Civil Engineering – Glossary

Words Starting With A

  • Abrasion:  The process of wearing away by friction.
  • Absorption: The process by which a liquid is drawn into and tends to fill permeable pores in a porous body, also the increase in weight of porous solid body resulting from the penetration of liquid into its permeable pores.
  • Abutment:  A concrete support wall constructed at both ends of a bridge or an arch, in order to resist the horizontal force from the bridge or the arch, support the ends of the bridge span and to prevent the bank from sliding under.
  • Accelerator:  A substance such as calcium chloride (CaCl2), added in small quantities (max. 0.03% of the cement) to plain concrete to hasten its hardening rate, its set or both.
  • Acquisition:  The process of obtaining Right-of-Way.
  • Active Earth Pressure:  The horizontal push from earth onto a wall.  The active earth force from sand on to a free retaining wall is equivalent to that from a fluid of density 0.25 to 0.30 times that of the sand.  The force from sand on to a fixed retaining wall is very much more.
  • Addendum OR Addenda:  Written instruments or documents issued prior to the execution of a contract to modify or revise the bidding documents.
  • Adhesion OR Bond:  The sticking together of structural parts by mechanical or chemical bonding using a cement or glue.
  • ADMIXTURES: A material other than water. Aggregates and hydraulic cement, used as an ingredient of concrete or mortar, and added to the batch immediately before or during its modify one or more of the properties of the concrete.
  • Air-Entrained Concrete:  A concrete used for constructing roads.  It has about 5% air and is therefore less dense than ordinary good concrete, but it has excellent freeze-thaw resistance.  The strength loss is roughly 5% for each 1% air entrained.  Air entrained concrete produced by adding an admixture to concrete or cement, which drags small bubbles of air (Smaller than 1 mm in diameter) into the concrete mix.  The bubbles increase the workability and allowing both sand and water contents to be reduced.
  • Air Brick: Ventilation built into brickwork to provide ventilation through the wall.
  • Alignment:  (1)  The fixing of points on the ground in the correct lines for setting out a road, railway, wall, transmission line, canal, etc.  (2)  A ground plan showing a route, as opposed to a profile or section, which shows levels and elevations.
  • Ant Capping: Termite barrier(Shield), Usually of galvanized iron,placed over piers and dwarf walls to control the entry of termites.
  • Anti-siphonage: The device to preserve the water sea; in traps by providing ventilation.
  • Appurtenance:  An item which belong with, or is designed to complement something else (For example, a manhole is a sewer appurtenance.)
  • Apron:  A floor constructed along the channel bottom to prevent scour.  Aprons are almost always extension of culverts.
  • Aquifer:  An underground source of water capable of supplying a well.
  • Arch: A structure of wedged shaped blocks, or square blocks with wedge shaped joints,over an opening so disposed as to hold together when supported from sides and capable of carrying a load over the open.
  • Arch Bar: A structural member or beam carrying loads over an opening.
  • Architrave: A moulded section covering joint between window and door frames and the wall lining.
  • Arithmetic Mean:  The average value which is defined as the sum of all of the observations divided by the number of observations.
  • Arris: A sharp corner formed by the joint of two surfaces along a length of timber or brick.
  • Artesion Well:  A spring which water flows naturally out of the earth’s surface due to pressure placed on the water by an impervious overburden and hydro-static head.
  • Arterial Highway:  A general term denoting a highway primarily for through traffic usually on a continuous route.
  • As-Built Drawings OR Record Drawings:  Construction drawings revised to show significant changes made during the construction process, usually based on marked-up prints, drawings and other data furnished by the contractor or the Engineer.
  • Asphalt: A natural or artificial mixture in which bitumen is associated with inert mineral matter.
  • Asphaltic Concrete Friction Course (ACFC):  A hot mixture of asphalt cement with an open-graded aggregate (20% to 25% air voids) of a maximum size of 3/8 inch used as a surface (Wearing) course.
  • Asphalt Rubber (AR):  A mixture of asphalt cement and rubber used as a crack sealent, binder, or membrane.
  • Asphaltic Concrete (Asphalt rubber):  A hot mixture of asphalt cement, rubber, fine and coarse aggregate and mineral admixture mixed together and placed as an asphaltic concrete pavement surface layer.  The advantages of this mix are:  It stops cracks from reflecting through pavement layers, reduce the riding tires noise and is a useful way to dispose of the used rubber tires.
  • Auxiliary Lane:  The portion of a roadway adjoining the traveled way for truck climbing, speed change or for other purposes supplementary to through traffic movement

