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Glossary

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Access
An entryway or passageway into or between two rooms or buildings; in construction, an area where equipment may remain hidden when not in use but still easily attainable.

Accessibility
The property of being easily approachable.

Accordion Door
Doors that replicate the folding action of an accordion, usually placed on rollers which run on a track and are supported by carriers.

Acoustical Board
A board placed anywhere in the structure (typically the walls) made of any material, which reduces or stops the sound carried from one room to another.

Admixture
Any sort of substance that can be added to cement or concrete which will cause it to become stronger, more workable or more resistant to freezing. Common admixtures include plasticizers, antifreeze, and accelerators.

A/E
Stands for the person who is involved with architecture and engineering of a building (Architect/Engineer) and who is typically hired by the owner.

Air Changes per Hour (ACH)
The number of times per hour air fills the volume of a room.

Air Conditioner
A factory made unit constructed of an electric compressor/condenser and a cooling coil (evaporator). Many units also have a heating function

Air Conditioner – Window
An air conditioning system that can be put into a window opening and performs the same functions as a general air conditioner with the difference of being contained to the room.

Air Conditioning
The process of changing the temperature and humidity of air.  

Aluminum Window
The process of changing the temperature and humidity of air.

Anchor
1.The act of locking a stressed tendon so that it will retain its tension; the act of attaching units that have been pre-cast to the structure’s frame; the act of attaching structures to something solid to prevent movement from the foundation.
2. A device which bolts or fastens to the anchorage.
3. A design alternating dart-like tongues and egg-like ornaments found on the molding.

Anchorage
A device that anchors a tendon to the concrete member, building frame, foundation, or rock either during or after the concrete has set. Also referred to as a deadman.

Anchorage bolt
A bolt designed to protect a building from wind load by leaving the threaded part protruding from the structure.

Angle of Maximum Candela
The line withe the most luminous intensity given by the light fixture.

ANSI
American National Standards Institute: a private, non-profit organization which devotes itself to inspecting the development of technical standards.

Anti-corrosive Paints
Certain paints and coatings which help prevent deterioration especially of metal substrates.

Architectural Barrier
Any physical aspect of a building which prevents or limits accessibility or mobility.

Asbestos Shingles
A type of shingle which is chemically resistant to fire and non-combustible.

Asphalt Shingles
A type of shingle composed of asphalt and covered with mineral bits.

Auger
A drill which rotates horizontally and has a screw thread-type bit so that cuttings will be carried away from the face; also referred to as an “Earth Drill.”

Automatic Fixture Sensors
Motion sensors which may function through hard wiring or batteries and switch on or off any lavatory water fixture (sinks, urinals, toilets, etc).

Awning
A roof-like protection from sun and rain, often temporary or portable, which extends over any sort of opening in a building (door, window, etc).

Backfill
When material is removed during construction and a ditch or crevasse is left, dirt or some other substance replaces it.

Baseboard
A decorative component which runs horizontally where the wall meets the floor to hide the joint.

Baseline Building Performance
The energy cost of a building design determined annually and used as a basis for rating other buildings’ energy efficiency.

Basis of Design (BOD)
An assessment of all the design needs, system descriptions, environmental criteria, codes and regulations.

Batch
The quantity of a substance, usually concrete or mortar, that have been, or are capable of being, mixed at once.

Batten
Similar to a baseboard in that it is a thin strip of some substance used to cover joints. Battens, however, run vertically rather than horizontally.

Batten Boards
Boards paired off horizontally, nailed to wood slates and often used as a guidelines to create the outlines of a building.

Bearing Wall
A wall that sustains not only its own weight but also any vertical load as well.

Bench Mark
An established point of elevation which can determine other elevations.

Biomass
Plant material that can be changed so as to produce energy or electricity. Common substances are crops or trees.

Blackwater
Wastewater from toilets, urinals, sinks, showers and bathtubs is generally accepted as blackwater. There is not, however, one single definition for this leaving it up to the team to determine what will be considered as blackwater.

