Glossary of construction terms

Common construction terms in English, translated into French and defined in English

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Accessible designAménagement pour accès facile, m.A house, amenity or product design that allows access for people with disabilities. For example, accessible sink. See barrier-free.
Activated carbon air filterFiltre à air à charbon actif, m.A filter activated by the absorption of moisture when pollutant gases, attracted by the carbon, adhere to the filter.
AdfreezingAdhérence due au gel, f.The process by which one object becomes adhered to another by the binding action of ice.
A column often used in basements to support beams that is capable of being adjusted to suit a range of heights.
AerationAération, f.The adding of air.
A plumbing fitting that is used to break the water flowing from faucets into droplets to increase the wetting effectiveness (less water required to wet more surface area) and to improve taste.
AggregateGranulat, m.Material such as gravel, crushed stone or sand that can be used as a base course for footings, patios and driveways or mixed with cement and water to make concrete. See mineral aggregate.
An aggregate with particles 5 mm (.20 in.) in diameter and over; includes crushed stone and gravel.
An aggregate with particles smaller than 5 mm (.20 in.) in diameter; includes sand.
The combination of durable, structurally supported and impermeable materials incorporated into the building envelope, continuous around the interior conditioned volume of the building (inclusive of ceiling, exterior walls, windows, doors, foundation walls and floors), and sealed together to stop the indoor-outdoor movement of air
Air changeTaux de renouvellement d’air, m.The replacement of one complete house volume of air by either natural or mechanical means (measured in air changes per hour: ac/h).
Air change rateTaux de renouvellement d’air, m.The number of times the total volume of air within a room or an entire dwelling is exchanged by either natural or mechanical means (usually measured in air changes per hour - ACH).
Air ductConduit d’air, m.A pipe, tube or passageway that conveys air. Normally associated with heating, ventilating and air conditioning.
Air leakageFuite d’air, f.The uncontrolled flow of air through a building envelope or a component of a building envelope as a result of a pressure difference. See infiltration and exfiltration.
A vestibule sealed by a second interior door.
A measurement of the degree to which a building material or component allows air to pass through it when it is subjected to a differential pressure.
A space or void created by trapped air that accidentally occurs in concrete as a result of poor consolidation.
The force per unit of area exerted by the atmosphere
(e.g atmospheric air pressure) or that is created by mechanical devices (e.g compressors, fans, pumps). It can have two components: static pressure which is the actual pressure of the fluid, which is associated not with its motion but with its state.
Dynamic pressure is associated with the velocity of air flow.
Air spaceLame d’air, m.A cavity or space in walls, windows, or other enclosed parts of a building between various members.
A structure consisting of a pliable membrane that achieves and maintains its shape by internal air pressure.
The ability of the house building envelope, or a component of the building envelope, to resist air leakage.
AirwayPassage d’air, m.The space left between roof insulation and roof decking to allow free movement of air.
A space within a building, enclosed by walls, partially or totally open to the outside air at the roof, and designed to ventilate service rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens.
A set of devices that triggers an alert in the case of intrusion, smoke, fire or the presence of a specific chemical in the air.
Ambient air temperatureTempérature de l’air ambiant, f.The temperature of the air surrounding an object such as the air surrounding a house or the air surrounding a person in a room.
An area within the boundaries of a multi-unit residential building site designed for private or common use, and which may include landscaped site areas, patios, common areas, communal lounges or swimming pools.
Anchor boltBoulon d’ancrage, m.A steel bolt used to secure a structural member to concrete or masonry. It is usually deformed at one end to ensure a good grip in the concrete or masonry in which it is embedded.
A perforation through which a bolt can be inserted to secure a building structure to one of various components, such as bottom track, bottom plate or shelf angle (for brick veneer).
A small moulding placed over outside corners formed by the intersection of plastered or dry walled surfaces that protect them from damage.
Angle ironCornière, f., fer d’angle, m.An L-shaped steel section frequently used to support masonry over a window or door opening. See lintel.
Anhydrous limeChaux anhydre, f.Quicklime.
The combination of one early wood layer (light coloured) and one late wood layer (dark coloured) Seen in a cross-section of a tree. One annual ring usually represents one year of growth.
ApartmentAppartement, m.A room or suite of rooms used as living quarters. A dwelling unit in a multi-unit residential building. See dwelling, multiple.
A type of multiple dwelling comprised of three or more dwelling units in which one unit is above another unit, and often with shared entrances and other essential facilities and services.
See Ventilation terms.
A device or instrument designed to perform a specific function, especially an electrical device, such as toasters, clothes washers and dryers, kitchen stoves, refrigerators, etc. for household use.
(1) A plain or moulded finish piece below the stool of a window.
See Window terms.
(2) The extension of the concrete floor of a garage or other
structure beyond the face of a building.
AquiferCouche aquifère, f.A water-saturated underground formation of sand, gravel or fractured or porous rock, which can be a source for water supply.
A row of arches supported by columns, which may either be attached to a building or be free-standing.
A form of structure with a curved shape spanning an opening and supported by piers, abutments, or walls and used to support weight and resist pressure.
A brick with a wedge shape; also one with a curved face suitable for wells and other circular work.
Mouldings around openings and certain other locations to conceal joints or for decorative purposes.
Artesian groundwaterNappe artésienne, f.A confined body of water in the ground that is under pressure.
A special concrete unit (sometimes artificially coloured) resembling natural stone and made by mixing chippings and dust of natural stone with Portland cement and water.
A highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral used in fire- resistance and insulating materials. Known to be carcinogenic if inhaled.
A fire resistant weatherproof building material made from Portland cement and asbestos. Used to make plain and corrugated sheets, siding, shingles and pipe.
The solid waste remaining after combustion of a solid fuel.
AsphaltBituminousA dark brown to black highly viscous hydrocarbon produced from petroleum distillation residue and used in roofing and other construction materials as a waterproofing or cementing agent.
See Paving terms.
Abbreviation for the American Society of Plumbing Engineers.
Abbreviation for American Society of Sanitary Engineering.
AstragalBattement, m.A moulding fastened to the edge of one of a pair of doors or window sashes to provide a seal when the windows or doors are in a closed position.
The elevation of part of a structure or site feature that is at adjacent ground level.
AtriumAtrium, m.An enclosed interior court, one or more levels high, onto which other rooms may open.
The space between the upper floor ceiling and roof or between a knee wall and a sloping roof. Also called roof space.
The opening to an attic.
AutomaticAutomatique, adj.Mechanically or electrically self acting (e.g., automatic sump pump or garage door).
AwningAuvent, m.A roof like cover for a window or a porch. See Window terms and Sash types.
The bearing or direction of a horizontal line measured clockwise from true North and expressed in degrees.
Bacharach smoke number
bachelor apartment
Garçonnière, f., studio, m.See Heating and cooling terms.
An apartment consisting of one room serving as bedroom and living room, with a separate bathroom.
BackdraftingFlue reversalSee Heating and cooling terms.
Material used for filling a trench or the excavation around a foundation wall.
BackingFond de clouage, m.Material used to provide reinforcement or a nailing surface for certain finish materials.
Back puttyMastic de fond, m.Mastic material placed in rabbets before installing glass to provide a bed for the glass.
Backup wallMur de fond, m.A steel stud, wood frame or concrete-masonry wall located within the exterior wall assembly of a building to resist lateral loads and to support exterior finishes, insulation, air and vapour barriers, and interior drywall or plaster.
BalconyBalcon, m.A gallery or platform, either cantilevered or supported, that projects from the wall of a building and is enclosed by a guardrail.
(1) material (e.g., gravel) placed to hold down roof insulation and waterproofing systems,
(2) a device used to control the electrical current flowing in a
circuit (See Electrical terms).
BalusterBalustre, m.A vertical member in a balustrade between the handrail and the treads or stringers in a staircase, or between a horizontal rail and the floor below. See guard.
A protective barrier approximately 900-1,100 mm (35- 43 in.) high at the edge of openings in floors or at the side of stairs, landings, balconies, mezzanines, galleries, raised walkways,
or other locations to prevent falls from one level to another. A balustrade may be solid or may have openings. See guard.
The handrail of a staircase.
The finished board covering the gable rafter on a gable roof.
See facer board, verge board.
See Heating and cooling terms.
See Flexible housing terms.
Interior trim at the intersection of the wall and the floor.
Base courseAssise de base, f.In masonry, the first or bottom course of masonry units.
A line of known length and position that is used as a basis for establishing the locations of buildings, paths and other site installations.
The lower storey of a building below or partly below ground level.
Any moulding placed at the base of a column, wall and so on.
See shoe mould.
A brick with one end intact and the other end cut off.
A room usually containing a sink, a toilet and often a bathtub or shower or both.
A fixed, open-topped tank used for bathing.
A deep bathtub that is either sunk below the floor level or installed away from enclosing walls.
A deep bathtub equipped with a pump that recirculates the bath water.
BattenTasseau, m.A narrow strip of wood used to cover joints between boards or panels.
A receding upward slope; normally applied to a wall or structural member where the thickness diminishes towards the top.
A board set adjacent to an excavation and used as a reference point to level and align the work.
One of the intervals or spaces into which a building is divided by columns, piers or division walls.
BCINPas d’équivalent en françaisAbbreviation for Building Code Identification Number,
an identification system used in Ontario to identify persons who have specific qualifications with respect to building code knowledge.
A horizontal structural member supported at two or more points.
A notch or space in a masonry or concrete wall in which the end of the beam is supported.
The applied load per unit area of surface of any structure or soil that the structure or soil can support.
A metal plate for receiving and distributing the load from a column to a floor or one end of a truss to a wall.
BedLit, m.(1) Any horizontal surface that has been prepared to receive the element(s) it will support.
(2) In masonry, the horizontal layer of mortar on which each course of masonry is laid.
(1) The horizontal joints in brick-work or masonry.
(2) The radiating joints in an arch.
Any moulding used to cover the joint at the intersection of a wall and projecting cornice.
Solid rock underlying superficial material; may be exposed at the surface.
A room used primarily for sleeping.
Any part of a structure or site feature that is below the adjacent finished ground level.
BenchmarkBorne-repère, f.A surveyor’s elevation reference point marked on an immovable surface, iron bar, pin or block.
Bending stressContrainte en flexion, f.A stress resulting from the application of a non-axial force to a structural member measured in kilopascals (kPa) or imperial equivalent, pounds per square inch (psi).
An earth embankment in the form of a linear mound;
often combined with fencing or planting to create a visual or sound barrier.
The sloping surface formed when two surfaces meet at an angle other than a right angle.
Boards normally 100-300 mm (3.94-11.81 in.) in width tapering to a thin edge and used as horizontal wall cladding with the thicker edge overlapping the thinner edge below.
A tap or faucet that has been threaded for connection of a hose. Also known as a hose bib.
A shallow basin similar to a toilet that is equipped with a faucet and drain and is specifically used for washing the genital and anal areas.
A door, often used for closets, that is hinged in the middle so that it requires less swing area than a standard door.
Hydrocarbons, such as those found in asphalt and mineral pitch.
BleedingExsudation, f.A discharge of resin, gum, creosote, or other substance from lumber or water from concrete. See bleed water.
Excess water in a concrete mixture which surfaces after the concrete has been placed.
Anything that mars the appearance of a material.
Nailing in such a way that the nail heads are not visible on the finished face of the work.
Block, masonryBloc, m.A manufactured concrete unit. See Construction types.
Block, cellularBloc cellulaire, m.A masonry block that has uniformly distributed pores throughout its mass.
A plan of a building site showing the outlines of existing and proposed buildings.
See Heating and cooling terms.
Small wood pieces used between framing members for bracing and to provide support for the attachment of drywall, shelving and cabinets.
A large fan-door assembly that can be installed in an exterior door to pressurize or depressurize a house or a building to determine airtightness characteristics. A blower door can be used to depressurize houses so that air leakage points can be identified with air leakage detection devices such as smoke pencils or thermographic cameras/video recorders.
A diagnostic test using a blower door to measure the airtightness characteristics of a building. Results are usually given in air changes per hour (ACH) as well as equivalent leakage area (ELA) and normalized leakage area (NLA) at a specific indoor-outoor air pressure difference (such as 50 Pascals). A blower door test is useful for assessing air leakage characteristics, finding air leakage locations, sizing ventilation systems and assessing the potential for depressurization.
A plastering defect that results when a conical piece is blown out of a finished surface because moisture in the plaster has mixed with an imperfectly slaked mixture of quicklime.
Also called pitting.
BollardButoir, m.A wood, concrete, or metal post used to prevent vehicles from entering or leaving an area. A short post containing an electrical outlet.
BondAppareil, m.In masonry, the pattern in which bricks or blocks are laid to tie the individual units together so that the entire wall acts as a complete unit.
Borate-treated woodBois traité au borate, m.Wood that has been pressure-treated with borax to improve resistance to decay and insect damage.
An excavation from which earth materials are obtained for use as fill.
Bottom trackRail inférieur, m.In steel-frame construction, the bottom member to which the studs are attached and that is anchored to the floor.
BowingCambrure, f.A deviation from a straight line, measured at the point of greatest distance from the straight line. Often applied to lumber.
A beam made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) on a lumber framework.
A built-up hollow column of square or rectangular section generally used in porch construction.
Box gutterGouttière de bois, f.A wood gutter usually lined with metal and sometimes called a concealed gutter.
A method of assembling steel stud walls in which studs are secured to an inverted top (inner) track held by an outer track attached to the ceiling, so that the backup wall is free of vertical loads but supports horizontal loads.
An inclined lumber member used in walls and in trussed partitions or in framed roofs to form a triangle and thereby stiffen the framing. When a brace supports a rafter, it is called a strut.
BracingContreventement, m.Ties used for supporting and strengthening various types of buildings.
Breaking jointsRompre les joints, v., joints croisés, m. pl., joints rompus, m. pl.(1) The laying of masonry units in a way to prevent vertical joints in adjacent courses from aligning.
(2) The distribution of joints in boards, flooring, lath and panels
so no two adjacent end-joints are directly in line.
BreezewayPassage extérieur recouvert, m.A covered passageway between a house and an auxiliary building.
A masonry unit usually made from fired clay.
Brick ledgeDébord de fondation, m.The edge of a foundation wall or projecting floor slab used to support brick.
A steel angle placed over a window or other opening to support brick.
Trim used between exterior door and window frames and the wall finish material.
A metal strap that provides lateral support to the brick veneer of a building by transferring lateral loads to the backup wall.
Bridging, thermalPont thermique, m.The interruption of the continuity of a layer of thermal insulation within the building envelope by another material
with higher thermal conductivity (such as metal, wood, concrete) that results in increased heat loss through the assembly and localized cold spots on the interior.
See Heating and cooling terms.
Broom finishFini au balai, m.A method of finishing a concrete surface in which a stiff broom is used to give a roughened texture and linear pattern.
Property where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Building codeCode du bâtiment, m.A set of regulations that defines the health and safety, functionality, accessibility, egress and other requirements for building construction.
Building envelopeEnveloppe du bâtiment, f.The elements of a building, including their structural support, that separate conditioned space from unconditioned space.
Also referred to as “Building Enclosure”.
The siting of a building on a lot. The term is often used when discussing solar orientation, which is the siting of a building with respect to access to solar radiation.
A heavy paper usually impregnated with bitumen, and applied under or behind exterior finish materials in wood-frame construction to protect the assembly from liquid water.
A medical condition caused by a building environment
and frequently involving an infection; differs from Sick Building Syndrome in that a building-related illness is substantiated
by clinical and laboratory findings, for example, Legionnaire’s Disease, in which micro-organisms are spread by air
conditioning systems.
Building siteEmplacement de construction, m., chantier, m.A parcel of land suitable for building, or on which a building is being built or may be built. Also called plot.
Built-in transfer equipmentMatériel de déplacement encastré, m.A system designed to aid people with mobility disabilities, consisting of ceiling-mounted tracks, lifting devices, a control panel and switches, an electric motor, a power supply and a backup battery.
A roof covering consisting of layers of roofing felt laid in pitch or asphalt. The top is finished with crushed stone, gravel, or a cap sheet. Generally used on flat or low-pitched roofs.
(1) An enclosed space below a ceiling that may conceal services.
(2) A structure above the roof of any part of a building enclosing a stairway, tank, elevator machinery, or ventilating apparatus, or any part of a shaft that extends above the roof.
(3) A sloping door or doors affording entrance to a cellar from outside a building.
A board of wood, aluminum or magnesium mounted on a pole that is used to spread and smooth horizontal concrete surfaces.
A rounded corner used to give a decorative and finished appearance.
A distortion of wood grain, usually caused by abnormal growth due to injury to the tree.
Butt hingeCharnière simple, f.The most common type of hinge used for doors, comprised of hinged plates secured to the door and door frame.
ButtressContrefort, m., renfort, m.A structural element built perpendicular to a wall in order to resist lateral thrusts.
Butyl rubber sealantMastic d’étanchéité au butyl, m.A paintable, synthetic rubber sealant that bonds to most surfaces, including metal and masonry.
CCAACCAbbreviation for chromated copper arsenate, a wood preservative chemical. See ACQ.
A home automation protocol developed by the Electronics Industry Association as a public communications standard. CEBus uses two-way communications transmitted via any available transmission media (twisted pair wiring, coaxial cable, infra red, fibre optics, and so on). See home automation.
A chemical used in refrigerants, solvents and blowing agents for many rigid insulations that is linked to ozone depletion if it escapes to the atmosphere.
Abbreviation for cubic feet per minute. A unit of measurement often used to express air flow.
Abbreviation for Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
Abbreviation for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
CambiumCambium, m.The layer of tissue just beneath the bark of a tree where the new wood and bark cells of each year’s growth develop.
A roof-like structure over an opening in an exterior wall or a walkway.
A structural member that projects beyond a supporting column or wall and is counterbalanced or supported at only one end (for example, cantilevered beams may be used to support a balcony).
A wedge or triangular-shaped piece generally installed on flat roofs around the perimeter or at the junction of the roof and adjoining wall.
A plain or moulded block or other covering forming the top of a wall, pier, newel post or column; a wall coping, chimney cap. See Wood framing.
Flashing installed on a vertical surface to prevent water from migrating behind base flashing.
The process of water movement through porous materials, or the action of surface tension which pulls a liquid column up a material against the gravitational pull.
The flow of liquid within small pore passages in a material or between materials due to capillary action. Also called wicking.
The upper part of a column, pilaster or pier, widened for decorative purposes or to distribute loads.
An odourless, invisible, non-combustible gas occurring naturally in the atmosphere. It is produced by animals through respiration, decomposition of organic materials and combustion of fuels. Carbon dioxide can be dangerous if present in high concentrations. Emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere contribute to global warming.
A device employing a carbon block or carbon granules to remove some particulates from water. Activated carbon in a carbon filter removes unwanted, volatile chemicals such as chlorine, toxic gases, solvents, pesticides and some trace minerals.
Carbon monoxideCOA colourless, odourless, and toxic gas produced during the combustion process that can be produced by kerosene heaters, wood burning appliances, unvented gas appliances and automobiles. Dangerous in low concentrations. Toxic effects accumulate with length of exposure.
A device used to detect the presence of carbon monoxide.
A fabric floor covering.
CarportAbri d’auto, m.A roofed but otherwise open shelter located adjacent to a dwelling for a vehicle.
A round-headed bolt used in the assembly of wooden members when the bolt head will be exposed to view.
CasingEncadrement, m.Decorative trim used to cover the gap between the wall finish and window and door frames.
A substance that creates a reaction without being consumed in the process. For example, the catalyst in a catalytic combustion appliance is a coated ceramic honeycomb through which the exhaust gas is routed.
Catch basinBassin collecteur, m.A sub grade chamber usually built at the curb line of a street for the admission of surface water to a storm sewer or subdrain and that has a sediment sump designed to retain grit and detritus.
CaulkingMastic de calfeutrage, m.Materials with widely different chemical compositions used to make a seam or joint air- or water-tight.
A wall contructed of masonry units with a cavity, usually 50 mm (1.97 in.) wide, between two wythes, or “skins”. The wythes are attached with metal ties or bonding units, and act together to resist loads.
See Water re-use and recycling terms.
Ceiling fanVentilateur de plafond, m.A motorized fan with exposed blades installed on the ceiling and used to force the circulation of air within a room or space.
CellarCave, f.The portion of a building that is partly or wholly underground and that has more than one-half of its height, from finished floor to finished ceiling, below grade.
CementCiment, m.A powdered substance made from lime and clay that, when mixed with water and sand, makes mortar or when mixed with water, sand and gravel, makes concrete.
A mixture of cement, water and sand used for bedding bearing plates, setting anchor bolts and filling and smoothing foundation cracks.
A mortar in which the cement material is primarily Portland cement.
Centre lineAxe, m., ligne de centre, f.A line, actual or assumed, that symmetrically divides a surface or object and is used as a reference for measurement.
A term used to describe the linear spacing between the centre points or lines of adjacent joists, studs and other deliberately positioned members or features.
Chain-link fenceClôture à mailles de chaîne, f.A fence of woven steel wire attached to steel posts and rails.
Interior trim material installed horizontally on walls about one metre (3 ft.) above the floor that is both decorative and functional as it protects the wall finishes from damage by the backs of chairs.
ChalkingFarinage, m.The deterioration of paint by oxidation that results in a chalk-like powder.
A sloped or bevelled edge.
A C-shaped steel section that has a web with two flanges extending in the same direction.
A facilitated problem-solving and opportunity identification exercise involving a diverse range of expertise, knowledge and experience—such as planners, architects, landscape
architects, engineers, builders, developers, specialists, educators, students, community representatives, government staff and civic leaders—to focus and collaborate on overcoming barriers, addressing challenges and creating innovative planning, design, construction and operating solutions that address multiple objectives and mutual interests.
A dedicated cavity in a wall or ceiling containing pipes, ducts, wiring etc. that may run vertically between floors or horizontally between rooms or to the exterior of the building.
Check railsTraverses de rencontre, f. pl.The meeting rails in sliding or double-hung window sashes that meet when closed and are of sufficient thickness to overlap and form a seal.
ChimneyCheminée, f.A structure of brick, stone, concrete, metal or other non- combustible material that is a housing for one or more flues that carry combustion products to the outdoors.
CapMitre, f.A protective covering or housing for the top of a chimney for preventing the entry of rain, snow, animals, birds and so on, and for preventing wind-induced downdrafts.
The available natural draft of the chimney in normal conditions, causing smoke and room air to move from the higher pressure of the room to the lower pressure at the top of the chimney.
Any kind of metal or composition material placed around a chimney where it penetrates through a roof to cover the joint and prevent water from entering.
A passage housed in a chimney through which products of combustion are carried from a fuel burning appliance to the exterior. Also called chimney lining.
A peaked flashing between a chimney and the roof to shed moisture around the chimney. See cricket.
The connector that joins the vent connector through the wall to the chimney and liner.
A chimney flue used on wood-burning appliances. Made with a metal inner liner and a sealed or ventilated outer shell.
The movement of air and products of combustion down a chimney in a direction opposite to that which is intended.
The pressure difference between the base of a chimney and the surrounding air caused by the temperature difference between the interior or the chimney and the surrounding air, resulting in the flow of air and products of combustion upwards through the chimney.
A device such as draft hood or barometric damper designed to stabilize the draft of a natural draft (chimney-connected) combustion appliance.
A chimney consisting entirely of factory-made parts designed to be assembled without requiring fabrication on the building site. Includes B-Vent. L-vent and A-Vent chimneys:
A double-walled, factory-built metal chimney used for oil, gas & solid fuel combustion appliances. A 650°C (1,200°F) metal chimney, designed to withstand high temperatures, is required for solid fuel or wood-burning appliances.
