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CSAW - Timber building terms
Category: Architecture and Buildings > Building terms
Date & country: 16/09/2008, AU
Words: 428


distortion
A drying defect caused by the differential shrinkage along the three axes of a piece of wood. Distortion may take the form of cup, bow, twist, spring or diamonding

dowel
A cylindrical timber rod or steel bar generally without nut or thread driven into pre-drilled holes to make a joint

dowel joint
A joint where the pieces of timber are joined by dowels running either longitudinally or transversely through the joint

dressed timber
Timber finished to a smooth surface on one or more surfaces

dry rot
A generic term for the decay of timber by fungi that at an advanced stage leaves the wood light and friable. The term is actually a misnomer as all fungi needs considerable moisture to grow

dryer
A chamber or apparatus used for drying or conditioning timber or veneer in which the temperature, humidity and velocity of the circulating air are usually controlled

drying
The process of removing moisture from timber to improve its serviceability in use. Also see Seasoning. Defect - An imperfection developing during drying that decreases the value of a piece of timber. Degrade - A reduction in timber grade and volume as a result of drying defects High Temperature - In kiln-drying wood, use of dry-bulb temperatures ...

drying defect
A feature developing during drying which may decrease the value of a piece of timber

drying schedule
A sequence of kiln conditions which result in a gradual decrease in moisture content of the wood

durability
1. The natural resistance of timber to biodeterioration due to fungi, insects and mechanical break down caused by weathering, checking and splitting. 2. In building, the efficacy of details in preserving or protecting the fabric of the building from decay or deterioration

durability class
Durability is expressed as one of four classes. The value for each species is based on trials of the resistance to both decay and termites of untreated heartwood in the ground. The classes are: Class 1- Timber of the highest natural durability, expected to have a life greater than 25 years in the ground and greater than 40 years exposed above gro...

early fire hazard indices
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires building material in some building application to have particular characteristics in the early stages of a fire. These are set out in three indexes: ignitibility index (scale 0-20), spread of flame index (scale 0-10), smoke develop index (scale 0-10) Specification A2.4 of the BCA calls up tests from A...

earlywood
The less dense, larger celled, first formed part of a growth ring. Also called 'springwood'

eccentric load
Loads that are applied off the central axis of a structural member

eco labelling
Eco labelling is a form of third party certification of a product that confirms that the product meets particular environmental criteria. Eco labels are designed to help consumers choose products that do less damage to the environment. Criteria for a product group are generally developed by the application of a life cycle assessment approach

ecological consequences
Ecology is defined as the study of the interrelations between living organisms and their environment, including both physical and biotic factors. Therefore ecological consequences refers to the changes the environmental effect may have on the relationships between living organisms and their environment

ecosystem
A natural system that functions as unit. It is assemblage of living organisms together with their non-living environment in a particular area. Healthy ecosystems are necessary for maintaining and regulating: atmospheric quality, climate, fresh water, marine productivity, soil formation, cycling of nutrients and waste disposal

electrodes
Pins or blades on electric moisture meters, usually made of steel, used to penetrate and contact the wood. Insulated - Electrodes that are coated with an insulating material to limit or control the point of contact between the electrode and the wood

embodied energy
The amount of non-renewable energy used to extract and process raw materials into finished building components. The embodied energy of a material is usually expressed in the units MJ/kg and that of a sheet building component or element MJ/m2

end Coating
A coating of moisture-resistant material applied to the end grain of green logs or sawn boards to slow end drying

end grain
The grain shown on a cross cut surface

environmental audits
Environmental audits are a useful management tool that may form part of an overall environmental management system. This process entails a systematic and objective evaluation of how the organisation is performing in relation to its policies, regulatory requirements, environmental management systems and practices

environmental impact assessments
Environmental impact assessments predict environmental impacts of a new development at the design stage. They may be required by Commonwealth, State or Local government legislation dependent upon the scope of the project

environmental impacts
The environment is defined as the physical and chemical surroundings of an object, the cultural, aesthetic and other factors which contribute to quality of life. Therefore environmental impacts refers to the effects on the surroundings, primarily physical things

environmental management systems
Environmental management systems are systems that ensure the organisation is working within the framework of ecologically sustainable development. These systems can be formal or informal. Formal systems include those prescribed by ISO 14001 and 14004