Blinds (Shutters)
Devices used to protect from the sun and give temporary insulation usually made out of slats of light wood.

BOCA
Building Officials’ Conference of America

Bond Breaker
A substance which prevents new concrete from adhering to substrates or old concrete.

Bow Roof
A roof using bowstring trusses.

Bow String Truss
A truss which has a curves at the top and meets at a chord at the bottom of each end secured by metal web members.

Breezeway
A open ended, covered passageway, going between two buildings.

Brick Veneer
An outer facing made of brick which covers a wooden frame.

Building Codes
Regulations which set minimum standards to protect property and public safety.

Building Official
An authority on building codes who has the power to enforce building codes..

Building Envelope
The basic structure of a building (i.e. the walls with window holes, floor and roof). 

Cage
A rigid reinforcement constructed of steel often placed in a concrete form.

Can
A furnishing for a fixture that has been recessed.

Canopy
Similar to an awning; a roof-like covering which can stand alone supported by posts or a wall and is used as a shelter.

Carpet Density
For the length of carpet, the number of pile tuft rows per inch.

Carpet Pitch
The width of the carpet calculated by the number of yarns across and expressed in yards per 27 inches.

Casement
A type of window that opens horizontally because of a sash and hinges on the side.

Casement Door (French Door)
A hinged glass door or pair of doors.

Casing
The frame enclosing a window or door.

Cast-in-Place
Unlike with “pre-cast,” concrete (or mortar) is placed directly where it is supposed to harden.

Caulking
The process of weather-proofing seams by filling them with material.

Ceiling
Interior finish of a roof.

Central Air Conditioner
An air conditioning system that serves the whole structure by being situated in a central location.

Central Heating
A heating system that warms the whole building by being situated in a central location

Ceramic Tile
A thin, flat, square of fired clay, used to cover walls, floors and/or counter tops.

Certificate of Occupancy
License to occupy a building, obtained after all inspections have been passed and construction is complete.

Chain-of-Custody
The process of tracking a wood product from the forest to a vendor and verifying that it meets all FSC guidelines. .

Chair Rail
A protection against chair backs placed on a wall made of plain or molded material.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
A protection against chair backs placed on a wall made of plain or molded material.

Cinder Block
A concrete block known as a CMU (Concrete Masonary Unit).

Clear Span
The distance, or clear and unobstructed opening, between two supports of a beam; always less than the effective span.

Cohesion of Soil
Soil particles that are attracted to each other resulting in a sticky material like clay.

Column
A (nearly) vertical compression component the height of which is greater than four times it’s width and the width of which is less than four times its thickness.

Column Footings
Concrete footings which carry the load of a column and support the superstructure of a building.

Comfort Criteria
Design conditions which take into account humidity, indoor and outdoor temperature, seasonal clothign and expected activity within the building.

Commissioning (Cx)
The method of proving that all systems in a building are fully operable and act in accordance with the project requiements.

Commissioning Plan
A document which states that the commissioning process has been completed and has been approved at all stages.

Commissioning Specification
A document that lays out all the details (scope, objective, etc) of the commissioning process).

Commissioning Team
The group of people responsible for carrying out the commissioning process.

Composite Wood
A product consisting of wood or plant particles or fibers bonded together by a synthetic resin or binder (i.e., plywood, particle-board, SOB, MDF, Composite door cores.) For the purposes of LEED requirements, products must comply with the following conditions:
1. The product is inside of the building’s waterproofing system.
2. Composite wood components used in assemblies are included (e.g., door cores, panel substrates, plywood sections of I-beams).

Concrete
A composite material that consists essentially of a binding medium within which are embedded particles or fragments of aggregate, Portland cement, and water. When set it attains hardness and strength similar to stone.

Conditioned Space
A room or area that has been served by an air conditioner.

Construction and Demolition (C&D) Debris
Construction or demolition waste and recyclables including land debris, vegetation and construction materials.

Construction IAQ Management Plan
A document specifying the process of minimizing contamination during the building process and clearing out contaminants after the building is complete.

Contaminant
A pollutant.