Circulating fanVentilateur de circulation, m.A motor driven fan within a forced air system used to circulate air throughout a house.
A motor-driven device used to circulate water through a piping system in a house.
A tank used to collect and store water.
Any material that covers an interior or exterior wall.
Horizontal exterior wood finish shaped or overlapped to provide a weather-resistant cladding.
ClearanceDégagement, m.The distance between stationary or moving objects or surfaces that are adjacent one another (e.g., door clearance over the floor, clearance from a chimney flue to a combustible surface). See also Heating and cooling terms.
An upper portion of a wall containing windows for supplying natural light into a building. A wall with windows located above an adjacent roof for the purpose of admitting light into the interior of a building.
To bend over the protruding ends of nails to increase withdrawal resistance.
ClosureDispositif d’obturation, m.A device or assembly for closing an opening through a fire separation, such as a door, a shutter, wired glass or glass block, and including all components such as hardware, closing devices, frames, and anchors.
See Electrical terms.
A constant that represents the fractional change in length, area or volume per unit change in temperature at a given constant pressure.
A constant that represents the ability of a material to transmit heat.
See Heating and cooling terms.
Collar tieEntrait retroussé, m.A horizontal member used to provide intermediate support for opposite roof rafters, usually located in the middle third of the rafters. Also called collar beam or brace.
A solar collector that uses air as the heat transfer medium.
A solar collector that uses water or other liquid as the heat transfer medium.
A device that transforms solar radiation into usable heat.
A device that transforms solar radiation into usable electricity.
The angle of a solar collector assembly or the roof supporting it to the horizontal.
A vertical structural member consisting of one or more components acting together and loaded in the direction of its longitudinal axis.
Combined heat and powerCHPSee cogeneration.
Combined stressContraintes combinées, f. pl.The stress developed when more than one type of force acts on a structural member (for example, bending and compression).
See Plumbing terms.
Generally, combustible material is any material that burns, while non-combustible material does not burn. Materials are classified as combustible or non-combustible within the range of temperatures that may occur in a building either normally or under fire conditions. The term non-combustible is generally applied to materials that meet the acceptance criteria of
CAN4-S114-M, “Test for Determination of Non-Combustibility
in Building Materials”.
Common bondAppareil commun, m.A method of laying bricks that is similar to a stretching bond but with a course of headers every fifth, sixth, or seventh course. See stretching bond.
ComposterComposteur, m.,
bac de compostage, m., compostière, f.
An outdoor plastic or wood container with air holes, spaces or louvres used to promote the natural decay of organic materials such as non-meat kitchen and garden waste. The resulting composted materials may be used to supplement the nutrients in lawns and gardens.
Compression web member
concealed condensation
Condensation dissimulée, f.See Truss terms.
Condensation occurring inside an exterior wall or roof. Also referred to as interstitial condensation.
CondensationCondensation, f.The transformation of the vapour content of the air into water on cold surfaces.
Any heated or cooled area of a building located within the building envelope.
ConductivityConductivité, f. [1]
conductibilité, f. [2]
(1) The rate at which heat is transmitted through a material.
(2) The ability of a material to transmit electricity.
Conifer, coniferous treeConifère, m.A resinous tree with cone-like fruits and needle-like or scaly leaves; generally evergreen with a few deciduous exceptions.
AdobeConstruction en adobe, f.A type of construction in which the exterior walls are built
of blocks that are made of soil mixed with straw and hardened in the sun.
A type of construction in which the walls are made of concrete block or structural clay tile.
A type of construction in which exterior load bearing walls are made of brick or a combination of brick and other unit masonry.
A type of construction comprised of a single width of exterior, non-load bearing brick that is supported by a wood-frame, steel-frame, concrete or unit masonry back-up wall system.
A type of construction wherein an interior building envelope is built within an exterior building envelope with a space provided between the interior and exterior envelopes for air circulation. On the south-side of the house, the space may form an atrium.
A type of construction wherein an interior frame wall assembly is constructed adjacent to an exterior frame wall assembly.
Double-wall systems are typically used to achieve a greater depth of insulation to provide higher thermal resistance to heat losses and gains. Generally, only one of the walls is load-bearing.
A type of construction where houses, or sections of houses, are constructed in a factory and then transported to the site for final assembly. Also referred to as “prefabricated”.
Floors, walls, roof, etc. constructed of slow-burning or
non-combustible materials recognized by building codes or local regulations to withstand collapse by fire for a stated period of time.
A type of construction that uses modular formwork (e.g. blocks or panels), consisting of parallel rigid polystyrene insulation faces held apart by metal or plastic spacers, that is assembled together and filled with concrete to form above and below grade walls.
A type of construction where a house is constructed in one or more sections with permanent metal chassis (used to support the house during transport and on site) and is completed on site with or without a permanent foundation.
ContaminationContamination, f.Impurities in air, water or soil that may constitute a health hazard, or unintended elements in a material (such as concrete) that may alter its performance or appearance.
The application of caulking as a single bead with no joints and breaks.
The difference in elevation between two adjacent contour lines.
A plotted line on a map or plan that joins points of equal altitude or elevation. Also called contour.
Contract limit lineLimite des travaux, f.A line on a plan, section or elevation establishing the legal limit of the area inside which construction work is to occur.
A person or company hired for a particular job. In construction, a contractor may be hired to construct all elements of a building (general contractor), but sub-contract other contractors (subcontractors) such as electricians and plumbers, to complete specific work.
Control matTapis de porte automatique, m.A fabric or plastic pad with enclosed wiring that is placed on the floor or sidewalk inside and outside an automatic door which, when stepped upon, opens the automatic door.
ConvectionConvection, f.The transport of heat by movement due to the rising of a gas or liquid when heated and the falling of the gas or liquid when cooled. Certain types of heating systems, such as baseboard heaters, rely on convection for the distribution of heat. Heat may be transported passively by gas or liquid motion that is independent of the heat (forced convection), or heat itself
can cause gas or liquid motion by buoyancy and expansion
(natural convection).
Cook stovePoêle-cuisinière, m.A wood-burning appliance used for cooking. Some cook stoves are also capable of warming several rooms of a house and generating hot water.
CopingChaperon, m. [1]; assemblage à contre-profil, m. [2](1) A covering at the top of a wall exposed to the weather and designed to shed water.
(2) A saw cut at the junction of two pieces of trim that meet at an angle.
A horizontal projection on the face of a wall formed by one or more courses of masonry, each projecting over the course below.
CoreÂme, f. [1]; noyau, m. [2];
alvéole, f. [3]
(1) The base for veneer or the piece or pieces between the surface layers.
(2) The piece remaining after the log has been cut into veneer by the rotary process.
(3) Preformed voids in unit masonry.
In plastering, a metal strip placed on external corners before plastering to protect, align and reinforce the plaster finish. In gypsum board finishing (drywalling), a strip of metal or wood fixed to protect external corners from damage.
A built-up wood member installed vertically on the external corners of a house or other frame structure against which the ends of the siding are butted.
Metal lath cut into strips and bent to a right angle and used in internal angles of plastered walls and ceilings as reinforcing.
An often ornamental, molded or formed, horizontal projection at the top of walls and columns. Cornices complete and finish the appearance of walls and columns and can also protect surfaces below from precipitation.
Sheet steel formed with parallel ridges to increase stiffness; used as a roof and wall covering and for other building purposes.
Counter-balanced garage doorPorte de garage à
contrepoids, f.
A garage door designed to open easily by means of a weight or a spring to counter-balance the weight of the door.
CounterflashingContre-solin, m.A flashing applied above another flashing to shed water over the top of the lower flashing and allow differential movement without damage to the flashing.
To make a cavity for the reception of a metal plate or the head of a screw or bolt so that it does not project beyond the face of the work.
A continuous layer of bricks or masonry units in buildings; the term is also applicable to shingles.
CourtCour, f.An open, unoccupied area, surrounded by buildings or walls on at least three sides with the fourth side partially or totally open to a street, yard or abutting property, designed primarily for the provision of light and air or to serve as the entrance to a building.
CowlAbat-vent, m.A cover, frequently louvered and either fixed or revolving, fitted to the top of a flue or vent to reduce down-draft.
A low-clearance space between the lowest occupied floor of a house and the ground or slab-on-ground beneath.
(1) An oily liquid distilled from wood or coal tar used as a wood preservative.
(2) Unburned or partially unburned hydrocarbons which are by-products of wood combustion.
A small roof structure at the junction of a chimney or other vertical structure and a roof to divert rainwater around the chimney. See chimney saddle.
(1) The layers of veneer at right angles to tile face plies.
(2) To place layers of wood with their grains at right angles to minimize warping.
Cross ventilationVentilation transversale, f.The provision of air supply and exhaust points at opposite sides of a room or space. Natural ventilation through a room or space by way of open doors, windows or gratings where the air flow mainly results from wind and stack pressure effects on the building.
A decorative moulding used where a wall meets the ceiling.
The angular pieces resulting from the mechanical crushing of stone. Not to be confused with gravel, which occurs naturally and usually has rounded surfaces.
Cul-de-sacCul-de-sac, m.A short street or passageway open at one end only; also called a dead end.
CurbCostière, f. [1];
bordure, f. [2]
(1) A low structure or assembly used to define and retain the edge of a roof.
(2) A continuous, low, narrow strip of concrete used to define
the limits of roadways, parking lots, walkways or other areas.
Curb, loweredBordure abaissée, f., bateau, m.A section of curb which is lowered in order to bring the level of the curb close to the level of the roadway in order to ease passage.
A curb which is tapered to one side to permit the free passage of wheeled vehicles. Also called mountable curb.
Curtain wallMur-rideau, m.A thin wall whose weight is carried directly by the structural frame of the building and which supports no vertical load other than its own weight.
(1) The volume of earth that is removed by excavation.
(2) An opening in a material made by a blade (saw cut) or other sharp instrument.
The process of changing the land surface by excavating part of an area and using the resulting material to fill adjacent areas. See fill.
DDCCNDAbbreviation for direct digital control. An approach to home automation that relies on dedicated wiring to receive analogue or digital signals and communicate messages to selected appliances, systems, equipment and fixtures.
DadoEngravure, f., rainure, f.A rectangular groove in a board or plank.
Dampproof courseComplexe d’étanchéité, m.A water-resistant material placed just above the ground level in a brick or stone wall to prevent ground moisture from wicking up the wall assembly.
(1) The act of covering the exterior or interior of a foundation wall with a protective material that resists the passage of moisture. Dampproofing may also include the installation of a moisture resistant material, such as sheet polyethylene, prior to pouring a basement floor slab and/or footings.
(2) Dampproofing can also refer to a material used to resist the passage of moisture into or through building elements such as concrete floor slabs, footings and foundation walls or to prevent moisture from transferring from one material to another such as masonry or concrete to wood.
A hand float or trowel used by concrete finishers and plasterers in preliminary floating and levelling operations. Also called a derby flicker.
A reference point from which elevations and measurements are taken.
In surveying, the base line from which all lines or levels are taken.
A security lock installed on a door that has a bolt that can only be moved into position by the turning of a knob or key rather than the action of a spring.
The weight of all permanent structural and non-structural components of a building.
A piece of metal, concrete, or wood buried in the ground and used as an anchoring device.
Microbiological organisms that attack wood, including wood in buildings, as a source of nutrient.
Decentralized wastewater system
À feuilles caduques, loc. adj.See Water re-use and recycling terms.
Woody plants or trees that lose their leaves each year.
An elevated, framed, platform, typically attached to the first storey of a dwelling, that may be of sufficient size to accommodate seating, tables, planter boxes and other outdoor amenities.
DeflectionFlèche, f.The displacement of a structural element, such as a post, beam or lintel, under an applied load and/or its own weight.
Alteration in form that a structure undergoes when subjected to a weight or load.
A reinforcing bar made with surface irregularities, as transverse ridges, to improve the bond between the rod and surrounding concrete in which it is embedded.
Degree-day indexIndice des degrés-jours, m.A measure of how relatively hot (or cold) a year was when compared with the heating (cooling) degree-day average. See Heating and cooling terms.
An appliance designed to remove water vapour or moisture content from the air.
To reduce the quantity of water vapour or moisture content in the air of a room.
See Heating and cooling terms.
The partition wall that separates one suite from another or from the building’s common areas.
DensificationDensification, f.An urban planning and development strategy that increases the number of people or residential units within established urban areas. Densification is achieved through planning practices
that permit and encourage secondary suites, laneway housing, mixed-use buildings, infill housing and the redevelopment of urban areas requiring renewal.
A pellet made of dried ground wood or other biomass waste and used as a fuel in a wood-burning appliance. See pellet stove.
The condition of a house or part of a house when the air pressure inside is less than the outdoor air pressure, and commonly caused by kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, clothes dryers, cook top fans and other exhaust appliances.
A hygroscopic substance that removes moisture from air or materials in its vicinity.
Dew pointPoint de rosée, m.The temperature at which a given air/water vapour mixture is saturated with water vapour (that is, 100 per cent relative humidity). If air is in contact with a surface below this temperature, condensation will form on the surface.
Structural elements (e.g., metal or wood strapping, planking, blocking, rods) which when affixed diagonally to and continuously across individual members that form roof trusses, framed walls, framed floors, etc., serve to brace the assembly against deformation.
See Wood Framing terms.
DiffusionWater-vapour diffusionThe movement of water vapour through materials (including air) as a result of a difference in vapour pressure. It is independent of air movement.
Direct solar gainGain solaire direct, m., apport solaire direct, m.Refers to the increase in temperature that occurs when solar thermal energy enters a building through windows where it heats interior spaces and is absorbed by floors, walls or other thermal mass features. A type of solar space heating strategy that receives, captures, stores and re-emits solar energy all within the same space served.
The control of power to a non-essential residential appliance in order to divert power to essential appliances. For example, remotely turning off a swimming pool heater by a utility company when power is needed elsewhere. Direct load control
can be achieved through the use of simple timers or sophisticated
two-way communications systems.
Distributed loadCharge répartie, f.A load spread over an entire surface or along the length of a beam.
Door casingEncadrement de porte, m.The material, with or without ornamental profiles and features, used to cover and finish the gap between a door frame and rough wall opening.
Sides of a frame set in a wall or partition on which a door is hung.
A horizontal member forming the bottom of an outside door frame over which the door closes.
(1) A device fitted to a door, or on the floor or wall near a door, to hold it open as far as may be required, or to prevent the door from being opened beyond a certain amount.
(2) The strip against which a door closes on the face of a door frame.
A structure that projects from a sloping roof, usually provided to admit light or to add useable space under the roof. Could be a decorative feature.
DowelGoujon, m.A wood or metal pin used to hold or strengthen two pieces of wood where they join; a pin or tenon fitting into a corresponding hole serving to fasten two pieces of wood together.
DownspoutDescente pluviale, f.A conduit which carries water from an eavestrough to the ground or storm drainage system.
Draft stopCoupe-feu, m.An obstruction placed in a concealed space to block the passage of air upwards or across a building.
Drainage swaleRigole de drainage, f.A linear, depressed, landscape feature that captures, infiltrates and conveys stormwater. Swales are planted, often grassed and the depression is wider than it is deep, making them more subtle and attractive stormwater management strategies than ditches.
Drainage tileDrain, m., tuyau de drainage, m.Pipe laid in gravel around the footings of a building to drain subsurface water away from the foundation walls.
See Plumbing terms.
DressingÉquarrissage, m.The operation of squaring or smoothing stones or lumber for building purposes.
Drip edgeLarmier, m.A projecting metal, plastic, masonry or concrete edge, causing a liquid (such as water) to break contact from a surface and fall.
Drip mouldRejéteau, m.A projecting moulding arranged to divert rainwater from the face of a wall.
A groove set into the underside of a horizontal projecting element, such as a window sill or balcony slab, that prevents rain or melt water that flows over the projection from adhering to and flowing over its underside. Drip notches help divert precipitation that would otherwise accumulate under projecting elements or drain down the surface of, or into, the building envelope.
Drop sidingBardage à mi-bois, m.Cladding that is rabbeted and overlapped.
The temperature of air. This is the usual temperature to which people refer, but the term is used to distinguish it from “wet bulb temperature” which is measured using a thermometer with a wetted bulb. Comparing the dry and wet bulb temperatures allows calculation of the relative humidity.
Dry rotPourriture sèche, f.Decay of timber due to the attack of certain fungi.
A wall made of stone laid without mortar. Dry-stone walls are usually used as low retaining walls.
Gypsum board that is used as a finish material on interior walls and ceilings.
A type of plaster used to fill and finish the joints between sheets of drywall.
Interior wall and ceiling finish using gypsum board, joint compound and accessories.
Dual flush toiletToilette à double chasse, f.A water efficient toilet equipped to provide a high volume flush for solid waste and a lower volume flush for fluid waste.
See Water re-use and recycling terms.
Dwelling, multipleCollectif d’habitation, m., logement collectif, m.A building or part of a building designed for residential occupancy and consisting of more than two units. Multiple dwellings include triplex, row and group houses, stacked townhouses,
and apartment buildings.
A suite operated as a housekeeping unit, designed for use as a domicile by one or more persons and usually containing cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities.
See Heating and cooling terms: electronically commutated motor
See Heating and cooling terms: energy factor Abbreviation for equivalent leakage area.
See Lumber terms: equilibrium moisture content.
Abbreviation for Energy Management Control System. A system that controls humidity, air quality, temperature setting and energy to optimize energy use and occupant safety.
See Window terms: Energy rating Abbreviation for Energy service company.
The moving of surface materials to create a change of landform during site construction.
EasementServitude, f.See right-of-way.
An established entitlement that one property owner (or more) may have over the real property of another property owner.
Often refers to a right-of-way easement provided over the land held by one property owner to access the land of a neighbouring owner. May also apply to a right to a view, a right to solar access or the right to run services across a neighbouring property.
The part of a roof that projects beyond the face of a wall. The underside of an eave.
A trough fixed to an eave to collect and carry away the runoff from the roof. Also called gutter.
Edge nailingClouage en biais à la rive, m.Nailing lumber through its edge so that the nails are not visible on a floor or other finished surface.
A linear barrier, often of paving stone, between two surface materials; commonly used between a lawn and gravel.
EfflorescenceEfflorescence, f.A white, powdery deposit of soluble salts carried to the surface of brick, concrete, or mortar by moisture. The salts are left behind as the moisture evaporates resulting in the characteristic irregular white patterns on the surface of the material affected.
An outlet; a place of exit. See Means of egress.
Airtight electrical boxCoffret électrique étanche à l’air, m.An approved electrical box designed to act as part of an air barrier system. Typically plastic with features that form an airtight seal around wires entering and leaving the box and with a flange to which the air barrier on the surrounding wall or ceiling can be sealed.
Electricity current that constantly changes direction at a fixed rate. Household electricity service, appliances and equipment are commonly AC-based.
The current-carrying capacity of electric conductors expressed in amperes.
The unit of electrical current equivalent to the steady current produced by one volt applied across a resistance of one ohm.
A device used with a fluorescent-type lamp to provide the necessary starting and operating electric conditions.
The circuit conductors running between the final overcurrent devices (fuses and circuit breakers) protecting the circuit and the outlets and fixtures.
An electrical box that distributes electric power to each branch circuit (each plug and switch) and provides overload protection by means of circuit breakers.
A bundle of insulated wire to carry an electrical current.
Insulated wire with additional flexible metallic protective sheathing. Often referred to as BX cable.
An electric outlet for a ceiling lighting fixture or ceiling fan.
Continuous conducting path or wire through which electrical current flows.
Circuit breakerDisjoncteur, m.An electromechanical device designed to open (break) a current- carrying circuit, under overload or short circuit conditions, without injury to the device; serves the same purpose as a fuse, that is, to prevent overheating in a circuit through overloading. Unlike a fuse, a circuit breaker can be reset rather than need to be replaced.
A specially constructed single or multi-conductor cable which shields signals or data carried in the cable from electrostatic fields. Commonly used for cable television connections and has other applications in home automation systems.
A wire, cable or other form of metal of low resistance, capable of conducting or transmitting electrical current from one piece of electrical equipment to another, or to ground.
A protective pipe-like covering for electrical wiring.
A device for securing a cable by its sheath or armour at the point it enters an enclosure such as an outlet box.
A device that connects two or more conductors, or connects one or more conductors to a terminal point to join electrical circuits.
An outlet for portable equipment such as lamps or electrically operated equipment.
A flow of electricity.
Electric current that moves in one direction only. Boats, cars commonly use DC electrical systems. Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems generate DC electricity that must be converted to AC by way of an inverter before it is usable at the household level or before it can be delivered to the electricity grid.
Distribution boxBoîte de distribution, f.A protected housing which serves as the transition point between the service entrance and the distribution circuits and contains the overcurrent devices (fuses or breakers) that protect each circuit.
Electrical outlet and lighting gasketsJoint d’étanchéité pour prises et lampes électriques, m.Foam gaskets designed to fit behind the cover plates of electrical receptacles, switches and lighting mounts to reduce air leakage into or out of walls and attics.
An electrochemical reaction between two dissimilar metals, such as copper and galvanized steel, causing corrosion of a joint where the two materials are in contact with each other.
Radiation produced by the electromagnetic field (EMF) generated artificially by electric currents and naturally by the earth (emanating from the ground).
See Heating and cooling terms
The use of electronic air cleaners or plastic fibres to clean air by attracting particles with an electric charge.
A conductor that transmits electrical energy from a service supply, transformer, switchboard, distribution centre, generator or other source to branch circuit overcurrent devices.
A device capable of automatically opening an electric circuit under predetermined overload or short-circuit conditions by fusing or melting; an overcurrent device.
A plastic disc that fits into the base of a fuse socket that prevents the installation of a fuse of higher amperage than was planned for the circuit.
A conducting body, such as the earth, or an electric circuit connected to the earth.
A heavy conductor or network of conductors, usually buried in the earth, to provide a conducting connection between an electrical circuit or equipment and earth.
A device designed to interrupt, almost instantaneously, an accidental connection between a live part of an electrical
system and ground (a short circuit or a shock) when the current exceeds a very small predetermined value. This device reacts to a dangerous situation before a fuse or circuit breaker, and before
a person can be harmed by the shock.
Grounding systemInstallation de mise à la terre, f.All conductors, clamps, ground clips, ground plates or
pipes and ground electrodes by which the electrical installation is grounded.
A metallic bar located in the distribution box that serves as a transition between the power-carrying service line and the fuse or circuit rake.
A power-carrying wire, usually black or red; an extension of the input power lines from the utility. A hot line is protected by a fuse or circuit breaker.
A measure of the degree to which an electrical component resists the flow of electrical current if a given voltage is applied (measured in ohms).
To separate from other conducting surfaces by a material or air space that resists the passage of current.
Non-conducting covering applied to wire or equipment to prevent short circuiting.
A device for converting direct current to alternating current for use in a home electrical system. Direct current is usually in the form of electrical energy available from an alternate energy source, such as wind generator or solar photovoltaic panel, or from a battery storage system.
A grounding wire that bridges the water meter to the ground electrode of street-side plumbing when the electrical system has been grounded to the house side of the plumbing system.
A unit of measurement of the consumption of electric energy over a fixed period of time specifically, the use of 1,000 watts for 1 hour. (Metric replacement of kWh is MJ. 1kWh=3.6 MJ.)
Very old wiring with single wires strung between porcelain knobs and through porcelain tubes.
