F - Technical Dictionary


FHR                                                           
Abbreviation for Fire Hose Reel

Fabric                                                   
This includes all of the non-service elements of a building such as the roof, walls, glazing and floor, that impact upon the building’s thermal performance. The fabric may impact upon a building’s thermal performance through its insulating ability, or through its thermal inertia or thermal capacitance, which is the ability to slow energy flow and so delay or reduce the transfer of heat.

Fabricator                                                  
A person, firm, or corporation who shapes, assembles, or finishes product.

Face Nail                                                   
To install nails into the vertical face of a bearing header or beam.

Facility                                                       
All or any portion of buildings, structures, site improvements, elements, and pedestrian routes or vehicular ways located on a site.Factory Glazed Windows that are glazed in the factory before delivery to site.

Factory Glazed                                          
Windows that are glazed in the factory before delivery to site.

Fall                                                             
A sloped surface, often expressed in degrees, or as a ratio of vertical height to horizontal distance (e.g. 1:20). To hit the ground in an uncoordinated or ungainly fashion.

Fall Front                                                   
The hinged, flat front of a bureau or secretaire that falls forwards to form a writing surface. It is also sometimes called a drop front.

Fall Prevention                                          

  • Anchorage - An anchorage point for a fall injury prevention system. It is the means for attaching a lanyard, lifeline or other components to a secure point.
  • Arrest Force - The force imposed upon the worker and the anchorage point, the moment the fall-arrest system stops the fall, measured in kilonewtons (kN).
  • Body Containment Devices - Designed to contain the body of a falling worker and to distribute forces resulting from an arrested fall to minimise the likelihood of injury. They consist of a full body harness (parachute type) together with associated components such as a lanyard and personal energy absorber. Harnesses can be used for restraint systems and work positioning systems according to relevant sections in AS/NZS 1891.1 and AS/NSZ 1891.4.
  • Droplines - Vertical lifelines.
  • Double or Triple Action Device - A self-closing hook or karabiner with a keeper latch which will automatically close and remain closed until manually opened. These units have a minimum of at least two distinct and deliberate consecutive actions to manually open them.
  • Fall-Arrest System - An assembly of interconnected components comprising a harness connected to an anchorage point or anchorage system, either directly or by means of a lanyard, lanyard assembly or pole strap, and whose purpose is to arrest a fall in accordance with the principles and requirements of AS/NZS 1891.4.
  • Fall-Restraint System - A system of anchors, static lines, guard rails etc, designed to prevent a person from reaching the position where a fall may be possible.
  • Fall-Arrest Devices - There are three types:
    Type 1 fall-arrester device (includes rope and rail grabs) – this is a fall-arrest device that travels along an anchorage line and, when loaded, locks to the line. The user is connected via a short lanyard to the activating lever, which locks the device in the event of a fall. A typical use of a Type 1 device is as a ladder fall-arrest system, using a rigid rail or a flexible line attached to the ladder.
    Type 2 and Type 3 fall-arrest device (also known as an inertia reel or self-retracting lifeline) – this is a fall-arrest device from which a spring loaded anchorage line pays out, and which locks when loaded and releases when the load is removed. When incorporating a retrieval winch, it becomes a Type 3 fall-arrest device.
  • Fall Indicator - A visual indicator that shows that the fall-arrest system or device has been used to arrest a fall.
  • Fall Injury Prevention System - A system designed to arrest a person’s fall from one level at a workplace to another and minimise the risk of injury or harm to a person who falls from one level at a workplace to another.
  • Free Fall - Any fall or part of a fall where the person suffering the fall is under the unrestrained influence of gravity over any fall distance, either vertically or on a slope on which it is not possible to walk without the assistance of a handrail or hand line. The maximum allowed free fall is 2 metres.
  • Inertia Reel (also known as a self-retracting lanyard or fall-arrest block) - A mechanical device that arrests a fall by locking onto a dropline and at the same time allows freedom of movement.
  • Job Safety Analysis (JSA) - These are a means of setting out the ways that hazards associated with a task will be managed on a site and the work methods that will be used. They are usually a standardised form produced by an association, employer or State Government agency. Refer to Appendix 4.
  • Karabiners - These are metal types of connectors that can be attached to anchorage points. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and locking mechanisms to suit various applications and provide the most convenient type of connector as they can be easily attached and detached. They should be self-closing and self- or manual-locking and capable of being opened only by at least two consecutive deliberate manual actions.
  • Lanyard - A line usually used as part of a lanyard assembly to connect a harness to an anchorage point or static line in situations where there is risk of a fall.
  • Lanyard Assembly - An assembly of a lanyard and a personal energy absorber.
  • Locking Traveller (Horizontal) - A travelling anchorage. It has a walking sprocket device that connects the user to a static line system allowing the user to travel the entire length of the line without having to unclip and re-clip when passing the line supports.
  • Locking Traveller (Incline) - Arrests falls on surfaces up to an angle of 30 degrees.
  • Personal Energy Absorber (deceleration device) - An attachment designed to reduce the deceleration force imposed by a suddenly arrested fall. A personal energy absorber is designed to be used with a fallarrest harness and lanyard.
  • Restraint Line - The line securing workers to a point of anchorage and is used to prevent a person from reaching a point from which he or she could fall.
  • Safety Factor - This factor accounts for complex and variable dynamic forces and unknowns, such as rope ageing, metal fatigue, abrasion, bending and structure contact. It can, for example, be used to work out: - the ratio of the ultimate strength of the material to the permissible stress; - the ratio between the weakest link in the system compared to the maximum expected static load; or - the minimum breaking load and the safe working load.
  • Static Line - Is a horizontal or substantially horizontal line to which a lanyard may be attached and which is designed to arrest a free fall.
  • Total Fall Distance - The total distance a person is likely to fall during both the free and restrained parts of a fall and includes the maximum dynamic extension of all supporting components.