Words Starting with B

  • Ballast: stone or gravel mixture of irregular unscrewed sizes which may also contain smaller material.
  • Backfill: To fill the earth, any remaining space after placing concrete, Brickwork, Timber, pipes etc. in excavation.
  • Back-Puttying: The application of glaziers putty under glass on which it is bedded.
  • Bagging: A masonry process in which thin mortar  is applied to the face of the work with some coarse material.
  • Bank:  A mass of soil rising above a digging level.
  • Bar: A metal member used to reinforce concrete.
  • Bar, deformed: A reinforcing bar with manufactured surface deformation which provide a locking anchorage with surrounding concrete.
  • Balcony: A horizontal projection ,including a hand rail or balustrade to serve as passage or sitting out place.
  • Baluster:  A small post used to support a hand rail.
  • Balustrade: A series of balusters supporting a hand rail.
  • Barge board: A board covering the roof timbers on the gable or skillion end of a roof, fixed parallel to the roof slope.
  • Basement or cellar: The lower storey of a building below or partly below ground level.
  • Base course: The part of the construction resting upon the sub-grade and through which the load is transmitted to the sub-grade or the supporting soil. A base course is the layer immediately under the wearing surface.
  • Baulk: A piece of sawn timber whose cross-sectional dimensions not less than 5 top and not exceeding 20 cm at the but tend.
  • Batt: Any portion of a full brick
  • Batter: The slope of a wall of buttress built at an inclination to the vertical plane.
  • Bay window: A window of varying shapes, projecting outward from the wall of a building, forming a recess in a room.
  • Barge board: In case of gable roof where there is no gable parapet and the roof projects beyond ythe gable the barge boards are planks running down from the edge  to the eves covering the outermost rafter.
  • Basin:  A receptacle for runoff (Storm) water.
  • Batter: A small inclination from the vertical
  • Bead: A moulding, generally of small size in cross section.
  • Beam filling: the filling of the gap between the ceiling level and the wall bearing level excluding portions occupied by beams, rafter etc.
  • Bed Blocks: A block bedded on a wall column or pier to distribute the pressure from concentrated load.
  • Bedding: A layer of concrete or other suitable material on the trench floor to provide continuous support to the pipes.
  • Bed joint: Horizontal joint in brickwork.
  • Benching: The sloped floor of a manhole or an inspection chamber on both sides and above the top of the channel.
  • Beam: A structural member usually made of still RCC, timber etc. used generally in the horizontal position to carry load.
  • Berm:  An artificial horizontal ledge in an earth bank or cutting to ensure the stability of a steep side slopes of roadbed (Shoulder).  Also berms are built to hold water on land that is to be flood irrigated.
  • Bearing:  (1)  The supporting section of a beam length or area.  (2)  The compressive stress between a beam and its support (bearing pressure), particularly on foundations.  (3)  The horizontal angle turned between a datum direction such as true north and a given line.
  • BENCH MARK:  A relatively fixed point whose elevation is known and used as a datum for leveling.
  • BENDING FORMULA :  Formula for beams of any homogeneous material. Moment (M)= Stress X Modulus of Section   or   (M)= Force X Arm
  • Bevel: An angle formed between two straight lines meeting at an angle other than 90 degree.
  • BIDDER:  Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, or combination thereof, submitting a proposal for the work contemplated, acting directly or through a duly authorized representative.
  • BINDER:  (1)  A material such as cement, tar, bitumen, gypsum plaster, lime, or similar material, when mixed with other material, it causes unifomity, consistency, solidification or cohesion.  (2)  The clay or silt in hoggin or the cement rock.  (3)  A stirrup or steel rod usually about 6 to 10 mm diameter used for holding together the main steel in a reinforced-concrete beam or column.
  • Bitumen: a non crystalline solid or viscous material having adhesive properties derived from petroleum either by natural or refinery process and substantially soluble in carbon disulphide.
  • Bitumen cutback: Bitumen which has been blended by volatile diluent.
  • Bitumen Emulsion : A liquid product in which a substantial amount of bitumen in a finely divided condition in an aqueous medium
  • Bituminous Seal Coat:  A thin bituminous application to a surface or wearing course to seal and waterproof small voids and to embed sand or chips to provide better traction.
  • BLEEDING or FLUSHING:  (1)  Separation of clear water from the cement paste of mortar or concrete.  Two types are known, the first beneficial, the second harmful to concrete strength, but they may co-exist.  The first occurs during compaction, water can flow out of concrete, lie on its surface, and thus encourage good curing for the first few hours during hot weather.  The second type of bleeding occurs after compaction, water segregates beside or under the steel or larger stones, weakening the bond between them and the body of the concrete.  A plasticizer should  enable the water to cement ratio to be lowered to reduce this type of bleeding.  (2)  Upward migration of bituminous material resulting in a film of asphalt on the surface.
  • BLEMISH:  Any imperfection which mars the appearance of wood, concrete, paint or other finished surface.
  • BLINDING:  Mat or mattress or sealing coat.  A layer of lean concrete usually 2 to 4 inches thick, put down on soil such as clay to seal it and provide a clean bed for reinforcement to be laid on.
  • BLOTTER: Absorbant material (i.g., sand) to dry freshly wet surfaces.
  • BORING:  A drilling into the earth to bring up samples of the soil.
  • BORROW:  Suitable material excavated from sources outside the roadway prism (i.g., Borrow Pit), to provide fill elsewhere, primarily for embankment.
  • BOULDER:  A rock which is too heavy to be lifted readily by hand.
  • BOULEVARD:  A wide city street usually planted with shade-trees (Landscaped).
  • Brick veneer: framed construction with an outside skin of brickwork tied to the frame.
  • BRIDGE:  A single or multiple span structure, including supports, erected over a depression or an obstruction such as water, a highway or railway and having a track or passageway for carrying traffic.
  • BRIDGE BEARING:  The support at the bridge pier or abutment, which carries the weight of a bridge.
  • BRIDGE DECK:  The load-bearing floor of a bridge, that carries and spreads the loads to the main beams. Bioated: swollen, as certain lightweight aggregate as a result of processing.
  • Bond: Arrangement of the bricks in successive courses to the brickwork together longitudinally and transversally, the arrangement is usually designed to ensure that no vertical joint of one courses exactly over the one in the next course above or below it, and there is the greatest possible amount of lap.
  • Bulking: Increase in the bulk volume of a quantity of sand in a moist condition over the volume of the same quantity dry or completely inundated.
  • Butt joint: joint in which two pieces of timber are joined end to end usually across the grain. Sometimes dowels are used in such a manner that half of the dowel is thrust in each piece.
  • Building Lime : A lime whose chemical and physical characteristics and methods of processing make it suitable for construction  purpose also known a construction lime.
  • BRIDGE LENGTH:  The greater dimension of a structure measured along the center of the roadway between backs of abutment backwalls or between ends of the bridge floor.
  • BRIDGE ROADWAY WIDTH:  The clear width of structure measured at right angles to the center of the roadway between the bottom of curbs or between the inner faces of parapet or railing.
  • BYPASS:  Road joining two parts of an older road to avoid a town or village.
  • Bulk density: The weight of a material (including sold particle and any contained water) per unit volume including voids.
  • Butteress : a vertical supporting member built on the exterior of a wall and property bonded to it to enable it to resist the outward thrust.