An overload device that allows two demand loads on one set of fuses; usually used where the service is not of adequate size to supply two large loads simultaneously.
Low melting point fuseFusible à bas point de fusion, m.A fuse designed to blow, due to heat build-up, in addition to excessive current flow. Therefore, these fuses can trip when less than their rated current is flowing if sufficient heat is generated. Also called a Type P fuse.
A unit of measurement for the amount of light emitted from a light source.
A two-pole switch capable of cutting off all the electricity in a system. It is installed between the meter and distribution box, or ahead of the meter.
A device used for recording consumption of electricity.
The socket that contains the electrical connections on both sides of the meter and into which the meter is installed.
A meter which records the balance of the flow of electricity to the house from the supply grid and from the house back to the supply grid.
A metallic block of wire connectors located within the distribution box that serves as a transition between the service entrance neutral wire and the white return wires of the distribution system.
A unit of electrical resistance defined as the resistance between two points of a conductor when a constant application of one volt produces a current of one ampere.
A device on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply fixtures or appliances.
Any device affording protection from excess current, but not necessarily short-circuit protection, and capable of automatically opening an electric circuit either by fusing of metal or by electromechanical means. See fuse, breaker.
The surcharge of a circuit beyond the capacity of its conductors.
A diagram of the arrangement of fuses or breakers, identifying each circuit; usually found on the door to the panel where the circuit breakers or fuses are kept.
PanelboardPanneau de distribution, m.A centre for controlling a number of circuits by means of fuses or circuit breakers, usually contained in a metal cabinet. Switches are sometimes added to control each circuit.
A short length of electrical wire.
The amount of energy expended or produced in a given time; measured in watts.
A circuit transmitting electric energy to a motor or to a heating unit too large to be served by an ordinary circuit.
A contact device installed at the outlet into which electric cords can be plugged.
Rocker switchCommutateur à berceau, m.An electrical switch operated by touching the top or bottom of the control plate.
A fused interrupter that will cut off all electricity to a major appliance.
A metal box or cabinet that can be locked or sealed and is used to house fuses or circuit breakers.
Service headTête de branchement, f.A weatherproof device through which the service lines enter the service mast or conduit.
The incoming power line to the distribution box.
A conduit extension used to raise the service head to a height adequate to assure proper clearance for overhead service lines.
An accidental connection of two sides of a circuit through which nearly all the current will flow. Also called a short.
An outlet used for purposes other than ordinary lighting and power, usually fused separately. Most commonly used for ranges or clothes dryers.
Stress strapCourroie de sécurité, f.A clamp that holds an electrical cable firmly to an appliance to prevent any chance of the connector being pulled out under stress.
A device for making, breaking or changing connections in a circuit.
A switch designed to operate in conjunction with a similar switch to control one outlet or light fixture from either of two points. Commonly used at opposite ends of stairs and hallways.
An overcurrent device that allows a large surge current for a short period of time but will open (break the circuit) if current demand is over its predetermined smaller rating on a continuous basis; used primarily to protect electric motor circuits, large appliances and stationary power tools. Also called a Type D fuse.
A switch (usually automatic) which transfers household circuits from utility power to emergency generator or other, alternate power supply.
A device for changing the voltage characteristics of a current supply.
VoltVolt, m.A unit of electromotive force (that is, the force that tends to cause movement of electricity around an electric circuit) or potential difference; equal to the electromagnetic field that causes a current of one ampere to flow through a conductor with a resistance of one ohm.
The measure of the difference in electrical energy between two points.
A unit of measurement of electric power; the energy expended per second by an electric current of one ampere flowing through a conductor the ends of which are maintained at a potential difference of one volt.
A plastic device used to connect conducting wires in junction boxes and outlets.
Electronically- commutated motorECMSee Heating and cooling terms.
(1) The vertical distance between a point and a reference point (e.g., metres above sea level).
(2) The exterior face of a building with respect to the direction it faces or its position relative to another reference point (e.g., South elevation, front elevation, street elevation).
A lifting device in which a platform can be moved up or down a shaft, either by a cable from above or a hydraulic cylinder below.
End thrustPoussée d’extrémité, f.Pressure exerted in the direction of the ends of a structural member, such as a girder, beam, truss, or rafter.
EnerGuide rating systemERSA system developed by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for representing the energy efficiency of a house.
Changes made to an existing building and its existing equipment and systems to reduce energy consumption. May also refer to adding an energy saving feature to an existing building that was not already provided in the original construction.
A type of home mortgage that takes into account the lower costs of operating an energy efficient home over a conventional home which could qualify the borrower for a larger loan amount than otherwise would be possible.
A private company that undertakes energy retrofits at little or no cost to the owner and recovers its investment over time through the resulting energy savings. ESCOs may be involved in the operation of retrofitted buildings during the investment recovery period to help ensure energy savings are realized.
A voluntary labelling program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy that identifies energy efficient products. Qualified products exceed minimum federal standards for energy consumption by a certain amount, or where no federal standards exist, have certain energy saving features. Such products may display the ENERGY STAR® label.
A new home program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992 and administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada to encourage residential energy-efficient practices that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ENERGY STAR® homes may include more insulation, higher efficiency windows, heating and cooling systems and windows in comparison to code built houses.
Third party verification of ENERGY STAR® for New Home requirements is also an integral part of the Program.
A CMHC sustainable housing demonstration initiative bringing the private and public sectors together to develop homes
that address occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource conservation, reduced
environmental impact and affordability.
Fuel cellPile à combustible, f.An electrochemical device that converts fuel directly into electricity.
A term coined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation used to describe housing that is healthy to live in, energy efficient, has low environmental impact, is resource efficient and affordable.
Abbreviation for Home Energy Rating System. A method of rating home energy efficiency. The HERS Index is a scoring system established by the U.S. Residential Energy Services Network in which a net zero energy scores 0, and a house built to the specifications of the HERS Reference Home, based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code, scores 100.
Generally speaking a home energy rating system, such as Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide Rating System is any system used to systematically characterize the energy performance of a house,
often against established performance benchmarks.
LEED®Leadership in Energy and Environmental DesignA rating system for high-rise, commercial and residential buildings that rates environmental impact and performance. Buildings are assessed in six categories: sustainable site; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality; and innovation and design process. (26-32 credits = certified; 33-38 = silver; 39-51 = gold; 52-70 = platinum).
Automatically or manually turning off energy loads to limit the peak energy demand, and related costs, that a building may otherwise experience or the utility must meet.
Moving energy use from on-peak periods to off-peak periods to reduce peak energy loads or to take advantage of lower energy costs.
The use of a single electricity meter to measure household consumption as well as generation of electricity by wind or solar photovoltaic systems. The net electricity generated or consumed is purchased from or sold to the utility, respectively.
Net-ZeroConsommation énergétique nette zéro, f.The objective of balanced energy use and generation for an individual house or building. The energy consumed and generated by the house should achieve a net-zero balance on an annual basis. See also EQuilibrium.
A home that consumes as much energy as it produces on site, on an annual basis.
An optical, ultrasonic, or infrared device used to save energy by activating systems such as space conditioning systems, ventilation systems, or lighting systems in an occupied space or room and
to deactivate the systems when the space or room becomes
Setback thermostatThermostat programmable, m.A thermostat with an integral timer that can schedule the operation of a space conditioning system based on time of day and day of the week. Often used to lower the indoor temperature setpoint during unoccupied periods during the winter and raise it during the summer to reduce the operating time, and energy consumption, of the space conditioning system.
Denotes the use of very high levels of insulation and construction practices to achieve very high levels of airtightness.
GlulamLamellé-collé, m.A beam or column made by gluing laminations of dimension lumber. Also called glued laminated timber.
An engineered wood product formed by two dimensional lumber or LVL flanges (the horizontal members at the top and bottom of the joist) that are adhered to the edges of an OSB or plywood web (the vertical portion of the joist). I-joists are used to construct floors and may also be used as rafters.
A wood product made by gluing wood strands into a billet that is then cut to size for uses such as headers, rim-joists
for floor systems, columns, joists and studs, headers, lintels and rim boards.
Lumber made of veneers of wood glued together using exterior grade glue.
A structural panel product manufactured by gluing and high-temperature pressing of layers of thin wood strands, with each layer oriented at a right angle to adjacent layers.
A structural wood product made by gluing long, thin strands of wood.
A wood panel made of layers of veneer joined with glue and usually laid with the grain of adjoining plies at right angles (it usually has an odd number of plies).
Generic terms for solid structural engineered wood products created by layering wood veneers, strands or flakes with exterior type adhesives into blocks of material known as billets. The billets are cured in a heated press and sawn to consistent
sizes that are easily worked in the field using conventional construction tools. Includes products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL), laminated strand lumber (LSL).
Structural wood panel manufactured from randomly arranged wood wafers (unlike OSB, which has strands arranged in layers that are at a right angle to adjacent layers) and bonded together with glue.
English bondAppareil anglais, m.A masonry bond in which each course is alternately composed entirely of header or stretcher masonry units.
A private room attached to another room, for example, an ensuite bathroom attached to a bedroom.
See Lumber.
An estimate of the total combined area of all the unintentional openings in the building envelope generally expressed in square centimetres or square inches. The ELA is usually obtained through a blower-door test. See also normalized leakage area (NLA).
ErosionÉrosion, f.The uncontrolled detachment and removal of soil particles by the action of water, wind or gravity.
A plate around an opening or penetration, such as a keyhole plate or the plate to which a door knob is attached.
The process of changing a liquid into vapour (usually water) by adding latent heat.
To dig or scoop out earth as for a foundation, underground services, etc.
The outward flow or escape of air or liquid. The term is often associated with the uncontrolled movement of indoor air to outdoors through intentional and unintentional openings in the building envelope.
ExitIssue, f., sortie, f.That part of a means of egress, including doorways, that leads from the floor area it serves to a separate building, an open public thoroughfare (e.g., a street), or an exterior open space protected from fire exposure from the building and having access to an open public thoroughfare.
Exit, access toAccès à l’issue, m.That part of a means of egress within a floor area that provides access to an exit serving the floor area.
An exit from one building to another by means of a doorway, vestibule, walkway, bridge or balcony.
A metal network formed by stamping or cutting sheet-metal and stretching it to form open meshes. It is used as reinforcing in concrete construction and as lath for plastering and stucco.
See Insulation terms
A fastener commonly used for bolting wood or steel to concrete or masonry that is secured as a result of the bolt anchor spreading as the bolt is tightened. Also called a cinch anchor.
Exhaust-only ventilation system
extended exhaust ventilation system
exterior trim
Boiserie extérieure, f.See Ventilation terms.
See Ventilation terms.
Exterior mouldings and members used to finish and cover unprotected edges or joints of exterior finishes or between elements such as the roof and walls, walls and windows, etc.
The upper curved line of an arch.
See Insulation terms
Abbreviation for board foot measure. See Lumber terms: board foot.
FacadeFaçade, f.The entire exterior side of a building that can be seen in one view. Typically refers to the principal, main, street facing or architecturally significant side of a building.
Fastening a member by driving nails through it at right angles to its exposed surface.
The exterior trim board under the verge of gables sometimes referred to as verge board. See barge board.
FacingRevêtement, m.The external layer of a wall that is visible and exposed to the weather and supported by a structural wall behind.
The ratio of the maximum load a material, component or system can withstand before failure to the maximum load it is designed to carry. For example, if a rope that can carry up to 2,000 kg before breaking is specified to carry a load no more than 1,000 kg, the factor of safety is 2,000 divided by 1,000 = 2.
Fan depressurizationDépressurisation par ventilateur, f.The condition that exists when a fan is used to exhaust air from a building resulting in a lower pressure inside the building compared to the outside.
Fascia boardBordure d’avant-toit, f.An exterior, vertically positioned but horizontally running, trim member used to close and finish the outer exposed ends and faces of rafters and roof trusses. Fascia board may also support eavestroughing.
FeatheringAmincissement, m.Reducing gradually to a very thin edge.
Felt paperPapier feutre, m.Building paper made from a paper base saturated with hot bitumen and used under roofing and siding as a protection against moisture.
A structure used to separate one area from another. It can also be used to define or enclose, or partially enclose, an area.
The distribution or arrangement of windows, doors, and ornamental trim.
A panel, plank or moulded shape made of glued wood fibres.
FibreglassFibre de verre, f.Very fine threads of glass massed to form wool-like thermal and acoustical insulation or be combined as a yarn and woven into fabrics that when embedded in synthetic resins make a very strong, lightweight material.
Thin hollow fibres through which coded light pulses are passed to transmit audio, video and data information.
The moisture content of wood when all the free water in the cell cavities has been lost, leaving water only in the cell walls and shrinkage begins (approximately 25 to 30 per cent moisture content).
Earth, soil, or other material used to alter the existing topographic relief of an area or to adjust the level of an excavation. See cut and fill.
FilterFiltre, m.A device that removes impurities from liquids or gases.
FinialFaîteau, m.An ornament, often long and narrow, set at the peak of a gable.
The overall measurements of any object completely finished and ready for use.
The final surface adjustments made to a site after construction of buildings and other facilities. Usually applies to manual placing and raking of topsoil.
Fire resistant wall, door, and similar construction to prevent spread of a fire in a building. See fire stop.
Brick made with high heat-resisting clay and used to line fireplaces, furnaces and chimneys.
A clay with high heat resistance used to make fire brick and the mortar in which fire brick is laid.
An enclosed interior space in a building that is separated from all other parts of the building by enclosing construction that provides a fire separation with a required fire-resistance rating.
A closure installed in an air-distribution system or in a wall or floor assembly that is normally held open but is designed to close automatically in the event of a fire to maintain the integrity of a fire separation.
A device that detects a fire condition and actuates an alarm (includes smoke and heat detectors).
A fire-resistant door that can be closed to stop the spread of a fire.
Fire loadCharge combustible, f.The combustible contents of a room or floor area, including furnishings, finished floor, wall and ceiling finishes, trim, and temporary and movable partitions, expressed in the average weight of combustible materials per square metre.
FireplaceFoyer, m.An opening or appliance at the base of a chimney where wood or gas is burned for heating and/or aesthetic purposes. Fireplaces are most often masonry, stone or metal and may or may not be built into the structure of a house.
A manufactured firebox installed in a masonry fireplace opening to improve heat-transfer efficiency and safety.
The time in hours (or fractions of hours) that a closure, window or glass block assembly will resist the passage of flames and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specified test and performance criteria.
The time in minutes or hours that a material or assembly of materials will withstand the passage of flames and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specific test and performance conditions.
See Construction types.
A wood product whose surface burning characteristics are reduced by impregnation with fire-retardant chemicals.
A construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire, and may or may not be required to have a fire-resistance rating.
A draft-tight barrier within or between construction assemblies that acts to retard the passage of smoke and flames.
A wall of non-combustible construction that subdivides a building into limited fire areas or separates adjoining buildings
to resist the spread of fire, and that has a prescribed fire-resistance rating and the ability to remain structurally intact for the
required fire-rated time.
Flag stoneDalle, f.Flat stone, usually 25 to 75-mm (1 to 3-in.) thick, used for patios, pavement or sidewalks.
The measurement of flame spread on the surface of a material or an assembly of materials as determined in a standard fire test.
(1) A projecting edge, rib, or rim.
(2) The top and bottom horizontal components of an I-beam or
channel that are attached to the vertical web.
FlashingSolin, m.Water-proof sheet or other material placed to prevent water penetration or to direct and shed the flow of water over and off of the building envelope or other element.
Flat slabDalle sans nervure, f., plancher-dalle, m.A concrete slab reinforced in two or more directions, without beams or girders except wall or trimmer beams, from which loads are transferred to supporting columns.
In masonry, a bond consisting of alternate headers and stretchers in every course, each header being placed in the middle of the stretchers, in the courses above and below.
Accessible housingLogement accessible, m.Dwellings that include features, amenities or products to better meet the needs of people with disabilities and thereby maximizing the number of people who can readily use them.
A dwelling designed and constructed to be easily, and cost-effectively, modified at a later date as the needs and circumstances of the occupants change. For example, the
inclusion of a space for a home office or secondary suite or features that can accommodate occupants with changing mobility such as a roll-in shower, wider doorways, and level entranceways.
The ability to remain in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably as one’s age and abilities change.
Devices, equipment and systems that provide people with physical, sensory and cognitive disabilities with an ability to live more independently and safely. Includes door bells that also activate a flashing light, personal emergency signalling systems, stair lifts.
Means that a building and its facilities can be approached, entered and used by persons with physical or sensory disabilities. They contain no architectural, design or psychological features that might prevent anyone, able-bodied or otherwise, from using the building or amenities.
An activity limitation or participation restriction associated with a physical or mental condition or health problem.
A concept developed by CMHC. FlexHousing is a built form in which the interior configuration can change over time to adapt to the needs of the homeowner. For example, over time the floor plan and services may be adapted to include: the addition or removal of a secondary suite; a change in room configuration
to create a new bedroom for a child or elderly parent; or, the addition of an office.
Housing that include specific design features that allows people to occupy their homes for longer periods of time, that meet
a wide range of occupant needs, and improve convenience. The four principles of flexible housing are adaptability,
accessibility, affordability and healthy indoor environments.
FlightVolée d’escalier, f.A series of steps between floors or landings.
A smooth finish applied to concrete or plaster.
The equal spreading of plaster or concrete by means of a board called a float.
FlooringRevêtement de sol, m., support de revêtement de sol, m.Material used in the construction of floors. The surface material is known as finished flooring (revêtement de sol) while the base material is called sub-flooring (support de revêtement de sol).
Fluorescent lightingÉclairage fluorescent, m.Light produced by fluorescent lights. Also refers to fluorescent lamp-based lighting fixtures or lighting systems. Fluorescent light is produced when the phosphor coating applied to the inner surface of a sealed glass tube is struck by ultraviolet light released by mercury gas within the tube when an electric current is applied to it. Fluorescent lighting comes in linear, compact spiral and circuline forms.
A rounded groove on a column or pilaster.
The widened section, usually concrete, at the base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier or column that is designed to carry and distribute structural loads to the ground.
FormaldehydeFormaldéhyde, m.A colourless, pungent, and irritating gas that can be released by certain glues, insulation, furnishings, fibre and particle boards, plastics and curing agents.
FoundationFondations, f. pl.The lower portion of a structure, usually concrete or masonry, including the footings, that transfers the weight of the structure to the ground.
See dampproofing
High-quality, below-grade moisture protection. Used to prevent water from entering below-grade exterior concrete and masonry walls and floor slabs when hydrostatic pressure occurs.
FrameworkOssature, f., charpente, f.Carpentry work consisting entirely of framing or rough work.
FramingCharpenterie, f.The rough timber work of a house, including the flooring, roofing, exterior walls, interior partitions, ceiling and beams.
Free-floating stud wallMur à poteaux flottants, m.A steel stud wall that is secured to the top track in such a way that it transfers horizontal loads but not vertical loads.
FriezeFrise, f.The middle part of the decorative design of a wall, between the architrave and the cornice; the decorated upper part of a wall, below the cornice.
A hollow in the bottom of a brick to assist in bonding between courses.
The view of the front face of a building.
The upthrust of ground, pavement or other objects in the ground caused by freezing of moist soil. It occurs when subsurface water freezes and expands along the frost line and draws additional water up from the unfrozen soil below by capillary action and vapour diffusion to form an ice lens.
As the ice lens grows upwards in the direction of heat loss, it will lift any soil, objects and structures above or to adjacent vertical surfaces (e.g., foundation wall, concrete pier or post) to which
it becomes adhered.
A fleshy mass of material found on decayed wood that is responsible for the production of decay fungi spores. Its presence indicates an advanced stage in the deterioration of the wood.
A fruiting body assumes different physical characteristics depending on the decay fungi involved; some growths are bracket-like, others resemble mushrooms.
A foundation deep enough to provide adequate ceiling to floor clearance for headroom in the basement under the entire building area.
See Ventilation terms.
FungiChampignons, m. pl.Plant-like organisms that are decomposers of waste organisms and organic material and exist as yeast, mold, or mildew.
FurringFourrure, f.A strip applied to a wall or other surface as support for the finish material, or to increase its thickness. See strapping.
A steel member used to support interior finish; the smallest horizontal member of a suspended ceiling.
GAMAPas d’équivalent en françaisAbbreviation for the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association.
GAMA publishes AFUE ratings for furnaces and EF ratings for water heaters.
The upper triangular-shaped portion of the end wall of a building.
The upper, often triangular-shaped, portion of a wall that is contained within or projecting from a roof.
Galvanized steelTôle galvanisée, f.Steel that has been dipped in molten zinc to protect it against rust and used where moisture is present, such as on roofing, flashing and hardware.
Pipe made of galvanized steel.
Garbage disposal deviceBroyeur de déchets, m.A food-waste disposer mounted in the kitchen sink drain to grind food scraps into pieces small enough to be handled by household wastewater piping.
GaugeÉpaisseur, f., calibre, m.A standard for measuring the diameter of nails or wire and sheet metal thickness.
A system of measuring sheet metal thickness. Manufacturer’s Standard Gauge (MSG) for uncoated steel sheet, Galvanized Sheet Gauge (GSG) for galvanized sheet steel.
GirderGrosse poutre, f., poutre maîtresse, f.A principal beam that supports secondary beams and stringers.
A support between structural members to keep them in proper alignment.
Fine strands formed by blowing or drawing molten glass.
GlazeVitrer, v. [1];
glaçure, f. [2]
(1) To put panes of glass in a sash, frame or prepared opening.
(2) Transparent liquid applied to tiles before being fired in order to produce a glossy surface.
A door fitted with glass panels.
Small, triangular metal piece inserted into the rabbet or wood sash to secure the glass before putty is applied.
A mixture of whiting and linseed oil used for fixing panes of glass into a frame after installation of glazier points.
A generic term for the transparent (sometimes translucent) material in a window or door (usually, but not always, glass).
Glazing beadParclose, f., baguette de vitrage, f.A moulding or stop around the inside of a frame to hold the glass in place.
A window component comprised of two or more glazing layers sealed around the outside edge to prevent air or moisture from entering the airspace and to prevent dirt and condensation between the panes.
Grab barBarre d’appui, f.A handle installed on a wall to support a person’s weight or assist in providing balance. Often used in bathrooms to help people access and have support at toilets or in bathtubs and showers.
May also be referred to as a support bar
The average level of the ground surface around the foundation wall. Can also mean the site surface slope or gradient that can be modified by cut and fill.
A predetermined line indicating the proposed elevation of the ground around a building.
GradientGradient, m.The degree of inclination, or the rate of ascent or descent of a surface.
Granular materialsMatériau granulaire, m.Materials including crushed stone, gravel or certain soils that are used for backfill or under slabs to allow for water drainage.
Category of plants typically used for landscaping and erosion control.
An assembly of steel bars placed over an opening that permits water or air to pass through.
GreenfieldTerrain vierge, m.Undeveloped land, sometimes previously used for agriculture, being considered for development.
Solar radiation admitted through a medium that is transformed to heat waves that cannot pass back through the medium.
The process was first observed in greenhouses, where glass admitted the solar radiation, then trapped the heat. The term is now applied to the Earth’s surface, where constituents of the atmosphere trap solar radiation.
Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range, causing the atmosphere to increase in temperature.
An obsolete, outdated, underutilized real estate (shopping malls, strip malls or other commercial properties) that represent a promising opportunity for redevelopment, intensification and revitalization. Referred to as “greyfield” due to the large expanses of parking or asphalt areas. Greyfields do not typically require site remediation to deal with contamination from previous uses.
See Water re-use and recycling terms.