Fanlight                                                      
A glazed light in the upper part of a doorframe, originally semi-circular but now of any shape.

Fast Track                                                
A process in which certain portions of the architect's design services overlap with construction activities in order to expedite the owner's early occupancy of all or a portion of the project.

Fauteuil                                                     
French term for a large, upholstered open armchair. First used in the court of Louis XIV, and popular in the 18th century.

Fauvism                                                    
The name “wild beasts” was given to the group of early 20th-century French painters because their work was characterized by distortion and violent colours. Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault were leaders of this group.

Feather Banding                                        
Two narrow bands of veneer laid in opposite diagonals, also called herringbone banding.

Federal Style                                             
American furniture style from 1780, following the Revolution, to 1830. It began by echoing and often amalgamating the neoclassical style of such British masters as Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton, and later took on influences from France. Duncan Phyfe is among its most notable craftsmen. It is refined and rectilinear, often with veneering and inlay. Brass feet and casters and brass-ring drawer and door pulls are common on case goods.

Federation Windows                                
A window that is configured to a style to recreate the early federation style of windows. Can be federation style glazing or profiled wide appearance framing or both.

Female                                                     
(F) Gender of amenities.

Fenestration                                              
The arrangement and proportion of window and door openings in a building.

Ferrule                                                       
Metal tube used for fixing, a threaded cylindrical fitting for joining two pipes or rods.

Fielded Panel                                            
Refers to a raised wooden panel with bevelled edges that sits within a flat outer frame.

Figuring                                                     
Is a term denoting the natural surface pattern of any piece of cut wood.

Filing Drawings                                         
Drawings submitted to government agencies.

Fillet                                                           
A drafting term that refers to rounding a square corner, using a radius to define the curve. A triangular or curved profile used at internal intersections to assist the membrane to accommodate expected movements in the substrate.

Fillet Joint                                                  
A narrow strip or tooled bead of sealant usually in a triangle shape.

Finger Joint                                               
A manufacturing process of interlocking two shorter pieces of wood end to end to create a longer piece of dimensional timber or moulding.

Finial                                                          
A carved or moulded ornament, usually pointed, at the top of an apex of a structure, e.g. a gable or parapet A decorative turned or carved ornament surmounting a prominent terminal on a chair, a bed, or a case piece, often taking the form of a pine-cone, an urn or an acorn.

Finish                                                        
Materials used as final coating of a surface for ornamental or protective purposes.

Finished Ground Level                              
(FGL) The finished level of a site.

Finished Level                                          
(FL) The level of an applied finish.

Fire                                                            
The light and heat manifested by the rapid oxidation of combustible materials. A flame may be manifested but is not required.

Fire Behaviour                                           
The manner in which fuel ignites, flames develop and heat and fire spread.

Fire Brick                                                   
Brick made of refractory ceramic material, which will resist high temperatures. Used in a fireplace and boiler.

Fire Collar                                                  
The building component used to seal and fire-rate penetrations created for ducts and plumbing.

