Your Handbook for understanding Architecture:


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Beading Usually a semi circular moulding that masks a joint, sometimes alongside a quirk
Beading Router/Beader A woodworking machine for moulding beads on wood or for cutting groves in which to insert beads
Beam A structural member that resists load which bend it. Beams also include joists and girders
Beam Casing Joinery casing around any type of beam or beam casing
Beam clamp Bars with screws or slots and wedges that are tightened round beam formwork to prevent movement or leakage during concreting
Beam Encasement Concrete encasement surrounding a structural steelwork beam
Beam Form Formwork for a reinforced concrete beam or concrete encasement to a structural steelwork beam
Beam Hanger A U shaped rod placed over a structural steel beam to carry the soffit form for concrete encasement
Bearer A horizontal timber beam that carries the joists of a floor. It needs to be stiff and well supported or the floor will bounce when walked upon
Bearing A surface which bears the load
Bearing Capacity The pressure that a material can withstand, particularly the foundation ground (or soil) for footings
Bearing Length The contact length between a beam and its support (either an end bearing or an intermediate bearing)
Bearing Pad A block of concrete or stone used as a bearing plate
Bearing Plate A plate built into a wall to support the end of a beam or the base of a column, spreading the load over an area large enough to prevent the wall failing
Bearing Pressure The load on a bearing surface divided by its area
Bearing Wall A load bearing Wall
Bed The undersurface of a brick, building stone, slate or a tile laid on horizontal bedding to make a joint
Bed Joint A horizontal mortar joint in brickwork or blockwork, usually 10mm thick

1) A thick layer of material laid over a surface to fill the irregularities between it and a component placed on top of it

2) Laying an element on bedding and bringing it to its final position by steady pressure, moving it to and fro or tapping it with a mallet or a trowel

Bedding and jointing The main operations of bricklaying, laying bricks in courses on mortar bedding and shaping the joint faces
Bedding Planes Layers along which sedimentary rocks were originally deposited horizontally. Some rocks tend to split along these planes
Bedhead Panel A stainless steel plaque on the wall above a hospital bed, with outlets or connectors for services: medical gases, telephone, call bell
Bedpan Sink A sanitary fitting for washing and scalding hospital bedpans by hand.
Bedpan Washer A machine that washes and scalds bedpans automatically
Belfry The part of a steeple or tower in which bells are hung.
Belled-out bored in situ concrete pile A deep foundation bored down to good ground and widened at the bottom to reduce the bearing pressure
Below Ground Level Said of work on the substructure and foundation and for buried services
Belt Sander A portable sander with a sandpaper belt, used for the fine smoothing of joinery and occasionally of metal and masonry
Bench A strong firm work top for jobs requiring tools worked by hand or power.
Bench grinder A power tool attached to a bench, usually within two abrasive wheels, one each side of its electrical motor
Benching Concrete in the base of an Inspection chamber, cast to form a deep channel sloping gently up to the walls each side. It ensures that no solids are left after flooding and is stood on while rodding
Bend A short length of pipe or duct for turning a corner, which allows thermal movement (expansion or contraction) in the pipework
Bender A bending tool or a machine for bending reinforcement bars or pipes
Bending Making a curve in a straight material by forcing it to change shape
Bending spring A helical spring of circular crossection inserted into a copper or plastic tube to keep it circular during hand bending
Bending tool, bar bender A hand tool with two lugs and a long handle for bending steel or plastic tubes or reinforcement bars
Bent A piece of timber curved by lamination or steaming
Bespoke System High quality purpose made building elements or complete buildings
Beton brut State of concrete once any casting framework has been removed.
Bevel The meeting of one surface with other at an angle not a right angle. Chamfer is a type of bevel
Bevel Halving, Bevelled A scarf joint between timbers
Bevelled Closer A brick with a vertical bevel cut running from the middle of one side to a far corner. About a quarter of the brick is cut off
Bib, Bibcock A water draw off tap fed by a horizontal supply pipe, not by a pipe from below, as is usual for a washbasin with a pillar tap
Bid A tender
Bidet A sanitary fitting for washing the nether parts of the body. Water is supplied from an overim mixer or an upward spray. The discharge is waste water not soil water
Bi-fold door A compact cupboard door with two pairs of folding leaves
Bill of quantities (BOQ) A set of descriptions of the materials and labour needed for construction work with their quantity and their unit price listed as numbered items. Generally used to calculate the estimated cost of construction of the said project
Billing Writing the description and quantities of each item in bill of quantities
Bimetallic corrosion Corrosion from dissimilar metal contact

1) A material that hardens to bond things together. Binders include: the film forming agent in paint; the resin in an adhesive or lime in plaster

2) Any tie securely fixed to a number of main framing members to stop them moving in relation to each other

Bird Screen A grille of wire netting to stop birds entering fresh air inlets, exhaust outlets and other ventilation openings

1) An interchangeable working tool that fits into the chunk of a drill, a router or a carpenter's brace. The most common bit is the drill bit