Words Starting with C

  1. Camber: The convexity given to the curved cross section of a carriage way, between the crown and the edge of the carriage way, it is the difference in level between the crown and the edge carrier way.
  2. Cantilever:  A beam which is securely supported at one end, and hangs freely at the other; an overhanging beam
  3. Cantilever Footing:  A combined footing that supports an exterior wall or exterior columns.
  4. Capillary Pressure OR Seepage Force:  In ground which is being drained from outside an excavation, capillary pressures help the excavated earth to stand steeply.  However, if the ground is being drained from inside and not from outside the excavation, the capillary pressures will help the earth face to collapse.
  5.  Capillary Water:  Water just above the water table which is drawn up out of an aquifer due to capillary action of the soil.
  6.  Carriageway:  The part of a highway which carrier vehicles.
  7.  Cassion:  A cylindrical or rectangular rigged-wall for keeping water or soft ground from flowing into an excavation while digging for foundations or piles.
  8.  Cast-In-Place or Cast-In-Situ:  Concrete deposited in its permanent place.
  9. Capping: The uppermost part on top of piece of work.
  10. Capping Brick: Bricks which are specially shaped for capping the exposed top of a wall.
  11. Cavity wall: a hollow wall, usually consisting of brick wall erected 40 to 50 mm apart and joined together with ties of metal.
  12. Caulking:  Using pressure gun for filling of a crack, crevice, seam or joint to make it air or water-tight.
  13. Cement:  A mixture of silicates and aluminates of calcium that when mixed with water it binds a stone-sand mixture into a strong concrete within a few days.
  14. Cement Mortar:  Mortar usually composed of four parts sand to one of cement, with a suitable amount of water.
  15. Centring : A temporary supporting structure to soffit.
  16. Cement Paste: A mixture of cement and water may be either hardened or unhardened.
  17. Channel:  A natural or artificial water course.
  18. Chainage:  A length (Usually 100 feet) measured by chain or steel tape.
  19. Change Order:  A written order issued by the Engineer to the Contractor, and signed by both, which set forth any necessary or desirable changes in the contract including, but not limited to, extra work, increases or decreases in contract quantities, the basis of payment, contract time adjustments and other additions or alteration to the contract.  A change order signed by the Contractor indicates his agreement therewith.
  20. Characteristic:  A measurable property of a material, product or item of construction.
  21. Chevron:  V shaped strips meeting at an angle.
  22. Chromating:  Priming with lead or zinc to prevent forming of rust.
  23. Chips: broken fragments of marble or other mineral aggregate screened to specified sizes.
  24. Chajja: a sloping or horizontal structure overhang usually provided over opening on external walls to provide protection from sun and rain.
  25. Check: a fine crack in timber members.
  26. Cleat:(1). A piece of timber fixed on principal rafter to secure the purlins. (2)A piece of wood used as a device to keep the door or window shutter in open position.
  27. Cinder: well burnt furnace residue which has been fused or sintered into lumps of varying sizes. The same material in a finely powdered form is found to possess some pozzolonic activity.
  28. Clay: An aggregate of microscopic and sub-microscopic particles derived from the chemical decomposition and disintegration of rock constitutes. It is plastic within a moderate to wide range of water content.
  29. Closer: Part of a brick or other masonry unit such as stone concrete either manufacturer or cut from a whole brick or other masonry unit used to maintain bond.
  30. Coarse aggregate: Aggregate most of which is retained on 4,76mm IS sieve and containing only so much of finer material as is permitted by the specification.
  31. Coping or weathering: The cover applied over or the geometrical form given to a part of structure to enable it to shed rain water.
  32. Corbel: A cantilever projecting from the face of wall to form a bearing.
  33. Cornice: Horizontal ornamental features projecting from the face of a wall.
  34. Course: A layer of bricks including bed mortar.
  35. Cobble: A rock fragment between 64 mm and 256 mm in diameter as applied to coarse aggregate for concrete, the material in the nominal size range 75 to 150 mm.
  36. Cold twisted Deformed Bar: A bar of steel produced by cold twisting a hot rolled bar and which has lugs, ribs or deformations on its surface in accordance with definitions for deformed bars.
  37. Consistency: The relative mobility or ability of freshly mixed concrete or mortar to flow, the usual measurements are slump for concrete and flow for mortar, cement paste or grout.
  38. Concrete Dense: Concrete containing a minimum of voids.
  39. Cohesion Of Soil:  The stickiness of clay or silt.  It is the shear strength of clay, which generally equals about half its unconfined compressive strength.
  40. Cohesive Soil:  A sticky soil like clay or clayey silt.
  41. Cohesionless Soil:  Sand, gravel and similar soils, also known as frictional soils since their properties are defined more by their angle of internal friction than by cohesion.
  42. Compaction:  Artificial increase of the dry density of a granular soil by mechanical means such as rolling the surface layers, or driving sand piles for deep compaction, vibroflotation, or impact methods.  There are many methods of compaction, six main types of compacting equipment are:  (1)  pneumatic-tyred rollers, in which the rear wheels cover the gaps left by the front wheels, (2)  tamping rollers, (3)  sheepsfoot rollers, (4)  vibrating rollers, (5)  frog rammers (trench compactors), and (6) vibrating plates.  The last two are used for confined spaces.
  43. Compound:  A homogeneous substance composed of two or more elements that can be decomposed by chemical changes only.
  44. Concrete:  A mixture of water, sand, stone, and a binder (Usually portland cement) which hardens to a stonelike mass.  There are four types of portland cement:

 Type I:  Normal portland cement:  This is a general-purpose cement used whenever sulfate hazards are absent and when the heat of hydration will not produce objectionable rises in temperature.  Typical uses are sidewalks, pavement, beams, columns and culverts.

 Type II:  Modified portland cement (Sulfate-resistant portland cement):  This type of cement is applicable when exposure to severe sulfate concentration is expected, generally used in hot weather in the construction of large concrete structures.  Its heat rate and total heat generation are lower than for normal portland cement.

Type III: High-early strength portland cement:  This type develops its strength quickly.  It is suitable for use when the structure must be put into early use or when long-term protection against cold temperatures is not feasible.  Its shrinkage rate, however, is higher than for types I and II, and extensive cracking may result.

 Type IV:  Low-heat portland cement:  For extensive concrete structures, such as gravity dams, low-heat cement is required to minimize the curing heat.  The ultimate strength also develops more slowly than for the other types.

  1. Conduit:  Any open channel, pipe, etc., for flowing fluid.  A pipe or tube in which smaller pipes, tubes, or electrical conductors are inserted or are to be inserted.
  2. ConsistencY Of Concrete:  Ease of flow or workability of concrete, measured by slump test or Kelly ball test.
  3. Consolidation:  The gradual, slow compression of a cohesive soil due to weight acting on it, which occurs as water, or water and air are driven out of the voids in the soil.  Consolidation only occurs with clays or other soils of low permeability, it is not the same as compaction, which is a mechanical, immediate process and only occurs in soils with at least some sand.
  4. Continuous Beam:  A beam extending over several spans in the same straight line.
  5. Continuous or Combined Footing:  A long footing supporting a continuous wall or two or more columns in a row.
  6. Contractor:  The person or persons, firm, partnership, corporation, or combination thereof, private or municipal, who have entered into a contract with the State (Client).
  7. Contract:  The written agreement between the State (Client) and the contractor setting forth the obligation of the parties thereunder, including, but not limited to, the performance of the work, the furnishing of labor, equipments and materials and the basis of payment.  The contract includes the Advertisement for Bids, Proposal, Bidding Schedule, Contract Agreement and Contract Bonds, Certificate of Insurance, Standard Specifications, Supplemental Specifications, Special Provisions, Project Plans, Standard Drawings and any Supplemental Agreements that are required to complete the construction of the work in an acceptable manner within a specified period, including authorized extensions thereof, all of which constitute one instrument.
  8. Contract Payment Bond:  The approved form of security, executed by the Contractor and his surety or sureties, guaranteeing complete performance of the contract and all supplemental agreements pertaining thereto and the payment of all legal debts pertaining to the construction of the project.
  9. Controlled concrete: The concrete in which the proportion of aggregates to cement and water are determined by preliminary tests of the materials to be used and the water-cement ratio for concrete of a specified strength is determined by prescribed method,  shall be classified as controlled concrete. The minimum quantity of cement to be used in controlled concrete for reinforced concrete work shall not less than 220 kg per cu.meter of concrete.
  10. Construction joint: The interface between adjacent concrete pours which are designed to act monolithically in the completed structure.
  11. Compaction: The densification of a soil by means of mechanical manipulation.
  12. Consolidation: The gradual reduction in volume of a soil mass resulting from an increase in and continued application of compressive stress and is due to the expulsion of water from the pores.
  13. Coping:  The cap or top course of a wall.
  14. Corrosion:  Disintegration or deterioration of metal, concrete or reinforcement by electrolysis or chemical attack.
  15. Contour line: A line drawn on a site plan joining points of the same elevation.
  16. Cordless drill: A portable drilling machine powered by rechargeable batteries.
  17. Countersink: A tapered recess, cut around a pilot hole for a screw, to receive the head of the screw.
  18. Corrugations:  Regular transverse undulation or alternate ridges upon a metal pipe surface to give greater rigidity to thin plates.
  19. Course:  The roadway horizontal pavement layer.
  20. Cramp: to compress edgewise the boards of a floor.
  21. Crazing: Fine cracks that ay occur on plastered or rendered surface.
  22. Cross brace: Any crosspiece which diverts, transmits or resists the pressure of a load.
  23. Criteria:  The Client’s requirements for the design and construction of a particular type of building, or structure.
  24. Critical:  (1)  Of, relating to, or being a turning point or specially important juncture.  (2)  Relating to or being a state in which a measurement or point at which some quality, property or phenomenon suffers a definite change.
  25. Cracking in Concrete:  Cracking is always expected in reinforced concrete, since it has such a high shrinkage on hardening.  Additional cracks will occur on the stretched side of a beam.  Reinforcement shall be inserted sufficient in quantity and closeness to make the cracks invisible to the naked eye and very close together.  Contraction and expansion joints are constructed to reduce cracking.
  26. Crack:  An open seam not necessarily extending through the body of a material.  Some types of cracks in asphaltic or portland cement concrete are:

(1) Alligator Crack:  A crack caused by fatigue of the asphaltic concrete surface layer or excessive movement of the underlying layers.  Typically alligator cracks form an interconnected network of irregularly shaped polygons varying in size from a few square inches to 1 square foot.

(2) Block Crack:  A crack caused by shrinkage of the bound surface material.  Typically block cracks form an interconnected network of nearly square shapes varying in size from 1 square foot to several square feet.

(3) Durability (D) Crack:  A series of closely-spaced cracks adjacent and roughly parallel to concrete pavement joints.  caused by the freezing and thawing of unsound aggregates that have a high moisture content.

(4) Random Crack:  A crack that is neither longitudinal or transverse crack and that has a little or no interconnection with other cracks.  May be caused by movement, either of the pavement structure or subgrade or both.

(5) Reflective Crack:  Crack in a pavement surface layer caused by the high stresses from movements of a cracked underlying layer.

(6) Transverse OR Temperature Crack:  A long crack approximately perpendicular to the centerline caused by longitudinal shortening of the bound surface layer, sometimes called temperature cracks as the shortening is often caused by contraction from temperature changes.  Typically transverse cracks extend across the full width of the pavement.

(7) Craze Crack:  Numerous fine cracks which appear on the surface of concrete in a hexagonal or octagonal pattern.  This type of crack is caused by improperly trowelled concrete surface.

  1. Creep: time dependent deformation due to load.
  2. Crown: The highest point of a curved road surface, commonly at or near the center. The level of crown is called road surface level.
  3. Cube strength: The load per unit area at which a standard cube fails when tested in a specific manner.
  4. Culvert:  A covered channel up to about 12 feet in width or a large pipe for carrying a watercourse below ground level, usually under a road or railway.
  5. Cupping: Distorting of wide boards showing curvature across the grain causing the broad surface to be concave.
  6. Curing: Treatment of concrete or cement rendering to facilitate hardening.
  7. Curing: Maintenance of moisture conditions to promote hydration of cement.

Words Starting with D

  • Dado:  Concrete barrier on the sides of bridge approach slab; the part of pedestal between cap and base.
  • Datum:  Any elevation taken as a reference point for leveling.
  • Deck:  (1)  A flat roof, a quay, jetty or bridge floor, generally a floor form with no roof over upon which concrete for a slab is placed.  (2)  Formwork for a level surfaces.
  • Deformed Bar:  A reinforcing bar with ridges to increase bonding between the reinforcing bar and concrete.
  • Density INDEX (relative density):   is a measure of the tendency or ability to compact soil during loading.  The density index is equal to 1 for a very dense soil; it is equal to 0 for a very loose soil.
  • Detour:  A temporary route for traffic around a closed portion of a road.
  • Deviation:  Difference between the value and the average of a set.
  • Damp-proof course: A layer of impervious material laid or inserted in a structure to arrest the permeation of dampness.
  • Deformation: change in shape.
  • Dead Load: A permanent, inert load on a building or other structure due to the weight of its structural members and the fixed loads they carry which impose definite stresses and strains upon the structure.
  • Diagonal Brace: An oblique framing member securing wall framing lateral in vertical position.
  • Diameter of a knot: The maximum distance between two points farthest apart on the periphery of a round knot, on the face of which it becomes visible. In the case of a spike or splay knot, the maximum width of the knot visible on the face on which it appears shall be taken as its diameter.
  • Dilution:  Reducing a concentration of soluble material by adding pure water.
  • Distillation:  Salt removal process from brackish or sea water by boiling and condensation.
  • Ditch:  Long narrow excavation for drainage, irrigation or burying underground pipelines.
  • Door head: The upper part of the frame of a door.
  • Door Jambs: The two vertical members of a door frame.
  • Down-pipe: pipe which collects rain water from the roof gutters or from both, and conveys it to drain sump or other point of discharge.
  • Dowel: A wood or metal pin used to strengthen a joint by its insertion partly into each of the joined pieces.
  • Drain: A line of pipes including all fittings and equipment such as manholes, inspection chambers, Traps gullies and floor traps used for the drainage of a building or a number of buildings or yards appurtenant to the buildings within the same curtilage. Drain shall also include open channels used for conveying surface water.
  • Dredge:  To dig or excavate under water.
  • Drop Connection: A branch drain of which the last length of piping of the incoming drain before connection to the sewer is vertical.
  • Drop Manhole: A manhole incorporating a vertical drop for the purpose of connecting a sewer or drain at high level to one at a lower level.
  • Dubbing Out : It shall mean filling in hollows in the surface of wall and roughly levelling up regular or out of plumb surfaces prior to rendering.
  • Duct:  A protective tube or a brick or concrete trench or corridor along which pipes or cables pass through the ground.
  • Dwarf wall: A brick wall from footing level or underside of floor framing.
  • Dyke:  (1)  A mound of earth along a river or channel bank to retain floodwater.  (2) large ditch. (3) A tabular-shaped igneous intrusion.

Words Starting With E

  • Easement:  The right to use or control the property of another for designated purposes.
  • Eave: The lower part of a roof that overhangs the wall.
  • Eccentric Load:  A load on a column applied at a point away from the column center and therefore putting a bending movement on the column equal in amount to the load multiplied by the arm.
  • Embankment:  A ridge of earth or rock placed, shaped and compacted to carry a road, railway, canal, etc., or to contain water.
  • Emulsion:  A mixture with water.  Asphalt emulsions are produced by adding a small amount of emulsifying soap to asphalt cement and water.  When the water evaporates, the asphalt sets.
  • Encroachment:  The use of the highway right-of-way for nonhighway structures or other purposes.
  • Eaves: The lower edge of the inclined roof.
  • Efflorescence: A powdery encrustment of salts left by evaporation. This may be visible on the surface or may be below surface. The later case this is termed as crypto-florescence.
  • Embankment: An earthwork raised above the natural ground by the deposition of material to support construction at a higher level.
  • Eminently Hydraulic lime: Lime containing some qualities of silica and alumina which are in chemical combination with some of the calcium oxide content. This gives a putty or mortar, which has the property of setting and hardening under water.
  • Even and Fair: The terms” even and fair” as referred to finishing of the final plastered surface, shall mean a surface finished with a wooden float.
  • Expanded metal: A metal network, often used as reinforcement in concrete construction, formed by suitably stamping or cutting sheet metal and stretching it to form open meshes, usually of diamond shape.
  • Expansion strip: A soft, resilient material used to fill the void provided for the expansion and contraction of any two adjacent substances.
  • Extrusion:  Forming rods, tubes, or sections of specified shape by pushing hot or cold metal or plastics through a shaped die to the required section.
  • Eye: A circular hole in the roof.