Fire Compartment                                     
The total space of a building or any part of a building separated from the remainder by fire barriers (walls, floors) with openings adequately protected. A fire compartment contains walls, floors and the like creating a compartment (or “box”) of any shape used to limit the spread of fire to another compartment or part of a building. Example; If any floor has an opening for an open stairway or escalator, a fire could spread through the opening—that floor would not form the boundary of a fire compartment. If there are no distinct fire barriers erected, then the whole building forms a fire compartment. If an Alternative Solution is used, the building elements used to form a fire compartment must have appropriate fire separation from the remainder of the building as determined by fire engineering principles. Sole-occupancy units are not generally regarded as fire compartments.

Fire Door                                                   
A doorset which, except when varied as permitted by local standard, is identical in assembly, construction and installation with a specimen doorset that has been submitted to the standard fire test, and has fulfilled all the relevant test requirements. Construction: Most Australian fire doors consist of non combustible core (infill) materials clad with timber facings and incorporating timber based edge strips or lippings to allow for ease of fitting into steel door frames which might be slightly out of plumb. Or to accommodate irregular floor finishes. Essential items of door hardware, such as hinges, door closers and locks for example, are fixed in metal reinforcing plates as a rule.

Fire Gas                                                    
A gaseous product of combustion, such as carton monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide.

Fire Hazard                                               
The danger in terms of potential harm and degree of exposure arising from the start and spread of fire, smoke, and gases generated.

Fire Hose Box                                           
A box or cabinet where fire hoses, valves and other equipment are stored and arranged for fire fighting.

Fire Hose Reel                                          
A cylindrical device turning on an axis around which a fire hose is wound and connected. Abbreviation: FHR

Fire Retardant Chemical                         
A chemical or preparation of chemicals used to reduce the flammability of a material or to retard the spread of flame.

Fire Safety System                                   
These systems may be active systems, passive systems, or any combination of the two. Examples; Some examples of fire safety systems: Active systems Sound systems and intercom systems for emergency purposes; Emergency lighting; Exit signs; Sprinkler systems; (FHY) Fire hydrant systems; (FHR) Fire hose reel or rack systems; Smoke and heat vents; Mechanical smoke-exhaust systems; and (EXT) Portable fire extinguishers. Passive systems Fire-isolated stairways, ramps and passageways; Fire walls; and Other fire-resisting building elements.

Fire Separation                                          
A structural element made in accordance to Building Code requirements so that it will resist fire for a given period of time.

Fire Spread                                               
The development and travel of fire across a surface or area.

Fire Sprinkler System                               
An integrated network of hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure or area with outlets arranged in a systematic pattern which automatically discharges water when activated by heat or combustion products from a fire.

Fire Standpipe System                             
A system of vertical pipes in a building to which fire hoses can be attached on each floor, including a system by which water is made available to the outlets as needed.

Fire Trap                                                    
A building unsafe in case of fire because it will burn easily or because it lacks adequate exits or fire escapes.

Fire Wall                                                    
A solid wall of masonry, capable of resisting fire a specified period of time. Fire walls separate fire compartments. To avoid the spread of fire to another part of the building, a fire wall must extend from the fire-rated floor of a storey to the underside of the fire-rated floor above, or to a non-combustible roof covering. A “fire-resisting” wall is not necessarily a “fire wall”. A fire wall can sometimes be an external wall.

Fire-Isolated Passageway                        
A corridor, hallway or the like, of fire-resisting construction, which provides egress to or from a fire-isolated stairway or fire-isolated ramp or to a road or open space. A fire-isolated passageway protects people within a passageway from fire while evacuating. The whole passageway must be fire-protected from a fire outside the passage, including the floor, walls, ceiling, roof, any doors or other openings.

Fire-Isolated Stairway                               
A stairway within a fire-resisting shaft and includes the floor and roof or top enclosing structure.

Fire-Resistance Level                              
(FRL) The grading periods in minutes for the following criteria: (a) Structural adequacy; (b) Integrity; and (c) Insulation, and are expressed in that order. Note: A dash means that there is no requirement for that criterion. For example, -/60/60 means there is no requirement for an FRL for structural adequacy.

Fire-Resisting                                            
Applies to fire-resisting building elements, including structural members and non-load bearing components, such as cladding, doors, windows and the like.

