Architectural and Engineering Glossary

Verge Course

See barge course.

Verge Fillet

A strip of wood nailed to the roof battens over a gable;covers the upper edges of the gable walls.

Verge Rafter

See barge couple,2.

Verge Tile

A tile at the edge of a roof, projecting over the gable;usually somewhat wider than the other tiles on the roof.


Same as bargeboard.


Ornamented by irregular winding,wandering,and wavy lines,as if caused by the movement of worms.

Vermiculated Mosaic

An ancient Roman mosaic of the most delicate and elaborate character;the Roman opus vermiculatum;the tesserae are arranged in curved,waving lines,as required by the shading of the design.

Vermiculated Work

1.A form of masonry surface,incised with wandering,discontinuous grooves resembling worm tracks.2.A type of ornamental work consisting of winding frets or knots in mosaic pavements,resembling the tracks of worms.

Vermiculite Concrete

Concrete in which the aggregate consists of exfoliated vermiculite.

Vermiculite Plaster

A plaster using very fine exfoliated vermiculite as the aggregate;used as a fire retardant covering on steel beams,concrete slabs,etc.

Vernacular Architecture

Architecture that makes use of common regional forms and materials at a particular place and time;sometimes includes strong ethnic influences of an immigrant population;usually modest,unassuming,and unpretentious,and often a mixture of traditional and more modern styles or a hybrid of several styles.Houses are often owner built by people familiar with local materials,regional climatic conditions,and local building customs and techniques,as described under folk architecture. 


An auxiliary scale sliding against and used in reading a primary scale;the total length of a given number of divisions on a vernier is equal to the total length of one more or one less than the same number of divisions on the primary scale;makes it possible to read a principal scale much closer than one division of that scale. 


The side wings of the stagehouse of an ancient Roman theater.


On drawings,abbr. for “vertical.”


1.Any upright member,as in a truss.2.The direction of gravity,at right angles to the horizon.

Vertical Angle

An angle in a vertical plane.

Vertical Bar

An upright muntin.

Vertical Blind

A blind,1,in a window,comprised of thin vertical slats that can be adjusted  to darken a room or block a view.

Vertical Bond

Same as stack bond.

Vertical Circle

A graduated disk mounted on an instrument in such a manner that the plane of its graduated surface can be placed in a vertical plane.

Vertical Curve

A smooth parabolic curve in the vertical plane used to connect two grades of different slope to avoid an abrupt transition in passing from one to the other.

Vertical Cut

Same as plumb cut.

Vertical Diaphragm

Same as shear wall.

Vertical Exit

Any path of travel such as a stair,ramp,escalator,or fire escape,serving as an exit from the floors above or below the street floor.

Vertical Fiber Brick

A type of paving brick which is cut with a wire in manufacture;laid with wirec cut side facing up.

Vertical Firing

In a furnace,burners (gas,oil,or pulverized-coal) which are arranged so that the fuel is discharged vertically either upward from burners below or downward from burners in the top.

Vertical Meeting Rail

See meeting stile.

Vertical Opening

An opening through a floor,roof,or other horizontal surface.

Vertical Pipe

Any pipe or fitting which makes an angle of 45or less with the vertical.

Vertical Plane

A plane at right angles to the horizontal plane and within which angles and distances are observed.

Vertical Pump

A long,slender multistage pump designed primarily to pump water from deep wells.

Vertical Riser Diagram

Same as riser diagram. 

Vertical Sash

Same as vertical sliding window. 

Vertical Saw

A saw which operates in a vertical plane.

Vertical Section

A drawing depicting a view that would be seen if a vertical plane were cut through the object observed.

Vertical Siding

A type of exterior wall cladding attached to the wall in a vertical orientation;most often consists of wide,upright boards that have a tongue along one vertical edge and a groove along the opposite edge;also see siding and tongue and groove joint.

Vertical Sliding Window

A window having one or more sashes which move only in the vertical direction;they are held in various open positions by means of friction or a ratchet device instead of being supported by sash balances or counterweights.

Vertical Slip Form

A form which is jacked vertically and continuously during the placing of concrete.

Vertical Spring-pivot Hinge

A spring hinge for a door which is mortised into the heel of the door;the door is fastened to the floor and door head with pivots.

Vertical Tiling

Tile which is hung vertically on the face of a wall;provides protection against moisture.

Vertical Transportation Services

Elevators,escalators,and other mechanical devices in a building for transporting people or goods from one level to another.

Vertical Tray Conveyors

A vertical conveying system which is capable of carrying trays or boxes.


See edge-grained.

Vertical-log Cabin

A log cabin whose exterior logs are oriented vertically rather than horizontally;this construction requires more time and greater skill than if the logs are oriented horizontally,as is usual.For an example of construction in which vertical logs are driven in the ground,see poteaux en terre;also see poteauxsur sole,a somewhat similar construction where the vertical logs rest on a wood foundation.

Vertical-plank Door

Same as battened door.

Vertical-vision-light Door

Same as narrow light door.

Vertically Pivoted Window, Reversible Window

A window having a sash (ventilator,2) which pivots (usually 360) about a vertical axis at or near its center;when opened,the outside glass surface is conveniently accessible for cleaning.

Very High Output Fluorescent Lamp

A rapid start fluorescent lamp designed to operate on higher current than a high output fluorescent lamp,providing a corresponding increase in light flux (lumens) per unit length of lamp.

Vesica Piscis

A long and sometimes pointed oval form;a mandorla.

Vest-pocket Park

A park which is built on a small plot of land.