Tartan Design Centre

Table of Contents

Section 4: Glossary

Agglomerated Marble:

Composite manufactured marble made from natural marble.


Asphaltic concrete mixture for paving of roadways, driveways and walkways.


The unfinished and unheated spaces located within the roof assembly above the ceiling and below the roof.

Building Envelope:

Exterior assemblies of a building, including walls and roof, which separate the interior spaces from exterior elements and weather.

Cast-in-Place Concrete:

Concrete work which has been erected in its fluid state into site constructed formwork to be shaped and cured.


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Composite Plastic:

Processed plastic-based products designed for special purposes such as vent piping, water piping and conduits.


Tar-like substance that may accumulate on the inside surface of fireplace chimney vent piping

Drainage Patterns:

Sloped surfaces designed to shed or channel rain water to specified locations for drainage. May apply to lot grading, driveways or roof design.


Flat exterior trim assembly at the end of the roof between the roof finish on top and the soffit beneath. Fascia is usually clad in aluminum.

Finish Carpentry:

Interior finishing carpentry systems including interior doors, baseboards, casings, quarter rounds, wood coves, shelving and capping.


Metal or composite plastic smooth-surfaced drainage system designed to be installed at intersections beneath and behind brickwork and roofing to promote water drainage away from the building.

Floor System:

Structural elements, such as floor joists or engineered floor, to span spaces between beams or walls and covered with subfloor sheathing.


Cast-in-place concrete perimeter base which supports the foundation walls and the house structure.


Temporary forms, usually made of wood, constructed at the worksite to hold and shape cast-in-place concrete for footings, foundations and curbs.


Cast-in-place concrete perimeter walls supported by the footings and supporting the building wood frame structure.


Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter for specific electrical circuits to reduce the risk of electrical shock caused by a ground fault in electrical tools and appliances.


Sloped ground surfaces designed to maintain drainage patterns around buildings and the building lot.

Ground Frost:

Frost and frost action which occurs beneath the ground surface in winter.

Hose Bib:

Sometimes called Lawn Service or Wall Hydrant. The exterior water faucets designed to accept normal garden hose connections.


Heat Recovery Ventilator required with some heating systems to assist in control of indoor air quality and humidity levels.


Device used to measure relative humidity in air.


Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning systems.

Ice Dams:

Ice ridges that may form on roof edges from freeze and thaw cycles of accumulated snow deposits.

Insulation Baffle:

Device, usually made of styrofoam, installed in attic spaces to maintain air space to soffit venting between roof trusses and ceiling insulation.


Heavy lumber (or engineered system) used as the structural Floor System.


Lumber which has been artificially dried to reduce moisture content to specified levels in order to reduce shrinkage and twisting through the drying period.


Structural component (usually wood) to carry structural loading across and over openings such as windows and doors.

Material Shrinkage:

Shrinkage that occurs in material such as concrete and wood as moisture content is reduced throughout the drying-out period.


Plumbing, drainage, heating, cooling and ventilation systems in buildings.


Specialty woodwork, such as cabinetwork, including fabricated columns, mantles, railings, etc.


Ontario Building Code.


Ottawa-Carleton Home Builders’ Association.


Ontario New Home Warranty Program.


Pre-Delivery Inspection.


Survey markers used by surveyors to layout and establish property lines, set- backs and easements.

Precast Concrete:

Concrete which has been cast, shaped and cured at the factory to be later shipped and erected at the worksite. This can include entry steps.


Reinforcing steel rods sometimes inserted into cast-in-place concrete work and assemblies to increase strength and resist cracking.

Roof Vents:

Venting systems placed through the roof to promote air circulation in the attic.


Part of a window assembly which houses the glass and sometimes is the operable component in the window frame.


Exterior cladding material such as aluminum, vinyl and wood to cover walls.


The underside portion of the roof assembly which overhangs or projects beyond the exterior wall and is usually clad in aluminum with small openings for ventilation.


Sometimes called Sono-Posts or Piers, are cylindrical forms placed on pads or footings and filled with concrete to form posts or piers.


Structural components, usually wood 2×4 or 2×6, to construct the vertical parts of wood frame wall assemblies.


Interior sheathing material, usually a form of wood product, fastened directly to the upper side of the floor system and under the floor finish assemblies.


Soils and earth conditions beneath the footings.


Structural Steel Posts equipped with a telescopic adjustment and commonly visible in basements supporting structural beams.


Commonly used industry term to describe window glass units that are sealed with a vacuum between the glass to reduce temperature transmission.


Wood structures that are factory engineered and constructed to be shipped to the worksite and erected to form major components of the roof assembly.

Unit Pavers:

Usually made of precast concrete and used as patio slabs or interlocking bricks for walkways and patios.

Weep Holes:

Small openings at the bottom course of brickwork to promote drainage of any moisture which may have collected behind the brick finish.

Window Well:

Usually a type of corrugated metal enclosure to retain exterior grade levels where basement windows extend to below exterior grade surfaces.