Fire-Source Feature                                  
A possible fire source external to the building from which a fire could spread to the building. A fire-source feature includes the far side of the road, and the side or rear boundary of an allotment. It also includes the far side of lakes, rivers and the like where the construction of buildings is unlikely. These represent the worst-case scenario for the spread of fire from another building. Even if a building on an adjacent allotment is set back from a boundary, the NCC assumes it could be demolished and another building constructed on the boundary.  Note that the term “fire-source feature” does not necessarily apply to a building, it relates to a potential source of fire. That potential may be realised in the future construction of a building. For this reason, the fire-source feature is not simply a line on the ground, nor a point at the top of a building; it is a continuous plane rising above that line or point.In this sense: a line drawn out horizontally from a building to a fire-source feature will hit that feature; and form a 90º angle with a line drawn down from the point at which it hits the fire-source feature to the ground, or the top of the adjoining building. However, some Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the NCC limit the height above a building at which the fire-source feature remains active. Fitting An item that can be removed from a property without damage, such as ovens, baths and hot water systems.

Fixed                                                         
Anchored, attached, made fast permanently.

Fixed Light                                                 
An area of window where the glass cannot be opened.

Fixed Window                                           
An area of window where the glass cannot be opened.

Fixed Window with Mullion                       
A window where the glass cannot be opened divided by a vertical element. The vertical element is known as a mullion

Fixed Window with Transom                    
A window where the glass cannot be opened divided by a horizontal element. The horizontal element is known as a transomFixing Lug A bracket used to fasten the window frame into the building.

Fixture                                                       
Permanently attached appendage, appliance, or device that is connected to a building system (eg plumbing and electrical fixtures).

Flagstone                                                  
Flat stones (25 to 100 mm thick) used for paths, steps, floors, and vertical veneer (in lieu of brick).

Flammability                                              
The relative ease with which various fuels ignite and burn regardless of the quantity of fuel involved.

Flammability Index                                    
A test performed in accordance with AS 1530.2 will determine the flammability index of a material.

Flammable Gas                                         
A gas having a flammable range with air at 200 degrees celcius and a standard pressure of 101.3kPa.

Flammable Liquid                                      
A liquid having a flash point of not more than 93 degrees Celsius.

Flammable Solid                                       
A solid that is readily combustible, or may cause or contribute to fire through friction.

Flanking                                                     
Flanking is the transfer of noise through paths around a building element, rather than through the building element itself. Flanking can describe the transfer of noise through: gaps and cracks in a building element; incorrectly sealed junctions between two materials; or other indirect paths such as air conditioning ducts or ceiling cavities. These noise flanking paths can defeat noise reduction techniques.

Flash Point                                                
The lowest temperature (corrected to a standard pressure of 101.3kPa) at which the application of an ignition source causes the vapours of a liquid to ignite under specified test conditions.

Flashing                                                     
An impervious material fitted to provide a barrier to moisture.  A material, usually metal, used to waterproof a junction between two intersecting roof and/or wall surfaces. A waterproof membrane which is attached to the perimeter of the window frame to prevent water from penetrating across the frame to the inside wall of the building.

Flashing Fin                                               
Also known as a reveal fin. A perimeter fin that is an integral part of the frame extrusions.

Flashing, Perimeter                                   
A flashing used at the floor-wall junction.

Flashing, Vertical                                      
A flashing used at wall junctions within shower areas.

Flashover                                                  
The stage of a fire whereby a room or other confined area becomes so heated that the flames flash over and through the vapours being produced by heated combustible contents in the space.

Flight                                                          
A flight is the part of a stairway that has a continuous slope created by the nosing line of the stair treads. Quarter landings are not considered part of a flight. However, winders are considered part of a flight.

Floating Stairs                                           
A flight of stairs is said to be "floating" if there is nothing underneath. The risers are typically missing as well to emphasize the open effect. There may be only one stringer or the stringers otherwise minimized. Where building codes allow, there may not even be handrails.

Floor Area                                                
Area of floor space in a building.

Floor Drain                                               
(FD) A grated inlet within a graded floor intended to drain the floor surface.

Floor Joists                                               
A timber or steel floor frame member, to which the flooring is fixed.

Flow Diagram                                            
Diagram which shows the flow and the order of connection between components being parts of a system with one or more media, and which is either a water-, sewage-, heating-, air-conditioning or refrigeration system.

Fluorescent Lighting                                  
A fluorescent lamp is a gas-filled glass tube with a phosphor coating on the inside. Gas inside the tube is ionized by electricity, which causes the phosphor coating to glow.

Fluting                                                        
Parallel lines of shallow, concave moulding running from the top to the bottom of a column, the opposite of reeding. Fluting was frequently used on table legs in neoclassical furniture.

Fly Strips                                                   
Row of over-lapping plastic strips that hang in a doorway preventing entry by flying pests.

Flyscreen                                                  
A screen consisting of flywire and frame fitted to opening portion of window to keep out insects.

Folding and Telescopic Seating               
Tiered seating facilities having an overall shape and size that are capable of being reduced for purposes of moving or storing.

