1/2 bath: A bathroom that contains only a sink
and a toilet, with no tub or shower.
3/4 bath: A bathroom that contains a sink,
toilet, and shower, but no tub.
9-12-15 unit method: A method of laying out
square corners by staking out a right angle
with legs that are 9 units along one leg and
12 units along the other. The corner is square
when the third leg of the triangle measures
exactly 15 units.
access hole: An opening that allows entry into
the attic of a home.
accessibility: A measure of how easily all
people, including those who are physically
handicapped or have limited mobility, can
accordion door: Door constructed of multiple
panels that are hinged along their vertical
edges so that they can be folded out of the
way when not in use; frequently used to
close large openings.
acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS): A
thermoplastic plumbing pipe used in waste
activated carbon system: A water treatment
device in which one or more canisters are
fi lled with activated carbon granules that
trap contaminants such as chlorine, organic
chemicals, and pesticides.
active listening: Giving your full attention to
the speaker and asking questions if necessary
to understand, rather than just “hear,” the
adaptive reuse: The process of changing the
purpose of a building.
addition: New space or square footage added
onto a home.
adobe: A natural building material, dating
back 4000 years to Egyptian civilization.
It is made of water, sand, clay, and straw
mixed together and then formed into desired
shapes that are dried in the sun.
AEC-specifi c CADD package: CADD
software designed specifi cally for use in the
architectural, engineering, and construction
alphabet of lines: The collection of line types
used in drafting.
ampere (amp): The unit used to measure
the amount of electricity (current) fl owing
through a wire conductor per unit of time.
animation: A sequence of frames displayed
quickly in succession to give the impression
apartment: A multifamily housing unit available
for rent and occupancy as specifi ed by the
terms of a lease.
architect: A person who works closely with
clients to design structures by making
preliminary drawings, sketches, and
suggestions for materials to be used.
architectural drafter: A person who creates
detailed working drawings based on the
original drawings prepared by the architect
architectural engineer: A person who works
with all of the systems of a building to
integrate the design, construction, and
operation of the building.
architectural illustrator: An artist who prepares
drawings, sketches, renderings, and other
types of illustrations to present ideas to
potential clients and create advertisement
materials for commercial catalogs and
architectural model: A scaled representation of
a house and a portion of the site on which it
will be built.
architectural style: A classifi cation of a
structure based on its appearance, the
materials used, structural and decorative
details, building techniques, and artistic
ash dump: A cavity below a fi replace where
ashes can collect and be removed.
ashlar stonework: Stonework that uses dressed,
cut, or squared stones to provide a regular
pattern or fi nished appearance.
attic: The space between the ceiling and the
roof of a structure.