Your Handbook for understanding Architecture:


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Wf - Wz

A building board made up of random flakes of wood, which are pressed flat and bonded with synthetic resin adhesive. It has two smooth faces and is similar in performance to plywood.
Waffle form
A square pan form.
Waffle slab
The most usual coffered slab, one in which the recesses are square on plan.
Wooden lining, usually panelled, applied to the walls of a room usually upto dado height
The narrow part of a long object, in particular the least thickness of a reinforced concrete stair slab.
A cold store.
Walk-in wardrobe A small room used for hanging clothes.
Walking line The most usual path up a stair for one person at a time, and the place where the going is measured, usually 450 mm from the inside handrail.
Walkway A path for walking, such as a catwalk or bridge for access to mechanical services, boards across a roof or gutter, or a covered walkway.
Wall An erection of brick, stone, etc for the purpose of fencing and security: the side of a building.
Wall anchor, joist A steel strap screwed to the end of every second or third common joist and built into the brickwork to ensure that the joists give lateral support to the wall. It is fixed to the same joists as the strap anchors.
Wall covering A covering on a wall, such as vinyl or paper wallpaper, melamine laminate and stretched coverings.
Wall form One of two shutters held together with form ties, as formwork for a concrete wall.
Wall hanger A joist hanger partly built into a wall
Wall hook A flat spike with a turned up head, driven into a wall bed joint as a heavy fastener and used for shores or to carry a pipe.
Wall joint A hidden mortar joint parallel to the face of a wall.
Wall outlet A socket outlet on a wall.
Wall paper Printed-paper or vinyl sheet with a plain or decorated surface, textured or embossed, used as a wall covering.
Wall plates A horizontal timber along the top of a wall at eaves level.
Wall string The string on the side of a stair next to the wall, as opposed to the outer string.
Wall tie cavity A fastener across a cavity wall to hold the two leaves together. It is made of stainless steal or galvanized steel wire or strip, or of plastics, and has a twist or bend near the middle to form a drip so that water cannot pass.
Wall tile A glazed ceramic tile, for use as an easily cleaned finishing on walls in wet areas, such as showers and bathrooms, or splash backs behind sinks or basins.
Wall unit A cupboard hung on a wall. Its doors should open either above the tallest persons head
Wallboard Building boards made for surfacing rather than for insulating ceilings and walls. Wallboards include plywood and other plasterboard, and glossy laminated plastics glued to a backing of hardboard or plywood. Other panel products are used on walls.
Wall-column A concrete or concrete encased steel column partly engaged within the thickness of a wall.
Wall-hung basin A washbasin fixed to wall, usually on brackets. A splash back normally protects the wall surface behind the basin.
Wall-hung boiler A gas boiler mounted on a wall, of very lightweight because of its low water content. It often has a balanced flue and can be indoor or outdoor.
Wall-hung lamp, bracket A luminaire supported clear of a wall on a bracket, which is often a curved tube with the wiring inside.
Wall-hung WC pan A water closet on cantilever brackets or chair carriers. It allows free access to the floor for cleaning. The cistern may be concealed in the wall or be a part of a matching suite.
Walling Mason A mason who sets stones in the walls, bridges, etc., cutting them to match with a scutch.
Walnut Avery decorative hardwood, mainly from southern Europe. The English variety has a finer figure and colour, but is rare. Walnut is a wood with a grey background and dark, sometimes ruddy streaks, used for carvings, wood turning and veneers, in which its burrs and crotches are valued.
Wane, Waney edge Bark, or the rounded surface under the bark on the sawn timber. Wane is a gross feature in visual grading.
Ward cut Metal cut away from flat key, so that it can pass the wards.
Wardrobe A cupboard with hanging space for clothes.
Wards Small metal bars in a lever lock, which ensure that only the right key can turn the lock.
Ware house set, air The hardening of bagged cement from being stored in damp conditions.
Ware pipes Pipes of vitrified clayware.
Warm-air heating A rapid space heating system that blows warm air. Air can be ducted from a central heating boiler or blown out of a local unit heater, a fan coil unit, or an air curtain.
Warning Pipe An overflow from a feed or expansion cistern that discharges safely outdoors, deliberately in a noisy and obvious way, to bring attention to a plumbing fault
Warp, warping Any distortion of timber during seasoning as the moisture content falls, such as cup, bowing, spring and twist, from uneven shrinkage round or across the growth rings
Wash Primer, mordant A pretreatment primer for cleaning new galvanizing before painting. The method was once out of favour
Washability The ability of a surface of paint to withstand washing without damage, including the ease of removing dirt
Washdown Closet The most common type of water closet, with a pan, flushing rim, and a single trap, normally with a horizontal outlet to take different pan connectors for a horizontal or vertical soil pipe

