Architectural and Engineering Glossary



 See kiblah.


On drawings, abbr. for quarter round.


Abbr. for “quart.”


1.Abbr. for “quarry tile roof.” 2.On drawings, abbr. for quarter.


On drawings, abbr. for quadrangle.


1.A square frame or border enclosing a bas relief.2.The plinth of a podium. 3.Any small molding of plain or square section, as one of the fillets above or below the scotia of  an Ionic base.

Quadrangle Quad

1.A rectangular courtyard or grassy area enclosed by buildings or a building. Most often used in connection with academic or civic building groupings. 2.Buildings forming a quadrangle.


1.An angle measuring instrument used for measuring elevations. 2.A quarter round molding.3.A device for fastening together the upper and lower leaves of a Dutch door. 4.A quadrant stay.

Quadrant Arch Ring

A quarter circle brace that carries thrusts from a vault to external but  tresses.

Quadrant Molding

A convex molding, the profile of which is one quarter of a circle. Also called a quad molding.


In Baroque interiors and derivatives, painted architecture, often continuing the three dimensional trim, executed by specialists in calculated perspective.


A square brick, tile, or stone; a quarrel. 

Quadrifores Ianuae

Ancient Roman doors with hinged leaves like shutters, with two leaves on each side.


In classical ornamentation and derivatives,the representation of a chariot drawn by four horses, i.e., a royal or divine accouterment. Also see triga, biga.


Divided by the system of construction employed, into four compartments, as a vault.

Quadripartite Vault

A groined vault over a rectangular area, the area defined by ribs on each side and divided into four parts by intersecting diagonals.


An atrium which is nearly square and surrounded by colonnaded porticoes.quadrivalve One of a set of four folds or leaves forming a door.

Quaggy Timber

Defective wood with numerous shakes.Also see ring shake, starshake,heart shake.

Quaker Plan

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the plan of a three room stone or brick house found primarily in Pennsylvania; typically had one large room with a fireplace in one corner and an exterior chimney, and two small rooms along side it, one serving as a vestibule and the other as a bedroom. Also see Penn plan. 

Quaking Concrete

A concrete of medium consistency suitable for massive construction, such as heavy walls and abutments; shakes likes jelly when rammed in the plastic state.


On drawings, abbr. for “quality.”

Qualification Test

The evaluation of a product (new, existing, or modified) to determine its acceptability for a given job or function or to determine if it conforms to requirements of an applicable specification.

Quality Assurance

The inspection, testing, and other relevant actions taken (often by an owner or his representative) to ensure that the desired level of quality is in accordance with the applica- ble standards or specifications for the product or work.

Quality Control

The inspection, analysis, and other relevant actions taken to provide control over what is being done, manufactured, or fabricated, so that a desirable level of quality is achieved and maintained.

Quality Of Steam

The dryness of saturated steam expressed as a percentage of perfect dryness.

Quantity Distance Tables

Same as American table of distances.

Quantity Survey

A detailed analysis and listing of all items of material and equipment necessary to construct a project.Also called a takeoff. 

Quantity Surveyor

A term, especially used in Britain, for an oversight role for which there is no direct equivalent in the US. Primarily, the quantity surveyor checks the drawings; measures the quantities of work to be done and establishes their costs; establishes general requirements; prepares bills of quantities and other bidding and contract documents; arranges for bids and their review; advises on the selection of contractors; advises, negotiates with, and settles with contractors on the costs of change orders; checks applications for payment; and settles construction accounts.


A small pane of glass, usually diamond shaped or square shaped and set diagonally; framed and held in place by slender, grooved strips of lead (cames).


1.An open excavation at the earth’s surface from which building stone is extracted. 2.Same as quarry glass.

Quarry Glass

A small,square piece of glass;usually set diagonally.

Quarry Run

Building stone as it is supplied from the quarry,unselected for color and texture.

Quarry Sap

The natural moisture in stone as it comes from the quarry ledge;varies in amount with the porosity.

Quarry Tile, Promenade Tile

Unglazed ceramic tile,machine made by the extrusion process from natural clay or shales;sometimes used for factory floors.


Descriptive of the freshly split face of ashlar, as it comes from the quarry, squared off only for the joints; usually used in massive masonry work.

Quarrystone Bond

In masonry,an arrangement of stones in an uncoursed rubble wall.


1.A small timber used as an upright stud in partitions to which the laths are nailed.2.A square panel.

Quarter Bend

A 90change in direction,as in piping.

Quarter Cleft

Same as quarter sawn.

Quarter Closer, Quarter Closure

A brick which has been cut to one quarter of its normal length but is of normal thickness and width;used to complete a course or to space normal sized bricks.

Quarter Grain

The grain of quarter sawn wood.

Quarter House

In French Louisiana in the 18th century,the dwelling of a laborer on a sugar plantation.

Quarter Landing

Same as quarterpace.

Quarter Panel

A quarter,2.

Quarter Round

A convex molding the profile of which is exactly or nearly a quarter of a circle.An edge or corner when rounded,as in tile or plaster work,is called a bullnose.

Quarter Section

A square tract of land that is one half mile on each side.

Quarter Space Landing

See quarterpace.

Quarter-cut, Radial-cut

Said of veneer which has growth rings at right angles (or nearly at right angles) to the face of the veneer.

Quarter-girth Rule

A method sometimes used to compute the volume of wood in a log.

Quarter-hollow Molding

A concave molding;same as cavetto.