Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Tudor Rose

A conventionalized rose pattern,usually with five petals,a superposition of white and red roses,the heraldic emblem of the Tudor dynasty.


A porous limestone used in masonry con-struction.

Tuff, Volcanic Tuff

A low-density,high-porosity rock;composed of volcanic particles,ranging from ash size to small pebble size,which are compacted or cemented together;sometimes used as building stone or as a thermal insulation material.

Tuft Bind

The magnitude of the force required to pull a tuft out of a carpet,according to an industry standard test procedure.

Tufted Carpet

Carpet made by punching pile yarn through a carpet backing material which has been previously woven;then the pile is cut.


1.A soft,close-textured durable wood, yellowish in color;used for millwork and veneer.2.A rose-colored,very hard wood from Brazil;esp. used for inlay work.

Tumble Home,tumble In

An inclination inward from the greatest breadth of a structure.


Said of a metal surface that has been cleaned and polished by agitation in a rotating drum containing a polishing compound.

Tumbled-in Gable

Same as straight-line gable.


In a lock,the locking mechanism which detains the bolt until set free by a key. 

Tumbler Switch

In electric wiring,a leve Ractuated snap switch.


See barreling.

Tumbling Course

A sloping course of bricks that are set perpendicular to a straight-line gable in Dutch architecture or its derivatives;such an arrangement provides a better seal against the penetration of moisture through the masonry joints than one in which all courses of bricks within the gable are laid in horizontal courses up to the peak of the gable.Where a sloping course of bricks intersects a horizontal masonry course,the arrangement of brickwork so formed is called a mouse-tooth pattern.

Tumbling In

See tumbling course.


A mound of earth or stone protecting 

Tung Oil

A drying oil which oxidizes very rapidly,at almost twice the rate of linseed oil;forms a hard dry film when used in paints and varnishes; although “China wood oil” and “wood oil” some times are used as synonyms,tung oil never is extracted from wood.

Tungsten Inertgas Weld

To weld by means of an electric arc struck between a nonconsumable tungsten electrode and the workpiece;constant current across the arc is supplied during the welding operation.

Tungsten Steel

Steel usually containing 5 to10% (but sometimes as much as 24%) tungsten and 0.4 to 2% carbon.

Tungsten-filament Lamp

See incandescent lamp.

Tungsten-halogen Lamp

A tungsten-filament incandescent lamp which is filled with a gas containing halogens;the envelope, made of quartz or other material that can be subjected to high-temperature,is small compared with standard lamps of equivalent wattage;formerly known as quartziodine lamp.

Tunnel Test

An ASTM standard test of the surface burning characteristics of a building material.

Tunnel Vault

A vault having a uniform cross section everywhere.


An apparatus for the measurement of particle-size distribution of a finely divided material such as portland cement,based on successive measurements of the turbidity of a suspension in a fluid.

Turbidimeter Fineness

The fineness of a material as measured on a turbidimeter;usually expressed as the total surface area in square centimeters per gram.

Turbine Mixer

See open-top mixer.

Turbulent Flow

The motion of a fluid in which local velocities and pressures fluctuate highly irregularly with time,in contrast to streamline flow.


The upper layer of earth and vegetable mold in which the roots of grass and other small plants form a thick cover.

Turf Sprinkler System

Same as lawn sprinkler system.

Turn Button, Button

A fastener for a window or door which rotates on a pivot and is attached to the frame.

Turn Knob

A small doorknob, often oval or crescent-shaped;used to control the door bolt from the inside of the door.

Turn Piece

A small doorknob,lever,or the like,having a spindle attached;used to operate the dead bolt or a bolt mortised in the door.

Turn Tread

A tread on a stair where it changes direction.

Turn-key Job

A job in which the contractor completes all work and furnishing of a building so that it is ready for immediate use.


A device for connecting and tightening a line,rod,or stay;consists of a right screw and a left screw which are coupled by means of a link.

Turned Bolt

A machine bolt,ordinarily with a hexagonal head,whose shank is fabricated to a close tolerance.

Turned Drop

A hanging wood ornament,formed on a lathe,but sometimes hand-carved;especially found in timber-framed early American colonial houses,often suspended from a second-floor overhang,1.either at the front corners of the façade or adjacent to the front door. Sometimes simply called a drop;compare with pendant.

Turned Work

In stone and wood cutting,pieces having a circular outline,such as columns,balusters, etc.;usually cut on a lathe,although some shapes are cut by hand.


The shaping of objects by means of cutting tools while the material,from which the objects are made,rotates rapidly on a lathe.

Turning Bar

See chimney bar.

Turning Gouge

Any one of a set of gouges having the corners of the bit rounded off;used in turning.

Turning Piece

1.A piece of board cut to a curve to guide the mason in turning any small arch for which no centering is required.2.Same as camber piece.

Turning Vane

One of a number of curved fins which are placed in air-conditioning ductwork used to promote a more uniform airflow and to reduce pressure drop.

Turnpike Stair

Same as spiral stair.


A barrier which rotates on an axis and usually is so arranged as to allow the passage of a person through an opening only in one direction,one person at a time.


That portion of roofing material which is turned up at any vertical surface.

Turpentine,oil Of Turpentine

A volatile liquid obtained by the distillation of the exudation from certain coniferous trees;once widely used in paint,it is now replaced by solvents obtained from petroleum or coaltar stocks.Also see wood turpentine.

Turret Step

A stone step,triangular in section, which forms,with other turret steps,a spiral or solid newel stair.Turret steps are tapered and have shaped ends which,laid upon each other,constitute the central column or solid newel.

Turret, Tourelle

A diminutive tower,characteristically corbeled from a corner.


Describing a building in which the characteristic feature is a row of turrets.


A tower of a fortification,placed at intervals in the walls of an ancient city or any other fortified enclosure.