Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Temporary Shoring Shoring

installed during construction,to support a member or a portion of the structure;removed prior to the completion of construction.

Temporary Stress

In a precast concrete member or in a component thereof,a stress which may occur during fabrication,erection,construction,or test loading.


Same as screen,3.


Occupation by one with less than a fee interest in property,e.g.,a tenancy for life,or a tenancy for a term of years.The latter type of tenancy usually is created by lease.

Tenancy In Common

Ownership of property by two or more persons,each of whom may freely transfer his interest; the death of one tenant does not transfer his rights to the other or others.


A person or firm using a building,or part of a building,as a lessee or owner occupant.

Tenant’s Improvement

Improvements on real property made by a tenant at his own expense.Unless otherwise agreed,they become part of the property and may not be removed by the tenant at the end of his term.


A proposal or bid for a contract to perform work,often on a form,completed by a contractor,giving estimated price and time to complete a contract.


In prestressed concrete,a steel element such as a wire,cable,bar,rod,or strand used to impart prestress to the concrete when the element is placed under tension.

Tendon Profile

In prestressed concrete,the trajectory of a prestressing tendon.


A building having multiple housing units for rent;often,ill-maintained,overcrowded units that may barely meet minimum code requirements for safety and sanitation;usually built many years earlier and found in poorer sections of a city.


See taenia.


The projecting end of a piece of wood,or other material,which is reduced in cross section,so that it may be inserted in a corresponding cavity (mortise) in another piece in order to form a secure joint.Also see mortise and tenon joint.

Tenon Saw

A saw having a metal strip along the back to stiffen it;has many small teeth;used for fine,accurate sawing,as in forming tenons,dovetails,and miters.Also called a miter saw.

Tenon-and-slot Mortise

A wood joint formed by a tenon and a slot mortise,usually at right angles to each other.

Tensile Modulus

The ratio of the tensile stress to the tensile strain over the range for which this ratio is constant.

Tensile Strain

The elongation of a material which is subject to tension.

Tensile Strength

The resistance of a material to rupture when subject to tension;the maximum tensile stress which the material can sustain.

Tensile Stress

The stress per square unit area of the original cross section of a material which resists its elongation.

Tensile-frame Construction

See bent-frame construction.


The state or condition of being pulled or stretched.

Tension Bar

A metal bar by means of which a tensile strain is applied or resisted.

Tension Failure

See primary tension failure.

Tension Member

A structural member subjected to tension;a tie.

Tension Pile

Same as anchor pile.

Tension Reinforcement

Reinforcement designed to carry tensile stresses such as those in the bottom of a simple beam.

Tension Ring

A circular structural element intended to resist the outward thrust of a dome. 

Tension Rod

A rod in a truss or structure which connects opposite parts and prevents them from spreading.

Tension Wood

Abnormal wood found on the upper side of hardwood branches and leaning trunks;characterized by abnormally high longitudinal shrinking,causing warping and splitting.

Tent Ceiling

See comb ceiling.


Same as tipi.


In ancient Roman baths,a room of moderately warm temperature.


On drawings,abbr.for terrazzo.


Same as terminal figure.


1.An electrically conductive element,attached to the end of a conductor or piece of equipment for connection to an external conductor.2.The ornamental finish,decorative element,or termination of an object,item of construction,or structural part.

Terminal Box

On a piece of electric equipment (such as a motor),a box within which the leads from the piece of equipment are connected to the leads supplying the equipment with power;usually provided with a removable cover plate for access.

Terminal Expense

An expense incurred in connection with the termination of a contract.

Terminal Figure,terminal Statue

A decorative figure in which a head,or a head and bust,or the human figure to the waist and including the arms,is incorporated with (as if it were springing out of) a pillar which serves as its pedestal.

Terminal Pedestal

A pedestal prepared for a bust,so that the two together comprise a terminal figure.

Terminal Reheat System

An air-conditioning system in which a reheat coil is provided for each individually controlled zone,regulating the temperature of the air being furnished.

Terminal Stopping Device

A limit switch for an elevator car.

Terminal Unit

In an air-conditioning system,a unit at the end of a branch duct through which air is transferred or delivered to the conditioned space.

Terminal Velocity

In an air-conditioning system,the average velocity of an airstream at the end of its throw;one of the indicators of drafty conditions and comfort level.

Terminal Window

In a church,a window that is at the end of an aisle or transept.

Terminated Stop,hospital Stop,sanitary Stop

 A stop,1 that terminates above the floor line and is closed with a 45or 90angle.

Terminating Enclosure

A type of enclosure (approved by the utility company) which is installed at the point of service for the load-end termination of the utility company’s service cables where they join the customer’s service entrance conductors;includes concrete subway-type pull boxes, manholes,wall-mounted pull boxes,and switchboard pull sections.

Terminating Facility

Any type of electrical terminating enclosure or transformer enclosure. 


An ornamental element which finishes off an architectural feature such as a dripstone.


A bust or figure of the upper part of the human body terminated in a plain block of rectangular form;a terminal figure.

Termite Shield

A shield of noncorroding metal or inorganic material,used as protection against the infiltration of termites in a building;so placed as to prevent their passage,usually as a projecting shield on a masonry foundation or pier (or under a wood sill or beam which it supports),or around pipes which enter the building.