Contour Lines
Lines that, when drawn, show the elevation of an object above sea level.

Conventional Irrigation
The most common irrigation system that, by using pressure, distributes water through above ground sprinklers.

Cornice
An ornamental construction where the roof and the walls join; eaves

Corridor
A long hallway.

Cove
A concave joint between a ceiling and a sidewall.

Cove Base
A base built of either rubber, vinyl, or tiles in various shapes.

Crawl Space
The area between the ground and the the first floor of a building large enough for a person to maneuver.

Crown Molding
Molding placed at the wall and ceiling joint or under the roof overhang.


Dead Bolt Lock

A lock with no doorknob which can only be opened by a key or key and lever set.

Deed Restrictions
Development requirements which belong to the property owner.

Development Footprint
The area which has been heavily impacted by development activity.

Diffuse Reflection
Uniform light produced by reflecting light off of a surface.

D.I.G. Window
A window constructed of two sheets of glass and filled with an inert glass to provide extra insulation.

Distribution Box/Panel
An insulated box which connects all the main electric feed and branch lines

Direct Line of Sight to Perimeter Vision Glazing
A way of determining the area of a regularly occupied space (including the full height of partitions and installed furniture) with direct line of sight to perimeter vision glazing.

Double Hung Window
A vertically opening window with two movable sash sections.

Down Spout
A vertical pipe which drains water from the roof to the ground.

Drainage Easement
An area on which nothing may be constructed and may only be used to drain off fluids.

Drip Cap
A molding placed above a window or door on the exterior to keep water from dripping inside the structure.

Drip Irrigation
An energy efficient irrigation system which uses limited water pressure to distribute water into the soil through tubes and emitters.

Drop Ceiling
A secondary or false ceiling usually constructed as a T-Bar system.

Drywall
A gypsum wallboard which is added to a frame to create a solid wall.

Dual-Duct System
A heating/air-conditioning system which circulates air through two ducts, using one to return air and the other to continue supplying air.

Duct
1. In post-tensioning, a hole made to fit a tendon.
2. In a building, an insulated or metal pipe used to conduct air.

Earth Drill
See auger

Ecosystem
A combination of living and non-living organisms connected by certain physical processes.

Eaves
A bit of roof that projects over the sidewall.

Elephant Trunk
A chute used in concrete placement.

Embodied energy
The composite energy used to construct a complete building, including transportation, manufacturing and disposing.

Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs)
The process of installing or modifying systems to conserve energy costs.

ENERGY STAR®  Rating
The rating building earns by utilizing the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager which compares the buildings energy performance to buildings of a similar caliber. An average score is a score of 50.

Environmental Attributes of Green Power
Attributes which take into account the benefits of reducing emissions which result from using green power rather than conventional power.

Environmentally Preferable Products
Products which have been declared to be healthier for the environment compared to the conventional equivalent of that product.

Erosion Controls
Temporary prevention of environmental wear from construction sites.

Excavation
Any man-made cavity or depression in the earth’s surface; formed by earth removal.

Extra Light
An neon sign above a door signifying that it is an exit.

Fill
A substance (usually soil) used to elevate the grade.

Fire Door
A door that has been covered with a fire resistant material (usually metal).

Fireproofing
Any substance that increases a building’s resistance to fire.

Fire Wall
A fireproof wall used to prevent the spread of fire which extends all the way from the foundation to the roof.

Flame Spread Classification
A standard test rating of fire resistive and protective characteristics of a building material.

Flanking Window
A window which usually illuminates a hallway and is set beside an outside door.

Flat Roof
A roof which has the lowest slope possible.

Flexible Metal Roofing
Flat metal sheeting used as a roof covering.

Flood Plain
An area of land which usually floods during a rainy season.

Flooring Tiles
Concrete, linoleum, glass, cork, plastic or clay tiles set in some type of adhesive mortar.

Fluorescent Lighting
A light source in which light is produced by a mercury vapor arc between electrodes sealed into each end of a tube generating an ultra-violet radiation which is changed by phosphor coating in the tube into visible light.

