Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Abbr. for saddle.


Abbr. for “Society of Automotive Engineers.”


On drawings, abbr. for “safety.”


1.A tray with a waste pipe; placed below a fixture to catch overflow, below a pipe to catch leakage, etc. 2.A built in or portable steel enclosed repository, designed to protect stored materials against fire and/or burglary.

Safe Area

An exterior or interior space that  serves as a means of egress from a building by providing a transitional area from, or a normal means of entry to, an assembly space.

Safe Leg

load That load which can be imposed safely on the frame leg of a scaffold.

Safe Life

A life of a structural supporting element which is many times that actually required to avoid the element’s mechanical fatigue.

Safe Load

A load on a structure which does not produce stresses in excess of allowable stresses.

Safe Working Pressure

The maximum working pressure for a given vessel,boiler,flask,or cylinder,allowable under the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boiler Code;usually stamped on the unit.


See elevator car safety.

Safety Arch

A discharging arch.

Safety Belt

A device, usually worn around the waist, which is attached to a structure or lifeline to prevent a worker from falling.

Safety Cage

A lightweight rig, usually used with a power-operated winch, sometimes used in  place of a scaffold for relatively minor jobs.

Safety Chain

A chain attached to a piece of equipment to prevent its falling should the equipment fastener fail.

Safety Counterweight

A mechanical device attached to an elevator car frame to stop and hold the car (or its counterweight) in case of a predetermined overspeed, free fall, or a slackening of the hoisting cables.

Safety Curtain

 See asbestos curtain.

Safety Factor

Same as factor of safety.

Safety Fuse

A flexible cord containing an internal burning medium by which fire is conveyed at a continuous and uniform rate for the purpose of firing blasting caps.

Safety Lighting

See emergency lighting.

Safety Lintel.

An auxiliary lintel,usually of wood,placed behind a stone lintel in the aperture of a door or window.

Safety Nosing

For a stair,nosing having an abrasive nonslip surface flush with the tread surface.

Safety Shutoff Device

In a gas burner,a device that will stop the gas supply if the gas flame is extinguished.

Safety Switch

A switch used in interior electric wiring which is mounted inside a metal box and operated from outside the housing by means of a handle connected to the switch mechanism.

Safety Tread

A tread on a stair, prevent the foot from slipping;usually has a roughened surface or strips which are roughened.

Safety Valve

See pressure relief valve.

Safflower Oil

A drying oil obtained from safflower seeds;used in paints;has properties similar to linseed oil.


1.A barrier which is placed in an air duct around a component (such as a filter) to ensure that air flows through the component rather than around it. 2.In multi story construction,a fire stop in the space between the floor slab and a curtain wall,1 to help retain the integrity of fire resistance ratings.3.The fire safety insulation around floor perimeters between the floor slabs and the spandrel panels,which seals off any such openings in floors and walls.Also called safing off.


1.A defect characterized by a wavy line or lines appearing on those surfaces of porcelain enamel that have been fired in a vertical position.2.A defect characterized by irreversible downward bending in a ceramic article insufficiently supported during the firing cycle. 3.The excessive flow of a wet paint film on vertical surfaces resulting in drips,runs,or curtains in the film when it dries.4.The flowing of a sealant within a joint, so that it loses its original shape. 5.See curtaining,3.


The keystone of an arch. 


Central court of a mosque. 


Any projection or jutting beyond the general wall surface.

Sailing Course

An oversailing course.


A brick that is laid on end (i.e.,positioned vertically),with its wider face showing on the wall surface;compare with soldier.

Saint Andrew’s Cross Bond

See English cross bond.

Sal Ammoniac,ammonium Chloride

A material used in a soldering flux and as an ingredient in iron cement.

Sal E Pepe

A granite having a crystalline structure composed of fine grained minerals resembling a mixture of salt and pepper.


In Spanish architecture and its derivatives,a reception room,main hall,or living room in a house;usually has windows facing the street that are protected by grilles or wood gratings (rejas),and also by heavy interior shutters.


A portable stove used in cold weather to heat the air around freshly placed concrete in order to sustain proper curing conditions.


A contractual agreement between an owner and an investor,under which the owner sells a property to the investor and then improves or develops it under the condition that the investor gives him a long term lease of the premises.

Sales Square

In the US,the quantity of prepared roofing required to cover 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of deck.


An artificial fountain in which water shoots up through a constricted tube,under its own pressure.


Describing any projecting part or member,as a salient corner.

Salient Corner

A corner which projects out ward;the opposite of a reentrant corner.


A projection,as the end of a rafter beyond the notch which has been cut to fit over a horizontal beam.

Sally Port

A gate,secret door,or underground passageway in a medieval castle provided for troops going forth on a sortie.


A twisted or spiral column.


1.A room used primarily for exhibition of art objects.2.A drawing room.3.A small,stylish place of business.


1.A place where intoxicating liquors are sold and consumed;often the social center in many early towns of the Western United States.2.A variant form of salon.

Salt-glazed Brick,brown-glazed Brick

Brick having a glossy finish,obtained by thermochemical reaction between silicates of clay and vapors of salt or other chemicals,produced in a kiln.

Salt-glazed Tile

Facing tile whose surface faces have a lustrous glazed finish,obtained from the reaction of the silicates of the clay body with vapors of salt or other chemicals produced in a kiln.