We are growing every minute, with each passing day. We are becoming more global. People are interacting beyond the cultural, linguistic and virtual boundaries. With increasing interaction there’s a need for a common base to get a meaning & clarity out of things.
This has become relevant in every field & profession. Architecture, in recent years has flourished tremendously and just like any other profession has its own language.
There are certain things that we don’t learn even while we are pursuing a degree course in it. They are gained with years of experience and facing real time industry problems.
There are specific terminologies used by architects on construction sites. From tools to office there’s a special lofty term that are highly used in the field and you will feel left out if you aren’t familiar with those terms.
A Glossary of Common Architectural Terms
To bring you out of that confusion, I have prepared a comprehensive list of 25 conceptual terms that every architect should know.
- Architect of Record
An architect of record is generally used to refer to a firm or an architect engineer who will be responsible for the construction of the project.
Companies have to attain a permit by providing all the relevant details of the project like project maps and drawings, building specification from the regulatory authority of the land where the construction will take place.
This permit contains the name of the firm and architect that will be responsible for the construction
Building information modelling or BIM is an intelligent digital representation of the infrastructure.
BIM is currently a star player of the architectural designing industry. This 3D model helps the professionals to produce error free results. It also provides support to engineers & architects creating efficient plan, design and construction strategy.
Some people consider that BIM just involve geometrical concepts however it is much more beyond than that. It covers “spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components” (Eastman, 2009)
Architects always carry a thin sheet along with them to make a quick sketch of the building or any detail and this thin sheet is called bumwad.
- Concrete Slab
Concrete slab is one of the essential elements used to provide a structure. They are generally created to provide flat surfaces like floors, ceilings, roof decks etc.
Cladding refers to the application of one material over another to add an extra layer of coating to the building. It can be of any material like stone, metal or wood used to give a waterproof layer to the building. This technique is done to prevent leaking in the structure of the building
- Cross Bracing
In architectural domain, cross bracing is referred to the technical process in which diagonal support intersect to increase the building standing capacity.
The process is important to make buildings earthquake resistant and to make them stand strong for a long period of time.
- Damp Proofing
It is generally a moisture control material used to resist the water passage while creating building structures. It is applied on walls and floors of the building to prevent moisture from entering the interior space.
Easements is the right to use else’s land for a specific purpose. It can be any general area. Easements expire with certain period of time. With the easement, you give permission to someone else to travel through your property without disturbing your ownership to reach other locations.
The opening in the structure of building is referred as fenestration like doors and windows. The terms are used for anything that allows a passage to move inside and outside. It is generally an umbrella term, used for construction and presence of opening in the building.
These are decorative elements built mainly over roof, dome, apex or in corner of any building to increase the emphasize on the structure. A finial is also known as hip-knob because of its pinnacle structure.
Juncture refer to a place in the structure where two different building materials intersect and amalgamate with each other. An incorrect or missed out juncture can result in leakage, thus demands extra attention.
Joists are horizontal structural elements, laid in parallel manner in the structural foundation of the building or between walls and beam to provide support to floor and ceiling.
Joists are also connected to other supporting structures using traditional joints or they may be fixed by using hangers in the wall to reduce noise transmission.
In design and architectural field, juxtaposition means smarty placing two objects with different nature in close proximity. This technique is used since the British period to give dramatic, stunning and inspiring effect to the building structures.
- Lead Holder
A lead holder, similar to mechanical pencil is a drawing tool used by architects and engineers to create lines. Different types of leads are available to make different kinds of lines.
- Lean Construction
Lean construction is a way of constructing architectural structures with the aim of minimum time, cost and wastage of material. Lean construction ensures that project is done quickly with maximum results and minimum cost. Lean construction increases the productivity in construction field.
- Lift Slab Construction
Also known as Youtz-Slick method, lift slab construction is a method in which a slab is created at first and then a structure is lifted. Concrete slabs are created on the ground and lifted with hydraulic jacks to their desired position.
- Performance Gap
Performance gap is referred to the difference between the actual and anticipated results.
For example, you have decided to complete 3 design proposal by the end of the month but in reality, able to complete only 1, this difference is known as performance gap.
This happens due to various reasons like lack of monitoring, finance problems, environmental and climatic problems etc.
An element implemented on the roof to provide additional support to the structure is called Purlin. It works as an extra support mechanism and reduces the load on roof.
When we construct any portion of building above the ground level, it is often called as superstructure.
- Spatial organization
In architecture, it is essential to create a well organised composition of space. Spatial organisation is bringing different elements of different shapes and structure together to produce a cohesive structure.
There are various methods of doing spatial organization which include
- Centralized Organization
- Linear Organization
- Radial Organization
- Clustered Organization
- Sustainable/green building
With increasing climatic changes, there’s one thing that has become common in every field. The use of the term sustainable has grown recently in past years. A sustainable building is a structure created while keeping environmental factors in the mind. While constructing these buildings, Architects pay special emphasis that it does not harm environment on major level
The art and science which is implied between the construction of the building is called tectonics. It not only includes the science behind the construction of the activity but also include the artistic activity that professionals perform to give artistic look to the building.
- Thin shell structure
Thin-shell structures are concrete elements, constructed by planners to add modern day touch to the construction. These structures are typically built on roofs. The concrete cement and steel used in them is relatively less thus they offer an environment friendly option to cover larger roof areas.
- Trombe Wall
Developed by Felix Trombe, the wall is solar building design, constructed especially in cold countries. Trombe walls are designed to capture the heat from solar radiation to keep the building warm.
Last but not least, this architecture term is also known as underpinning which refers to making the foundation of the existing building strong. There can be various reasons due to which need to re strengthen can arise like, the foundation isn’t stable enough to stand, the usage of building has changed or the earthquakes or other unavoidable elements has moved the structure of the building.
So, these were some basic yet essential list of architecture terms that as an architect engineer you should definitely know. If you know any other term that you feel is equally essential do write us in comments.
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