A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Arch: mechanical arrangement of building elements which are put together, generally along a curved line, in such a way that, supported by piers, abutments or walls, they carry the weight and resist the pressure.
Architrave: mouldings around openings such as doors, windows and chimneys and certain other locations to conceal joints or for decorative purposes.
Ashlar: stone that has been cut square and dressed.
Atrium: an interior courtyard that is open to the weather; or a significant interior space, often sky–lighted.
Attic: the top floor of a building, often reduced in height and unfinished.
Awning: a moveable, fabric–covered, sloped surface that projects from a wall — usually over a door, window or storefront — to provide shelter from the weather. See also canopy and marquee.
Balustrade: a railing composed of posts (balusters) and a handrail.
Bargeboard: boards or other decorative woodwork fixed to the edges or projecting rafters of a gabled roof, sometimes called gingerbread.
Batten: a narrow vertical strip of wood, placed over joints of wider boards to protect the joints from the weather; the combination is called board–and–batten construction. See also siding.
Beam: a principal horizontal structural member; also see joist.
Berm: an embankment or ridge of earth, usually created to serve as a protective barrier.
Bracket: a member, often triangular in form, that projects from a wall or other vertical surface and supports another component, such as an eave.
Bunker: part of a fortification defence system built partly or entirely below ground.
Canopy: a fixed horizontal, sloped or arched surface that projects from a wall — usually over a door — to provide shelter from the weather. See also awning and marquee.
Capital: the decorative head of a column, pilaster, pier or other vertical support.
Casement: a window that opens by being hinged on one side.
Chamfer: a sloping or bevelled edge.
Character–defining elements: the materials, forms, location, spatial configurations, uses and cultural associations or meanings that contribute to the heritage value of a historic place, and which must be retained in order to preserve its heritage value.
Cladding: the external, non–structural material that protects the structural wall or frame from the weather.
Clapboard: a siding or cladding of bevelled boards laid horizontally and overlapping at the top and bottom, applied to the outside of a woodframed building to make it weatherproof; the face of each board is oblique to the wall (also called bevelled siding).
Column: an upright support post of circular section; a steel or iron member used vertically is also called a column.
Concrete: a mixture of cement, aggregate (usually sand and gravel) and water that hardens and attains great compressive strength. When used structurally it is usually reinforced with embedded steel rods or mesh to give it tensile strength as well.
Conservation: all actions or processes that are aimed at safeguarding the character–defining elements of a cultural resource so as to retain its heritage value and extend its physical life. This may involve "Preservation," "Rehabilitation," "Restoration," or a combination of these actions or processes.
Corner board: narrow vertical components used to encase the corner of a wall; most often used on buildings clad in shiplap or similar horizontal siding.
Cornice: projecting horizontal element (to shed water and for decoration) at the top of a building or the top of a storefront, or a similar feature (often in plaster) at the top of a wall of a room.
Course: a single horizontal row of brick, stone or other walling material.
Crépi: a lime plaster used as a coating on stone buildings, particularly in New France, to protect the wall and the mortar joints from the weather.
Cresting: a decorative rail, a row of finials or another feature at the top of a building, often along the ridge of a sloped roof.
Cupola: a feature at the top of a roof, usually cylindrical with louvred openings and a dome–shaped roof on top.
Curtain wall: an exterior wall that is fastened to a frame and protects the building from the weather; it has no structural function and supports only its own weight.
Dentil: a small, tooth–like square block, used in a row as a decorative feature in a cornice.
Dormer: a window that projects from a sloping roof, with a small roof of its own.
Dressed: a stone cut square on all sides and smoothed on the face.
Earthworks: in military architecture, a defensive structure constructed of earth.
Eave: the projecting edge of a roof.
Ecosystem: the system formed by the interaction of all the living things of a particular environment with one another and with their habitat.
Entablature: the horizontal component, usually decorated, that lies directly above a column or other support; in Classical architecture, the entablature is composed of an architrave, a frieze and a cornice.
Fascia: a finish element covering the face of eaves and roof projections.
Finial: an ornamental projection at the top of a gable, roof or other high component.
Frame: the structural skeleton of a building.
Frieze: the middle portion of an entablature; or any decorated horizontal band.
Gable: the triangular portion of a wall beneath the end of a gabled roof.
Gabled roof: a roof that slopes on two sides.
Guidelines: statements that provide practical guidance in applying the Standards for the conservation of historic places. They are presented here in a format that provides recommended and non–recommend actions.
Herbaceous plants: plants with stems that are soft and not woody.
Heritage value: the aesthetic, historic, scientific, cultural, social or spiritual importance or significance for past, present or future generations. The heritage value of a historic place is embodied in its character–defining materials, forms, location, spatial configurations, uses and cultural associations or meanings.
Hipped roof: a roof that slopes on four sides.
Historic place: a structure, building, group of buildings, district, landscape, archaeological site or other place in Canada that has been formally recognized for its heritage value.
In kind: with the same form, material and detailing as the existing element.
Intervention: any action, other than demolition or destruction, that results in a physical change to an element of a historic place.