epoxy dowel joint
A joint in which the parts are joined by dowels that have been set in oversized holes with epoxy resin

epoxy resin joint
A joint in which the parts are bonded using an epoxy resin adhesive

equalisation
In kiln drying, a high humidity treatment in the final stages of drying intended to reduce the moisture content range between pieces of timber and the moisture gradient within pieces of timber. Also known as Equalising

equilibrium moisture content
The moisture content at which timber neither gains nor loses moisture from the surrounding atmosphere

exterior plywood
Plywood of naturally durable or treated veneers bonded with waterproof adhesive and capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to severe exterior conditions without failure of the glue-lines

extractives
Substances such as tannin in wood that are not an integral part of the cellular structure and can be removed in solution by solvents, such hot or cold water, that do not react chemically with wood substances

face nailing
Nailing at right angles to the surface

fascia
A vertical board nailed to the lower ends of rafters

feature
Any irregularity or imperfection in a tree, log, board, or other wood product. Feature may result from knots and other growth conditions and abnormalities, insect or fungus attack, or during timber processing

fibre
Small diameter, thick walled cells in hardwoods. Fibres dominate the structural behaviour of hardwoods

fibre saturation point
The point in the seasoning or wetting of timber at which the cell cavities are free from water but cell walls are still saturated with bound water. It is taken as approximately 25-30% moisture content

fibreboard
A generic term including sheet materials of widely varying densities manufactured from refined or partially refined wood or vegetable fibres. Bonding agents and other materials may be added to increase strength or to improve other properties

fiddleback
Figure in timber or veneer produced by small, regular undulations in the grain

figure
The pattern produced on the cut surface of wood by annual growth rings, rays, knots, deviations from regular grain such as interlocked and wavy grain, and irregular coloration

finger joint
An end joint in which wedge shaped projections in one piece of timber fit matching recesses on the other piece and are bonded together by an adhesive

flange
In beams, the longitudinal ribs (a) of a built up member primarily intended to resist flexure. (figure 14) The flanges are joined by a web (b)

flashing
A strip of impervious material fitted to provide a barrier to moisture movement into the interior of a building

flexural strength
The resistance at failure of a beam subjected to bending

flitch
A large piece of log, sawn on at least two surfaces, intended for further cutting

floor board
Boards dressed to standard thickness and generally finished with a tongue and groove, fixed to floor joists or a substrate to provide a floor

flooring
The covering of internal floors in a building. Timber flooring includes tongue and groove strip flooring, parquetry, panel flooring, particleboard and plywood

folded plate
The configuration of flat sheets, such as plywood, into a folded form to produce a beam of considerably higher strength and stiffness than is possible with the flat sheet alone

forest
An area incorporating all living and non-living components that is dominated by trees usually with a single stem and a mature or potentially mature stand height exceeding five metres. The existing or projected foliage cover of over storey strata should be equal to or greater than 30 percent

forest estate
All forests growing on public or private lands

forest practices
Forest practices means the processes involved in establishing forests, or growing or harvesting timber, and includes > the construction of roads; and > the development and operation of quarries; and > other works connected with establishing forests, or growing or harvesting timber

forest stewardship council
The Forest Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests

foundation
The soil, subsoil or rock upon which a structure is supported

frame
1. The main timbers of a structure fitted and joined together. 2. A three dimensional self contained structural system of interconnecting members which functions with or without the aid of horizontal diaphragms or floor bracing systems

framing timber
Timber used to form the basic structure of a building, such as studs and joists

free moisture
Moisture which is present in the cell cavities of wood

FRL
Fire resistance level - grading periods in minutes of the fire resistance of building elements for structural adequacy/integrity/and insulation

fungus (fungi)
A plant that feeds on wood fibre. Fungi primarily consist of microscopic threads (hyphae) that traverse wood in all directions, dissolving materials out of the cell walls

geodesic
The shortest line between two points on a surface, such that a geodesic dome is segmented into a series of straight elements

glue
An animal, mineral or vegetable adhesive

glue laminated timber
Laminated timber where the laminations are joined with adhesive

grade
The designation of the quality of a piece of timber or other manufactured wood products in accordance with standard rules

grain
1. The general direction of the fibres or wood elements relative to the main axis of the piece. 2. The direction, size, arrangement, appearance, or quality of the fibres in wood or timber Across the Grain - The direction parallel with the length of the fibres and other longitudinal elements of the wood. Along the Grain - The direction at right an...