Flush-Door
A non-paneled door with two flat surfaces and usually a hollow construction.

Flush Tank
A water tank that allows certain plumbing fixtures to flush.

Fly Ash
The solid remains of an incineration commonly used as a substitute for Portland cement in concrete.

Folding Doors
When two or more hinged panels can close an opening by straightening them.

Foot Candle (Ft-C)
An unit for measuring illumination created by a plumber’s candle from the distance of a foot.

Formaldehyde
An organic compound used as a preservative with highly toxic qualities when present in the air at levels above 0.1 parts per million. Common side effects cause eye watering, burning sensations in facial orifices, nausea, coughing, respiratory problems and general allergic reactions.

Formica
A hard, heat and chemical resistant counter top or wall covering made of laminated plastic.

Foundation Wall
A wall resting on the grade below the floor which supports the structure.

Foyer
A large open entry way leading into the remainder of the building.

Frost Line
The greatest depth, varying by location, at which ground - and materials in the ground - may freeze.

Ftg
Footing

Functional Performance Testing (FPT)
The method by which systems are determined to perform in accordance with the owners original specifications.

Gable Roof
A ridged roof that has two upward sloping edges creating a triangular shape above the eaves.

Gambrel Roof
A type of roof which has two slopes, the lower angle being steeper than the upper angle.

Glass (Obscure)
Glass that is translucent rather than transparent.

Glass (Wire)
Glass which has a wire mesh impacted in it to keep it from shattering.

Glazing
A transparent part of a wall, usually referring to glass, such as a window.

Glazing Factor
The ratio of interior luminance to the exterior luminance at a given location on the building plan.

Grab Bar
A short bar of metal or plastic attached to a wall in a bathroom near a toilet or shower.

Grade
The level of the ground at a building site.

Grade Beam
A horizontal beam that creates a foundation.

Gravel Roof
A waterproof, felt roof sealed with a layer of gravel to increase insulation.

Graywater (also spelled greywater and gray water)
Waste water from sinks, bathtubs/showers and laundry rooms, but not including water from kitchen appliances.

Greenhouse Gases
Gases which hold in lower-energy infrared radiation like formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and CFCs.

Grout
A construction mixture used to seal joints and fill crevasses.

Gutter
A shallow channel made of metal or wood which collects water from the roof and directs it to the ground.

Gypsum Plasterboard
See drywall

Halons
Fire suppressing substances commonly found in fire extinguishers and which have been known to penetrate the ozone layer.

Handicap Water Cooler
A water cooler which can be easily operated by those with handicaps or physical impairments.

Hardboard
A construction material created under pressure of wood fiber and a bonding agent.

Heat Island Effect
When temperatures raise in urban areas because of the solar energy kept in by certain structures (i.e. sidewalks, streets, parking lots, etc).

Heat Pump
A heat transfer system used to move heat in (by means of a condenser) or out (by means of an evaporator) of a space.

Heat Pump-Cooling and Heating
A system designed so that heated air may be recycled to warm cooler rooms or vice versa.

High Chair
A device that reinforces steel at the bottom of form work built in the shape of a chair.

High Pressure Sodium Lamp
A lamp that produces a wide spectrum of yellow light using sodium vapor and operating at a partial vapor pressure of 0.1 atmospheres.

Hip Roof
A type of roof that has sloped sides as well as edges.

Hollow-Core Door
AA cheap, light door made of plywood or hardwood glued to a frame.

Hollow Metal Door
A hollow-core door made of sheet metal.

Hooked Bar
A reinforcing bar which provides anchorage because of its hooked end.

Horizontal View at 42 Inches
The method by which the direct line of site to the perimeter vision glazing is determined to be available from a seated position and which includes the installed furniture.

HVAC Systems
Systems that control the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning in a building.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
Refrigerants that are less harmful than CFCs and are used in building equipment.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
Refrigerants used in building equipment which do not deplete the ozone layer but contribute to global warming.

Impervious Surfaces
Surfaces that easily allow precipitation runoff.