1) A flat ring made of rubber, plastic, leather or fibre, which is held by a nut to the underside of a jumper of a screwdown valve (or tap) to stop the flow of water

2) A steel ring to spread bolt pressure

Washleather glazing Glass bedded in simulated washleather instead of Putty, e.g. on swing doors. The fixing is by glazing fillet

1) Wasted material from cutting standard lengths or full size sheets to fit on site, the cost of which is usually described as cutting waste.

2) A short threaded outlet pipe from the plughole of a basin sink or bath. It has a flange that goes on the inside, over a sealing washer, and a threaded tail to take flanged backnut on the outside, which is tightened to secure it. A trap is usually screwed on to the threaded tail.

3) Waste Water

Waste appliances Fittings which discharge only waste water, including baths, sinks, drinking water fountains etc.
Waste branch A gently sloping branch pipe to carry water away from a basin, bath or sink. It has a trap after the exit from the basin and discharges into a waste stack. A long waste branch may need a branch vent
Waste disposal unit A unit for flushing away domestic waste
Waste stack A vertical stack pipe for waste water. It carries discharge from the waste branches to the buried drains and is part of the sanitary pipework
Waste tail A pipe tail on the outlet from a basin, bath, sink etc.
Waste water Used water from sinks or washing, not containing soil water or industrial effluent

1) A mason's chisel, either one with a claw cutting edge for wasting stone or a chisel 19 mm wide

2) A facing brick with minor defects or blemishes which is therefore downgraded to a backing or common brick


1) Removing excess stone roughly with a waster before dressing a block as dimension stone

2) Spread and level

Water Blasting Forcing a jet of water (with or without sand) out of a fine nozzle under very high pressure. Water blasting is used for blast cleaning, cutting masonry, producing an exposed aggregate finish, stripping lead paint, etc
Water Channel A groove in a patent glazing bar to drain condensation
Water Closet, W.C A toilet fitment usually made of vitreous china. The two main types of WC Pan are the Washdown and the siphonic closet, which have a flushing rim, a seat and cover, and can stand on a pedestal or be wall hung
Water content Moisture content
Water curtain Fire protection by a row of drencher sprinklers
Water Fittings Plumbing fittings to stop or regulate the flow of water in a pipe, grouped as either stopvalves or discharge valves
Water gauge A U-gauge containing water, giving a simple and reliable instrument for measuring very low pressures, for drain tests etc.
Water grain A curvy attractive grain often seen in birch, mahogany etc.
Water hammer A tapping sound in a water pipe which may occur when a tap is suddenly closed, causing the water column to vibrate
Water jetting Water Blasting
Water-based paint Emulsion paint or distemper
Weather tiling Tile hanging
Weather-struckjoint A brick work bed joint that is jointed with a bricklayer's trowel immediately after the bricks are laid, with an outward slope to throw rainwater off the wall
Wedge A tapered piece of wood, used in timbering or centering e.g. a folding wedge
Wedge coping A coping with one edge thicker than the other, thus with its upper surface sloping one way only
Wedging-in Fixing the tuck-in of a flashing into a chase
Weephole A small drain hole for water. In brickwork it is used above a damp-proof course (DPC) or cavity tray
Welt A seam in supported sheetmetal roofing
Welted drip Built-up roofing, felt turned down over the edge of a flat roof, hot folded under itself, bonded into the base sheet and nailed
Welted nosing A junction in supported sheetmetal roofing in which a vertical sheet comes up under a horizontal sheet. They are folded together and dressed down the vertical surface
Wet and dry paper Waterproof emery-faced sandpaper for wet rubbing
Wet blasting Blast cleaning with sand and water, to reduce the danger of silicosis from dry sand blasting. It is used for cleaning masonry
Wet riser A fire riser kept filled with water under pressure.
Wet rubbing The fine flatting down of paint work using wet and dry sandpaper
Wet sprinkler system The most usual sprinkler system, with water filled pipes
Wet trades Trades that use concrete, mortar or plaster including brickwork and finishings such as screeds, terrazzo or tiling bedded in mortar. Completed work must be protected from frost and given time for curing. Before dry trades could start, construction moisture should be removed by drying out.
Wet-dash finish Roughcast

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