Words Starting with F

  • Fair face: A plain concrete finish better than that produced from rough formwork.
  • Fat lime: Connotes a pure non-hydraulic lime. It may be quick hydrated or putty form.
  • Factor of Safety:  The stress at which failure is expected, divided by the design stress (maximum permissible stress).
  • False work:  Support for concrete formwork or for an arch during construction.
  • Fascia: A board fixed horizontally to the lower ends of the rafters, to which guttering may be fixed. Also forms the outside board of a boxed eave.
  • Fatigue:  The lowering of the breaking-load of a member by repeated reversals of stress so that the member fails at a much lower stress than it can withstand under static loading.
  • Faulting:  The difference in elevation of two adjacent concrete slabs at a joint, primarily caused by the traffic-induced movement of base material particles from under one joint edge to under the adjacent joint edge.
  • Fill:  Earthwork in embankment or backfilling.
  • Fillet:  3 to 6 inches  wide shamfer for column to add beauty and strength by avoiding sharp angels.
  • FIllet Weld:  A weld of roughly triangular cross-section between two pieces at right angles.
  • Fine Aggregate: Aggregates most of which passes 4.75mm IS sieve and containing only so much coarse material as is permitted for various grading zones in the specification.
  • Fineness modulus: An empirical factor obtained by adding the total percentage of a sample of the aggregate retained on each of a specified series of sieves, and dividing the sum by 100.
  • Filler: a) finely divided inert material, such as pulverized lime stone, silica, or colloidal substances sometimes added to Portland cement paint or other materials to reduce shrinkage, improve workability or act as extender. b) Material used to fill an opening in a form.
  • Flaking:  Peeling off of the coating.
  • Flashing: A strip of impervious material used to prevent the ingress of water between two surfaces.
  • Flexible Pavement:  An asphaltic pavement structure having sufficiently low bending resistance to maintain intimate contact with the underlying structure, yet having the required stability furnished by aggregate interlock, internal friction between particles and cohesion to support traffic.
  • Flexure:  Word meaning bending.
  • Flume:  A wooden, steel or concrete open channel to carry or measure water flows.
  • Fly Ash: A finely divided residue that results from the combustion of ground or pulverized coal and is transported from boilers by flue gases and collected by cyclone separation.
  • Formation Level:  The surface level or elevation of the ground surface after all digging and filling, but before concreting.
  • Formwork:  The wood molds used to hold concrete during the placement and curing processes.
  • Failure:  Foundations of buildings can fail in one of two ways, first by differential settlement, secondly by shear failure of the soil.
  • Freeway:  A divided arterial highway with full control of access.
  • Frictional Soil:  A clean silt, sand or gravel that is a soil whose shearing strength is mainly decided by the friction between particles.  In Coulomb’s equation, sand shear strength is given by the statement S = P tan O, since sand has no cohesion.
  • Frontage Road:  A local street or road auxiliary to, and located on the side of an arterial highway for service to an abutting property and adjacent areas, and for control of access
  • Floating Coat: It shall mean the second coat used in a three coat work to bring the rendering coat to a true and even surface before the setting coat is applied.
  • Flat roof: A roof the pitch of which is 10 degree or less to the horizontal.
  • Form( Shutter): a) That part of a form work which consists of the sheeting and its immediate supporting or stiffening members.b) A temporary structure or mold for the support of concrete while it is setting and gaining sufficient strength to be self –supporting.
  • Formwork: complete system of temporary structure built to contain fresh concrete so as to form it to the required shape and dimensions and to support it until it hardens sufficiently to become self-supporting. form work includes the surface in contact with the concrete and all necessary supporting structure.
  • Formation: The surface of the ground in its final shape and level after completion of earth work.
  • Foundation: That part of the structure which is in direct contact with and transmitting loads to the ground.
  • Free moisture: moisture not retain or absorbed by aggregate.

Words Starting With G

  • Gable: The triangular upper part of a wall at the end of the ridge.
  • Gable Roof: A roof shape consisting of two sloping surfaces.
  • Gabiet : a small gable.
  • Girder:  A large beam, usually of steel or concrete.  Its chords are parallel or nearly so, unlike a truss. GORE:  The V (Triangular) shaped area immediately beyond the divergence of two roadways bounded by the edges of those roadways.
  • Granular:  Material that does not contain more than 35 percent of soil particles which will pass a No. 200 sieve.
  • Grading:  Shaping and leveling the ground surface, usually by earth-moving equipments such as graders.
  • Gravel: cohesion less aggregate of rounded, sub-rounded, angular, sub-angular, or flat fragments of more or less unaltered rocks or minerals, 90 percent of the particles of size greater than 2mm and less than 60 mm.
  • Granolithic Concrete: Concrete made with specially selected aggregate of high hardeners, surface texture and particle shape suitable for use as a wearing fish to floors.
  • Grillage: an assembling of timber or steel members placed parallel to each other under a sill to spread the load from sill.
  • Grooving:  The process of producing grooves in a concrete pavement surface to improve frictional characteristics
  • Grout or slurry: neat cement mixed with water to honey like consistency, it may include pigments if used for grouting joints of tiled floor. Sandstone dust or any other aggregate shall not be added .
  • Gunite, Shotcrete:  A cement-sand mortar, thrown on to formwork or walls or rock by a compressed-air ejector, which forms a very dense, high-strength concrete.  It is used for repairing concrete surfaces, making the circular walls of preload tanks, protecting wearing surfaces of coal bunkers; covering the walls of mine airways or water tunnels, stabilizing earth excavation slopes and so on.
  • Gulley:  (1)  A pit in the gutter by the side of a road.  It is covered with a grating.  (2)  A small grating and inlet to a drain to receive rainwater and wastewater from sinks, baths or basins
  • Gusset: A plate made of steel, timber, plywood or other material which is nailed or bolted over a member to form or strengthen a joint between them.