Foliated                                                      
A leaf-like decoration (usually carved).

Food                                                          

The following is a list of food terminology related to commercial kitchen design:
  • A La Carte - To order from a menu with set prices.
  • Bain-Marie (Plural Bains Marie) - A vessel containing hot water into which another vessel is placed to heat its contents gently.
  • Banquet - Formal meal for a number of persons, all seated and served with the same meal at the same time.
  • Exposed - Unpackaged, uncovered, not protected against any likely contamination where related to food. Means visible where related to construction material.
  • Food Premises - Any shop, house or building, with all fittings and accessories and any van or other structure or any part thereof, where food is prepared and/or sold for human consumption.
  • Food Preparation Area - Any room or place used for the preparation and/or serving of food for human consumption.
  • Food Safety Program - A program that is set out in a written document, and kept at the food premises, which includes records of compliance and other related actions.
  • Food-Borne Disease - A disease that is likely to be transmitted through consumption of contaminated food.|
  • Handling, Handle - Includes the making, manufacturing, producing, collecting, extracting, processing, storing, transporting, delivering, preparing, treating, preserving, packing, cooking, thawing, serving or displaying of food.
  • Potentially Hazardous Food - Food that has to be kept at certain temperatures to minimise the growth of any pathogenic micro-organisms that may be present in the food or to prevent the formation of toxins in the food.
  • Preparation, Prepare, Preparing - Includes making manufacture, processing cooking and treatment of food for human consumption.
  • Ready-To-Eat Food - Food consumed in the same state as that in which it is sold and does not include nuts in the shell and whole, raw fruits and vegetables that are intended for hulling, peeling or washing by the consumer.
  • Self-Service Food - Unpackaged food exposed for sale to which the public has access.
  • Temperature Control - Maintaining food at required temperatures


Footing                                                      
The structure of the building that transmits load to the foundation.

Footing Beam                                           
A beam spanning between piles, pile caps, pads or other beams and acting as a footing.

Form                                                          
Temporary structure erected to contain concrete during placing and initial hardening.

Formaldehyde                                           
In urea; phenol and melamine formaldehyde glues use in chipboard and plys; disinfectants and preservatives; finish for carpets, textiles and paper; IARC categorised as a Group 1 carcinogen, i.e. a human carcinogen. Respiratory and mucous membrane irritant at low levels.

Foundation                                                
The ground or strata that supports the building.

Foyer                                                         
A public room, an anteroom; the entrance hallway.

Freeway                                                    
A large road uninterrupted by cross streets, allowing higher traffic speeds.

French Door                                              
A hinged door (either single or double) that opens outwards or inwards.

French Doors                                            
A pair of casement windows serving as doors, traditionally glazed above and panelled below, but nowadays usually all glass.

Frequency                                                 
All sounds can be described by their frequency or their mix of frequencies. Sounds have a mix of frequencies that are particular to the nature of the sound. Frequency can be measured on a scale in units of Hertz (Hz). Higher frequency sound is generated by sources such as tire squeals or speech. Low frequency sound is generated by sources such as music subwoofers or truck engines. Low frequency sound is more difficult to control or reduce than high frequency sound and requires specialized design and construction.

Fretwork                                                    
Originally Chinese, this is carved decoration consisting of a number of intersecting, often geometric lines with perforated spaces in between them. Fretwork was often used on Chippendale furniture in the Chinoiserie or gothic styles. Blind fretwork is when the decoration is not pierced through.

Frieze                                                        
A panel below the upper molding or cornice of a wall. A classical term used to describe the continuous band of decoration across the top of a building, or the top of an internal wall between the ceiling and picture-rail A ornamental strip that supports a table top, or the cornice on a piece of case furniture.

Fringe                                                        
A decorative edging of cast iron along the underside of a roof or veranda beam.

Fuel Load                                                  
The total quantity of combustible contents of a building, space, or fire area, including interior finish and trim, expressed in heat units or the equivalent weight in wood.

Full Brick                                                   
A building where both the inside and outside walls are brick.

Furniture                                                    
A piece of equipment for occupants use, not usually fixed to the building.

Furring (Furred)                                         
Timber or steel batten fixed to uneven surfaces to provide even plane for fixing of sheeting.

Furring Channel/Batten                             
Ceiling grid members in a sheeted or flush ceiling, to which the building board is mechanically fixed.

Futurism                                                    
This early 20th-century movement originating in Italy glorified the machine age and attempted to represent machines and figures in motion. The aesthetics of Futurism affirmed the beauty of technological society.


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