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Table of Contents
                            Book Cover
Half-Title
Dedication
Title
Copyright
Contents
Contributors
Preface to the fourth edition
Abbrevations
Note on typography
The Dictionary
                        
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DICTIONARY

OF

ARCHITECTURAL

AND

BUILDING

TECHNOLOGY

Fourth edition

The Dictionary of Architectural and
Building Technology is a compre-
hensive summary of vocabulary used
across the building industry, from
the preparation of the brief through
architectural and technical design and
documentation, to construction tech-
nology and facilities management.

This fourth edition has added 1750
new or substantially revised entries,
and over 330 of the existing entries
have been updated. There are 70 addi-
tional illustrations. The terms have
been assembled and cross-referenced
by specialists from a range of discip-
lines with considerable international
experience. SI metric and Imperial
units are included, and line drawings
enhance the explanations.

This impressively comprehensive
work will enable students and profes-
sionals coming from technical, man-
agement and professional fields to

grasp vocabulary from outside their
areas as they contribute towards the
built environment.

Henry J. Cowan is Professor
Emeritus of Architectural Science
in the University of Sydney. He is a
Past-President of the Building Science
Forum of Australia, an Honorary Fel-
low of the Royal Australian Institute
of Architects, a Corresponding Mem-
ber of the Accademia Pontaniana, and
an Officer of the Order of Australia.
He is the author of 23 other books and
numerous articles.

Peter R. Smith is a member of the
Faculty of Architecture at the Univer-
sity of Sydney and a Fellow of the
Royal Australian Institute of Archi-
tects. He has contributed as co-author
or chapter author to a dozen books on
building science subjects.

Page 176

be recoverable over a period of time (see
CREEP).
inert gases HELIUM, NEON, ARGON
and krypton, which do not react with
other substances. Gases such as CARBON
DIOXIDE and NITROGEN are also considered
inert under some circumstances, as they
do not support combustion.
inert pigment A pigment which does not
undergo chemical change.
inertia The tendency of a mass to resist
any change in its state of rest or motion.
inertia, moment of See MOMENT OF
INERTIA.
in�ltration of air The uncontrolled inflow
of air, through openings in the building
envelope caused by the dynamic pressure
of the wind and the buoyant pressure of
indoor–outdoor temperature differences;
opposite of exfiltration.
in�nite series A regular arrangement of
mathematical terms which can be con-
tinued indefinitely. It may be CONVERGENT
or non-convergent.
inflammable Same as FLAMMABLE, not
the opposite. The word has been replaced
by flammable in technical use to avoid
confusion.
in�atable gasket See GASKET.
inflatable structure See PNEUMATIC
STRUCTURE.
inflection, inflexion Same as CONTRA-
FLEXURE.
influence line A diagram showing the
effect of moving a load along a beam
(frame, arch, etc.). Thus an influence line
for bending moment shows the variation
of bending moment at one point of the
beam as the load (usually a concentrated
unit load) is moved along the beam; by
contrast, the bending moment diagram
shows the variation of bending moment
along the beam due to one combination of
loads.
information Processed data in a mean-
ingful form.
information technology A general
term describing all areas of information
processing using computers and tele-
communications.
infrared radiant heating Heating, for
human comfort or industrial processes, by
exposure to infrared radiation generated

by the elevated surface temperature of an
emitter.
infrared radiation Radiation with wave-
lengths too long to be perceived by the
human eye (that is, longer than 770nm)
and less than 1000µm. Typical radiation
from surfaces near room temperature is
infrared radiation in the 9–10µm region.
infrasound An acoustic oscillation where
the frequency is below the lower audible
limit of 16Hz.
ingle-nook A corner by an open fire,
usually with a built-in seat.
ingot A mass of metal cast into a mould.
It is the raw material for rolling and
forging.
inhibiting pigment A pigment which
prevents corrosion of a metal surface. See
also PRIMER.
initial �ux See INITIAL LUMENS.
initial lumens The luminous flux emitted
by a lamp when new or, in the case
of discharge lamps, after about 100
hours’ operation (when the lamps have
stabilised). Also called initial flux.
initial prestress The force applied to the
concrete by a TENDON at the time of the
prestressing operation, before the LOSS
OF PRESTRESS.
initial set Measured by the VICAT TEST.
initial stress See INITIAL PRESTRESS.
initial time delay gap The time between
when a sound first reaches a receiving
position in an auditorium and when
the first reflection of the same sound
reaches the same position. It is considered
by some to be a useful indicator of the
acoustics of an auditorium.
initialising (computing) Preparing a DISK
or other storage medium to receive data,
and creating a directory so that the data
can be accessed. Initialising does not
completely erase the disk, but it removes
the information that enables any existing
data to be accessed.
injection moulding The moulding of
liquid plastics, liquid metal or other
material by injection into a mould.
inkjet printer Computer output device
in which tiny drops of ink (black and
coloured) are deposited onto the paper to
form a printed page or image.
inlay Forming a pattern or decoration
in a wooden surface by inserting pieces