Words Starting With H

  • Hardwood: A conventional term used to denote the wood of broad- leaved trees. It has no relationship with the physical properties of hardness or strength.
  • Haunching: Concrete bedding with additional concrete at the side of the pipe.
  • Header: A brick laid its length across the wall.
  • Heave:  Upward movement of soil caused by expansion or displacement resulting from phenomena such as moisture absorption, removal of overburden, driving of piles, frost action, etc.
  • Hip : The outer angle (more than 180 degree) formed by the inclined ridge between two interesting roof slope.
  • Hipped roof: A roof with an end roughly pyramidial in shape, with surface sloping upwards from all three eaves.
  • Hoist: Any device or machine used in building for lifting materials.
  • Honeycombing:  Local voids or roughness of the face of a concrete structure, caused by the concrete having segregated so badly that there is very little sand to fill the gaps between the stones at this point.  Such concrete is weak and should be cut out in a rectangular or square shapes and rebuilt if the wall is heavily loaded.
  • Hydration:  The combination of water with any substance such as lime or minerals, which is responsible for the alteration of minerals in weathering; the formation of hydrated lime; the setting of cement and so on
  • Hydrated Lime: The lime containing small quantities of silica and alumina which are in chemical combination with some of the calcium oxide content giving a putty or mortar which has the property of setting and hardening under water.
  • Hydraulic hydrated lime: The dry product obtained by the hydration of hydraulic or semi-hydraulic lime in such a way as to permit the hydration of calcium oxide and magnesium oxide but leaving the hydraulic constituents unhydrated to enable the development of hydraulic properties.

Words Starting With I

  • Impervious:  Resistant to movement of water; a description of relatively waterproof soils such as clays through which water percolates at about one millionth of the speed with which it passes through gravel.
  • Inhernet Settlement:  The sinking of a foundation due only to the loads which it puts on the soil below it and not to the loads on any nearby foundations.  In city sites where the foundations are on clay, all foundations suffer both inherent and interference settlement.
  • Interference Settlement:  The sinking of a foundation due to loads on foundations near it and the natural extension of their settlement craters beyond their own boundaries.
  • Indenting: the leaving of recesses into which future can be bonded.
  • Invert: the lowest point of the interior of a sewer or drain at any cross-section. In a manhole chamber, the channel in the floor of the chamber which carries the flow of sewage through the manhole.
  • Isolated pier: A pier supporting floor framing at points not attached to dwarf walls.

Words Starting With J

  • Joint Sealent:  A material used as a filler in concrete pavement joints to prevent infiltration of water, soil and other fine particles.
  • Joist: A beam directly supporting floor, ceiling or roof of a structure.

Words Starting with K

  • Kankar: the impure earthly stone rich in concretions and nodules of calcium carbonate.
  • Keyway:  A recess or groove in one lift or placement of concrete which is filled with concrete of the next lift, giving shear strength to the joint, also called a key.
  • Kerb: An upstand. A raised edging to a pavement or path.
  • Kerfing: The process of cutting grooves of kerfs across
  • Knot: A branch base or limb embedded in the three or timber by natural growth.

Words Starting With L

  • Laitance:  A layer of weak and non-durable cement concrete caused by bleeding as a result of excessive vibration of concrete or over trowelling the mortar.  It is weaker than the rest of the concrete and should be cut away and covered with a pure cement wash before laying more concrete on it.
  • Landslip  OR Landslide:  A sliding down of the soil on a slope because of an increase of loading (Due to rain, new building, etc.), or a removal of support at the foot due to cutting a railway or road or canal.  Clays are particularly liable to slips.
  • Lacing: Horizontal or inclined members which hold together in position props or other vertical supports.
  • Lagging: Narrow timbers fixed to a shaped frame for forming curved surfaces.
  • Ledge:  A horizontal projection or cut forming a shelf, cliff or rock wall.
  • Lime: A general term which includes the various chemical and physical forms of quick-lime,hydrated lime and hydraulic lime commonly obtained by calcination and hydration from lime stone or other calcareous materials.
  • Liquid Limit:  The moisture content at the point between the liquid and the plastic states of a clay. LIQUIDATED DAMAGES:  The amount prescribed in the contract specifications, to be paid to the State (Client) or to be deducted from any payments due or to become due the Contractor, for each day’s delay in completing the whole or any specified portion of the work beyond the time allowed in the contract specifications
  • Lime Putty: A wet plastic paste consisting of hydrated lime and free water.
  • Load bearing wall: A wall designed to carry an imposed vertical load in addition to its own weight.
  • Local: The word local when used with reference to material/ article shall mean the best of its kind available and used in the locality.
  • Loess: Deposit of very porous and cavitated wind-blown silt and clay.
  • Long Column:  A column which fails when overloaded, by buckling rather than by crushing.  In reinforced-concrete work this is assumed to happen when columns which are longer than fifteen times their least dimension.
  • Longitudinal Joint:  A joint normally placed between traffic lanes in rigid pavements to control longitudinal cracking.
  • Loss of Prestress:  Losses of prestressing force after transfer arise mainly through elastic shortening, shrinkage and creep of the concrete and creep of the steel.

Words Starting With M

  • Manhole: an opening by which a man may enter or leave a drain, sewer or other closed structure for inspection, cleaning and other maintenance operation, fitted with suitable cover.
  • Marshes:  Low lying wet land; swamp.
  • Matrix: the binding constituent of the top layer of the tile which is chiefly Portland cement, either plain or mixed with pigments.
  • Maximum Dry Density:  The dry density obtained by a stated amount of compaction of a soil at the optimum moisture content.
  • Mitred joints: a joint between two members at an angle in which the jointing surfaces are cut to corresponding edges at the intersection.
  • Mud: A mixture of soil and water in a fluid or weakly solid state.
  • Mud phuska: Roof finish with soil mixed with binding and reinforcing ingredients.

Words Starting with O

  • Offset:  A horizontal distance measured at right angles to a survey line to locate a point off an edge line
  • Optimum moisture content: That moisture content at which a specified amount of compaction will produce the maximum dry density in a soil; it is expressed as a percentage by weight of the dry soil.