Incandescent Lighting
A light source consisting of a vacuum in a glass bulb and an electric current through a filament.

Indoor Adhesive, Sealant and/or Sealant Primer Product
A sealant applied to the inside of a structure’s weatherproofing system.

Indoor Air Quality
The overall quality of natural air in an area that affects the occupants.

Indoor Carpet Systems
Some form of carpet or carpet cushion installed on the interior of a buildings weatherproofing system.

Infiltration
Leaks in the ceilings, floors, or walls of a building that allow inward air leakage.

Inlaid Parquet
Flooring made of parquet and fixed in varying sizes to the floorboards.

Installation Inspection
The method of inspecting the varying pieces of the commissioned systems to determine if they are fully functional.

Interior Lighting Power Allowance
The maximum wattage of light power authorized for the interior of a building.

Invasive Plants
Native and non-native plant species which are adaptable and have a tendency to be extremely aggressive to the point of overrunning the habitat in which they grow.

Jalousies
Similar to a Venetian blind in that they are shutters with movable slats admitting light but excluding rain and sunlight.

Laminate Adhesive
An adhesive used on products like veneer panels or composite wood products.

Laminated Fiber Wallboard
Fiberboard, used for walls and ceilings, is made of thin layers of fibers that have been cemented together into a smooth service.

Laminated Wood
Wood made of layers which have been joined together with glue or fasteners.

Lap Siding (Clapboard)
Exterior siding for a building made of long thin boards with one edge thicker than they other lapped over each other.

Legal Description
A detailed description of a piece of property.

Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
An analysis of the whole life cycle of certain materials, technology or system activities.

Life Cycle Cost (LCC) Method
An evaluation of the entire costs of an investment from less resale value to maintenance and repairs of that investment.

Light Pollution
Light reflected off of building sites giving a glare, directed off the site toward the sky.

Lighting Outlet
A connection at which a light fixture may be attached to a branch circuit.

Load-Bearing Wall
Any wall that carries its own weight as well as the weight of an adjacent wall.

Local Zoning Requirements
Regulations imposed by the local government so that land development may proceed in an orderly fashion.

Lockset
A complete mechanical system including the lock, knobs, plates and protective equipment.

Louvered Blind
A shutter mechanism that easily adjusts the sunlight allowed to enter the window.


Main
Disconnect
A way in which all electricity is shut off from a building by means of a mechanical device.

Makeup Air
The volume of air from the outside required to replace exhaust.

Mansard
The upper sloped story of a Mansard Roof.

Mansard Roof
A type of hip roof, similar to a gambrel roof, with two slopes (the lower steeper than the upper) on each of the four sides.

Masonite
A brand name type of fiberboard used for a selection of uses such as insulation, paneling, roofing or siding.

Mast-Weather Head
An vertical raceway fitted with electrical feeder conductors extending above the roof on the exterior of a building.

Mating Beam
The beam on top of the mating wall for support of the roof system, or the beam in the floor system for mating of the two floors.

Mechanical Ventilation
Mechanically driven ventilation powered by such devices as fans and blowers, but not turbines or mechanically operated windows.

Metal Clad Fire Door
Similar to a fire door; a wooden (or some other heat insulating material) door protected with sheet metal.

Metal Gutters
A type of gutter made of metal rather than wood or plastic.

Metering Controls
A way of limiting the flow time of water in appliances such as lavatory faucets and showers which are manually turned on but automatically turned off.

Micro-irrigation
A low volume system of irrigation which uses small sprinklers, installed a few centimeters above ground, and drippers installed below grade.

Mixed-mode Ventilation
A way of ventilating a building by combining natural and mechanical ventilation.

Molding
An strip of ornamentation, usually made of wood, plaster or metal, placed to disguise joints and bases or as a trim around doors and windows.

Mono-Pitch Truss
A structural piece made of lumber made of two sloping pieces with a horizontal bottom cord and diagonal web members.

Mop Sink
A sink with a low, deep basin used by janitors.

Mortar
A binding agent made of cement, sand, lime, and water.

Narrow Light Door
A thin vertical window located near the lock on a door.