See Water re-use and recycling terms.
The linking of a building’s electricity-generating system
(e.g., roof top photovoltaic panels) through a dedicated meter to the electrical grid. The building draws electricity it needs from the grid through a separate meter and not the generating system. Though not common, a grid-tied system may include batteries for back-up power in the event of a grid failure.
An assembly of steel bars placed over a window to deter entrance through the window. Also used to describe inserts, or muntins, added to window panes to simulate old true divided windows. See Window terms: checker window.
GroundCueillie, f.A strip of wood or metal attached to a wall before plastering along the floor line and around windows, doors, and other openings as a plaster stop and thickness guide.
Ground fault circuit interrupter
ground floor
Premier étage, m., rez-de-chaussée, m.See Electrical terms.
The floor of a building closest to grade. Also referred to as the first floor or storey.
See Heating and cooling terms.
GroundwaterNappe souterraine, f.Subsurface water located within the porous spaces in soil, sediment, and rocks. Groundwater originates from rain and melting snow and ice and is the source of water for aquifers, springs, and wells. The upper surface of groundwater is the water table.
A free flowing mixture of cement mortar used to fill the spaces between masonry or between masonry and steel base plates.
Also used to fill spaces between ceramic tiles.
A protective barrier around a floor opening or along the open sides of stairs or a ramp, landing, balcony, mezzanine, galleries, raised walkway and elsewhere to prevent falls from one level to another or inadvertent entry into a dangerous area.
A guard consisting of a top rail and a mid-rail located approximately midway between the underside of the top rail and the floor.
A wood or metal plate attached across a joint to increase its strength and stability.
An eavestrough used to convey rainwater from the roof to
the downspout. A channel in a ground surface that conveys water from one place to another.
A wire attached to support an upright object. Guy wires are often used to support newly planted trees or aerial antennas.
Gypsum boardPlaque de plâtre, f.A panel product made from gypsum plaster with a paper covering on the front and back. See drywall.
A structural beam shaped like an I-beam but with wider flanges.
A small metal H shaped clip used to support and align butt joints in roof sheathing that are not supported by framing.
HRAIICCCR, Institut canadien du chauffage, de la climatisation et de la réfrigération, m.Acronym for Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada.
See Ventilation terms.
Abbreviation for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Used to describe space-conditioning systems.
Abbreviation of Home Ventilating Institute. HVI publishes performance ratings for HRV, exhaust fans, range hoods, and static ventilation devices.
A room or space intended primarily for human occupancy.
HandrailMain courante, f.A supportive horizontal or sloping (in the case of ramps and stairs) rail at the top or side of a guard, wall or balustrade, intended to be grasped by a person’s hand for support, and to prevent falls.
Metal fittings such as door knobs, hinges, towel bars and closet rods.
HardwoodsFeuillu, m.,
bois de feuillus, m.
The botanical group of trees that (with a few exceptions) are broad-leaved, deciduous species (the term is not a precise indication of the actual hardness of the wood).
A slotted plate attached to a door that fits over a u-shaped staple on a door frame and is used to secure the door with a padlock or peg.
A covered opening that provides access to an attic, roof, crawlspace. Smaller hatches may also be used to provide access to building services such as shut-off valves, dampers or for inspection of same.
A wall course in which all the masonry units are headers.
HeaderMasonryA masonry unit laid with its end exposed on the face of a wall.
The space between the top of a person’s head and the ceiling or other structure above.
The floor and area immediately in front of a fireplace.
Heat detectorDétecteur de chaleur, m.A temperature-sensitive device programmed to be activated when the temperature rises above a preset point. Often used to trigger a fire alarm or activate a fire sprinkler.
A mechanical device that sets off a warning bell when a sudden rise in temperature takes place.
Heat recoveryRécupération de chaleur, f.The process of extracting heat (usually from air or water) that would otherwise be wasted. Heat recovery in housing usually refers to the extraction of heat from exhaust air or drain-water. See Heating and cooling terms: HRV, and Plumbing terms: DWHR
Aspect ratioRapport de forme, m.The ratio of the longer dimension to the shorter dimension of a shape.
A burner with no fan or blower that relies solely on natural draft to acquire combustion air.
A measure of the quantity of smoke in flue gas obtained by comparing the soot spot on a filter paper to a grey scale that ranges from white (0) to black (9) in unit steps.
The reverse flow of outdoor air into a building through the barometric damper, draft hood, burner unit or fire box as a result of chimney blockage or the depressurization of a house relative to outdoors which overcomes the draft of the chimney.
Depressurization can be caused by stack or wind effects or the operation of exhaust appliances such as clothes dryers, rangehoods, and bathroom fans. Backdrafting can cause the
products of combustion (odour, smoke, toxic gases, particulates) from fuel-fired appliances to be spilled back into the interior of a building. Cold backdrafting occurs when the appliance is not operating and the chimney acts as an air inlet. Hot backdrafting occurs when the flow of hot flue gases is reversed during
appliance operation.
Balanced flueVentouse, f.A direct venting, or sealed combustion system where the movement of flue gases and incoming combustion air is driven by thermal buoyancy. Such systems are often but not always coaxial.
A counterweighted damper located in the venting system between a fuel-fired appliance and its chimney that is set so that variations in chimney barometric pressure will cause the damper to open or close gradually to maintain a constant draft in the chimney directly upstream of the damper.
A thin linear heating appliance that has openings at the top and bottom through which air circulates and collects heat from an internal convector. Typically installed at the base of exterior walls under windows.
Blocked vent shut-off systemSystème de soupape d’arrêt pour évent obstrué, m.A system designed to interrupt appliance main burner gas flow if the appliance venting system is totally blocked.
A closed pressure vessel that uses fuel or electricity for heating water to supply steam or hot water for heating, hot water, humidification or other applications such as electricity generation.
That part of a forced air system which is located directly at the outlet of a furnace or air-handler. Sometimes called “supply plenum.” Often contains the evaporator coil of a central
split-system air-conditioner.
A sheet metal fitting usually located at a supply terminal that provides a transition between round duct to rectangular duct or a register or diffuser. Common types include angle boot, universal boot and end boot.
A passageway carrying air to or from a single register or grille.
A flue or chamber for receiving flue gases from one or more flue connections and for discharging these gases through a single chimney flue or chimney liner connection. See chimney thimble.
A short pipe with one end permanently mortared into the breech of a masonry chimney and the other end free for the attachment of a vent connector or smoke pipe.
A unit used to measure quantity of heat, defined as the quantity of energy necessary to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water 1°F.
Abbreviation for BTUs per hour, commonly used to rate heating appliance capacity and rates of heating or cooling energy flow.
A device for the introduction of fuel to be ignited and burned in the combustion zone of a fuel-fired appliance.
Burner unitBrûleur, m.That part of an appliance or furnace that burns fuel to produce fire or heat.
An automatic device (possibly non-electric) that allows recirculation of air between the supply and return plenums of a forced air system equipped with zone control.
An appliance or system that produces cooled air in a central location for distribution to the rooms of a house. Often refers to a central forced air heating system equipped with a cooling coil in the supply plenum to meet space conditioning needs during the summer.
A heating system in which a number of rooms or spaces are heated from a central source, where the heating equipment is not located in the rooms or spaces being heated.
A prefabricated flexible liner for a furnace combustion chamber that is used with a retention head oil burner.
A ceramic or metallic liner forming a flue on the inside of a masonry chimney. A ceramic liner must be installed at the time of construction of the chimney. Metallic liners are usually
installed as retrofit in order to correct deterioration problems or to modify an existing chimney to make it suitable for use with fuel-fired appliances for which it was not originally designed.
The connector that joins the vent connector or smoke pipe though the wall of the chimney to the chimney flue or liner. See breech or breech pipe.
An opening in the chimney below the entrance of the flue pipe to enable residue removal.
The distance between a hot surface and an adjacent material; the space allowance provided to ensure adequate access room for maintenance, access or repair; the distance between an item requiring maintenance and the closest interfering surface.
A combustion appliance venting system consisting of an inner pipe that conveys the combustion products to the outdoors and an outer pipe that draws in combustion air.
Coefficient of performanceCoefficient de performance, m.A measure of the efficiency of a heat pump or air-conditioning equipment. It is the ratio of input energy to output energy.
A device that has an energy input of 1 kW and an output of
3 kW, will have a C.O.P. of 3.
Combination space and potable water heating systemCombo systemA system that provides both domestic hot water and space- heating using potable water as the space-heating working fluid. This is distinct from a boiler-based system that may also provide space and domestic hot water heating, but the working fluid for space-heating is contained in a closed loop and is not potable.
The air required to provide adequate oxygen for the burning of fuels in fuel-burning appliances. Some appliances use indoor air to provide this oxygen; others have a separate combustion air supply from outside.
A space in the furnace or boiler where air and fuel are mixed and ignited, and combustion occurs.
A surface on the inside of a combustion chamber designed to withstand high temperatures.
The range of temperature, humidity and air velocity within which the majority of adults feel comfortable.
A furnace with a heat exchanger that obtains additional heat (and higher energy efficiency) by condensing water vapour from the combustion gases.
A portable appliance designed for temporary space-heating during construction.
A surface designed to transfer its heat to the air circulated over it by forced and/or natural convection. The heat may be supplied by electricity or hot water.
A plate or vanes installed within a duct or venting system, or within registers, to control the flow of air.
A daily measure of the difference between the average outdoor temperature and 18°C. The seasonal sum of degree days below 18°C is used in calculating heating requirements.
Degree-day indexIndice des degrés-jours, m.A measure of how relatively hot (or cold) a year was when compared with the heating (cooling) degree-day average.
A valve mounted on an oil burner to release oil only after the combustion blower starts.
Term used to express a temperature difference.
The total heat gained in a house per hour (typically measured in kilowatts or BTU per hour (BTUH)) when the outside temperature is at the summer outdoor design temperature and the indoor temperature is at the summer indoor design temperature. Design heat gains includes heat gains through walls, ceilings, foundations, windows and doors as well as heat
gains through air leakage and ventilation. The design heat gain is used to size air conditioning systems.
The total heat loss from a house per hour (typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or BTU per hour (BTUH)) when the outside
temperature is at the winter outdoor design temperature and the indoor temperature is at the winter indoor design temperature. Design heat loss factors in conduction heat losses through walls, ceilings, foundations, windows and doors as well as heat lost through air leakage and ventilation. It does not include solar or internal gains. The design heat loss of a house is to size its space heating system.
The outdoor and indoor temperatures used for sizing heating and cooling equipment. Outdoor temperatures are based on historical records for the geographic location of the house and probability (e.g., 1 per cent or 2.5 per cent design). When the actual outdoor temperatures exceed design temperatures, the heating or cooling system may not be able to maintain the indoor design temperature unless oversized to do so.
The indoor temperatures used to size the heating or cooling system.
The outdoor design temperature used to size the cooling system.
Design temperature, outdoor winterTempérature de calcul hivernale, f.The outdoor design temperature used to size the heating system.
Air admitted to a venting system at the draft hood, draft diverter, draft regulator or barometric damper.
A fuel-fired appliance constructed so that all the combustion air is supplied directly from, and the products of combustion are vented directly to, the outdoors by independent enclosed passageways connected directly to the appliance. Also called a sealed combustion system appliance.
Reducing the firing rate and hence the heat output of a furnace.
A device installed in the venting system between a furnace, boiler or hot water heater and chimney designed to provide for the exhaust of the products of combustion in the event of no draft, back draft, or stoppage beyond the draft hood;
prevent a back draft from entering the furnace; and to neutralize the effect of stack action of the chimney or gas vent upon the operation of the furnace to help maintain efficiency. Newer high efficiency appliances may not have draft hoods. Also known as
a draft diverter.
A heating system that uses two sources of energy, such as wood and oil or gas and electricity.
A conduit that conveys air in space heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.
A material used to permanently seal joints, holes and cracks in ducts.
Vinyl, cloth or foil tape used to seal around the seams of ductwork to temporarily reduce air leakage.
A central furnace with no warm air registers or cold air return ducts.
Ductless heating or cooling systemAppareil de chauffage ou de climatisation sans conduit, m.A compact heating and/or cooling appliance that delivers warm or cool air directly into the room where it is permanently installed. The indoor unit(or units) is connected to an outdoor condenser unit. Also referred to as mini-split, multi-split, or variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump systems.
Abbreviation for electronically commutated motor. ECMs are brushless direct current motors with integrated electronic controls that provide energy efficient operation over a range of motor speeds. ECMs are used in energy efficient furnaces, ventilation devices and pumps.
Abbreviation for energy efficiency ratio, a method of reporting the energy performance of air-to-air heat pumps.
A hot water boiler where the water is heated by electric elements.
A warm air furnace in which the air is heated by electric elements.
An ignition system in an oil or gas furnace that eliminates the need for a pilot light.
Abbreviation for Energy Factor, a value which applies to the energy efficiency of water heaters and considers off-cycle and other losses in addition to steady-state efficiency.
See Ventilation terms.
A sheet metal fitting where the entering pipe is attached to the short side of the rectangular opening, and the path of air turns 90 degrees.
A term used to describe the heat content of air including both sensible and latent heat.
A tank in a hot-water system designed to contain water as the water in the system expands when heated.
The sum of a negative (suction) static pressure on the return or inlet side, and the positive (bursting) static pressure on the discharge side of an air-moving device such as fan, furnace
or air handler.
FPMPi/min, m.Abbreviation for feet per minute, a commonly used term to describe air velocity in HVAC duct systems. See CFM.
A factory-made assembly consisting of a fan and a hydronic coil (typically water or glycol as the working fluids) for use in forced air space heating and/or cooling systems. Relies on an external source (e.g., boiler, chiller) to provide heated or cooled water. May or may not be connected to supply and return air distribution systems.
(e.g., finned-tube baseboard heater) A pipe to which fins have been attached (or formed from the pipe material itself ) in order to increase the heat transfer to or from the working fluid in the pipe to the air passing over the pipe and fins.
A higher efficiency oil burner used in furnaces and boilers. Flame-retention head burners better mix air and fuel and require less excess air for good combustion.
A damper added to a flue pipe downstream of a furnace or boiler and connected with automatic controls to the burner in order to reduce heat loss when the heating device is not operating.
A heating and/or cooling system that uses a motor-fan set to distribute heated, cooled, and otherwise treated air via a central ductwork system to the different rooms of a house to meet space conditioning needs.
Combustion air that is supplied under pressure to the burner of a fuel-fired appliance.
An appliance in which energy is converted to heat such as by burning gas or oil or by converting electrical energy to heat and the heat is typically delivered to the space by forced air.
A heating system in which the source of heat is either natural gas or propane.
A mechanical system that makes use of a heat exchanger and bore holes to extract energy from the ground for building heating or cooling. May or may not involve the use of a heat pump to upgrade the temperature of the extracted energy.
Gravity furnaceGénérateur d’air chaud par circulation naturelle, m.A furnace used in a gravity space heating system. Unlike a newer appliance, a gravity furnace does not have a circulating fan, rather it delivers heated air to the supply air distribution ductwork by buoyancy of the heated air alone.
A space heating system found in older homes. It consisted of a gravity furnace and supply and return air ductwork but no circulation fan to force air flow. The system relied on the buoyancy of the heated air to distribute the warm air up to
the rooms above. Unlike newer forced air systems, the supply ducts often terminated at registers on interior walls. Cooler air was collected by floor grates located at exterior walls and under windows. The colder, denser air would fall back down to the furnace to be reheated. As the round branch supply air
ducts were connected to the furnace bonnet, the gravity furnace resembled an octopus and was often referred to as an octopus furnace or system.
A heating system with ductwork but no circulating fan that relies on the buoyancy of heated air to move it through the ductwork. A gravity furnace is sometimes referred to as an “octopus.”
The non-adjustable slotted guard at the room end of a branch duct.
A heat pump used in a geothermal system.
A device used to transfer heat from a liquid or gas to another liquid or gas where the two fluids are physically separated.
Examples include ventilation system air to air heat exchangers or domestic hot water system water to water heat exchangers.
The gain of heat to a building from outdoors through the transfer of energy by conduction, radiation, convection and mass transfer. The unit of measurement is watts (W) or British thermal units per hour (BTHU). Heat gain calculations are used to size space cooling (air conditioning) systems.
The loss of heat from a building to outdoors through the transfer of energy by conduction, convection, radiation and mass transfer. The unit of measurement is watts (W) or British thermal units per hour (BTUH). Heat loss calculations are used to size space heating systems.
Heat pumpThermopompe, f., pompe à chaleur, f.A thermodynamic heating/cooling appliance used to transfer heat in space conditioning and water heating systems.
Major components are the condenser and evaporator.
See Ventilation terms.
A device to convert energy from fuel or electricity into heat.
The amount of heat required to keep a building at a specified temperature during the heating season, regardless of outside temperature.
A type of electronic ignition system.
The circulation of hot water from a boiler or other source through a system of supply and return pipes to radiators located in the spaces to be heated. Does not include fan coil or combination space and hot water heating systems.
Hybrid heating systemSystème de chauffage hybride, m.A space heating system that uses two sources of energy such as electricity and oil or heat pumps and natural gas or heat pumps and electricity. Hybrid heating systems are typically installed to provide flexibility with respect to which space heating energy source is used based on the relative costs of the energy supplied. See also dual fuel system.
Indoor-outdoorResetA control used to raise or lower the temperature of the water within a hot water space heating system as a result of changes in outdoor temperatures. The controller helps the system to better meet indoor comfort conditions, reduce heat losses from the distribution system and in some cases improve boiler efficiency.
A fan located downstream of the furnace that assists the flow of combustion products. May exist in either a spillage susceptible or non-spillage susceptible combustion venting system.
Induced draft flue systemSystème d’évacuation à tirage induit, m.A type of combustion venting system equipped with a fan downstream of the combustion chamber. Such a system may be either spillage susceptible or non-spillage susceptible.
An electrical heating system where mats or panels containing electrical heating elements are incorporated into a floor assembly that evenly radiates the heat into the space.
A hot-water heating system in which warm water is pumped through a system of pipes incorporated into a floor assembly and which evenly radiates the heat into the space. Such a system includes both high-mass and low-mass assemblies.
A space heater, often unvented, that uses kerosene as a fuel.
ManifoldCollecteur, m.A device for receiving or distributing fluids or gases in plumbing, heating, gas supply piping or combustion venting systems.
Abbreviation for thousands of British Thermal Units per Hour (“M” in the imperial system represents thousands and not millions as it does in the metric system). For example, a furnace with a heating capacity of 98,000 BTUH would also be described as having a capacity of 98 MBTUH. MBTU and MBH are sometimes used in place of MBTUH.
A method of combustion venting whereby combustion air is supplied to the fuel-fired appliance (e.g., furnace, water heater) from the building and the products of combustion are drawn from the appliance and vented outdoors by means of a fan and dedicated sealed vent.
A combustion venting system for fuel-fired appliances that relies on airflow resulting from the difference between atmospheric air density and the lower density of hot combustion products within the chimney to vent the combustion products outdoors.
Non-spillage susceptible combustion venting systemApplianceA combustion venting system that is not susceptible to flue gas spillage induced by depressurization of the house. This includes direct-vent and positive induced draft venting systems.
A combustion venting system that is aerodynamically separated (sealed) from the indoor air. Combustion air (100 per cent) is drawn into the system from outdoors to the burner unit and then the combustion products are vented directly outdoors,
all within a sealed system designed to prevent the spillage of combustion products indoors.
The device by which fuel is sprayed and atomized into the combustion chamber, where it is mixed with air, ignited and burned.
An assembly comprising a forced draft fan, a fuel pump ignition and a fuel/air mixing system that are the normal components
of an oil-fired combustion appliance.
An air conditioner in which all of the components are contained in a single package. This includes window-mounted air conditioners, through-the-wall air conditioners, and
roof-top-mounted units. See PTAC.
Coils or ducts installed in wall, floor or ceiling panels to produce a large surface that provides a low-intensity supply of heat.
A heating unit placed on, or flush with, a flat surface, and designed to function essentially as a radiator.
A small, continuous, flame within a gas appliance (furnace, boiler, water heater, fireplace) that is used to ignite the main gas burner of the appliance. May also be a small electrical light used to visually signal the operational status of equipment or
a system.
PlenumPlénum, m.In a forced air system, the ductwork connected to the furnace. The supply air plenum delivers conditioned air from the furnace to the supply air trunk duct. The return air plenum receives air from the return air trunk duct and delivers it back to the furnace. A plenum may be formed by a ceiling or floor space that is used to supply air to, or return air from, a room.
An electric resistance heater located in the warm air plenum.
Potable water
space-heating system
PWSHSSee combination space and potable water heating system.
A device installed at the end of a vent system at the vent termination and which provides draft induction.
Abbreviation for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioning Unit.
A packaged air conditioner that is usually mounted as a through- the-wall unit and is often found in hotel or motel rooms.
A heating system designed to transfer radiant energy from a heat source directly to objects or people in the heated space. In dwellings, radiant heating systems are most often electric wire or hot water piping loops embedded within the ceilings, walls or floors of a building.
The transfer of heat from a hot surface to a cooler surface or object by radiation in the far infrared temperature range.
The part of a heating system used to deliver heat to a room primarily. More commonly refers to a unit through which hot water is circulated as the heat source. May also refer to electric heating devices as well.
A combination grille and damper assembly through which conditioned air from a forced air system flows.
Air that is returned from a space to an air handling unit, furnace or fan-coil by the return air system for the purposes of filtering, conditioning and recirculating of air within the space.
Return air systemSystème de reprise, m.A system of passages, ducts and plenums allowing air from the rooms or spaces served to be returned to the return air
connection of a furnace or air handler. Also called cold air return.
See direct vent appliance.
Abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER is a measure of the energy efficiency of an air-conditioner and heat pump. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the equipment is.
A method of combustion venting in which the flue gases are conveyed out the side wall. Such systems may be positive-induced draft or direct-vent systems.
A method of combustion venting using a single pipe.
If side-wall vented, then the system is usually considered to be positive-induced draft. The system may or may not have a
dilution air inlet.
Smoke pipeTuyau de raccordement, m.A pipe conveying products of combustion from a solid or liquid fuel fired application to a chimney flue.
A space-heating appliance for heating the room or space within which it is located, without the use of ducts.
The heating (cooling) of the rooms or spaces within a building.
The intermittent or continuous escape of combustion gases into the indoor air of a building from a flue gas venting system. Spillage may occur if a flue gas venting system is blocked or disconnected, or has holes or cracks through which combustion gases can escape. Spillage can also occur as the result of backdrafting.
Spillage-susceptible combustion venting systemApplianceA combustion venting system that is susceptible to flue gas spillage induced by depressurization of the house.
This includes all natural draft chimney-connected fuel-fired appliance venting systems.
An air conditioning system that consists of evaporator and condenser units connected by refrigerant piping. The evaporator is typically installed in the supply air plenum of a forced air system where it uses chilled refrigerant, delivered from the outdoor condenser unit, to cool air flowing through the system. Refrigerant warmed in the evaporator flows back to the outdoor condenser unit where it is re-cooled and is then returned
back indoors to the evaporator unit. “Mini” split system air conditioners also have outdoor condenser units but the indoor evaporator unit is a self-contained packaged appliance that is used to cool a single room or space.
A situation of equilibrium in a heating system when the temperatures are constant.
The efficiency of a combustion appliance under constant operation, without consideration of off-cycle losses.
Heating by means of the circulation of steam through a system of pipes and radiators.
Heating provided to an area in excess of the minimum required heating for that area, usually under separate thermostatic control and designed to offset occupant discomfort.