Words Starting With P

  • Pallet : A flat timber or metal plate on which precast concrete units are cast and handled until they have hardened.
  • Panels: Regular patterns of the parquet floor having large areas and laid in symmetrical designs.
  • Parapet:  Any protective railing, low wall or barrier at the edge of a bridge, roof, balcony or the like.
  • Parkway:  An arterial highway for non-commercial traffic, with full or partial control of access, usually located within a park or a ribbon of parklike development
  • Passive Pressure:  A pressure acting to counteract active pressure.
  • Pavement:  The uppermost layer of material placed on the traveled way or shoulders.  This term is used interchangeably with surfacing.
  • Pavement Structure:  The combination of subbase, base course, and surface course placed on a subgrade to support the traffic load and distribute it to the subgrade.
  • Pebbles:  Smaller pieces of material (0.12 to 0.25 inch minimum size) which have broken away from a bedrock..
  • Pedestal:  An upright compression member whose height does not exceed three times its average least lateral dimension.
  • Perpend: An alignment of cross-joints which can be checked with plumb line.
  • Pier:  A wide column or a wall of masonry, plain or reinforced concrete for carrying heavy loads, such as a support for a bridge.
  • Pier Cap:  The top part of a bridge pier which uniformly distribute the concentrated loads from the bridge over the pier.
  • Pier Shaft:  The part of a pier structure which is supported by the pier foundation.
  • Pile:  A long slender timber, concrete, or steel structural element, driven, jetted, or otherwise embedded on end in the ground for the purpose of supporting a load or compacting the soil.
  • PIT:  Any borrow pit, mine, quarry or surface excavation to obtain sand, clay, gravel, etc.
  • Pitched roof: A roof the pitch of which is greater than 10 to horizontal.
  • Plank: A piece of sawn timber whose thickness does not exceed 5 cm. but the width exceeds 5 cm.
  • Plastering: The term plastering shall cover all types of rough or fair finished plastering, rendering, floating and setting coats, screed etc. in mud, lime, cement lime, cement sand, lime , fly ash or cement fly ash.
  • Plasticity:  The property of a soil which allows it to be deformed beyond the point of elastic recovery without cracking or appreciable volume change.
  • Plasticity Index (PI):  Numerical difference between the liquid limit and the plastic limit.  This is an indication of the clay content on a soil or aggregate.
  • Plasticizer OR Water Reducer:  An admixture in mortar or concrete which can increase the workability of a mix so much, that the water content can be low and the mortar or concrete strength can thus be increased.
  • Plastic Limit:  The water content at the lower limit of the plastic state of a clay.  It is the minimum water content at which a soil can be rolled into a thread of 1/8 inch diameter without crumbling.
  • Plum: A large random shaped stone embedded into freshly places mass concrete.
  • Post: A general term for timber used in an upright position in building, fencing or other structural work.
  • Portland Cement:  A product obtained by pulverizing clinker consisting mainly of hydraulic calcium silicates.  Many different cements now use portland cements or at least contain some, the varieties include:  Ordinary, Rapid-hardening, Ultra-high-early- strength, Portland blast-furnace, Sulphate-resisting and Water- repellent cements, apart from Colored cements.
  • Post-Tensioning: method of prestressing concrete in which the cables are pulled or the concrete is jacked up after it has been placed.  This method is usual for bridges and heavy structures which are placed in place.
  • Potable water: water which is satisfactory for drinking, culinary and domestic purpose and meets the require of the health authority having jurisdiction.
  • Pozzolana: An essentially siliceous material which while in itself possessing no cementitious properties will in finely divided form and in the presence of water, react with calcium hydroxide at ordinary temperature to form compounds possessing cementitious properties.
  • Precision:  Of a measurement, the fineness with which it has been read, therefore, precision is different from accuracy.
  • Prestressed Concrete:  Concrete in which cracking and tensile forces are eliminated or greatly reduced by compressing it by stretched cables, wires or bars within it.  Two main methods for prestressing are :  post-tensioning and pre-tensioning.  Prestressed concrete is economical for spans which are large or where the beam depth must be reduced to a minimum.
  • Prime Coat:  The initial application of a low viscosity bituminous material to an absorbent surface, preparatory to any subsequent treatment, for the purpose of hardening or toughening the surface and promoting adhesion between it and the superimposed constructed layer.
  • Profile: A guide used for setting out brickwork accurately.
  • Puff ventilation: The ventilation provided for waste traps in two pipe system, in order to preserve the water seal.
  • Purlin: Structural members spanning between pitched roof trusses or partly walls and transmitting the weight of the roof covering to the trusses or partly walls.

Words Starting with Q

  • Quarry:  An open pit from which building stone, sand, gravel, mineral, or fill, can be obtained.
  • Quick-lime: A calcined material the major part of which is calcium oxide with a lesser amount of magnesium oxide, capable of slaking with water. This is also known as un-slaked lime.
  • Quoin: An external corner in brickwork, the term may also denote the masonry unit used to form the quoin.

Words Starting With R

  • Rackling Back: stepping of the unfinished end of the wall masonry.
  • Rails: Horizontal members of shutters of doors, windows panels or fencing.
  • Ramp:  (1)  A steeply sloping road or floor.  (2)  A connecting roadway between two intersecting highways at a highway separation  (3)  A short length of drain laid much more steeply than the usual gradient.
  • Rample:  A sample selected without bias so that each part has an equal chance of inclusion.
  • Rapid-Hardening or High-Early-Strength Cement:  A portland cement which hardens more quickly than ordinary Portland cement and is more costly because it is more finely ground.
  • Ravelling OR Fretting:  Progressive disintegration of a pavement surface through the loss (Breaking away) of aggregate particles from a road surface.RAVINE:  Deep, narrow cliff or gorge in the earth surface.
  • Recycling (PAVEMENT):  The re-use of existing pavement materials in a new pavement structure.
  • Reeper: A batten used in roof construction.
  • Rendering: It shall mean the plaster coat which is applied following the dubbing out where required, or the final coat in case of one coat work.
  • Resin: A natural or synthetic, solid or semi solid organic material of indefinite and often high molecular weight having a tendency to flaw under stress, usually has a softening or melting range and usually fracture conchoidally.
  • Retarder OR Retarder of Set: An admixture which slows up the setting rate of concrete.
  • Reveal: The visible part of each side of a recess or opening of a wall.
  • Ridge: The horizontal intersection of the two rising roof surfaces inclined in opposite direction.
  • Riprap:  Rock used for the protection of embankments, cut slopes, etc., against agents of erosion, primarily water
  • Rubble: Rough stone of irregular shape and size, broken from larger masses by geological process or by quarrying.

