Architectural and Engineering Glossary



1.Abbr. for volt.2.On drawings, abbr. for valve.3.On drawings, abbr. for “vacuum.”


sheeting Similar to corrugated sheeting but formed of a series of angled flat surfaces instead of curved surfaces.


Vertically perforated brick.


1.Descriptive of lettering,inscribed in stone,in which the cuts are acutely triangular.2.Any saw cut or cut in wood which is V-shaped.


See quirk 2.


A valley gutter.

V-joint, Vee-joint

A recessed masonry joint,formed in mortar by the use of a V-shaped metal tool.


A notch,in the shape of the letter V,cut into a log or timber near one of its ends;forms a rigid joint when mated with another appropriately notched log or timber in logcabin or log house construction.


A peaked roof,gable roof,or the like.

V-shaped Joint, V-joint, V-tooled Joint

1.A horizontal V-shaped mortar joint made with a steel jointing tool;very effective in resisting the penetration of rain.2.A joint formed by two adjacent wood boards,in the same plane,which have faces with chamfered edges.


A gouge with a V-shaped cutting edge;see also parting tool.

V-tooled Joint

See V-shaped joint.


 Abbr. for “vee one side.”


Symbol for “volt-ampere.”

Vacuum Breaker

 A backflow preventer which prevents a vacuum in a water supply system from causing backflow.

Vacuum Circuit Breaker

An electrical circuit breaker in which the contacts that perform switching and interrupting functions are enclosed in a vacuum.

Vacuum Concrete

Concrete from which water is extracted by a vacuum process before hardening occurs.

Vacuum Lifting

The lifting of an object, using  a vacuum as the method of attachment.

Vacuum Pump

A pump which produces a partial vacuum in an enclosed space; may be used to remove air or steam from a chamber or a system. 

Vacuum Relief Valve

An automatic valve that opens and closes a vent for relieving a vacuum within a hot water supply system.


The upper part of the pedestal of a terminus, from which the bust or figure seems to arise. valance 1.A frame at the top of a window to conceal the tops of decorative draperies. 2.The draperies themselves.

Valance Lighting, Pelmet Lighting

Lighting furnished by light sources that are concealed and shielded by a panel parallel to the wall at the top of a window;may provide lighting in the upward and/or downward direction.


The trough or gutter formed by the intersection of two inclined planes of a roof.

Valley Board

In roofing, the board, nailed to the valley rafter, on which the metal gutter lies. 

Valley Flashing

The sheet metal used to line the valley on a roof.

Valley Gutter

The open gutter in a valley; has sloping sides and is exposed to view.

Valley Jack

A rafter, shorter than the common rafters, one end of which is fixed to the ridge, and the other end to a valley rafter. 

Valley Rafter

In a roof framing system, the rafter in the line of the valley; connects the ridge to the wall plate along the meeting line of two inclined sides of a roof which are perpendicular to each other. 

Valley Roof

Any pitched roof that has one or more valleys.

Valley Shingle

A shingle laid next to a valley and especially cut so that the grain is parallel to the valley.

Valley Tile

A special roof tile, shaped and laid to form a valley.


In medieval fortifications, a defensive wall constructed of earth or stone; may be surmounted by a palisade.

Value Engineering

A discipline of engineering that studies the relative monetary values of various materials and construction techniques, including the initial cost,maintenance cost,energy usage cost, replacement cost, and life expectancy.


A device which regulates or closes off the flow of a fluid.

Valve Bag

A paper bag for cement, or the like, which is completely closed except for a self sealing paper valve through which the contents are introduced.

Valve Motor

In an air conditioning system, a pneumatic or electric device which is used to control a valve from a remote location.

Valve Seat

The stationary portion of a valve which, when in contact with the movable portion, stops flow completely.

Vamure, Vaimure, Vauntmure

1.In fortifications, a false wall; a work raised in front of the main wall. 2.The alure or walkway along ramparts behind the parapet.

Vanadium Steel

An alloy steel containing a small percentage of vanadium,which raises its elastic limit and ultimate strength.

Vandyke Brown, Cassel Brown

1.A very dark deep brown pigment; usually obtained from peat or lignite. 2.A synthetic pigment of similar color.


See weather vane.

Vane Ratio

The ratio of the depth of a vane, 2 to the minimum distance between adjacent vanes.

Vaneaxial Fan

1.A fan consisting of a disk type wheel within a cylinder, with a set of air guide vanes located either before or after the wheel; may be either belt driven or connected directly to a motor. 2.An axial flow fan which incorporates downstream guide vanes. It has a higher efficiency than any other type of axial flow fans.

Vaned Outlet

A register or grille which is equipped with vertical and horizontal adjustable vanes to regulate the direction of air flow.

Vanishing Point

In perspective,a point toward which a series of parallel lines seem to converge.


In a bathroom, a combination lavatory and base cabinet.


On drawings,abbr. for “vapor.”

Vapor Barrier

See vapor retarder.

Vapor Heating System

A steam heating system which operates at or near atmospheric pressure and returns the condensate to the boiler or receiver by gravity.

Vapor Lock

The formation of vapor in a pipe carrying liquids;prevents normal fluid flow.