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Glossary

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Abutment
That part of a structure that bears the weight or pressure of an arch or bridge.
Accelerated Curing
Speeding up the "setting" process for concrete, usually through the use of additives or applying heat.
Accelerator
An additive used to speed up the curing (or setting) of concrete.
Access Balcony
Balcony intended to give access to a number of separate dwellings or other units of accommodation.
Access Cover
Plate that is hinged or can be removed to allow access to a pipe fitting, service duct or vessel.
Accessibility
Ability of a space to be entered with ease.
Access to the work
The right of the contractor to ingress and engress, and to occupy the work site as required to reasonably perform the work described in the contract documents.
Acidity
Capacity of aqueous media to react with hydroxyl ions.
Actual cost
The cost actually incurred by the contractor in the performance of the work. This includes, labour, material, actual ownership cost of equipment or invoiced rental rates and administrative overheads.
Additive
Material added in small quantities to a liquid or granular material to produce a desired modification to its properties.
Adhension
State in which two surfaces are held together by surface bonds.
Adhesive
Non-metallic substance capable of joining mateial by surface bonds.
Admixture
Material added in small quantities during a mixing process to modify the properties of a mixture.
Aeration
Introduction of air or oxygen.
Affidavit
A written or printed decleration or statemnet of facts, made voluntarily, and confirmed by the oath or affirmation of the party making it, taken before a person having authority to administer such oath or affirmation.
A-Frame Construction
Framed construction of triangular cross-section, with legs joined at the top and braced horizontally further down, similar to a letter "A". Used for simple one and two storey buildings.
Aggregate
Material such as sand, gravel or stone when added to cement forms concrete.
Air Conditioning
Treatment of the air that allows the temperature, humidity, purity and distribution within an enclosed space to be adjusted mechanically.
Alarm Diagram
Diagram that in a simplified way shows the design of an alarm installation.
Alkalinity
Capacity of aqueous media to react with hydrogen ions.
Allotment
A parcel of land or space described in a land title.
Allowances
Allowances shall cover the cost to the contractor of materials and equipment delivered to the site and all required taxes, less applicable trade discounts. Contractors cost for unloading and handling at the site, labour, installation costs, overhead, profit and other expenses contemplated for stated allowance amounts shall be included in the contract sum and not in the allowances.
Alteration
Changing or modifying the character or condition of a building, plant or civil engineering works.
Angle
Rolled steel section with a cross-section resembling the letter L.
Ant Caps
A metal plate placed on the top of brick piers to prevent any termite activity from attacking the timber structure.
Anti-Corrosive Paint
Metal paint that is chemically designed to prevent corrosion.
Apartment
A suite of rooms, usually let as a dwelling; a dwelling unit.
Appraisal
A valuation for a property performed by a qualified person. The appraisal upon completion will be issued in the form of a written report.
Apprentice
A person, usually a young individual, wanting to learn a trade.
Apron
In architecture: the part of a wall below a window opening.
Apron Flashing
The piece of flashing is placed between the roof and chimney which is then used to prevent the penetration of water.
Aqueduct
Conduit for conveying water over long distances, and including the supporting structure.
Arbitration
The process by which parties agree to submit their disputes to the determination of a third, impartial party (referred to as the arbitrator), rather than pursuing their claims before a judge and jury in a court of law. This method of avoiding litigation can save both time and money.
Arch
Curved structural member designed to carry loads between points of support.
Architect
A professional, educated in the designs of buildings and advises on their construction.
Architectural Drawing
A drawing, illustrating the appearance of arrangements, assemblies, component ranges and details of a construction project.
Architrave
A timber frame fixed to the wall around a door or window.
Asbestos
A fibrous silicate material, widely used for its chemical properties. Formerly used for its noncombustible, non-conducting and heat resitant properties, but no longer used as it causes Asbestosis (lung disease).
Asbestos Cement
See Cement Asbestos
Asbestos-Containing Material
Any material containing more than one percent asbestos.
Asbestos-Free Materials
Joint treatment products that have no asbestos fiber.
Asbestosis
A lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos particles.
Asbestos Program Manager
An individual who supervises all aspects of asbestos management and control program.
Asbestos Removal
A qualified and experienced tradesperson is required for the removal and disposal of hazardous asbestos.
Asbestos Vacuum
A filtered/vacuum device, dependant on the use of strong air suction to collect asbestos (after being wetted) and store into specially made bags.
Asphalt
A brownish-black substance, occuring naturally among oil-bearing rocks obtained as a by-product of petroleum distillation.
Assembly Plan
Drawing that shows how and in which order parts or building components shall be assembled.
Associate Architect
An architect who has an arrangement with another architect to collaborate in the performance of services for a project or series of projects.
Astragal
A flxible strip used to maintian the position of downpipes.
Attached Pier
Integral part of a wall,in the form of thickened sections placed at intervals along the wall.
Attic
Room mainly contained within a pitched roof.
Authority Having Jurisdiction
A public authority that has legal jurisdiction to enforce enacted codes or regulations over portions or all of a project.
Awning
A sheet of extendable canvas, a plastic or metal supported by a frame to give shelter over a window, doorway, or other area.
Awning Window
A window hinged at the top.

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