Architectural and Engineering Glossary


Abbr.for wet bulb temperature.


Symbol for “butterfly (wafer) check valve.”


Abbr.for wood.


In the lumber industry,abbr.for “wider.”

Weak Axis

The minor principal axis of a cross section.

Weakened-plane Joint

Same as groove joint. 

Wearing Surface, Wearing Course

1.The top layer of surfacing which carries vehicular traffic.2.Same as topping.


That portion of a wood shingle that is exposed to the elements.

Weather Back

The application of weather proofing to the back (inner side) of a wall.

Weather Bar

See water bar.

Weather Barrier

On the outer surface of thermal insulation,any material which protects the insulation from weather damage,including solar radiation and atmospheric contamination.

Weather Check

Same as throat 2.

Weather Door

See storm door.

Weather Shingling

Shingles that are hung vertically on the face of a wall,usually attached by nailing;provides protection against the penetration of moisture through the wall.

Weather Slating, Weather Tiling

Slate or tile shingles that are hung on the face of a wall to prevent the penetration of rainwater.

Weather Strip

A strip of wood,metal,neoprene,or other material applied to an exterior door or window so as to cover or seal the joint made by it with the sill, casings,or threshold,in order to exclude rain,snow,cold air,etc.

Weather Struck Joint,weathered Joint

A horizontal masonry joint in which the mortar is sloped outward from the upper edge of the lower brick, so as to shed water readily;formed by pressing the mortar inward at the upper edge of the joint.

Weather Tiling, Tile Hanging

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

Weather Vane

A metal plate,often decorated,or in the shape of a figure or object,which rotates freely on a vertical spindle to indicate wind direction; usually located atop a spire or other elevated position on a building.


One of a number of horizontal boards commonly used as an exterior covering on timber framed buildings to provide weather protection;for example,used as exterior sheathing to protect the infilling between the structural timbers.The upper edges of weatherboards are commonly tapered to a thinner edge than the lower edge so they can be overlapped by the weather boards directly above them,or they have a rabbeted upper edge that fits under the overlapping board above,to shed water.Also see clapboards,which served the same purpose but were usually not as thick as weatherboards;also see siding.


1.A type of wood siding commonly used in the early US as an exterior covering on a building of frame construction;consists of boards,each of which has parallel faces and a rabbeted upper edge which fits under an overlapping board above.2.Same as clap board or siding.


A weathervane in the shape of a rooster.


1.Descriptive of a material or surface which has been exposed to the elements for a long period of time.2.Having an upper surface which is splayed so as to throw off water.

Weathered Joint

See weather struck joint.

Weathered Steel

A high strength steel whose own corrosion protects it from further corrosion. 

Weathered Stone

Stone that has been exposed to the elements over a long period of time,often resulting in changes in color or the development of a patina.


1.Changes in color,texture, strength,chemical composition,or other properties of a natural or artificial material due to the action of the weather.2.See sill offset.3.The cover applied to a part of a structure to enable it to shed rainwater.

Weatherseal Channel

Of a door,a top closing channel which is set in mastic with its flanges downward.


Sealed against the intrusion of rain,snow,cold air,etc.

Weave Bead

A weld bead which is made with oscillations along the bead which are transverse to the length of the bead.


In shingled roofing,where two adjoining surfaces meet,the alternate lapping of shingles on opposite faces.

West End

The end of a church that is opposite the sanctuary;usually where the main doors are located;so called because medieval churches almost invariably had their sanctuaries at the east end.

West Front

The end wall of a medieval church,usually opposite the sanctuary,and  usually where the main doors are located.

Western Framing

A system of framing a building of wood construction in which all studs are only one story in height;the floor joists for each story rest on the top plates,2of the story below,except for the first story,which rests on the groundsill.The bearing walls and partitions rest on the subfloor(i.e., on the rough floor that serves as a base for the finish floor). Same as plat form framing;compare with balloon framing.

Western Hemlock

A straight grained,moderately low density softwood of the western US;white to yellowish brown in color and not as strong as Douglas fir;used for general construction and plywood.

Western Larch

A moderately strong,heavy softwood of the western US with coarse textured reddish brown wood;used in general building construction,as timbers and flooring.