Air supplied from an air handling unit, supply air, fan furnace or fan-coil through the supply air system to a room or space. Supply air may be recirculated return air, outdoor air, or a mixture of the two.
An instrument that responds to changes in temperature in a room or space and automatically controls the operation of a heating or cooling device.
A lining, such as metal, for an opening, as in a roof or wall, through which a stove pipe or chimney passes.
TonOf coolingA nominal measure of cooling capacity. 1 ton = 12,000 BTUH of cooling. Historically, 12,000 BTUH is equal to the energy required to melt 1 ton of ice over a 24-hour period.
In a forced air system, the ductwork used to distribute conditioned air from the supply air plenum to the individual supply air duct branches and that collects air from the return air branches and delivers it back to the return air plenum.
A combustion venting system for a fuel-fired appliance in which combustion air is drawn in from outdoor and delivered to the burner unit by one pipe and combustion products are vented directly outdoors by the second pipe. Also called a direct vent and sealed combustion venting system.
A furnace with two heating output (firing) rates to better match furnace output to heating load to reduce fuel consumption, reduce on-off cycling and improve efficiency.
A sheet metal boot where the entering pipe is at right angles to the rectangular opening, and the path of air is straight through.
A furnace equipped with a fan-motor set capable of varying airflow according to the space conditioning needs.
A system of pipes and components connected to a combustion appliance to conduct the products of combustion to the outside.
The plastic or stainless steel pipe used to exhaust the combustion products from a condensing fuel-fired appliance. Due to the expected occurrence of flue gas condensation within the pipe, control measures such as continuous slope for drainage and condensate traps and drains must be provided.
A device installed in the venting system of a gas-fired appliance that automatically opens the venting system when the appliance is in operation, and closes it when the appliance is not operating.
A combustion appliance designed to be installed with a venting system that conveys the products of combustion to the outside.
A space heater with a chimney or other means to exhaust combustion products outside a house.
Venting systemSystème d’évacuation
des gaz de combustion, m.
The system employed to conduct flue gases from the appliance to the outside by means of a chimney, vent connector, or vent, by natural (thermal buoyancy) or mechanical means. May also include a means to bring combustion air in from outside, especially in the case of a direct vent appliance.
A compact, self-contained, vented furnace in or on a wall that supplies conditioned air directly to the adjacent rooms or spaces through registers and receives return air directly through grilles without the use of ducts.
A warm air-heating system where the round warm air ducts are connected to centrally located rectangular trunk supply and return ducts. Supply branches proceed to outlets usually
located in the floor at exterior walls. Return air inlets are located on interior partitions or the floor. This is the most common type of forced air system.
A warm air-heating system in which circulation of air is effected by a fan. See forced air system.
See gravity warm air-heating.
A warm air-heating system where the warm air ducts are around the perimeter usually embedded in a concrete slab of a basement-less house.
A warm air-heating system where the warm air ducts extend radially from a central plenum to the perimeter usually embedded in a concrete slab of a basement-less house.
A wood-burning space-heating device.
An automatic damper in a forced air-heating or cooling system that opens or closes in order to control the temperature in a specific heating or cooling zone.
HeelPied, m., talon, m.The end of a rafter or truss that rests on a lintel or on the top plate of a wall.
The vertical distance between a horizontal plane through average grade level and a horizontal plane through:
(a) the highest point of the roof assembly, in the case of a building with a flat roof or a deck roof, (a roof with a slope of less than 20° with the horizontal is considered a flat roof); or
(b) the average level of that portion of a sloping roof between the highest ceiling level and the highest point of the roof.
The number of storeys contained between the highest roof of a building (except for penthouses containing no dwelling units) and the floor of its first storey.
A fireplace that uses advanced combustion and heat exchange to increase heating efficiency.
An air filter made of submicron glass fibers that is capable of removing 99.97 per cent of all particles greater than
0.3 micrometre from an airstream. Typically used in facilities manufacturing electronics and pharmaceuticals but may also be used in residences when occupants are highly sensitive to airborne particulate matter.
The sloping ridge of a roof formed by two intersecting roof slopes.
Home automationDomotique, f.The use of integrated microprocessor (computer) based intelligence and communications to control a wide range of household operations such as space conditioning, ventilation, air conditioning, entertainment, security, lighting, appliances and safety systems. Networked home automation systems allow the equipment, appliances and systems in a home to communicate to better achieve convenience, comfort, energy efficiency, and safety.
Home security systemSystème de sécurité résidentiel, m.An alarm system used in homes to detect undesirable events, such as fire or burglary. It can be simple or sophisticated (computer-controlled), but must incorporate a detector (to sense the problem) and an alerting mechanism, such as a bell or siren, or a signal to a remote monitoring source.
Hot tubSpa, m.A tub large enough for more than one bather and often fitted with water jets. Also called a whirlpool or by other trade names.
A control found in a boiler or potable water space-heating system that assigns priority to the supply of hot water over heating, when hot water heating is required.
House-as-a-systemApproche systémique de la maison, f.An approach to house design, operation, and understanding of house performance that considers the cumulative effects and interaction of the envelope with the heating, cooling and other mechanical systems, and how the occupants use the house.
BasementSous-sol, m.The part of a building that is wholly or partly below ground level. It is often finished to provide additional living space to the house.
A room used for personal care, usually containing a sink and a toilet, often with a bathtub or shower.
A room used primarily for sleeping.
A below grade space that typically serves as a storage space. Though a synonym for basement, cellars are generally not fully conditioned, habitable spaces.
A small area, usually enclosed, used for storage.
A large closet designed to have additional floor space to allow a person to stand within the enclosed area of the closet.
A low space between the lowest floor of a house and the ground. It may be open to the outside, or be part of the heated space of the house.
A small space, usually attached to a kitchen, used for informal dining.
A room set aside for eating, usually furnished with a table and chairs.
Large room designed as a recreation centre for members of a family.
The entry area of a home. See vestibule.
A room used for personal care, consisting of a sink and a toilet.
A room or rooms set up as a business office within a private home. A home office usually contains office equipment, such as personal computing equipment, telephone, photocopier and fax.
HumidifierHumidificateur, m.A device that may be portable or incorporated into the heating system’s ductwork to increase the level of humidity in a house.
A control mechanism that regulates the operation of a humidifier, dehumidifier, or ventilator based on the amount of humidity in the house air.
A measure of the water vapour present in the air. Usually expressed as relative humidity. See also relative humidity
The amount of water vapour in the air expressed as a ratio of the mass of the water divided by the mass of the dry air containing the water (kg of water per kg of dry air or lb. of water per lb. of dry air). See also relative humidity and dew point
A metal strap used to secure roof members to a top wall plate.
HygrometerHygromètre, m.A device used to measure relative humidity.
IAQQAI, qualité de l’air intérieur, f.I
Abbreviation for Indoor Air Quality. A general term relating to the presence of chemical and biological contaminants in the air within a building.
A steel beam with a cross section resembling the capital letter I.
ISOISOAbbreviation for International Organization for Standardization.
Ice dammingBarrière de glace, f., barrage de glace, m.The formation of a layer of ice on a roof, typically at the eaves, which can cause water leakage through the roof, into the attic and the house below. The layer of ice can grow to the point where it can cause the melt water from the roof to back up under the shingles and infiltrate into the attic and house below. Tends to indicate a poorly insulated attic space and/or air leakage from the house into the attic space.
A rating system that measures noise transmission due to structural impact and vibration through floor-ceiling assemblies.
ImpermeableImperméable, adj.A term applied to a soil or a material that does not permit the passage of water.
A light bulb that uses an electrically charged metal filament that glows white hot.
Indoor-outdoorResetSee Heating and cooling terms.
Induced draft flue system
Infiltration, f.See Heating and cooling terms.
The inward flow or escape of air or liquid. The term is often associated with the uncontrolled movement of outdoor air into a building through intentional and unintentional openings in the building envelope.
InsolationEnsoleillement, m.The amount of solar radiation received on a surface.
See Plumbing terms.
Friction-fit battMatelas isolant maintenu par friction, m.Thermal insulation without vapour barrier that is held secure within the building frame by friction without additional fastening.
A semi-rigid panel of insulation made from compressed fibre glass often used as an insulated sheathing over above and below grade exterior walls.
An insulating material composed of glass fibres that are formed into lightweight batts of uniform thickness.
The application of insulation. See insulation. See Electrical terms.
A non-metallic material with low heat conductivity applied along the perimeter of a pane of glass to separate, and seal, the panes of glass of a multi-pane, energy efficient window. Insulated spacers enhance the energy performance of windows and reduce the risk of condensation.
InsulationIsolant, m.A material with above-average thermal resistance that inhibits the flow of heat or other forms of energy.
An open-celled, semi-flexible, plastic foam insulation made from a combination of isocyanurate, resins and catalysts; can also be used as an air barrier.
Insulation made from a variety of materials, with particles ranging in texture from granular to fluffy. Loose fill is excellent for filling hard-to-access spaces, or where the space may be irregular or cluttered with obstacles. It is not appropriate for below-grade application.
Insulation made from various fibrous materials (such as glass fibres, mineral fibres, rock) to produce blanket or batt insulation.
A material used for insulating buildings and produced by sending a blast of steam through molten slag or rock; common types include rock wool, glass wool and slag wool.
Natural fibre insulationIsolant de fibres naturelles, m.Insulation made from cotton, recycled clothing, hemp, wool, flax, etc. formed into batts, semi-rigid and rigid panels using adhesive binders and treatments for fire and pest/fungal resistance.
An insulation board manufactured from phenol formaldehyde resin; suitable for areas where space is at a premium but high insulation values are required. Phenolic foam must be protected from exposure to sunlight and water.
An insulation board made of closed-cell plastic used where space is at a premium and a high insulating value is desirable.
An open- or closed-cell insulation containing refrigerant gases (fluorocarbons) that can also be used as an air barrier, but not as a vapour barrier.
Dense insulation material that is structurally rigid, commonly available in sheets 1,200 x 2,400 mm.
Cellulose and polyurethane foam insulating material applied under pressure from a sprayer to wall surfaces or within attic, crawlspace and floor cavities. Cellulose can be mixed
with water and adhesives to adhere to vertical surfaces within open cavities.
A foam insulation injected into wall cavities.
Highly insulating panel formed by sealing a light-weight,
rigid, porous core material within a foil envelope and evacuating much of the air from within the panel. The resulting thermal insulation value attributable to the vacuum formed within the panel can be as high as RSI 5.2 per centimetre (R75 per inch).
A mineral that once heated expands and fills with air which provides it with insulating properties. Vermiculite insulation
is a loose, light weight granular material that is poured in place. As vermiculite insulation may contain asbestos, it can represent
a health concern if disturbed.
Internal GainGain interne, m.Heat from human bodies, lighting, appliances and other objects not designed specifically for space-heating, but that contribute heat to the building that can reduce heating requirement and increase cooling requirements.
The level at the bottom of the inside of an underground drainage pipe or a manhole.
In cabinet terms, a freestanding section of counter with cupboards or shelves underneath, usually found in a kitchen.
J-channelProfilé en J, m.Metal or plastic edging used to finish and protect the edge of drywall where it terminates without abutting another surface. May also refer to a channel like product applied around window and doors to receive, conceal and protect the exterior siding that abuts, or runs along, the openings.
JambMontant, m.The side member or lining of a doorway, window or other opening.
The fitting and fastening together of pieces of wood into a finished wooden member or structure. It includes fine carpentry, bench carpentry and other forms of finish woodworking.
Joint cementDrywall compoundSee drywall compound
The point or area where two or more members or components connect or come together. See Joint terms.
Joist hangerÉtrier, m.A steel section shaped like a stirrup and fastened to a joist or beam to provide end support for joists, headers etc.
A formed steel member used to support and secure the ends of joists where they abut supporting rim joists, beams or girders.
A metric unit of energy used to quantify heating and cooling. One joule is equal to the work done by a force of one newton when its point of application moves one metre in the direction of action of the force, equivalent to a watt-second. Symbol: J. The British Thermal Unit (BTU) is used to quantify heating and cooling in Imperial units.
Kerfed memberÉlément rainuré, m.Lumber with regular saw cuts on one side to permit bending.
KeywayKeyA slot formed in a concrete footing into which the wall concrete is placed to provide lateral support for the wall at the bottom.
A heated chamber for drying lumber, bricks, etc.
King postPoinçon, m.The upright member in the centre of a simple truss, extending from the apex to the middle of the bottom chord.
KnotNœud, m.The remnant of a tree branch that may be present in sawn lumber. The grading of lumber is affected by knot location, size and whether the knot is sound or loose.
Lag-screwTire-fond, m.A heavy wood screw with a square head and a coarse thread used in lieu of a bolt where there is access from one side only.
Layers of wood glued, screwed or nailed together to form a unit. The term is also applied to flooring made of pieces of timber laid on edge.
LandingPalier, m.A platform between a series of steps.
The first board on a landing immediately over the last riser.
LandscapingAménagement paysager, m.The arrangement of plants, trees, grass, pathways, and other surfacing and outdoor structures on a site for decorative and functional purposes.
A passageway or right-of-way dedicated to public use.
Horizontal boards used as exterior cladding on buildings where the lower edge of each row of boards overlaps the upper edge of the row of boards located below to shed water.
A bevelled metal tongue in a door lock that can be engaged by closing the door (unlike a deadbolt that requires a key or thumb-turn).
The heat required to evaporate a liquid, or the heat produced by condensing a vapour to a liquid while the temperature remains constant.
That component of a load that is exerted in the horizontal direction.
Strips of wood or metal, or metal mesh, applied to walls and ceilings as a base to support plaster. May also refer to gypsum or other suitable board material used to support plaster.
An open framework of criss-crossed wood, plastic or metal strips.
(1) A wash basin.
(2) A room containing a wash basin and a toilet.
LeachingFiltration, f. [1];
lessivage, m. [2]
(1) The migration of a material to the surface. In masonry, leaching often leaves a salty deposit on the surface.
(2) The washing out of soluble nutrients and other elements from the soil by rainwater or irrigation, that alters the fertility
and physical composition of the soil.
Lean-toAppentis, m.A secondary structure appended to a main building and covered with a single slope roof.
LED lightingAppareil d’éclairage à diodes électroluminescentes,
m. [DEL]
Lighting fixtures equipped with low energy consuming, long-lived light emitting diodes (LED).
A strip of lumber fastened along the side of a beam or wall for supporting floor joists.
A legal instrument an individual or firm can use to secure compensation for unpaid labour or materials provided for
the construction of the property. A lien must be settled before the ownership in the property can be transferred thereby ensuring contractors and professionals receive payment for materials and services provided. Also referred to as a construction
or mechanic’s lien.
Light standardLampadaire, m.Pole upon which an electric light fixture is mounted, normally outdoors.
A horizontal structural member (beam) that supports the load over an opening such as a door or window. See Window terms.
LobbyFoyer d’entrée, m.A public or common entrance space in a multi-unit building.
(1) A nut designed and fabricated with features that ensure that it self-locks when tightened into position and will not work loose.
(2) Also may refer to a check nut that is screwed down firmly
against another nut to prevent it from working loose.
Lot lineLimite de terrain, f.The line that bounds a plot of ground legally described as a lot in the title of a property. See property line.
A lot fee charged by a municipality for municipal services.
LouverAérateur à lames, m.A slatted opening for ventilation in which the slats are placed to exclude rain, sunlight, or vision.
See Window terms.
A showerhead designed to produce high pressure with a reduced flow of water during a shower.
LumberBois de construction, m.The wood of trees that has been cut and prepared for use as a building material. See Lumber terms.
Cross grainFil tranché, m., veines transversales, f. pl., fil dévié, m.Wood fibres that do not run parallel to the long dimension of a piece of lumber.
A curvature occurring in the transverse section of sawn wood.
A fault, irregularity or blemish in lumber that detracts from utility, durability, strength or appearance.
Dressed lumber cut to standard sizes (for example, wall studs). To plane one or more sides of a piece of sawn lumber.
The dimension of lumber after planing to a smooth surface.
Lumber that is sawn at approximately right angles to the annual growth rings so that the growth rings form an angle between
45-90 degrees with the widest face surface. Also referred to as ‘quarter sawn’.
Wood grain that is exposed when the fibres are cut transversely. Lumber with tongued-and-grooved ends.
The point at which wood is stable and in equilibrium with the humidity of its surroundings and it is no longer gaining or losing moisture.
The side of a piece of lumber or a panel that has the best appearance quality (also called good side).
Wood with narrow annual rings.
Lumber fabricated by end joining one or more lengths together by cutting complementary finger-like projections into the ends that are then interlocked and glued.
Finished sizeDimension finie, f.The size of lumber after planing and after seasoning.
Lumber sawn is cut tangential to the annual growth rings so that lumber has annual growth ring forming angles between 0 to 45 degrees to the widest face. Flat sawn lumber is characterized by an arching grain pattern on the widest face.
A classification of lumber based on strength or appearance characteristics.
The arrangement or direction of wood fibres (spiral grain, cross grain, etc.) and the relative width of the growth rings (coarse grain, fine grain, etc.).
Lumber that has not dried to the fibre-saturation point (approximately 25 to 30 per cent moisture content).
Lumber that has been dried in an oven.
MSRBois classé par résistance mécanique, m.Abbreviation for Machine Stress-Rated Lumber. Lumber whose strength has been determined in a testing machine as opposed to being graded visually by a lumber grader.
Timber placed directly on the ground as a foundation for a structure.
The rough cut dimension of lumber prior to drying and planing. For example, lumber that has a nominal size of 2 x 4 in. is about 1 ¾ x 3 ½ in. actual size.
See Engineered wood product.
A wood board 114 mm or more in width designed to support a load on its wide face.
Machine boltBoulon mécanique, m.A bolt with a square or hexagonal head and an unthreaded upper portion of the shank.
MaintenanceEntretien, m.The process of sustaining the level of physical quality of an existing building and site through inspection, cleaning, and repair.
Mantel or mantelpieceManteau de cheminée, m.A decorative shelf placed above a fireplace. A dwelling unit built in a factory.
Product description, installation, use and maintenance instructions provided by a manufacturer that need to be followed for satisfactory service and to maintain the product warranty.
Stone, brick or other earthen products used for building.
A wood-burning device that takes advantage of mass in the form of bricks or stone in order to store and later release the heat it produces. Stored heat can radiate for hours after the fire is extinguished.
MasticMastic, m.A material used as a flexible adhesive or sealer.
Means of egressMoyen d’évacuation, m.A continuous path of travel provided for the escape of persons from any point in a building or contained open space to separate building, an open public thoroughfare or an exterior open space protected from fire exposure from the building and having access to an open public thoroughfare. Means of egress includes exits and access to exits.
The forcing of air by mechanical means through a filter screen and filtering medium. Mechanical air filtration is designed to capture particles such as dust, dander and pollen. Finer filters can be used to capture micro-organisms.
All equipment included under the general headings of elevators, fire suppression, plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and gas piping.
Assemblies and interconnections of mechanical equipment that provide services such as heating, ventilation, domestic hot water, fire suppression, conveyance, etc.
Membrane filterMembrane filtrante, f.A filtering device containing a thin material with very small pores through which water is forced under pressure to remove impurities including micro-organisms.
MeshTreillis, m.Expanded metal, woven wire, or welded wire used as a reinforcement for concrete, plaster, or stucco.
Expanded metal or woven wire used to provide a base for cement, plaster or stucco.
MethaneMéthane, m.The gas produced by the decomposition of materials such as those in landfill sites. Methane is the principal constituent in natural gas.
An intermediate floor between the floor and ceiling of any storey.
A localized climate that differs from the surrounding climate due to topography, drainage, vegetation, orientation to the sun or influence by man-made structures like buildings and parking surfaces.
Fungi that grow on damp materials, including building materials, plants, paper, leather and so on.
Building materials made of wood that are produced in a mill including moldings, door and window frames, doors, windows, and stairs.
An aggregate consisting of a mixture of broken stone, broken slag, crushed or uncrushed gravel, sand, stone, screenings, and mineral dust. See aggregate.
Mobile homeMaison mobile, f.A factory-manufactured house that is installed on a wheeled frame for movement to the building site.
Brick designed for use in walls built in accordance with modular dimensional standards.
Modular homeMaison modulaire, f.A manufactured house built using modular components. A standard unit of measurement in building construction.
The ratio of the unit stress to the unit deformation. Often called Young’s modulus.
The value of unit fibre stress computed on the assumption of linear variation of stress when a beam is ruptured under a known transverse load.
A material used to retard the passage or flow of vapour or moisture into or through walls, roofs and foundations.
See dampproof course, vapour barrier.
The amount of water in a material (such as wood) expressed as a percentage of the oven-dry weight of the material.
A fungus that grows on surfaces or in materials as a result of damp conditions.
MonolithicMonolithe, adj.A structure made of a continuous mass of material.
See Construction types.
A permanent marker of stone or metal set to mark a property or reference line; also used for elevation. See benchmark.
A bond-making material made from measured proportions of cement, sand and water.
Layer of mortar on which any structural member, masonry unit, or tile is laid.
MortiseMortaise, f.(1) An indentation in a board or door to receive a lock or hinge.
(2) An indentation made in a column or beam to receive a tenon.
Shaped lumber used for decorative purposes.
Mud slabDalle de propreté, f.(1) A rough concrete layer placed in a crawl space floor.
(2) A rough concrete pad used to level rock under a foundation.
MyceliaMycélium, m.The thread-like parts of a fungus that invade a material and transport dissolved nutrients.
Abbreviation for National Building Code (Canada). Abbreviation for National Lumber Grades Authority.
Abbreviation for National Research Council (Canada).
A strip of material (usually wood) used as a base for attaching finishing materials.
A method of fastening in which the nail is driven into the edge of the board at an angle so that the head is concealed by the edge of the next board. Sometimes called secret nailing.
Natural convectionConvection naturelle, f.Heat transfer from one part of a fluid, including air, to another by the flow of the fluid from the hotter parts to the colder.
A mixture of gaseous combustible hydrocarbons made up mostly of methane but also smaller amounts of ethane, propane and butane. Natural gas is piped to buildings for space heating, domestic hot water, cooking, fireplaces and clothes drying.
The movement of outdoor air into and out of rooms and other spaces in a building through intentional openings, such as windows and doors, and infiltration through unintentional
openings in the building envelope. Natural ventilation is driven
by stack effect and wind.
NaturescapingAménagement paysager naturel, m.The practice of natural landscaping, or gardening with native plants.
A cement mortar mixture made without the addition of sand or other aggregate.
NeopreneNéoprène, m.A firm and compressible synthetic rubber that is used as a backer rod for sealants in deep joints, in gaskets in windows and doors and in sheet waterproofing membranes.
NewelPoteau de départ, m., poteau d’escalier, m.A post to which the stair railing or balustrade is fastened.
An air pollutant caused by high-temperature combustion in the presence of nitrogen.
In electrical and home automation applications, the point where incoming cabling and wiring comes together to connect to a central control system.
Non-bearing partitionWallSee Wall terms: non-load-bearing wall.
Non-renewable energy sourceSource d’énergie non renouvelable, f.A source of power derived from a finite natural resource such as fossil fuel. See renewable energy source.
A surface specially prepared to minimize slipping.
The equivalent leakage area (ELA) from a blower-door test divided by the area of the exterior envelope of the house.
NosingNez, m.The rounded and projecting edge of a stair tread, windowsill, countertop.
OBCPas d’équivalent en françaisAbbreviation for Ontario Building Code.