green building
This is a loosely defined collection of land-use, building design, and construction strategies that reduces undesirable environmental impacts. Benefits of building green include reduced energy consumption, protection of ecosystems, and occupant health

green timber
Unseasoned timber, with free moisture present in the cell cavities

grillage
A system of orthogonal elements, usually beams or trusses, acting together to resist a common load

growth rings
Rings of earlywood and latewood on the transverse section of a trunk or branch marking cycles of growth

gum
A natural exudation, also called kino, produced in trees as a result of fire or mechanical damage

gum vein
A ribbon of gum between growth rings, which may be bridged radially by wood tissue at intervals. Also known as kino

gusset plate
Plates, often steel or plywood, fixed by nails, bolts or other means to connect timber members in a truss or other frame structure. Gusset plates may be applied to one or both sides of a joint

hammer
A tool consisting of a metal head set perpendicular on a handle, used for driving nails

hardboard
A pressed homogenous fibreboard having a mean density of not less than 800 kg/sq m

hardness
A property of wood that enables it to resist indentation. It is measure in kN and is often determined by the Janka hardness test

hardwood
A general term for timber of broad leafed trees classified botanically as Angiosperm. The term has no reference to the relative hardness of the wood

heartwood
The wood making up the centre part of the tree, beneath the sapwood. Cells of heartwood no longer participate in the life processes of the tree. Heartwood may contain phenolic compounds, gums, resins, and other materials that usually make it darker and more decay resistant than sapwood

hewn timber
Timber with or without wane, finished to size with hand tools such as an axe or adze

hit and miss
Areas on dressed or moulded boards that that are not fully machined. It results form unacceptable unevenness in the thickness or width of the boards. It is also called skip

hobnail
A pattern of pin-holes left by insect attack

honeycombing
A drying defect which occurs when tensile stresses in the core (usually a result of collapse) result in the formation of internal cavities

horizontally laminated timber
Laminated timber designed to resist bending loads applied perpendicular to the wide face of the laminations. For vertical loads, this means that the wide face runs horizontally

housed joint
A joint where one piece is notched or grooved to receive the other piece

humidistat
A device for automatically regulating the relative humidity of air

humidity
A general term for the presence of water vapour in air. There is a known limit to the amount of water vapour that air can hold at any particular temperature. Absolute - The amount of moisture in air. It is usually expressed as the weight of water vapour in a unit weight of dry air Relative - At a given temperature, this is the amount of moisture ...

hygrometer
An instrument for measuring the humidity of air

hygroscopic
Changes its moisture content to be in equilibrium with the atmosphere

hygrostat
A device for automatically regulating the equilibrium moisture content of the air. See also Humidistat

hyperbolic paraboloid shell
A complex curved surface which has one line which is always straight

hysteresis
As applied to timber's moisture content, the tendency of dried wood to reach equilibrium with any specified temperature and relative humidity at a lower moisture content when absorbing moisture from a drier state than when losing moisture from a wetter state

Infection
The invasion of timber by fungi or other microorganisms

Infestation
The establishment of insects or other animals in timber

interlocked grain
Grain where the angle of the fibres periodically changes or reverses in successive layers

irregular grain
Grain where the fibres contort and twist around knots, butts, curls and so on. Also called wild grain

isotropic
Exhibiting the same properties in all directions

jamb
The side of a window or door opening

jig
A device used to set a dimension, angle or shape for fabrication

joinery
Finished timber fixtures of buildings such as doors, windows, panelling, cupboards, etc

joint
A prepared connection for joining pieces of wood or veneer

joint group
Species of timber are classified into joint groups according to their mechanical properties. There are six joint groups for unseasoned timber (J1, the strongest to J6, the weakest) and six joint groups for seasoned timber (JD1 to JD6)

joist
One of a series of timber beams used to support the floor boards or ceiling of a building

kerf
The cut made by a saw blade

kerfing
Making a series of parallel saw cuts part way through the thickness of a piece of timber so that the piece can be curved towards the kerfed side