Words Starting with S

  • Saddle: a purpose- made fitting, so shaped as to fit over a hole cut in a sewer or drain, and used to form connections.
  • Sagging Moment:  A bending moment which causes a beam to sink in the middle.  Usually described as a positive moment.
  • Sand: a) Granular material passing the 10mm IS sieve and almost entirely passing the 4.75 mm IS sieve and predominately retained on the 75 micron IS sieve and resulting from natural disintegration and abrasion of rock or processing of completely friable sandstone; or b) That portion of an aggregate passing the 4.75mm IS sieve and predominately retained on the 75 micron sieve and resulting from natural disintegration and abrasion of rock or processing of completely friable sandstone.
  • Sand Equivalent:  A measure of the amount of clay contamination in fine aggregate.
  • Saturated Surface Dry (SSD):  A condition of an aggregate which holds as much water as it can without having any free surface water between the aggregate particles.
  • Sapwood: The outer layers of the log, which in the growing free contain living cells and food material. The sapwood is usually lighter in colour and is readily attacked by insects and fungi.
  • Scaffolding: A temporary structure for gaining access to higher levels of the permanent structure during construction.
  • Scantling: A piece of timber whose cross- sectional dimensions exceeds 5 cm but do not exceed 20 cm in both directions.
  • Seasoned Timber: Timber whose moisture content has been reduced to the specified minimum, under more or less controlled processing of drying.
  • Screed, Screed Board, Screed Rail OR Tamper:  (1)  A wood or metal templet with which a concrete surface is finished.  Screeds are set to the correct level for the slab surface.  The screed rail may be cambered but is usually straight.  (2)  A layer of mortar 2 to 7 cm thick, laid to finish a floor surface or as a bed for floor tiles.
  • Sediment:  Any material, mineral or organic matter deposited by water, air, etc., often called silt.
  • Septic-Tank:  Underground sewage collecting tank.
  • Setting Coat: It shall mean final coat in a two or three coat work.
  • Sewer: A closed drain carrying night- soil and other water- borne waste.
  • Shake: A partial or complete separation between adjoining layers of tissues or seen in end surfaces.
  • Shingle: Rounded or water –borne stone of irregular size occurring in river beds or open beaches.
  • Sheeting: The part of the form which is in contact with the concrete.
  • SILT:  Grandular material passing the No. 200 sieve (74 micron), finer than sand but coarser than clay, such particles in the range from 2 to 50 micron.  It feels gritty between the fingers but the grains are difficult to see.  It can be distinguished from clay by the shaking test or by rolling it into a thread.  A thread of silt crumbles on drying, a clay thread does not.  Rock flour and loess are materials of silt size.
  • Site: The site shall mean the land and/ or other places on into or through which work is to be executed under the contract or any adjacent land, path or street through which work is to be executed under the contract or any adjacent land, path or street which may be allotted or used for the purpose of carrying out the contract.
  • Silt: The granular material resulting from the disintegration of rock, with grains largely passing a No. 200 ( 47 micron) sieve alternatively such particles in the range from 2 to 50 micron diameter.
  • Slag:  The waste glass-like product from a metallurgical furnace, which flows off above the metal.
  • Slump: A measure of consistency of freshly mixed concrete mortar or stucco equal to the subsidence measured to the nearest 6 mm of the molded truncated cone immediately after removal of the slump cone.
  • Slurry:  A thin, watery mixture of neat cement or cement and sand.
  • Soffit: 1) The undersides of slabs, beams, stair case etc. 2)  The highest portion of the interior of a sewer or drain at any cross-section.
  • Soil waste: The discharge from water closets, urinals, slop sinks and similar appliances.
  • Soil Stabilization:  Modification of soils or aggregates by incorporating materials that will increase load bearing capacity, firmness and resistance to weathering or displacement.  Common methods are mixing the soil with cement or waste oil or imported soil, also compaction or merely covering with a primer.
  • Soldier Pile:  An upright pile used to hold lagging.
  • Soundness:  Resistance to both physical and chemical deterioration.
  • Spalling:  Peeling away of a surface, particularly of portland cement concrete.
  • Span:  The distance between the supports of a bridge, truss, arch, girder, floor, beam, etc.
  • Spillway Or Wasteway:  An overflow channel.
  • Spell: A fragment usually in the shape of flake, detached from a larger mass by a blow, by the action of weather, by pressure or by expansion within the larger mass.
  • Split: A crack extending from one face to another face in the wooden member.
  • Spread Footing:  A footing used to support a single column.  This is also known as an individual column footing and isolated footing.
  • Steady Flow:  Flow which does not vary with time.
  • Strand:  A number of steel wires grouped together by twisting.
  • Storm water: It is the surface run off following rainfall, which enters sewers through inlets.
  • Stretcher : A brick laid with its length in the direction of wall.
  • Stripping:  (1)  Loss of binder (Bituminous film) from aggregate particles or from a road surface, due to presence of water.  (2)  Removing formwork.  (3)  Clearing a site of turf, brush-wood, topsoil, or the first layer of soil.
  • Subbase Course: One or more layers of specified or selected materials, of designed thickness, placed on the subgrade to support a base course.
  • Strut: A structural member used for carrying compressive stress.
  • Style: A vertical member of shutter frame.
  • Stud: A verticals or horizontal stiffeners to the back of the form sheeting.
  • Surface water: free water retained on surface of aggregate particles and considered to be part of the mixing water in concrete as distinguishing from absorbed moisture.
  • Surkhi: The coarse powder obtained by pounding of bricks and used as an aggregate as well as a pozzolonic material it is obtained as a bye-product of the brick industry.
  • Super- elevation banking or cent: The inward tilt or transverse inclination given to the cross section of a carriage way on a horizontal curve to reduce the effects of centrifugal force on a moving vehicle.
  • Surface dressing: this shall comprise of vegetation and trimming of uneven surface of natural ground to a uniform surface, by scraping off high patches and filling in the low patches with the scraped soil. The maximum depth of cutting shall not exceed 15 cm.
  • Sub-floor: A structural floor upon which a base is formed.

Words Starting With T

  • Tar: A viscous material having adhesive properties and resulting from the destructive distillation of organic material. The word ‘Tar’ should be preceded by the name of the material from which it is produced, coal, shale ,peat, vegetable etc. Its mode of production shall also be indicated.
  • Tendon:  A prestressing bar, cable, rope, strand or wire.
  • Terrazzo floor: The floor finish where the wearing surface is normally composed of marble chips in a matrix of cement with or without pigments and mechanically or manually ground, processed and polished.
  • Texture: Texture is the degree of fineness and uniformity of a soil and is expressed as floury, smooth, gritty or sharp.
  • Toothing: Bricks left projecting in alternate courses to bond with future work.
  • Tongue and groove joint: A joint in which a tongue is provided on edge of one member to fit into a corresponding groove on the other.
  • Torque, Torsion Or Twist:  The twisting effect of a force on a shaft applied tangentially, like the twist on a haulage drum which winds rope on to its circumference.

Words Starting with U

  • Under- layer: The lower of concrete in the terrazzo finish which occurs below the terrazzo topping.

Words Starting With V

  1. Valley: The re-entrant angle formed by the inter-section of two inclined roof surface.
  2. Vibrated Concrete:  Concrete consolidated by vibration from an internal or external vibrator.  It requires very much less water for effective placing than does concrete compacted by punning, therefore it is much stronger.  The formwork, however, must also be stronger when the concrete is to be vibrated.  Concrete in hollow-tile floors is not vibrated.
  3. Vibrator:  A tool which vibrates at a speed form 3,000 to 10,000 rpm and is inserted into wet concrete or applied to the formwork to compact the concrete.  Concrete vibrators are of six types:

A) For precast work:

(1) Platform vibrators, small vibrators carried by one or two men moving up and down a pile or lamp post.  (2) Table vibrators, which may vibrate vertically for heavy work or with rotary movement for light pieces.

B) For concrete cast in place:

(3) Internal vibrators are the best known type.  (4) External vibrators are used more in the factory than on the site because of the extra strength required for the formwork.  External vibrators are also used for road slabs.  (5) A hand screed 12 feet long requires one vibrator, for greater lengths two vibrators are fixed on the screed.

C) For very large capacities:  (6) Concrete-vibrating machines are used.

Vibrators are also used for the compaction of loose soils.

Words Starting with W

  • Walling: A long horizontal member acting as a beam and used in conjunction with form ties, struts or strong backs to support and prevent movement of of forms.
  • Water content: The proportion of water present in a material expressed as a percentage by weight of the material.
  • Wedge: A piece of wood or metal tapering to a thin edge, used to adjust elevation, tighten formwork.
  • Weephole:  A hole to allow water to escape from behind a retaining wall and thus to reduce the pressure behind it.
  • Work or works: The expression ‘work or works’ shall. Unless be something either in the subject or context repugnant to such construction, be construed and taken to mean the works by or by virtue of the contract, contract to be executes whether temporary or permanent and whether original, altered ,substituted or additional.