161 inlay

Page 177

of various materials including WOOD
VENEER, metals, ivory, etc. See also
MARQUETRY.
inlet guide vane control Control of the
air handling capacity of a fan by adjust-
ment of the alignment of INLET GUIDE
VANES.
inlet guide vanes Guide vanes installed
in the air stream at the inlet to a fan for
the purpose of modifying the angle of
approach of air to the impeller.
inorganic fibreboard Board made from
inorganic fibres, such as fibreglass.
input In computing, information or data
entered into a computer, using a keyboard,
tape or graphic device.
input/output device A device for
entering INPUT into a computer and/or
receiving OUTPUT from it. In early com-
puters, a teletypewriter often performed
both functions, but now devices like
keyboards and printers perform them
separately.
insertion loss The difference in sound
level at a receiver caused by the insertion
of a device such as a duct silencer, barrier,
wall, etc. between the source and receiver.
insolation The rate at which energy from
the sun reaches the Earth’s surface.
inspection station, lift car top See
CAR TOP INSPECTION STATION.
instantaneous reclosing A term com-
monly applied to reclosing of an electric
circuit breaker as quickly as possible after
interrupting a fault current. Typical times
are 18–30 cycles.
instantaneous water heater A non-
storage water heating device. When water
flow is detected, an electric element in the
water stream, or a gas flame around a coil
of piping, is activated to heat the water as
it is needed. The control of temperature
depends to some extent on the flow rate.
institutional building Building such as
a hospital, school, prison, etc., occupied
by a population which is neither an owner
or renter (as in a house or office), nor
‘general public’ (as in a shop). Fittings
and finishes in institutional buildings are
often subject to more severe wear and
tear.
insula In Ancient Rome, an apartment
building occupying an entire city block.
insulating board FIBREBOARD of a density

not exceeding 400kg/m3 (25lb/ft3), specif-
ically designed to give good thermal
insulation. See also ACOUSTIC BOARD.
insulating glass Two or more panes of
glass that enclose hermetically sealed air
spaces.
insulation (a) The prevention of the flow
of an electric current, or the reduction
of the flow of heat or passage of sound.
(b) The material used to achieve
insulation.
insulation, sound See SOUND INSULATION
and DISCONTINUOUS CONSTRUCTION.
insulation, thermal See THERMAL INSULA-
TION.
insulator A material that is a poor con-
ductor of electricity, sound or heat.
intaglio Originally a design INCISEd or
carved into a material, as opposed to a
design carved in RELIEF; now also used for
a shallow design pressed into a surface.
integer A whole number, which may
be positive, negative or zero. The term
excludes fractions and imaginary num-
bers. In computing, an integer differs from
a FLOATING-POINT or REAL NUMBER in the
way it is stored.
integral number Same as INTEGER.
integral waterproofing Waterproofing
concrete by an admixture to the cement or
the mixing water, as opposed to using
a SURFACE WATERPROOFER subsequently.
It should be pointed out, however, that
carefully placed concrete is often as
waterproof as concrete with an admixture.
integrated building design A design
procedure for a building which allows
integration of input from specialist
advisers to optimise performance of the
whole building. For example, the lighting
designer may select a high performance
system at higher cost which will be offset
by lower cost for a smaller refrigeration
system and also a reduction in overall
energy consumption.
integrated ceiling A ceiling in which the
LUMINAIREs and the air conditioning ducts
are integrated so that the air is exhausted
through the light fittings and cools the
lamps.
integrated circuit An imprint of a large
number of electronic circuits, etched on to
a single piece of semiconductor material,
such as a silicon CHIP.

