Architectural and Engineering Glossary



1.Abbr. for watt.2.On drawings, abbr. for “west.”3.On drawings, abbr. for “width.”


Abbr.for water closet.


On drawings, abbr. for “with.”


On drawings,abbr.for “without.”


Abbr. for “wiring around frame.”


 A rigid building board made of wood chips bonded together with an adhesive resin.

Waffle Slab

A concrete slab which is reinforced by ribs in two directions, forming a waffle like pattern.

Wagner Fineness

The fineness of a material, as determined by the Wagner turbidimeter apparatus and procedure; for a material such as portland cement, expressed as the total surface area in square centimeters per gram.

Wagon Ceiling

A ceiling of semicylindrical shape, as a barrel vault.

Wagon Drill

An assembly for positioning and handling a pneumatic drill; consists of a mast with a carrier for the drill and a wheeled carriage for moving and positioning the unit.

Wagon Shed, Wagon House

A structure, separate from a main building such as a  church, once used as a temporary shelter for horse drawn wagons before the use of automobiles; usually had at least one open side so that the wagons could be driven directly into the shed without having to open doors.

Wagon Stage

A stage mounted on wheels or rollers, usually powered; moves horizontally for the quick change of an entire theatrical setting.

Wagon Vault

A semicylindrical vault; a barrel vault.


Having a continuous round arched vault or ceiling, as in barrel vaulting.


See parting slip.


A decorative or protective facing,such as wood paneling, that is applied to the lower portion of an interior partition or wall. Also see falling wainscot.

Wainscot Cap

The molding which finishes the upper edge of a wainscot.

Wainscot Oak

Quartersawn oak, often specially selected, used in wainscoting.


The narrowest thickness of the slab in concrete stairs.

Waiver Of Lien

An instrument by which a person or organization who has or may have a right of mechanic’s lien against the property of another relinquishes such right.Also see mechanic’s lien and release of lien.

Wale, Waler, Whaler

A horizontal timber or beam used to brace or support an upright mem- ber, as sheeting, formwork for concrete, etc. 


A pedestrian path or passageway.


To imbed panels of insulation in hot bitumen or adhesive by walking on them immediately after application.

Walk-in Box

A refrigerated cooler or freezer large enough for one or more persons to enter. walking beam pivot A type of retractable center pivot.

Walk-out Basement

Same as American basement.


1.An apartment building or commercial building without an elevator. 2.An apartment or office above the entry floor in such a building.


A passageway along the wall of a castle; usually behind the parapet of the curtain wall, 2.

Walking Line, Line Of Travel

The usual path taken in climbing stairs,approximately 18 in. (46 cm) from the center line of the handrail.


1.A passage or lane designated for pedestrian traffic, connecting various parts of an industrial plant or along roofing. 2.A garden footpath.


1.A structure which serves to enclose or subdivide a building, usually presenting a continuous surface except where penetrated by doors, windows, and the like. 2.A rampart.3.A retaining wall.For specific types, see battered wall, bearing wall, blank wall, blind wall, boarded wall, board wall, breakaway wall, cavity wall, common wall, composite wall, counterwall, curtain wall, dead wall, dry wall, dry stacked surface bonded wall, fire wall, gable end wall, hollow wall, load bearing wall, masonry bonded hollow wall, mud wall, non load bearing wall, partition, party wall, retaining wall, serpentine wall, spandrel wall, springing wall, street wall, structural wall, sustaining wall, veneered wall.

Wall Anchor

A wrought iron clamp, often decorative,on the exterior side of a brick building wall that is connected to the opposite wall by a tie rod to prevent the walls from spreading apart; same as anchor, 10.

Wall Arcade

A blind arcade used as an ornamental dressing to a wall.

Wall Beam

A metal member which acts as a beam anchor.

Wall Bed, Recess Bed

A bed which folds and stands vertically when not in use, usually swung into a closet or recess; esp. used in apartment houses.

Wall Box, Beam Box, Wall Frame

1.A frame or box which is set into a brick, masonry,or stone wall to receive a timber beam or joist. 2.In electrical wiring,a metal box which is set in a wall for switches, receptacles, etc.

Wall Bracket

1.A bracket which is fixed to a wall and used to support a structural member.2.A bracket used to support a scaffold. 3.A bracket used to support piping,an electrical component, or a lighting fixture.

Wall Cladding

A nonstructural material used as the exterior covering for the walls of a building; see cladding.

Wall Clamp

A brace or tie to hold together two walls, or the two parts of a double wall.

Wall Cleanout

A cleanout,1 mounted on a wall;used where a drainage line is concealed behind a partition;a removable panel provides access to the cleanout.

Wall Clip

A bracket that is used to anchor a wall.

Wall Column

A column which is embedded, or partially embedded,in a wall.

Wall Covering

Any material or assembly which is used as a wall facing and is not an integral part of the wall.

Wall Crane

A crane having a horizontal arm (with or without a trolley); supported from a sidewall or line of columns of a building; has a maximum swing of a half circle.

Wall Dormer

A dormer whose face is integral with the face of the wall below,breaking the line at the cornice of a building.

Wall Flange

Same as wall clip.

Wall Form

A concrete form which is erected to provide the necessary shape, support, and finish for a concrete wall.

Wall Furnace

A self contained,vented furnace, complete with air grilles, which is permanently attached to a wall; furnishes heated air directly to the surrounding space, either by gravity or by a mechanical blower.

Wall Furring

Strips of wood or metal, masonry tiles, etc.,applied to the rough surface of a wall so as to provide a flat plane upon which a surface material, or assembly, such as lath and plaster,wood paneling, wainscoting, etc., may be installed. Also see furring.

Wall Gable

A portion of a wall that projects above the roof line in the form of a gable.

Wall Garden

A garden of plants set in the joints of a stone wall, where soil pockets have previously been arranged.