Native (Indigenous Plants)
Non invasive plants which have conformed to a certain area for a specified period of time.

Natural Ventilation
A way of ventilating a building through doors, windows or other planned openings in the building.

Net Metering
An electricity policy that allows private excess electricity to flow to the regional grid and receive credit.

Non-bearing Wall
A wall that carries only its own weight and serves as a separator between compartments.

Non-occupied Spaces
Any room that was built and not intended for general use by the occupants such as storage/ equipment rooms, closets and maintenance rooms.

Non-potable Water
Water which meets or exceeds EPA drinking standards making it unacceptable for human consumption.

Non-regularly Occupied Spaces
Rooms that an occupant does not occupy for a consistent and long duration such as hallways, break rooms, storage rooms, kitchens, restrooms, lobbies, etc.

Non-roof Impervious Surfaces
Any surface, excluding the roof, which has a perviousness less than 50% such as sidewalks, roads and parking lots.

Non-water-using Urinal
A urinal which, rather than using water, uses a layer of fluid that floats above the urine to keep away unpleasant or harmful odors.

Nylon Fiber
A thermoplastic fiber constructed with air, water and a coal tar base.

Odd-Pitch Roof
A roof with a very low slope.

Off-gassing
The slow release of VOCs from both natural and synthetic products.

On-site Wastewater Treatment
The use of local treatment systems to treat wastewater generated from the site.

Open Space Area
An area defined by local zoning requirements, typically referred to as the vegetated and pervious property area excluding the development footprint (non-vehicular and pedestrian centered hardscapes).

Open-grid Pavement
An area of pavement which contains open cells for vegetation and is less than 50% impervious such as a parking lot.

Operable Window
A window that is designed to serve ventilation needs and is not used solely for light.

OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or Act, depending on its usage)

Outdoor Air
Air from the exterior that enters the building by means of ventilation either intentional or unintentional.

Outdoor Lighting Zone Definitions
Certain defining attributes of a site which describe the basic environment and context for the lighting criteria, developed by IDA for the Model Lighting Ordinance.

Overhang
The area of a roof that comes out beyond the plane of the wall.

Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR)
A plan or explanation of all the ideas, concepts, expectations, and criteria that the owner deems to be vital to the success of the project.

Packaged Air Conditioner
An air conditioning unit that, once received from the factory, can be directly installed in a window, wall or roof and serve either a single room, zone or numerous zones.

Panel Box
A box located on the wall all electrical service passes through to and from the building.

Paneled Door
A door that has indented or raised panels; also a “colonial door.”

Panic Hardware
Locking hardware for a door which quickly releases when pressure is applied.

Parabolic Reflector
A reflector that creates a controlled beam of light.

Parapet
A protective low wall which extends above the roofline and runs along the edge of the roof.

Particle Board
A type of board constructed of wood particles and bound together by a synthetic resin.

Partitions
Generally non-load bearing walls on the interior of a building which define distinct spaces.

Peaked Roof
A roof with sloping sides that come together at a ridge or point.

Pent Roof
A type of roof with only one slope; also called a shed roof.

Percentage Improvement
The energy costs savings defined as a percentage derived from the Proposed Building Performance and the Baseline Building Performance.

Perfa-Tape
Two inch wide paper tape with a perforated joint used to cover the joints on drywall.

Permits
Various types of government approval needed for construction.

Perviousness
The quality the surface of an area has that admits moisture measured as a percentage.

Pier
A masonry construction designed to support a load.

Pile Height
The distance from the top surface of the backing in a rug to the to the top of the pile.

Pitched Roof
The average form of roof with vertical to horizontal slopes of more than 2 in 12; also called a lean-to roof.

Plenum
A chamber in an air conditioning unit which distributes air through the ducts.

Plot Plan
A site plan; a drawing which displays the locations of various structures and lanscaping on a site.

Plywood
A man-made wood product made of multiple layers of veneer and glue joined with piles at right angles.

Post-Consumer
Household or commercial waste that cannot be recycled.

