface which has been most exposed to a buffing or polishing operation,and hence has the highest luster.

Hinge Backset

The horizontal distance from the edge of a door hinge to the stop side of the door. 

Hinge Jamb

The doorjamb to which hinges are attached.

Hinge Stile

The vertical structural member of a doorframe on which the hinges are fixed,and about which the door pivots;also called a hanging stile.

Hinge Strap

A metal strap,often ornamental,which is fixed to the surface of a door to give the appearance of a strap hinge.

Hinged Latch Bolt

Same as swinging latch bolt. 

Hingeless Frame

See rigid frame.

Hip Capping

The top strip of roofing felt or other protective covering over a hip.

Hip Gambrel Roof

In the US,a combination of a hip roof and a gambrel roof.

Hip Hook,hip Iron

A metal strip,usually of wrought iron,installed at the foot of a hip rafter;used to fix the hip tiles in place.

Hip Iron

A hip hook.

Hip Jack

A jack rafter,one end of which terminates at the hip of a roof.

Hip Knob

A finial or other similar ornament placed on the top of the hip of a roof or at the apex of a gable.

Hip On Gable Roof

Same as jerkinhead roof.