A treated hemp used to caulk joints in a bell and spigot pipe and fittings.
A building code written in a way that describes the outcome that must be achieved and provides latitude for users to determine the solution. The 2005 National Building Code (Canada) contains objective-based requirements. See prescription-based code.
The number of persons for which a building or part thereof has been designed.
Off-gassingÉmissions gazeuses, f. pl.The release of volatile substances from construction materials and finishes.
(1) The amount by which something is out of line.
(2) A horizontal ledge.
(3) See Plumbing terms.
A moulding with a profile in the form of the letter S; it has the outline of a reversed curve.
(1) A pointed or gothic arch.
(2) One of the diagonal groins or ribs of a vault.
On-demand hot waterReSee Water re-use and recycling terms.
Organic solventsSolvants organiques, m. pl.Carbon-containing compounds such as varsol or paint thinner, used to dissolve or disperse other substances.
OrientationOrientation, f.The angular position of an axis or surface, such as a building wall, with respect to compass direction.
See Engineered wood product.
A surface of bare rock protruding from the surrounding soil cover.
Out-of-plumbHors d’aplomb, loc. adj.A term used to describe a member that is not vertical.
A part of a building that extends beyond its supporting structure.
See cantilever.
PLCCourants porteurs
en ligne, m. pl. CPL
Abbreviation for power line carrier. In home automation applications, signals that travel through a building’s existing power supply wiring.
Abbreviation for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a plastic used for pipes, siding, window frames, cable jackets, etc.
PaintPeinture, f.A decorative and protective coating applied to substrates
that is comprised of pigment (to provide colour, hiding ability and gloss), solvent (to thin the mixture to the appropriate application consistency) and binders—also known as vehicles— (to give physical properties such as durability and adhesion).
See paint terms.
BlisteringCloquage, m.The forming of bubbles or blisters on the painted surface while the paint coat is still elastic.
A powdery chalk-like surface coating resulting from the oxidation of paint.
The cracking of paint.
A paint, varnish or stain used to provide colour or protection to a finished surface.
A paint made with pure pigments and without fillers. The pigments are not ground, but are reduced to extremely fine particles and colloidally suspended in the paint.
A volatile liquid emitted from paint as it dries.
A type of paint that dries with a hard, glossy, protective surface.
A coating comprised of two components that form a chemical bond and result in a tough, durable paint with outstanding corrosion resistance.
A coating used to fill the pores of open-grained wood such as oak in preparation for final finishing.
Successive paint coats of radically different composition causing premature failure of the final coat.
A chemical coating typically used for furniture finishing because of its very fast drying capability.
A general term which covers water-based paints that use synthetic polymers such as acrylic, vinyl acrylic (PVA), styrene acrylic as binders.
A paint used as a preparation first coat on steel or other metals.
Paint in which the pigment is suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil.
PanelPanneau, m.(1) A sheet of OSB, plywood, or other material.
(2) A thin board with all its edges inserted in a groove of a surrounding frame of thicker material.
(3) A portion of a flat surface recessed below the surrounding area, distinctly set off by moulding or some other decorative device.
(4) A section of floor, wall, ceiling or roof, usually prefabricated and of large size, handled as a single unit in the operation of
assembly and erection.
Panic barBarre antipanique, f.A horizontal bar that spans an exit door that, when pressure is applied to it, opens the door latch allowing the door to open outwards. Typically used on emergency exits from buildings to facilitate rapid evacuation.
See Engineered wood product.
A wall at the edge of a surface, such as a roof, terrace, bridge, etc., and that extends above the surface.
That part of an exterior wall, party wall or firewall extending above the roof line.
A coat of plaster or cement mortar applied to masonry or concrete walls.
Flooring made in geometrical designs with small pieces of wood.
A foundation that contains a crawl space, storage area or some other non-living space, whose height is less than that of a normal basement.
A wood panel product made from sawdust, glue and wood particles and widely used as an underlay for countertops, shelving and furniture.
Solid particles (for example, dust, smoke, pollens) that are airborne. Respirable particulates are those particulates smaller than 10 microns (a micron is one-millionth of a metre) in diameter that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.
A thin strip of wood set into the head and jamb of a window frame to hold the sash apart.
PascalPaA unit measurement of pressure in the metric system. 250 pascals = 1.0 w.g.
Passive solar gainGain solaire passif, m. apport solaire passif, m.Heat gain within a material or space as a result of solar energy entering through windows.
The design of buildings to capture, store and utilize solar energy for space heating and lighting while also controlling solar energy to reduce space cooling—all without the use of mechanical or electrical systems.
PavingRevêtement de sol extérieur, m.A hard surfacing material on a roadway, terrace, walkway or other area. See Paving terms
Pay-backPériode de récupération, f.The calculation of the period of time required for the savings from an improvement to repay the added first cost of the improvement.
An exterior wall finish made by dashing pebbles against freshly applied mortar; usually applied to stucco walls.
A metal cabinet housing electricity, cable and telephone connections. A short, upright, load-bearing platform,
base or pier that supports another element such as a column.
A low-pitched gable.
Pellet stovePoêle à granulés, m.A stove that uses wood pellet fuel as an alternative to firewood.
Municipal authorization to construct, alter or demolish a building. Utility authorization to supply, alter or remove electrical, plumbing and gas services.
In cabinet terms, a counter with cupboards and shelves underneath with only one of four sides attached to a wall.
A garden or deck structure consisting of an overhead open framework supported by posts.
PermeablePerméable, adj.Able to permit the passage of liquid or gas.
PhotovoltaicPhotovoltaïque, adj.A device that directly converts sunlight into electricity. When light energy strikes the surface of a photovoltaic device, a direct current is created.
In construction, a column of masonry, concrete, steel or wood, used to support another structural member.
PilasterPilastre, m.A column or pier forming an integral part of a wall and partially projecting from the wall face.
(1) Height of carpet fibres.
(2) A steel, concrete or timber column driven into the ground to
provide support for a structure.
PipeTuyau, m.A metal or plastic tube for moving liquids or gases.
(1) Dark-coloured bituminous or resinous substances consisting of fusible, viscous to solid, distillation residue of tars; especially coal tars.
(2) See Truss terms.
PlanPlan, m.A graphic representation of a site, building or other object as projected on a horizontal plane, to a given scale. See Plan terms.
PlasterPlâtre, m.A white, often gypsum-based, powder that, when mixed with water, becomes a paste that can be used to coat ceilings and walls or fill cracks.
PlateLisse, f. [1];
plaque d’appui, f. [2]; plaque, f. [3]
(1) The horizontal member at the base of a wood-frame wall.
(2) A member placed on or in a wall or on a beam to support girders, rafters, etc.
(3) A non-structural protective unit, such as a push-plate,
kick-plate, etc. See Wood framing: wall plate.
Platform liftPlate-forme élévatrice, f.A type of open elevator used to transport a person in a wheelchair from one floor to the other.
PloughEngraver, v.To cut a groove in a board or plank.
Vertical or vertical aligned. To make vertical.
A strong, heavy string or cord with a weight on one end used to establish a vertical line, a perpendicular line to horizontal or to serve as a reference line when establishing vertical alignment or positioning.
The pipes, fixtures and other equipment for the supply of potable water, venting and the removal of waste and storm water. See plumbing terms.
Area drainDrain, m.A drain installed to collect surface water from an open area. A short pipe to which a shower nozzle is attached.
A valve controlling the flow of liquid into a reservoir, such as a toilet tank.
A valve controlling a water faucet that detects the presence
of an object or human body. Can be mechanical or electrical. Infrared sensors detect body presence and turn the water on or off accordingly.
(1) The flow of water or other liquids, mixtures or substances in the wrong direction into the distributing pipes of a supply of potable water that may make the water in the pipe
non-potable; (may result from a differential pressure existing between two systems).
(2) The backflow of sewage into a basement or fixture due to overflow conditions in municipal storm water and sewage pipes.
A device to prevent the flow of water or sewage in the wrong direction.
A higher pressure on the sewage side of a drainage system that results in flow in the wrong direction.
The reversal of normal flow in a distribution system due to the downstream pressure increasing above that of the supply pressure.
The reversal of normal flow in a system caused by negative pressure in the supply piping.
A pipe installed to vent a trap or waste pipe connected to the vent system at a point above the fixture served by the trap or waste pipe. Also referred to as back vented.
A valve installed in a building drain or building sewer to prevent sewage from flowing back into the building.
BranchBranchement d’évacuation, m.A soil-or-waste pipe that is (a) in one storey, (b) connected at its upstream end to the junction of two or more soil-or-waste pipes, or to a soil-or-waste stack, and (c) connected at its downstream end to another branch, a soil-or-waste stack, or a building drain.
A vent pipe connecting one or more individual vent pipes to a vent stack or a stack vent.
A device that is installed in a building drain or building sewer to prevent circulation of air between a drainage system and a public sewer. See also fixture trap.
A collecting tank that releases raw sewage to be leached into the ground with no provisions for the breakdown and treatment of the sewage.
A one-way valve in distribution or service piping, used to prevent backflow.
A vent pipe that is connected at its lower end to a branch and at its upper end to a vent stack or is terminated in open air.
A tank used to collect and store water.
A pipe fitting that is designed to provide access to a pipe to permit pipe cleaning.
In a hydronic or other system that uses water as a heat transfer medium. The system is maintained at a lower pressure than the potable water system, and once filled, fresh water from the
potable system is not normally admitted except for service or to compensate for leaks. The water contained in closed loop system is not potable.
A low-mass boiler (without water jacket) with integral capacity to heat hot water, usually by means of an internal heat exchanger and often with hot water priority control. Used for space heating and domestic hot water.
A sewer that is designed to conduct sewage, clear waste water and stormwater.
Combo system
/integrated combo system
Raccordement croisé, m., interconnexion, f.See combination space and potable water heating system.
A potentially dangerous arrangement whereby the potable water supply is unintentionally connected, or has the potential to be connected, to a non-potable water supply.
A shut-off valve located between the dwelling and the municipal water main.
A heat exchanger associated with a heat pump or air conditioner that cools super-heated refrigerant gas, usually with incoming domestic water. When used as a domestic hot water pre-heater, free hot water heating is provided and the efficiency of the heat pump or air conditioner is increased.
A device used to separate galvanized steel and copper distribution piping to prevent corrosion caused by electrolysis.
The low point in a trap seal.
The loss of trap seal as a result of unequal pressure conditions caused by the rapid flow of water through the trap.
A pipe to convey water from a service pipe to a fixture or outlet, and includes the control valves and fitting connected in it, but not a meter, control valve, or other device owned and controlled by the supplier of the water.
A system comprised of a small pump and return piping, or a pump and special valves which ensures that the water in the hot water supply pipes is maintained at a useful temperature close to the fixtures, when a central hot water heater is used. In a house, this can result in significant reductions in overall water use. In
a larger building, this system is required to maintain reasonably short wait times for hot water at points of use.
An appliance which provides heated water for domestic uses such as hand-washing, dishwashing, showering, bathing and laundry.
A pipe used to carry off waste or storm water.
Drain water heat recovery unitDWHRA static heat exchanger installed on the principal drain stack to recycle heat energy from shower waste water to preheat water entering the domestic water heater, or to preheat water serving the shower.
That part of the lowest horizontal piping that conducts sewage, clear waste water or stormwater from a building to a building sewer.
All the connected piping that conveys sewage to a place of disposal, including the building drain, building sewer pipe, soil stack, waste stack and waste pipe. It does not include the main sewer or piping used for sewage in a sewage plant.
An assembly of pipes, fittings, fixtures, traps and appurtenances that is used to convey sewage, clear waste water, or stormwater to a public sewer or a private sewage disposal system, but does not include subsoil drainage pipes.
Dry wellPuits sec, m.A covered pit with open-jointed or pervious linings that receives drain water from roofs, basement floors or area-ways and holds it until it leaches or seeps into the surrounding soil.
An arrangement whereby two fixtures using a common drain are vented with a single vent attached near their junction.
A device that regulates the flow of water from a pipe or a vessel. Also called a tap.
The amount of hot water that a water heater can provide in the first hour of operation; a combination of the storage capacity and how quickly the water heater can heat incoming cold water to the desired temperature.
A receptacle, appliance, apparatus or device in a plumbing system that may receive potable water or discharge sewage or clear waste water.
S-shaped piping under a sink or other fixture that retains a water level that prevents sewer gas from entering a living area through a drain.
FlapperClapet, m.A rubber plate in a toilet tank that lifts during flushing to allow water to flow out of the tank and into the bowl; the flapper then drops into the valve seat and seals, allowing the tank to refill.
A waste water outlet and trap usually placed at the low point on a sloping floor for disposing water that may spill or flood onto the floor.
A drain installed around the outside of a foundation wall below the level of the foundation floor to collect and convey surface and ground water away from the foundation.
An S-shaped loop in the hot water line leaving the hot water tank to prevent convection siphoning of hot water into the distribution piping while the tank is sitting idle.
The round opening on the underside of a toilet. The formation of ice on top of a vent.
The loss of a trap seal as a result of vacuum pressure caused by the rapid passage of drain water from another fixture through the drain stack.
A domestic water heater that derives its heat from another source such as hot water from a boiler. Indirect water heaters may be instantaneous, or storage type.
A type of indirect water heater that is a heat exchange element inserted into the water jacket of a boiler.
A compact, often wall-hung, domestic water heater with or no storage capacity that heats water flowing through it to the required service water temperature in a single pass. Also referred to as tankless water heater.
A receptacle installed to prevent oil, grease, sand or other materials from passing into a drainage system.
A pipe that is installed to carry stormwater from a roof to a building storm drain or sewer or another place of disposal.
The public sewer, including its branches.
Main shut-off valveRobinet d’arrêt général, m.A valve capable of stopping the flow of all the water to a house distribution system.
The principal soil, waste stack or vent stack in a plumbing system that connects the system to the open air.
A main shut-off valve for a water meter.
An automatic valve that mixes two streams of water of different temperatures to maintain a constant discharge temperature.
May be self-powered or motorized. Often used to limit hot water delivery temperature to fixtures to avoiding scalding of
occupants. See also anti-scald valve.
Municipal stopRobinet d’arrêt extérieur, m.A main shut-off valve located immediately adjacent to the municipal water main; not considered part of a dwelling’s plumbing.
At an angle of less than 45 degrees with the horizontal.
A combination of elbows or bends that brings one section of the pipe out of line but parallel with the other section.
Refers to the water heat transfer loop in a potable water space- heating system. The loop is maintained at the same pressure as the potable water system and the water in the loop is continually renewed with incoming water and is considered to be potable.
PEXPERXLPEAcronym for Cross-linked Polyethylene. PEX pipe is non-metallic flexible plastic piping for hot and cold potable water service as well as for open and closed loop potable water systems. A sub-type of PEX is equipped with a barrier to oxygen diffusion (Oxy-PEX) which is used in closed loop hydronic systems.
A drainage system, venting system, and water system.
The presence of impurities that may affect water taste, appearance, and potability.
Potable waterEau potable, f.Water that meets Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality or the equivalent provincial/territorial requirements for safe drinking water.
A vessel used to store water that is partially heated by alternative means such as solar heat before it is fed into the domestic hot water tank.
An automatic valve that admits water from a potable water system into the closed loop of a hydronic heating system in order to maintain minimal pressure in the hydronic system. Usually installed together with a back-flow preventer.
A safety valve that prevents pressure in a plumbing system, hot water tank or other vessel from exceeding a preset limit by
opening and allowing the discharge of pressure from the system thereby preventing damage and injury.
A control that operates a water pump in a potable water space- heating system intermittently for the purpose of preventing water from becoming stagnant in the system.
An overflow pipe for a temperature and pressure safety relief valve installed on a hot water tank. Also called a drip tube.
A supply pipe that extends through at least one full storey to convey water.
A long, flexible apparatus used to clean a drain pipe by mechanical means.
A rubber sleeve fitted around the plumbing waste vent pipes to provide a watertight connection with the roofing membrane.
The installation of plumbing that is enclosed in the walls, ceilings, attics and under the basement floor.
Temperature and pressure (T and P) relief valve that protects hot water tanks from both excessive temperature and excessive pressure; also includes backflow preventers that prevent water from moving in both directions in a pipe.
An underground conduit for the purpose of conveying waste water and sewage from a building (as opposed to storm sewer for rain and surface water).
Sanitary unitAppareil sanitaire, m.A toilet, urinal, bidet or bedpan washer.
Septic tankFosse septique, f.A sewage settling tank designed to retain sludge for a sufficient period to achieve satisfactory decomposition of organic solids by bacterial action, and bleed liquids off to an absorption field.
The pipe that conveys water between the main shut off valve on the public water system and the control shut off valve in a supply system.
Liquid waste that contains animal, mineral or vegetable matter in suspension or solution.
A pipe that is connected to a building drain 900 mm (3 ft.) outside the wall of a building to conduct sewage, clear waste water or stormwater to a public sewer or private sewage disposal system.
A device that interrupts the flow of water through distribution piping.
An indirect water heater connected to a boiler. It is often located as a separate vessel above the boiler and uses gravity circulation between the heater and boiler. It may also pump water between the heater and boiler and be located beside the boiler.
The solids (biosolids) that remain after wastewater treatment.
A sanitary drainage pipe that carries the discharge of a sanitary unit.
A vertical soil-or-waste pipe that passes through one or more storeys and includes any offset that is a part of the stack.
That part of drainage piping that is vertical and that runs from a building drain or sewage tank to the open air and includes offsets not exceeding 1,525 mm horizontal distance from the vertical stack.
Stack ventColonne de ventilation primaire, f.A vertical vent pipe that is an extension of a soil-or-waste stack. A water heater with integral storage of water.
The horizontal piping of storm drainage piping in or adjacent to a building that receives discharge from storm drainage piping and conveys it to the building storm sewer.
Any pipe in a storm drainage system.
All the connected piping that conveys stormwater to a place of disposal, and includes the building storm drain, building storm sewer, rainwater leader and area drain.
That part of storm drainage piping outside a building that connects the building storm drain to the main storm sewer; it starts at a point 900 mm (3 ft.) from the outer face of the wall of the building and terminates at the property line or place of disposal on the property.
Water that originates during precipitation events; Rainwater, melted snow or ice, water in the subsoil, and run off from overwatering.
A drain that is at a lower level than the building drain and the building sewer.
A perforated pipe that is installed underground to intercept and convey ground water.
A drain, other than a foundation drain, installed to collect water from subsoil.
A watertight tank that receives the discharge of drainage water from a subdrain or a foundation drain and from which the discharge flows or is ejected into drainage piping by pumping.
A pump, usually electrically operated, to remove water that collects in a sump.
Temperature and pressure relief valveT & P valveSee safety valve.
A valve that delivers water to a sink, bath or shower at a preset temperature. See also mixing valve and anti-scald valve.
Automatic relief valve designed to relieve excess pressure on the house side of a potable water system, avoiding nuisance weeping of safety valves. May be stand-alone or built into a water closet ball-cock assembly.
The vertical depth of water between the weir and the trap dip.
The loss of a trap seal by water in the trap falling below the level necessary to maintain an airtight seal.
A device that breaks a vacuum action and hence stops backflow.
A continuous run of vent pipe connected to a soil stack, waste stack or building drain and terminating in the open air.
An assembly of pipes and fittings that connects a drainage system with outside air to assure circulation of air and the protection
of trap seals in the drainage system by maintaining atmospheric pressure. See also Heating and cooling terms.
A toilet bowl and its accessories.
A device or system externally connected to a water source that removes particulates to improve the water quality.
The vibration of a water pipe that occurs when a valve or faucet is closed suddenly.
A heat exchange chamber adjacent to the combustion chamber of a boiler through which water is circulated and heated.
A device for measuring the quantity of water passing through a water service.
PlyPli, m.Used to denote the number of thicknesses of building paper; in plywood, a layer of wood veneer: three-ply, five-ply, etc.
PolyethylenePolyéthylène, m.A common plastic used to make flexible tubing, air and vapour barriers, roof vents, etc.
PolystyrenePolystyrène, m.A thermoplastic material commonly used for insulation.
A paintable sealant that remains flexible after curing; ideally suited for use on stone, masonry and concrete surfaces.
Portland cementCiment Portland, m.A grey powder made from limestone that is mixed with sand and water to make mortar, or mixed with sand, small stones or gravel, and water to make Portland cement concrete. Patented in 1824 by English bricklayer Joseph Aspdin, who named it “Portland” because its colour is similar to limestone quarried on the Isle of Portland, a peninsula on England’s southern coast.
See Ventilation terms.
Prefabricated construction
prescription-based code
Code normatif, m.See Construction types.
A building code written in a way that describes what must
be done to meet safety, health and performance requirements. The National Building Code (Canada) was a prescription-based code before 2005. The 2005 NBCC contains performance requirements in addition to the prescriptive requirements.
See objective-based code.
A foundation made with wood and plywood that has been pressure-treated with preservative chemical to provide long-term resistance to decay and insects.
The application of a chemical by brushing or by pressure-treating to lumber or plywood to make it resistant to insect and
decay damage.
The difference in pressure between two zones in a house, or between the air enclosed by the house envelope and the outside air surrounding the envelope. A pressure difference may also occur in appliances and systems that convey gases or fluids, such as ventilation ducts and plumbing pipes.
A wall designed to prevent rain penetration by relieving the forces that drive water into the wall. Also called pressure modulated rainscreen.
Pressure-treated woodBois traité sous pression, m.Wood that has been treated with chemical preservatives in a pressure chamber to make it resistant to decay and insect damage.
Prevailing windVent dominant, m.The direction from which the wind blows most often during a specific season of the year.
PrivatePrivé, adj., privatif, adj.A room or a space intended for the exclusive use of a single household, or individuals within the household.
A side-view drawing of a building or building feature.
A gaseous fuel derived from natural gas and used for space and water heating and cooking. Typically supplied from a tank located on the property but outside the building itself.
A line established by survey that sets the legal boundaries of a property.
A procedure or standard of communication, such as that used in a home automation system, as in the CEBus protocol.
A room or space designed to be used in common by the occupants of the building, or by the general population.
PuttyCarpentryA plastic substance used by glaziers, painters and finish carpenters for sealing glass in sash and filling small holes in wood such as those left by nails.
Quarter roundQuart-de-rond, m.A plain moulding in the shape of a quarter circle.
Queen-post trussFerme à deux poinçons, f.A truss used in timber-frame construction that has two vertical posts (queen post ties) supporting the chords above.
A white powder used in cement and mortar.
RSIRésistance système internationalAbbreviation for resistance system international. Coefficient of thermal resistance expressed in metric units. It indicates the ability of a material to resist heat transfer and is often used to characterize insulation materials.
The coefficient of thermal resistance of a building material or assembly (R-value is the imperial measurement equivalent of RSI value). See RSI. See also Thermal resistance value.
(1) A groove cut in the surface along the edge of a board, plank, plywood, particleboard or other timber.
(2) The recess in a brick jamb that receives a window frame.
(3) The recess in a door frame to receive the door.
Radiant stovePoêle à rayonnement, m.A wood stove that supplies heat to a room by direct radiation compared to other wood stoves that use convective air flow. Cast iron stoves and those with heavy steel plate surfaces are usually radiant type stoves.
Radius of curvatureRayon de courbure, m.The distance between the centre line of a circular section stairway, wall, walkway, curb or other building feature and the centre of the corresponding circle.
An odourless and colourless, naturally occurring radioactive gas formed by the disintegration of radium, that is found in most soils and is carcinogenic with prolonged exposure. It can enter a house from the soil beneath and around the house foundation, or through a floor drain.