Joist: a secondary horizontal structural member, usually supported by a beam at each end, and itself supporting a floor, ceiling, or roof.
Lantern: a windowed superstructure at the top of a roof or dome; a small cupola.
Lintel: the horizontal supporting member at the top of a door or window.
Mansard roof: a roof that has a double slope, with the lower part steeper than the upper one; also called a gambrel roof, especially for barns.
Marquee: a fixed horizontal structure that projects from a wall — usually over a theatre's entrance — to provide shelter from the weather. See also awning and canopy.
Masonry: stone, brick, concrete, tile, or any other earthen products used in construction.
Maintenance: the routine, cyclical, non–destructive actions necessary to slow the deterioration of a historic place. It normally entails routine, periodic inspection; routine, cyclical, non–destructive cleaning associated with housekeeping; minor repair and refinishing operations; replacement of damaged, broken or deteriorated materials that are impractical to save (e.g., broken window glass); rust removal; cyclical pruning; top–dressing; and cleaning of drainage inlets or outlets.
Minimal intervention: the approach which allows functional goals to be met with the least physical intervention.
Moulding: a shaped decorative element, usually a horizontal band, that projects slightly from the surface of a wall.
Mullion: a thin upright member within a window or between adjacent windows.
Parapet: in a building, a portion of a wall that projects above a roof; in a fortification, a low wall or mound, usually of stone or earth, created to protect soldiers.
Patching: the action of making defects disappear from a wood, stone or concrete surface.
Piecing–in: the action of inserting a replacement piece as a substitute to a missing or irreparable portion of material.
Pediment: the triangular end of a gable, or a triangular ornamental element resembling it, defined by a moulding (or series of mouldings) along its three edges.
Pier: an upright support post of square or rectangular section, usually of masonry.
Pilaster: an upright shallow rectangular upright support post set into a wall and used mainly as decoration.
Post: a generic word for any upright support: a pier is a post of square or rectangular section, usually of masonry; a column is a post of circular section; a steel or iron member used vertically is also called a column; a pilaster is a shallow rectangular upright support set into a wall and used mainly as decoration.
Preservation: the action or process of protecting, maintaining and/or stabilizing the existing materials, form and integrity of a historic place, or of an individual component, while protecting its heritage value.
Rafter: in timber roof construction, a principal sloping component that runs from the top of the wall to the ridge.
Rampart: a wide bank of earth, usually with a parapet on top, built around a fort to help defend it.
Rehabilitation: the action or process of making possible a continuing or compatible contemporary use for a historic place, or of an individual component, through repair, alterations and/or additions, while protecting its heritage value.
Restoration: the action or process of accurately revealing, recovering or representing the state of a historic place, or of an individual component, as it appeared at a particular period in its history, while protecting its heritage value.
Ridge: the uppermost part of a roof, usually horizontal; or the structural component at the top of a roof.
Sash: in a window, the wood or metal frame that holds the glass.
Shed roof: a roof with only one slope; also used to describe the roof of a dormer window if it has only one slope.
Shiplap: a siding or cladding of horizontally laid boards with notched edges that make an overlapping joint, applied to the outside of a wood–framed building, or a stone wall, to make it weatherproof; the face of each board is parallel to the plane of the wall (also called drop siding).
Sidelight: a window beside a door, forming part of the door unit.
Siding: a facing material, or cladding, applied to the outside of a wood–framed building to make it weatherproof, sometimes called weatherboarding: shiplap (or drop siding) consists of horizontally laid boards with notched edges that make an overlapping joint; the face of each board is parallel to the plane of the wall; clapboard (or bevelled siding) consists of bevelled boards laid horizontally and overlapping at the top and bottom; the face of each board is oblique to the wall; board–and–batten siding is composed of vertically applied boards whose joints are covered by narrow strips (battens); shingles may also be used as a siding, as may composite materials such as asphalt, asbestos or synthetic materials, often imitating brick or shingle; metal and vinyl siding are also used.
Sill: a horizontal member at the bottom of a window, or of a wall (sometimes called a sill plate).
Soffit: the underside of an eave, beam, or other component.
Spandrel: the portion of a wall between the top of one window and the window sill above it; or the roughly triangular surface between two adjacent arches.
Splicing: the action of joining an existing element with a new element in order to compensate for the weakness of a damaged edge. The splicing of structural members for reinforcement is a typical example.
Stratigraphy: the composition and arrangement of geographic strata or layers of earth in a particular area.
Standards: Norms for the respectful conservation of historic places.
Stud: in timber construction, one of a series of vertical supports.
Terra cotta: fired clay commonly shaped in a mould and frequently glazed after firing.
Terrace: a flat level of land, often a component of a series of step–like flat levels on a slope.
Transom: a small window over a door or another window, often hinged for opening.
Truss: a structural framework, made of either timber or metal, that is composed of individual members fastened together in a triangular arrangement.
Windbreak: a row of trees or bushes planted to provide protection from the wind and, often, to prevent soil erosion.
*Courtesy of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada,
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2003.