2) The working head of a soldering iron, usually made of copper

Bit Gauge A small metal piece that can be fixed to a drill bit to stop drilling at the right depth
Bitty A bitty paint or varnish contains small nibs of paint skin, etc which stick up above the paint surface after a coat is applied
Bitumen A smooth, black and heavy material which becomes liquid when heated made from natural or distilled petroleum and similar to pitch and tar
Bitumen Boiler A heated vessel for melting bitumen before it is spread
Bitumen Felt Sheets of fibres matted into felt and bonded by saturating with bitumen or bitumen polymer
Bitumen Polymer Sheet High performance bitumen felt, made with bitumen that contains a polymer modifier, such as ethylene/propylene. It is reinforced with polyester or glassfibres and mostly used as a single layer in membrane roofing
Bituminous Paint Paint made from asphalt or petroleum bitumen and a solvent or a bitumen emulsion. It is inexpensive and normally used for waterproofing or to protect metals
Black Steel Steel with a surface layer of dark coloured iron oxides used for low pressure hot water heating pipes

1) The vane of a fan impeller that moves air by spinning. In a centrifugal fan, the blades are either backward curved, forward curved or radial. In a propeller fan they are aerofoil shaped

2) The part of a tool (trowel, plane) or a earth moving machine that touches the work

3) A slat of wood or glass as infill to a louvre

Blade seal A thin strip of rubber projecting from the edge of a door leaf, as a wiping seal to weather-strip the frame or for smoke control
Blank Wall A wall with no openings for door or windows
Blanket, Quilt Insulation made of mineral wool, such as glassfibre, that comes in rolls, usually with a paper lining to each face
Blast Cleaning Driving a high speed stream of abrasive, air or water on a surface by forcing it out of a pipe with compressed air
Blast Primer A quick drying pretreatment primer applied immediately after the blast cleaning of steel. It prevents re rusting for a short time and allows steel to be handled
Blastfurnace cement An economical blended cement made by mixing finely ground blast furnace slag with portland cement clinker
Blastfurnace Slag Slag
Bleaching The removal of colour by chemical action, often an oxidation caused by sunlight an air
Bled Timber Timber from yellow pine trees that have been tapped for resin, usually inferior to other timber
Bleed To blow off or purge gases from a pipe caring a liquid
Bleed Valve A valve for bleeding gases from a pipe
Bleeder Pipe A pipe through a retaining wall as a weephole for water
Bleeding The penetration of a coat of paint by substances from the substrate that dissolve in the paint's medium, usually causing discolouration
Blemish Anything which mars the appearance of a finish, without affecting strength.
Blended cement Portland cement mixed with other materials that have some chemical reaction with it.
Blended Water Hot and cold water that have been combined by a mixer
Blind fixing Concealed fasteners or fixing systems
Blind Hole A hole that does not pass right through a material, as a bottomless hole does
Blind Mortice A mortice that does not pass through the timber
Blind nailing Nailing that is not directly visible
Blinding concrete A layer of dry lean concrete about 50mm thick covering the bottom of an excavation, either over hardcore or directly on the foundation, to seal the underlying material and prevent mud from dirtying the reinforcement bars or intruding into the concrete of footings
Blinds Panels of textile which can be drawn down inside or outside a window to control daylight or heat from the sun
Blistering Bubbles in a paint surface caused by moisture or resin vapourizing under the surface
Block Bonding Connecting several courses of brickwork of one wall into the courses of another, often in order to bond shallow facing bricks into thicker common bricks in the backing
Block Bridging Solid bridging
Block Saw A mason's handsaw for cutting lightweight concrete blocks
Blockboard A building board made of wooden core strips upto 30mm wide, glued between veneers with a grain at right angles, forming a composite board
Blockmaker A machine for making precast concrete building blocks.
Blockwork Masonry of precast concrete building blocks laid in cement mortar
Bloom A thin film which forms on the surface of a gloss paint or varnish and hides the colour or reduces the gloss. This defect could be due to the paint composition or because of improper application in humid air conditions. It can sometimes be removed with a cloth

1) A fan for air conditioning, or an compressor

2) A blow gun for cleaning formwork

Blowlamp A compact burner with a powerful flame and a built in fuel supply, used for heating materials, mostly to soften them for hand work such as soldering and bending pipes or conduits
Blown Air Supply air distributed by a fan through ductwork
Blown Bitumen Bitumen oxidized by blowing a stream of air though the heated material, which makes it more rubbery and raises its softening temperature, for use as bonding compound
Blown Oil Linseed oil that has had air forced through it while also being boiled. It dries more quickly and is used in oil paints and linoleum
Blowpipe A torch used for oxy-cutting steel
Blue Stain A blue fungal discolouration in the sapwood of timber which does not reduce its strength
Blueing Increasing the apparent whiteness of a white pigment or paint by adding a trace of blue

Ba - Ba
Bb - Bl
Bm - Br
Bs - Bz