A layer of concrete, usually reinforced, extending under the entire area of a building and projecting outside the line of its walls; normally used to provide a foundation in cases where the ground alone is not capable of supporting design loads.
RailTraverse, f.(1) A piece of timber or metal extending from one post to another, as in fences, balustrades, staircases, guards, etc.
(2) A horizontal member in a wood door.
A newel post.
Railroad tieTraverse de chemin de fer, f.A creosote-treated piece of lumber (generally 150 x 200 mm [6 x 8 in.] in cross-section) sometimes used for landscape applications after its railroad service life has ended.
Rainwater that penetrates roofs, walls, windows, doors or foundations through openings.
A wall construction system that adds a second line of defence to water penetration and includes an airspace between the two barriers so that (a) water entering the first line of defence can escape back to the outside and (b) the space between the walls can dry between wettings. See pressure equalized rainscreen.
See Water re-use and recycling terms.
Rainwater leaderRwlA downpipe from a roof or gutter, located inside a building and designed to carry water from a roof to a drain or to the exterior ground surface.
An incline, as in a pitched roof. The end of a wall that slopes or rakes back; slope.
A joint in masonry veneer where the mortar is tooled so that its surface is recessed from the face of the masonry.
A sloping surface that provides a pedestrian or vehicular connection between two levels.
A type of masonry construction in which the masonry units are not laid in any regular pattern.
A kitchen appliance with heating elements and usually combined with an oven.
RecessRetrait, m.An indentation in the surface of a wall or ceiling.
Recycled materialMatériau recyclé, m.Material made from pre-consumer materials diverted from the waste stream of a manufacturing process and/or from post- consumer materials diverted from residential, commercial and institutional waste streams.
RehabilitationRéhabilitation, f., remise en état, f.Restoration of a building or site to its original condition or to an improved condition.
Reinforcing mesh or welded wire meshTreillis métallique, m., treillis d’armature, m.A grid of welded steel wires used to resist tension stresses in concrete slabs. See Concrete terms: reinforced concrete.
Steel bars used in concrete construction to provide tensile strength. See Concrete terms: reinforced concrete.
The amount of water vapour in the air (expressed as a percentage) compared to the amount of water that air at the same temperature could hold if the air was totally saturated. See humidity ratio and dew point.
RenderingCrépi, m.The surface treatment of a concrete, masonry, or stucco wall to improve its appearance or increase its resistance to water penetration.
A source of energy from an inexhaustible source such as wind and solar or from naturally and rapidly renewing sources such as wood and crop biomass waste. See non-renewable energy source.
The act of restoring, changing or improving a structure or room.
The process of returning a building or site to its original appearance.
Retaining wallMur de soutènement, m.(1) A wall erected to hold back or support a bank of earth.
(2) A wall subjected to lateral pressure other than wind pressure.
(3) An enclosing wall built to resist the lateral pressure of
internal loads.
RetrofittingModernisation, f. [1], amélioration thermique, f., rénovation éconergétique, f. [2](2) The process of adding equipment, systems, components or other elements to a building post-construction.
(2) Often used with respect to adding additional insulation, controls, energy efficient equipment and windows,
solar systems, airtightness, etc. to a building to improve
energy efficiency.
Reused materialMatériau réutilisé, m.Material reused without any remanufacturing or processing.
RidgeFaîte, m.The summit line of a roof; the line where the rafters meet.
Ridge ventÉvent de faîte, m.A metal or plastic linear vent installed along the ridgeline of a roof for attic ventilation.
Right-of-wayDroit de passage, m.The right to pass over property owned by another, usually based upon an easement.
A material with enough rigidity to be free-standing and fastened with nails or screws, such as rigid insulation.
RippingSciage en long, m., coupe en long, f.The sawing of wood parallel to the grain.
Rock or other material placed on a slope to prevent erosion or to support an embankment.
(1) The vertical board under the tread in stairs.
(2) In plumbing, a supply pipe that extends through at least one
full storey to convey water.
GambrelToit à deux versants brisés, m.A type of roof that has its slope broken by an obtuse angle, so that the lower slope is steeper than the upper slope.
A roof designed to support topsoil and plants to reduce rainwater runoff, heat island effect and decrease the building’s space conditioning requirements. May also be referred to as a garden roof.
A roof that has all sides sloping up to a centre point or ridge.
A roof that has two slopes with the lower slope almost vertical, and the upper almost horizontal.
A type of gable roof commonly used on industrial buildings that has a raised portion along the ridge with openings for light and/ or air.
A pyramid-shaped roof, usually with four similar sloping sides.
A sloped, and often decorative, roof structure typically attached to an exterior wall between storeys to protect and shade windows and door openings below. May also refer to a shed roof.
A roof that has one or more sloping surfaces pitched at angles greater than necessary for drainage.
A roof that forms a figure bounded by more than four straight lines.
A hip roof that has four sloping surfaces, usually of equal pitch, that meet at a peak.
An area designed for residents’ communal use on the roof of a building or other structure.
An asphalt-based roofing material that comes in rolls and is laid in an overlapping, or shingled, manner horizontally across a roof deck.
A roof with only one set of rafters, falling from a higher to a lower wall.
Room or space, habitablePièce habitable, f., espace habitable, m.A room or space intended primarily for human occupancy.
The wide, flat part of a doorknob that fits snugly against the door.
Veneer cut by revolving a log against a knife running the length of the log, set in such a manner as to cut off from the log a thin sheet of a definite thickness and continuous length.
A type of external plastering in which small sharp stones are thrown or cast against the surface being coated. See stucco.
The initial modification of site levels. Usually carried out with a bulldozer or other heavy equipment; applies normally to subsoil rather than topsoil.
Rough openingBâti d’attente, m. [1]; dimensions brutes, f., pl. [2](1) An unfinished window or door opening, measured between framing members.
(2) The distance between framing members in an unfinished
door or window opening.
RubbleMaçonnerie brute, f.Masonry of rough, undressed stones. When only the roughest irregularities are knocked off, it is called scabbled rubble; and when the stones in each course are rudely dressed to nearly a uniform height, ranged rubble. See Masonry types.
The horizontal stringer measurement used in stair framing.
The horizontal distance of a stair tread as measured from riser to riser.
Safety plugBouchon de sécurité, m.A plastic plug that can be inserted into electrical outlets to protect children from electric shock.
SandblastingSablage, m., décapage au jet de sable, m.The process of scouring a surface with a powerful jet of sand for cleaning, removal of finishes (e.g., paint) or for adding surface texture.
See Plumbing terms.
SapwoodAubier, m.The outer layers of the tree containing living cells. The sapwood is generally lighter in colour than the heartwood and usually less rot-resistant.
Scaffold, scaffoldingÉchafaudage, m.A temporary erection of timber or steelwork, used in the construction, alteration or demolition of a building to support workers, their tools and materials.
Scratch coatCouche éraflée, f.The first coat of plaster or stucco that is scratched to form a bond for the second coat.
The process of transferring the profile of an irregular surface to a material, such as fitting woodwork to an irregular surface.
(1) An opening for drainage in a wall, curb or parapet.
(2) The drain in a downspout or flat roof, usually connected
to the downspout.
SealantCaulkingA general term for flexible, air and water-tight material used on the inside and outside of buildings to prevent the leakage of air and water through intersections in, and penetrations though, the building envelope. Also used to seal and finish joints around plumbing fixtures, shower and tub walls, backsplashes etc.
A non-hardening synthetic sealant appropriate for use in assemblies with acoustic ratings. May also be used to seal joints in polyethylene sheet air/vapour barriers.
A paintable water-based emulsion sealant used on non-porous surfaces such as aluminum, glass and ceramic tile and to seal and finish joints in wood surfaces.
A flexible, water-proof sealant that is durable and effective for sealing joints in materials subject to wet conditions such as bathtubs, shower stalls, sinks, faucets, etc. that is not typically paintable but has adhesive characteristics that allow it to be used for sealing joints subject to movement.
See Heating and cooling terms.
A coating applied directly over an uncoated wood, concrete, ceramic tile grout, masonry and other materials to protect the surface and to prevent moisture penetration.
The drying of lumber in the open air or in a kiln.
SegregationSégrégation, f.The separation of course aggregate from the cement mortar within mixed concrete during transport or placement which can cause the formation of rock pockets or honeycombing that can result in localized deficiencies in strength and other properties.
Sensible heatChaleur sensible, f.Heat energy that results in a change in temperature of a substance without changing the state of the substance and does not include latent heat.
Serviced lotTerrain viabilisé, m.A parcel of land with connections available to public utilities, communications (telephone and cable television) and road transportation.
SetbackRetrait, m. [1]; recul, m., marge de reculement, f. [2](1) Where a lower storey extends beyond a higher storey, the horizontal distance between the faces of the exterior wall of one storey and the exterior wall above it.
(2) The horizontal distance between the wall of a building and the adjacent street line or property line.
The sinking of an area after construction; often caused by inadequate soil compaction.
ShakeBardeau de fente, m.A shingle split (not sawn) from a block of wood and used for roofing and siding.
Defect originating in a living tree due to frost, wind or other causes, or occurring through injury in felling, driving, etc. that later shows in the manufactured lumber, most commonly as partial or complete separation between the growth rings.
Shared wall, common wall
Cisaillement, m.See Wall terms.
A force that causes or tends to cause two contiguous parts to slide relative to each other in a direction parallel to their
plane of contact. A force applied across the section of a member
or fastener.
SheathingRevêtement intermédiaire, m.Lumber, wood panels or other types of panels used to cover the exterior framework of a building.
A general term for sheet material, such as asphalt treated paper, spun bonded polyolefin and synthetic rubber, that is applied to the exterior walls of a building as protection against the passage of air and/or water.
A semi-permeable paper treated with bituminous tar or asphalt and used under exterior wall cladding as protection against the passage of water or air.
Sheet metal ductworkConduits en tôle, m. pl.All sheet metal components used for ducts in space heating, ventilating and air conditioning.
All sheet metal building components such as flashing, gutters, and downspouts.
A tunnel constructed by subterranean termites as a means of protection while moving between the subterranean colony and an above-ground food source.
A thin piece of material, sometimes tapered, used to fill a space between two objects, level objects, or to position and provide support for a construction element such as a window or door installed in a rough opening.
A relatively thin and small unit of roofing partially laid in overlapping layers as a roof covering or as cladding on the sides of buildings.
Shoe mouldQuart-de-rond, m.For interior finish, a moulding strip placed against the baseboard at the floor. Also called base shoe or carpet strip.
The method of temporarily supporting, by props of timber or other material, buildings and the sides of excavations.
ShutterVolet, m.A shutter with insulating and air sealing attributes that can cover and seal a window opening to reduce heat loss.
A shutter with insulating and air sealing attributes that can cover and seal a window opening to reduce heat loss.
A material (other than masonry or stucco) used as an exterior wall covering.
See Ventilation terms.
The horizontal member forming the bottom of an opening for a door or window. See also Window terms.
SinkÉvier, m.A receptacle for washing or for disposing of liquid wastes.
The removal of surface water from a site by natural run-off, percolation into the ground or through a storm sewer system.
Site furnishingsMobilier extérieur, m.Outdoor site accessories such as benches, planters, refuse containers, chairs, tables, playground equipment, shelters, etc. See street furnishings.
A weight of sand or gravel placed on a building site to compress underlying soil to improve its bearing capacity and suitability for building.
A glazed opening in a roof to admit natural light and, if operable, to provide ventilation.
A thick, flat object.
(1) A door without hardware and hinges.
(2) The outside piece removed from a log during the lumber manufacturing process.
(3) A horizontal concrete surface.
A form of construction with the superstructure supported by a concrete slab.
The combination of quicklime with water.
SleeperDormant, m. [1];
lambourde, f. [2]
(1) A horizontal timber laid on the ground to distribute a load.
(2) A strip of wood resting on a floor or roof to support a wood floor or deck.
A pipe or other insert installed in a building assembly prior to concrete placement for the routing of mechanical and electrical services.
The ratio of a vertical drop to a horizontal distance, and often expressed as a percentage. Also called gradient. See Truss terms.
Smart applianceAppareil intelligent, m.A home appliance that contains a microprocessor capable of receiving and sending signals to a home automation system control unit or to a remote control point, such as a utility.
A dwelling containing an automated system to control functions such as security systems, zone heating and cooling appliances, and entertainment systems, and to facilitate communication.
A safety device that detects airborne smoke and issues an audible alarm, thereby alerting people nearby to the danger of fire.
That part of a fireplace system that connects the fireplace to the chimney and allows a channelling of the flue gases to occur.
A compartment within a floor area that is separated from the remainder of the floor area in such a way as to be smoke-tight for a predicted period.
A device that is activated when the concentration of airborne combustion particles in the surrounding air exceeds a predetermined level. A smoke detector may initiate an alarm, activate fire doors and smoke shutters or interrupt power to an appliance.
Snap header or false headerFausse boutisse, f.A half length of brick sometimes used in brick facing.
SodGazon en plaques, m., gazon cultivé, m.A matting of grass and soil that is cut just below the roots and then used on a new site to provide quick grass cover.
The underside of a building element such as staircase, roof overhang, beam, etc.
Lumber from conifers or evergreen trees commonly used for wood frame construction.
Fine-grainedSol à grains fins, m.Soil with relatively small particle sizes, for example clay soils, that is usually rich in minerals, but drains poorly. In the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) a soil is fine-grained when more than 50 per cent of the soil by weight passes a
No. 200 sieve.
Rocks or rock pieces smaller than 75 mm but larger than No. 4 sieve (approximately 5 mm or 0.20 inches).
A firm, unyielding, unbroken, compacted soil.
The material resulting from decomposing organic matter in the soil.
A rich soil composed of clay and sand containing a proportion of vegetable matter.
Soil with a high humus content, that usually contains raw plant residues and microorganisms produced by the decomposition of organic matter.
Fibrous structure usually brown or black when moist. Spongy. Usually has characteristic odour. Descriptive terms: organic terrain including muskeg, peat, and sphagnum bog.
Organic clay, organic silt, etc. Depending on amount of organic material, these soils usually have some of the characteristics
of their inorganic counterparts. Usually highly compressible (spongy); usually have characteristic odour.
Partially decomposed plant material, often used as mulch and soil amendment.
A layer of soil or bedrock that is permanently frozen; found throughout northern regions and scattered at higher elevations in other regions of Canada.
Smaller than No. 4 sieve but larger than No. 200 sieve.
Soil containing 50 to 80 per cent sand particles, less than 50 per cent silt particles and less than 20 per cent clay.
Soil-or-waste pipe or waste stack
soil test
Étude des sols, f.See Plumbing terms.
A sampling of a site to determine the characteristics of its soils and to map their locations, and drainage and bearing capacities; usually accomplished by borings and subsequent laboratory analysis.
An attached greenhouse-like space for general use as living space.
A device that transforms solar radiation into usable heat or electricity.
A solar collector that heats air.
A solar collector that heats a liquid such as water or a glycol solution.
See Window terms.
A solar collector that creates electricity.
The angle between the plane of the surface of a solar collector, or the roof directly supporting it, and the horizontal plane.
Solar system, activeSystème solaire actif, m.A solar system that uses solar collectors, mechanical and electrical devices such as fans, pumps and controls, to collect, store and distribute energy derived from the sun. Examples include
solar domestic hot water heating, solar air heating and solar photovoltaics for electricity generation.
A passive solar system that uses both mechanical and passive devices to collect and utilize energy.
A solar system that makes use of building elements to collect, store and distribute energy derived from the sun. Examples include solar chimneys that use the heat of the sun to drive indoor-outdoor air exchange and combinations of south facing glazing coupled with shading devices and thermal mass to capture and re-emit solar energy.
Solenoid valveVanne électromagnétique, f.A valve that is electrically operated.
(1) Measures and features for reducing noise transmission.
(2) Degree to which sound levels are reduced across a door, window, wall, roof or floor assembly.
A rating system used to describe the performance of wall, floor and other assemblies in reducing airborne sound. See impact insulation class.
SpallingÉcaillage, m., effritement, m.The breaking off of the surface layer of concrete or brick work; usually caused by frost action, or the corrosion of metal reinforcement in concrete.
The horizontal distance between the supports for trusses, beams, rafters, joists or any other load carrying member not continuously supported along its length.
SpecificationDevis descriptif, m.A detailed written description of the type and quality of materials and workmanship required for a project.
Splash blockBloc parapluie, m.A small masonry block laid with the top close to the ground surface below a downspout to receive roof drainage and divert it away from the building.
A thin, rectangular strip of wood used to join and reinforce the joint between two members with corresponding grooves or slots cut into them to receive the reinforcing strip.
See Heating and cooling terms.
A single cell capable of reproducing certain types of plant or plant-like life, including fungus.
The point at which an arch, coved ceiling or similar construction departs from a vertical plane.
(1) A device used to distribute water on grass, gardens.
(2) A device activated by heat or smoke to suppress a building fire.
A fabric sheet material applied to a building exterior to reduce air infiltration and water ingress; often referred to as “house wrap”.
SquareCarré, m., toise, f. [1]; à angle droit, loc. adv., d’équerre, loc. adv. [2](1) A 100 square foot measure applied to roofing and siding material.
(2) Term used to describe when two elements are at right angles
to each other.
Stack effectEffet de tirage, m., effet de cheminée, m.The vertical movement of air due to differences in indoor- outdoor air density that increases the buoyancy of the indoor air relative to that of the outdoor air. This difference occurs as a result of differences in indoor-outdoor temperature. The
buoyancy forces driving stack effect increase with building height and temperature difference. In cold climates, stack effect tends
to cause air to leak into the bottom of a building and out of
the top.
StaircaseEscalier, m.A flight of steps leading from one floor, storey or level to another and includes landings, stringers, risers, newel posts, handrails and balustrades.
A platform between flights of stairs.
A motorized chair or platform that travels up and down a guide rail installed along, or adjacent to, a staircase. A stair lift provides people in wheelchairs, or those with mobility problems, with ease of access to the different levels of a house that it connects.
A structural member used to support stair treads.
Starter stripBande de départ, f.Roofing material applied at the eaves to provide waterproof protection by filling in the spaces under the cut-outs and joints of the first course of shingles.
Steel studPoteau d’acier, m.A vertical member made from bent sheet metal used to construct steel-frame walls.
A change in elevation.
Overlapping rectangular or square pieces of flashing used at the junction of a shingled roof and walls. Also called shingle flashing.
StileMontant, m.A vertical piece of a sash, door, or piece of framing or panelling to which the ends of the rails are attached.
StoolRebord de fenêtre, m., seuil de fenêtre, m.The flat, narrow shelf forming the top member of the interior trim at the bottom of a window.
A low platform, with or without steps, outside the entrance door of a house.
(1) A moulding along the inner edges of a door or window frame.
(2) A valve used to shut off water to a fixture.
StoreyÉtage, m.The portion of a building situated between the top of any floor and the top of the floor immediately above it, or, in the case
of the uppermost storey of a building, the ceiling immediately above it. Storey is often used to describe the height of a building in terms of the number of habitable floors above grade.
The storey with its floor closest to grade and with its ceiling more than 1,800 mm (5.91 ft.) above grade.
Storm doorContre-porte, f.An extra outside door for protection against inclement weather.
Stove or muffler cementCiment pour poêle, m.A high temperature compound used to seal joints in masonry and factory built chimneys.
StrappingFond de clouage, m., fourrure, f.A wood batten fixed to the faces of walls and ceilings to support siding, drywall, lath and plaster and other finishes. See furring.
StressContrainte, f.An internal force that resists a change in shape or size caused by external forces.
The highest unit stress a piece of material can sustain at, or just before, failure.
StretcherPanneresse, f.A brick that has been laid so that its length is in line with the face of the wall.
A masonry bond in which bricks are laid as stretchers with vertical joints located at or near the middle of the stretchers above and below.
Stretching courseAssise de panneresses, f.An external or visible course of bricks that is made up entirely of stretchers.
The part of a door lock set that is fastened to the jamb.
(1) A long, heavy horizontal timber that connects upright posts in a structure and supports a floor.
(2) The inclined member that supports the treads and risers of a stair.
Wood flooring consisting of narrow, matched strips.
A wood batten fixed at right angles to the tops of cross framing members or ceiling joists in order to align and level them.
Timber used in construction to bear loads and therefore graded on the basis of the suitability of the entire piece for that purpose.
(1) A structural member that is designed to resist longitudinal compressive stress such as members supporting a ridge beam or rafters.
(2) A short column.
A cement mixture used as an exterior covering for walls.
See roughcast.
SubfloorSupport de revêtement de sol, m.Boards or wood panels fastened to floor joists to support the finished floor, such as carpet, ceramic tiles, vinyl, linoleum or hardwood.
A condition in masonry where mineral salts in crystalline form accumulate below the surface of masonry material. The accumulation and expansion of these salts create pressures that may result in the loss of surface material, exposing weaker material on the interior.
The prepared and compacted ground level that receives pavement or topsoil; the end product of rough grading.
Sub-slab ventilation system, soil gas ventilation systemSystème de ventilation sous la dalle, m.A mechanical ventilation system used to evacuate, and safely vent, soil gases such as radon outdoors. Typically consists of perforated sub-slab piping located in the gravel bed beneath the basement floor slab that is connected to an exhaust fan that continuously vents soil gases outside.
Sustainability, environmentalDurabilité de l’environnement, f.
durabilité, f.
The capacity to endure; the ability of an activity to continue over an indefinite period without permanent depletion or damage to the environment.
T-railFer en T, m.A steel bar with a T-cross section.
Raised lettering or textured surface strip to warn people with visual disabilities when a staircase begins and ends, or to warn of some other feature in the house design.
TampDamer, v.To compact soil or other material by applying repeated vertical blows, either manually or with a mechanical device.
TapingPontage, m.The finishing of joints between drywall (gypsum board) sheets by means of a tape that covers the joints and the application of drywall joint compound that covers, conceals and provides a smooth paintable finish over the tape.
A bituminous material, liquid or semi-solid, that has adhesive and waterproofing properties.
Temperature control valve
temperature rod
Barre de dilatation, f.See Plumbing terms.
A small steel rod embedded in concrete to limit cracking due to expansion and contraction.
The use of heat to increase the strength of a material such as steel or glass.
The end of a piece of lumber formed to fit into a mortise.
The ability of a structure or structural member to resist tension. A force that pulls or stretches.
TermiteTermite, m.An insect that lives in warm, humid conditions and feeds on cellulose material such as wood.
A corrosion resistant, continuous, sheet metal barrier installed along the top of a foundation wall, or at supporting foundation piers, to prevent the passage of termites between the ground and the house.
A floor finish consisting of cement and marble granite chips and applied over concrete and floated, ground, and polished to a smooth surface.
A material of low thermal conductivity used in a building assembly to reduce the flow of heat by conduction from one side of the assembly to the other via thermal bridges. Thermal breaks may be provided to reduce heat loss through thermal bridges such as metal window frames, concrete floor slabs and steel studs.
A component, assembly or area of the building envelope that has noticeably higher thermal conductivity than the surrounding area. Examples include metal window frames, balcony slabs, shear walls and steel studs. Depending on the size of the thermal bridge (or bridges) and its thermal characteristics, a reduction in the overall thermal insulation value of the envelope can result.
Thermal bridges can cause higher heat loss, increased space heating consumption, comfort problems and condensation-
related indoor moisture problems.
Thermal envelopeEnveloppe thermique, f.The insulated assembly, including walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, that encloses a building to reduce heat loss or heat gain and that protects it from exterior temperature variations.