Potable Water
Water supplied by wells or municipal water systems that has been deemed drinkable.

Pre-consumer Content
Material that has been set aside during the construction process and can be recycled.

Pre-Hung Door
A finished and packaged door that comes with a frame.

R-Value
A measure of a materials’ capability of insulating; the greater the ability to retard heat, the higher the R-value.

Raised Roof
An abrupt increase in the height of a roof.

Rapidly Renewable Materials
Sustainable vegetation or animal material which is grown or raised in a maximum of 10 years.

Receptacle Load
All equipment that requires electricity to operate.

Ready-Mixed Concrete
Unhardened concrete that is manufactured to remain in such a state until delivered to a site.

Recessed Lighting Fixture
Lighting fixtures that are installed directly into the ceiling so as not to protrude below the ceiling line.

Recirculated Air
Recycled air that has gone out of the space and reused.

Recycling
The method by which materials (solid waste) is collected, reconstructed and used again.

Refrigerants
Fluids used in refrigeration cycles used to take in heat at low temperatures and reject it at higher temperatures.

Regionally Extracted Materials
Raw materials obtained within a 500-mile radius of the project site.

Regionally Manufactured Materials
For LEED for New Construction purposes must be assembled as a finished product within a 500-mile radius of the project site. Assembly, as used for this LEED definition, does not include on-site assembly, erection or installation of finished components, as in structural steel, miscellaneous iron or systems furniture.

Register
A mechanism used to control and direct airflow found at the end of a duct.

Regularly Occupied Spaces
Areas in a building that are consistently occupied by a worker such as offices, cubicles, living/family rooms, etc.

Relative Humidity
The ration of the amount of water in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount of water it could hold at the same temperature.

Remediation
The act of riding a site of contaminants, typically applied to soil and/or groundwater.

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Some of the environmental characteristics of green power separate from the electrons which constitute electricity.

Return Air
Air that is being stored so it can be recirculated through a space or exhausted.

Return Air Duct
Air ducts which direct cold/return air back to the heating/cooling unit.

Reuse
The method by which materials can be employed a second or third time.

Ribbon Footing (Grade Beam/Strip Footing)
A narrow concrete band which walls on which walls may be built.

Ridge
The point at which the sloped edges of a roof come together.

Ridge Cap
A strip of roofing or metal that runs along the length of the ridge and folds over the two sides; typically used to finish a gable roof.

Ridge Vent
A metal or plastic device placed at the ridge of a roof system that allows ventilation.

Risk Management
The method by which potential harm from contaminants or other physical attributes is calculated and then prevented.

Roofing tiles
Roof coverings usually made of concrete, clay, cement or steel; the tiles often come in one of three forms: shingle-lap tiles, plain tiles, or Italian/Spanish tiling.

Roof Pitch
The angle of a roof typically expressed in units of rise to 12 units of horizontal run.

Roof Ventilation
The method by which ventilation occurs through the roof (gable, ridge or soffit vents).

Room Air Conditioner
See “air conditioner - window”; may also be installed in a wall.

Safety Glass
When multiple sheets of glass are layered with transparent plastic and bound together by heat and pressure.

Salvaged Materials
Materials taken from a construction site that can be reused.

Sash
The frame of a door or window that holds the glass in place.

Sealant
Any adhesive material that fills and seals a joint or gap; a primer or caulk.

Sedimentation
Substances (usually soils) added to water by either human activity or natural processes which lower the quality of the water.

Service Box
The metal box in a building which sends electricity throughout the building.

Service (Entrance) Equipment
A collection of switches, fuses, breakers or switch-like devices which distribute power to various branch circuits; also a distribution panel or panel board.

Service Panel
See “service box.”

Shake
A wood shingle that has been hand split.

Shared (Group) Multi-occupant Spaces
Areas such as conference rooms, classrooms, training rooms, etc.

Shed Roof
See “pitched roof.”

Shingle
A wedge-shaped piece of wood, asphalt, asbestos, tile or slate used as a roof or wall covering.

Shingle Tile
A flat roofing tile made of clay.