inlet guide vane control 162

Page 352

STRESS. It shows up as a horizontal line
on a STRESS–STRAIN DIAGRAM. Only a
few materials (including structural steel)
exhibit a marked yield point which
delineates the boundary between the
elastic and plastic state. For other mater-
ials the transition from elastic to plastic
behaviour is gradual, and a PROOF STRESS
is defined as an artificial boundary. Also
called yield point.
yield-line theory A theory for the ULTI-
MATE STRENGTH of reinforced concrete
slabs, proposed by the Danish engineer
K. W. Johansen in 1943. It is based on
the observation that concrete slabs fail
following the formation of a number
of large cracks, just sufficient to turn
the statically indeterminate slab into a
MECHANISM. Their failing loads can there-
fore be derived from considerations
of LIMIT DESIGN.
YMCK Abbreviation for Yellow,
Magenta, Cyan, blacK. See CMYK.
Young’s modulus Same as MODULUS
OF ELASTICITY.

Z

Z Symbol for the SECTION MODULUS in
the UK and Australia. (The symbol S is
used in the USA).
zenith The highest point in the sky,
immediately overhead at the time of an
observation. Its altitude is 90°.
zenith angle The angular distance of
a point of the sky (e.g. of the sun) from
the vertical, from the zenith; it is the
supplementary angle of the ALTITUDE
angle.
zeolites Alumino-silicates of light metals
used in WATER SOFTENERs.
zero energy band The part of the control
cycle of some air conditioning systems
when neither supplementary heating nor
cooling is provided because the indoor
temperature falls within a range or band
considered acceptable. An energy con-
servation measure. Also called dead
band.
zero energy band control Control of the
operation of refrigeration and heating

plant so that neither operates when the
controlled room temperature is within an
acceptable band; also known as dead band
control.
zinc A white metallic element, which is
highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion,
and is consequently used to protect steel
by GALVANISING or SHERARDISING. It is
one of the constituents of BRASS. Its
chemical symbol is Zn, its atomic number
is 30, its valency is 2, its atomic weight is
65.38, its specific gravity is 7.14, and its
melting point is 419°C.
zinc coating See GALVANISING.
zinc plating Applying a protective layer
of zinc to steel items by electroplating.
The zinc layer is thinner (and therefore
less effective) than GALVANISING, but the
finish is smoother, and it does not interfere
with the fit of nuts and bolts as galvanising
does.
zinc white Zinc oxide (ZnO), a perma-
nent, non-poisonous white pigment. Also
called Chinese white.
zinc-rich primer PRIMER consisting
of paint rich in colloidal zinc, which
provides GALVANIC PROTECTION against
corrosion of steel.
Zincalume Trade name for a protective
treatment on steel sheet, similar to GAL-
VANISING, but using an alloy of zinc and
aluminium instead of zinc alone.
Zn Chemical symbol for zinc.
zonal flux The luminous flux emitted
through zones of either constant solid
angles (Russell angles) or plane angles,
used in the calculation of UTILISATION
FACTORs for the LUMEN METHOD.
zone (a) A number of floors, usually
adjacent, in a building served by a GROUP,
or groups, of LIFTs. (b) A defined separate
part of an air conditioned space that is
subject to heat gains or losses of different
magnitude from those occurring at the
same time in other parts of the space, not
necessarily defined by physical bound-
aries. It is usual to arrange the control
system to control conditions separately in
each zone. See also ZONING.
zone of protection In a LIGHTNING
PROTECTION SYSTEM, the space considered
to be protected from a lightning strike.
zoning The allocation of land use by a
statutory authority for planning purposes.

337 zoning

Page 353

zoom In computer graphics, a facility
for increasing or decreasing the size of an
image without rede�ning the parameters
of the elements. Carried out by either
specifying the zoom factor or by de�ning
the area to occupy the screen.

Z-section A metal section shaped like the
letter z.
Z-tie A Z-shaped WALL TIE.

zoom 338

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