A generic name for all materials used specifically to control or reduce heat transfer. See Insulation terms.
A precise measurement of a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the resistance value, the slower the rate of heat transfer through the material (expressed as a metric RSI or an Imperial R-value). See RSI, R-value.
A heat-storage system based on materials such as eutectic salts that change from solid to liquid as they absorb heat and revert from liquid to solid as they lose it.
A heat-storage system that makes use of stone or masonry mass in an insulated container to store heat for later use.
The process of surveying for temperature anomalies in a building, including air leaks, missing insulation, water leaks, water saturation, buried piping, and electrical faults using heat detecting visual equipment.
ThresholdSeuil, m.A shaped wood or metal strip used on top of exterior door sills to separate and protect the interior flooring from exterior elements or to bridge and finish two different floor finishes at interior doorway locations. A threshold may be beveled to gently slope out of the doorway on either side.
The narrowing passage located between a fireplace and smoke chamber or flue.
(1) A surface covering made up of small pieces of ceramic or stone set in a grout or similar fixing material.
(2) A small piece of ceramic or stone that is a component of a tiled surface.
(3) A fired clay pipe or plate, often glazed to make it
TimberBois sur pied, m. [1]; bois de sciage, m. [2]; bois d’œuvre, m. [3](1) Standing trees of commercial size.
(2) Felled trees or logs suitable for conversion into lumber products.
(3) A piece of lumber with a minimum dimension of 125 mm
(4.92 in.)
ToenailingClouage en biais, m.Fastening one piece of lumber to another by nailing through the first at an angle into the second. Usually done when it is not possible to lap or align the two pieces in such a way to allow perpendicular nailing. Toe nailing at opposite angles can increase the strength of the joint.
A toilet that has a regular cleansing spray or a soft mist spray, a warm water bidet and a hot air drier and automatic flusher.
A toilet designed to reduce the amount of water consumed when the toilet is flushed.
TopographyTopographie, f.The configuration of the surface of a site; its relief, landforms, and slopes.
TrackRail, m.An assembly used at the bottom and top of a steel stud wall to align and secure the studs.
A chair, sometimes based on a hydraulic system, that allows a person with a mobility disability to get into a bathtub by swinging the feet over the side and lowering themselves in. Can also refer to a similar system allowing a person with a mobility disability to get in and out of bed.
TransomTraverse d’imposte, f. [1]; imposte, f. [2](1) The horizontal bar that divides a window into heights or stages.
(2) The opening above a door or window used for light
or ventilation.
TreadPas, m.The horizontal part of a step, as opposed to the vertical riser.
A wood product that has been treated to improve its decay or fire resistance.
An open framework or lattice used as a screen or to support climbing plants.
(1) The work the mechanical and electrical contractors perform as a building is nearing completion.
(2) Interior and exterior finish materials such as mouldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim) or at the floor and ceiling of rooms (baseboard, cornice, and other
Trombe wallMur Trombe, m.A masonry or concrete wall behind large floor-to-ceiling glass or other glazing material; its purpose is to absorb and store solar heat to be used later.
A cement or mortar surface that has been given a smooth finish by means of a trowel.
TrussFerme, f.A rigid, open web, metal or wood framework used to support floors or roofs. Trusses can also be used in the walls of highly energy efficient houses as a way to provide increased wall thickness for insulation.
Tuck-pointingRepointingThe repair of a mortar joint by cutting a groove in the surface of the joint and repointing or filling the groove with mortar.
A petroleum-based, volatile oil used as a thinner in paints and as a solvent in varnishes.
U factorFacteur U, m.A measure of the propensity of a material or an assembly of materials to conduct heat, measured in watts per square metre per degree Celsius. The U factor is the inverse of the R-value, i.e., U = 1/R.
Abbreviation for Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada, an independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and
certification organization accredited by the Standards Council
of Canada, under the National Standards System.
ULFÀ très faible débit, loc. adv.Abbreviation for ultra low flow with respect to water conserving faucets and showerheads and ultra low flush for water conserving toilets.
UnderlaymentSous-couche, f.(1) A sheet material placed over the subfloor sheathing and under finish coverings, such as vinyl flooring, to provide a smooth, even surface.
(2) A secondary roofing layer that is waterproof or water- resistant, installed on the roof deck and beneath shingles or other roof-finishing material.
The average stress (or force) applied over a given unit of area. A common unit of measurement is newtons per square meter (N/m2), Pascals (Pa) or pounds per square inch (lb/in2).
Urea formaldehydeUrée-formaldéhyde, f.A volatile organic compound used in adhesives, moulded articles and finishes.
See Insulation terms.
An insulating foam used for filling large joints and cavities where conventional sealant materials may not be suitable, such as around plumbing and vent openings.
A public or private service such as water, telephone, electricity and sewage disposal.
A large group of organic chemicals that can be emitted as a gas or vapour from many construction products such as oil-based paints and varnishes, caulking, glues, synthetic carpeting and vinyl flooring.
ValanceBoîte à rideaux, f.A decorative box installed over a window to conceal the top of window curtains.
ValleyNoue, f.The concave area formed by the junction of two sloping surfaces of a roof.
Sheet metal applied in a roof valley.
ValveRobinet, m., vanne, f., valve, f., soupape, f.A device that regulates the flow of liquid or gas by means of a movable part that either closes, opens or constricts the passage.
A counter or cabinet for supporting a basin or sink in a bathroom or lavatory.
Vapour barrierPare-vapeur, m.Material used in the house envelope to retard the passage of water vapour. (Called a vapor retarder in the U.S.)
The movement of water vapour between two areas caused by a difference in vapour pressure, independent of air movement.
The rate of diffusion is determined by (a) the difference in vapour pressure and (b) the permeability of the material to water vapour (hence the selection of materials of low permeability for use as
vapour diffusion retarders in buildings).
VeneerPlacage, m.A thin, uniform strip or sheet of wood or other material applied to an underlay material to provide a pleasing finish appearance to furniture or countertops.
VentÉvent, m.An opening for the passage, escape or pressure relief of fluid, gas, air or smoke.
Air exchangerÉchangeur d’air, m.A device that transfers air from indoors to outdoors and from outdoors to indoors simultaneously. May or may not involve recovery of heat. See heat recovery ventilator.
A device that transfers heat from outgoing exhaust air to incoming outdoor air in the winter and from the incoming outdoor air to the outgoing exhaust air in the summer. The heat exchanger may be made up of an assembly of fixed plates (common in heat recovery ventilators), a rotary wheel (common in energy recovery ventilators), heat pipes, run-around glycol loop, or a shell-and tube arrangement.
The effectiveness of an HRV with respect to its ability to warm incoming air. See also sensible recovery efficiency.
An automatic device (usually gravity-operated, hinged plate or blade), designed to prevent the reversal of airflow when the system is off.
An object placed in an appliance or duct to change the direction, or retard the flow, of air, gas-air mixtures or flue gases.
An axis-mounted plate or blade in a duct or series of louvres in a register to regulate airflow.
A centre-axis mounted plate installed within ducts or flues to control airflow. The damper consists of two simultaneously acting plates, edge mounted to the same axis, that open and close with a movement similar to the movement of a butterfly’s wings.
Ventilation brought about by mechanical means by the operation of a fan, or fans, to maintain acceptable indoor air quality and is automatically or manually controlled.
A control device that senses the level of water vapour or moisture content in a room and that can be set to maintain it within a predetermined maximum limit by controlling the operation of
a ventilation appliance, dehumidifier or space cooling system.
A forced air supply terminal device the function of which is to direct the flow of air leaving the terminal. Specific diffuser
types are designed for floor, ceiling or wall installation. Does not necessarily include an airflow regulating or shut-off damper.
See also register in Heating and cooling terms.
DistributionDistribution, f.The transfer of ventilation air into and out of rooms or other confined spaces inside a building envelope.
Effective lengthLongueur efficace, f.In duct design, the length of a duct system expressed as the sum of the actual length of the airflow path and the equivalent lengths of the fittings in that flow path.
Similar in function to HRV except that the recovery system recovers moisture (latent heat) as well as sensible heat from the out-going air stream. Used where control of humidity in winter is less important and performance under cooling conditions is more important. Also called enthalpy recovery ventilator.
In duct design, the length assigned to a duct fitting expressed as the length of straight, smooth, round duct of the same diameter as the fitting, which would have the same resistance to airflow.
Air mechanically removed to the outdoors by appliances such as heat recovery ventilators, exhaust fans, clothes dryers and central vacuum cleaners.
A duct used to convey air and contaminants from an appliance, room or other space to outdoors.
A ventilation system that is comprised of an exhaust fan, or fans, only and relies on the infiltration of outdoor air to balance the exhaust airflow. A forced air system may be needed to distribute and circulate air in rooms not directly connected to the exhaust- only system.
A ventilating passage used to convey air and contaminants away from an appliance, room or other space.
A ventilation system (usually HRV-based) in which air is exhausted from bathrooms, kitchens and water closets by the HRV and outdoor air from the HRV is supplied to the return air trunk duct of a forced air system for distribution to the individual rooms of the house.
See Heating and cooling terms.
Fan-cyclerCommande automatique de ventilateur, f.A control that ensures the operation of the blower of a forced-air system for a minimum period of time (as set by homeowner or contractor) over the course of each hour of the day to achieve a minimum rate of air circulation within a dwelling unit.
A ventilation system (usually HRV-based) in which air is exhausted from bathrooms, kitchens and water closets rooms, and outdoor air is supplied directly to the bedrooms and living areas by a system of ducts. A forced-air system may or may not be present in the house, but is not required to form a complete ventilation system.
A packaged ventilation appliance consisting of supply and exhaust air fans and motors, a heat recovery core, filters and controls. HRVs provide supply and exhaust ventilation and transfer heat between the exhaust and supply airstreams to reduce ventilation-related space conditioning energy use.
Protective cover for an exterior air inlet or outlet. Usually used in combination with the function of the terminal, i.e. “exhaust hood” or “intake hood.”
A ventilation system that combines two or more features of extended exhaust, exhaust-only, simplified or fully ducted ventilation systems. For example, a system might use an HRV to exhaust some bathrooms, but the kitchen and further bathrooms may be ventilated with local fans.
Litre per secondL/sA metric unit of airflow. 1 L/s = 2.12 CFM. In common practice, 1 L/s is taken to be approximately equivalent to 2 CFM.
Outdoor air supplied to a house to replace exhaust air, either by infiltration, by an intentionally provided make-up air duct or system. Make-up air is provided in order to prevent excessive depressurization. The level of acceptable depressurization in a home will be influenced by the presence or absence of spillage susceptible combustion appliances.
Ventilation by means of a fan, or fan-assisted, device.
Negative pressurePression négative, f.A pressure below atmospheric pressure. A negative pressure exists when the pressure inside the house envelope is less than the air pressure outside. Negative pressure will encourage infiltration and backdrafting.
The theoretical cross-sectional area (across the plan area of a building) the perimeter of which is defined by those points on the building envelope whose indoor pressure equals the outdoor pressure.
Air from outside the building not previously circulated in the building.
A pressure above atmospheric pressure that exists when the pressure inside the house envelope is greater than the air pressure outside, or the pressure in one zone in the house is greater than the pressure in another zone. A positive pressure difference will encourage exfiltration.
The static pressure loss arising due to flow of air through
an element, fitting or section of an air-handling system such as a filter or heat exchanger.
The switch or control, usually centrally located in the house, that controls the principal ventilation fan.
The minimum airflow capacity of the principal ventilation fan. This capacity may be based on the number of bedrooms in a house and/or some proportion of the total ventilation capacity.
A ventilation device that may be a fan or HRV that provides the principal ventilation capacity for a home.
A canopy over a range that is usually equipped with a fan and light. The fan may or may not be vented to the outside. The fan may be located internal to the range hood assembly or it may be remotely located.
Also referred to as a cook top fan. An exhaust device integrated into a kitchen cook top appliance that provides a powerful downdraft to capture and vent cooking odours and moisture.
Verge boardBordure de pignon, f.The board under the edge of gables. See barge board, facer board.
See Insulation terms.
Vibrating alarmAvertisseur vibrant, m.A portable warning device that vibrates when a doorbell rings or some other household function is performed; useful for people with limitations to hearing or vision, people with mobility impairments and people who are bed-ridden.
A warning device equipped with a flashing light; useful to people who are hearing-impaired; also desirable where quiet is important.
Walk-in bathBaignoire à porte, f.A bathtub with a built-in side opening door providing easier access for people who have movement difficulty.
Wall plateTop or bottom platesSee Wood framing terms.
WarrantyGarantie, f.A promise from a manufacturer, supplier or other party that a product, material or workmanship will meet a specified level of performance over a specified period. Most warranties are backed by a commitment to repair or replace the product, material or work, or to refund its cost.
A comprehensive analysis of the waste produced by the construction or use of a building. An audit can be used to reveal areas where waste can be reduced or recycled.
The collection, transport, processing and disposal of waste from a process such as the construction of buildings. May also include managing and monitoring of waste materials for the purposes of identifying material use reduction, recycling and diversion from landfills opportunities.
Water bar or weather barCassis, m.A bar set in the joint between the wood sill and masonry, or wood sill and sash of a window, to prevent penetration of water.
Water resistant drywallPlaque de plâtre résistant à l’humidité, f.Drywall designed and manufactured specifically for use around tubs, within shower stalls or behind counter backsplashes.
The replacement of existing water fixtures and appliances with water-conserving fixtures and appliances. Water retrofits can involve a wide range of approaches including six-litre and dual- flush toilets, low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators, and rain barrel collectors for gardens.
Water tableNappe phréatique, f.The subgrade plane below which the soil and rock is saturated with water.
Water present in the air in a gaseous state.
Water vapour permeancePerméance à la vapeur d’eau, f.The rate at which water vapour diffuses through a sheet of
any thickness of material (or assembly between parallel surfaces). It is the ratio of water vapour flow to the differences of the vapour pressures on the opposite surfaces. Permeance is measured in perms.
The pressure exerted by water vapour in the air in proportion to the absolute amount of water in the air. Water vapour moves from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure.
A sheet material applied to a roof, wall surface or foundation to prevent the penetration of water.
WeatherstrippingCoupe-froid, m.Strips of felt, rubber, metal or other material, fixed along the edges of doors or windows to keep out drafts and reduce heat loss.
The attachment of a steel stud to the top track of a steel stud wall with a flexible clip that allows the wall to transfer horizontal loads but not vertical loads.
WeepholeChantepleure, f.A small hole at the bottom of a retaining wall or masonry veneer wall to drain water out beyond the face of the wall.
Wind barrierPare-vent, m.A textile or fabric wrap located on the outside of a building envelope to protect insulation from the circulation of outside air. See spunbonded polyolefin.
Wind effectEffet du vent, m.A condition that exists when wind blows against a house, creating a high-pressure area on the windward side and tending to force air into the house. Simultaneously, a low-pressure area is present on the leeward side of the house.
A trapezoidal-shaped step used at a change in direction of a stair.
Dormer windowFenêtre de lucarne, f.A vertical window in a dormer for lighting a room adjoining a sloping roof.
A window made of two layers of glass separated by an air space to increase its thermal resistance (RSI).
Two panes of glass in a door or window, with an air space between the panes. They may be sealed hermetically as a single unit or each pane may be installed separately in the door or window sash.
A window with an upper and lower sash, each balanced by springs or weights to be capable of vertical movement with relatively little effort.
An energy-rating system developed for windows and sliding doors that compares the amount of energy lost through air leakage and through the glass, spacers and frames with the amount of heat gained through solar gain. It is expressed in watts per square metre and can be a negative or positive number.
A typical ER number of a single glazed window is -50, for double glazed -30, and for low-e argon-filled between -12 and +4.
A window with its frame, sash and glazing that, under standard test conditions, meets the fire protection requirements for the location in which it is to be used.
A single sash fastened permanently in a frame so that it cannot be raised, lowered or swung open.
A sealed window unit in which a heavier-than-air and inert gas, usually argon, but can be krypton, is used to replace the air between the glazings. This results in an improved thermal performance of the window.
A frame containing one or more sashes, each of which is installed in a vertical plane and is hinged to permit the top of the sash to open inwards.
A frame containing a number of movable, shutter-like, overlapping glass panels.
An individual pane of glass.
LintelLinteau, m.The horizontal top piece of the window framework.
A window with a thin metal coating applied to the glazing to reduce the amount of heat radiated. Low-e windows are
designed to help keep the inside cool in summer and warm in winter. See pyrolytic and sputtered.
The rails of a pair of window sashes that meet when the sashes are closed.
The part of a sliding glass door, a sliding window, or a hung window where two panels meet and create a weather barrier.
A vertical member between adjacent window or door units. Mullions may be structural when used to support a lintel above a window or door opening. Also refers to the vertical member between two adjacent doors against which the doors close, latch and sometimes lock.
A thin member that frames and holds individual panes of glass, or individual glazing units, within a window. In newer windows, muntins are often decorative grid-like assemblies applies over a larger glazed units, or in between the individual panes, to visually subdivide it into smaller, more architecturally attractive, areas.
A window or group of windows that projects beyond the wall of a building and is usually carried on brackets or corbels.
A window featuring a semi-circular pane over a rectangular pane.
A glass surface in a window. A window may consist of a single pane or may include a number of panes (double or triple-pane).
A sash that swings open or shut by revolving on pivots at either side of the sash or at top and bottom.
A chemically-bonded hard low-e coating applied to window glass to improve the energy performance of the glass.
Rough frameBâti d’attente, m.The framing of the enclosure in which the finished window frame is placed.
A light frame of wood, metal, or plastic either fixed or movable that holds the glass.
In a double-hung window, a device, usually operated with a spring, designed to counterbalance the window sash without the use of weights, pulleys, and cord.
The outer frame with sill in which the sliding sashes or casements are suspended.
A window with a wood frame containing at least two lights of glass with polished or ground edges. At least one light of glass slides horizontally or vertically.
The base of the window frame sloped on the outside to shed rain.
A sash in a window frame containing a pair of vertical sliding sashes in which only one sash is movable, usually the lower, in contrast to a double-hung sash.
A window containing a single pane of glass.
A sash that moves horizontally on a tongue or track.
A term used in the heating and cooling field to describe the amount of heat transmitted through windows. A value of
1.0 corresponds to 100 per cent transmission, 0.5 corresponds to 50 per cent transmission.
Soft low-e coatings on window glass produced by coating a glazing surface with silver or zinc atoms in a vacuum.
A full-length window with either fixed or movable sashes, fitted to the outside of a window frame to afford protection during cold or stormy weather.
A horizontal rectangular window set above a door or another window.
Wind bracingContreventement, m.Metal or wood strapping installed diagonally in an exterior wall to provide additional resistance to high-wind loads.
Corrugated metal, concrete or timber barrier wall installed around a basement window to hold back backfill.
Wired glassVerre armé, m.Glass reinforced by a layer of wire mesh.
See Construction types.
Bottom plateLisse basse, f.The lower horizontal member of a wood-frame wall nailed to the bottom of the wall studs and to the floor framing members. Also called sole plate.
Supported framework of a house, especially at corners.
A method used to resist twisting of joists and for stiffening floor construction by fitting either crossed pieces or solid blocks between the joists.
The upper half of the top plate in wood-frame walls
One of a series of horizontal structural members typically used in conjunction with rafters or roof joists in the roof structure. They form the horizontal separation between the occupied space and the attic or roof space above, and support the ceiling. Ceiling joists may secure the lower portion of opposing rafters to prevent them from spreading and may support knee walls within the roof space.
Short vertical framing installed to transfer load from a top plate to a window or door lintel and partitions.
Diagonal wood braces placed between floor joists to increase stiffness and reduce deflection.
A structural system used to resist lateral wind and earthquake loads to shear walls or frames. The diaphragm may be part of a floor, wall or roof system and is usually constructed of plywood or oriented strand board which is fastened to the framing system.
A structural member made by nailing or bolting two joists together for use where extra strength is required in the header, as at stair openings.
The integration of floor, wall and roof assemblies to make a structural unit.
HeaderSolive de rive, f. [1], chevêtre, m. [2](1) A wood member at right angles to a series of joists or rafters and attached to the joists or rafters.
(2) When used at openings in the floor or roof system, the header supports the joist or rafters and acts
as a beam.
A notch cut in the end of a rafter to permit it to have a flat bearing area on a wall top plate.
A short rafter that spans from the wall plate to a hip rafter or from a valley rafter to the roof ridge.
A block or short stud nailed to a rough door or window studding to add strength and provide a solid bearing for the lintel and nailing support for the finished door jamb or window frame.
One of a series of horizontal or inclined wood members, usually 50 mm nominal thickness, used for support in floors, ceilings or roofs.
A brace that is inset into grooves in the wall studs it is bracing, leaving a flat surface on the braced side.
A short wood member cantilevered over, or projecting from, a wall to support an overhanging portion of a roof.
An extension of a rafter beyond the wall line.
A type of construction that employs flat vertical structural members with horizontal beams let into them and that has an infilling of planks on edge.
A system of framing a building in which floor joists of each storey rest on the top plates of the storey below or on the foundation sill for the first storey, and the bearing walls and partitions rest on the subfloor of each storey.
A system of construction in which posts and beams support the loads and the infilling walls are non-load-bearing.
An inclined structural roof member, usually of 38 mm (1.5 in.) thickness, designed to support roof loads, but not ceiling finish.
RibbandLambourde, f.A piece of lumber notched into or nailed onto the back of studs to support floor joists or ceiling joists in balloon frame construction. Also known as a ribbon or a ledger.
A horizontal structural member usually 50 mm (2 in.) thick or greater, supporting the upper ends of rafters.
A horizontal member, usually 18 mm (0.7 in.) thick, at the upper end of the rafters, to which abutting rafters are nailed.
In engineered-wood floor construction, the vertical framing around the edge of a floor for the purpose of transferring vertical loads from one floor to another, and to secure the floor joists.
For floors framed with dimension lumber, a joist that runs around the perimeter of the floor joists, and to which the floor joists are attached.
A stud wall system designed to resist lateral force applied to
the plane of the wall. The shear wall may consist of one or more sheer wall segments in the plane of the wall.
A structural member anchored to the top of a foundation wall, upon which the floor joists rest.
StudPoteau, m.One of a series of regularly spaced wood structural members (usually 50 mm (2 in.) nominal thickness) used for walls and partitions.
A relatively short beam, joist, or rafter, supported on one end by a header.
A framework of squared timbers connected with mortise and tenon joints.
The horizontal member nailed to the top of the partition or wall studs and usually doubled to transfer loads from above into the wall studs. See wall plate.
A beam or joist alongside an opening and into which a header is framed.
A horizontal member attached to the tops and bottoms of wood stud walls.
Wood lathLatte de bois, f.A thin narrow piece of wood used as a base for plaster or stucco.
A chemical applied by pressure treatment, soaking or brushing used to improve the resistance of wood to decay and insect damage.
A pressure-treated wood block used as a bearing support.
A unit used to express the thickness of masonry construction that is typically based on one masonry unit. For example,
a masonry wall may be described as being single, double or triple wythes thick.
A home automation protocol that uses existing AC wiring for communication between control devices and receiver modules. X-10 is one of the oldest and most common home automation protocols; it allows only one-way communication and has limited processing power.
To landscape (an area) in such a way as to minimize its need for irrigation, especially by using indigenous plants and features suited to a dry climate.
The land around a house. A house can have a backyard, a front yard or a side yard—or all three, or two of the three. Often, a yard has a lawn and a flower garden or vegetable garden, or both. Many municipalities have zoning bylaws that set minimum sizes for yards.