Shop Sink
A deep low sink used for cleaning tools/supplies; see also “mop sink”

Shower Stall
A small compartment used for bathing.

Side Light
See “flanking window.”

Siding
An exterior finish made of any material.

Siding Shingles
An exterior finish made of shingles. .

Single-Pitch Roof
See “pitched roof.”

Sink
A basin with a faucet attached so as water may pass through.

Site Assessment
An analysis of all of the geological and hydraulic characteristics of a site in order that it may be determined if release has occurred and to what degree it has occurred.

Skirt Board (Skirting)
An extension of the wall that goes from the bottom of the floor to ground level.

Sliding Slash
Any horizontally operating window.

Solid Core Door
A flush, usually fire resistant door with a solid core which can be coated with metal.

Soffit Vent
A punctured material placed on the sidewall and tail of the truss to allow ventilation.

Solid Glass Door
A door in which is made entirely of glass and provides all structural strength.

Sonotube (trade name)
A pre-formed, paper laminated circular casing used to make columns, piers or stems.

Sound Rated Door
A door rated in terms of STC (sound transmission class) that is more sound proof than a normal door.

Special-Purpose Outlet
The point at which a certain piece of equipment connects to an electrical system; also called a dedicated circuit..

Sprinkler System
A system which releases water (automatically in case of fire) through sprinkler heads.

Square Footage
The total area in square feet in a building, including all rooms, stairwells, hallways, etc.

Stable Door (Dutch Door)
A door divided in two equal parts horizontally.

Stain
A coloring agent.

Standing Seam
The most watertight type of roofing seam that should not be used on a roof with a slope less than 3” drop in a 12” run.

Storm Window
A window placed on the exterior to protect against inclement weather.

Stormwater Run-off
Wastewater created from rain and snow and are carried into receiving waters and leave the boundaries of the site.

Strip Lighting
A line of lights mounted in front of a reflecting hood in a trough.

Stucco
A combination of Portland cement, sand, lime and water used as a siding.

Supply Air
Outdoor, transfer or recirculate air directed into a space by means of mechanical or natural ventilation.

Suspended Ceiling
A ceiling hung from the bottom of trusses and supported by a T-grid, usually patterned with 2’x4’ drywall or mineral board ceiling tiles.

Sustainable Forestry
A method of managing the forest so that human needs are met but the forest still has maximum growth.

Switch Pate
A smooth cover for an electric switch.

System Performance Testing
The method by which all systems are determined to be operable and perform in accordance with the owner’s project requirements, basis of design, and construction documents.

T1-11
The registered trade name of the American Plywood Association type of siding panels

Thermal Comfort
A comfortable environment experienced in the mind by occupants of a building.

Tinted Glass
Glass constructed to lower the transmission of solar heat and visible light.

Tipping Fees
The fees for removing waste volumes.

Toilet Partition
One of the sides of a toilet stall.

Tongue and Groove
Typically a wood sheeting that, on one edge, has a cut out and, on the other edge has a projection that corresponds to the cut out.

Top Hung Window
A window that is hinged at the top; an awning style

Transverse
With respect to the long axis of a building, the lines which lie at right angles.

Undercut Doors
Doors which do not touch the floor completely to give more ventilation.


Veneered Wall

A thick sheet of wood which provides ornamentation, protection or insulation.

Venetian blind
A way of shading windows through horizontal slats supported by vertical strips of webbing.

Ventilation
The method of supplying enough air to a space to create thermal comfort.

Verification
An assessment of all components and systems to make sure they operate in accordance with all contract documents.

Vertical Siding
A type of exterior siding that runs vertically on the building.

Vertical Sliding Window
A window that operates vertically..

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Organic carbon compounds that have specific vapor pressures and can be harmful to human health.

Wall-Hung Water Closet
A water closet mounted in such a way as to facilitate cleaning.

Wallpaper
A plain or designed paper used for interior decoration.

Water Closet
A toilet; a room with plumbing fixtures designed to dispose of human waste.

Wood Molding
See “molding.”




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