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A lot of beginner architectural students have problems with architectural terms, and it’s really essential that you understand them, or you will find yourself missing a lot. It would be very hard for you to learn much without first a thorough understanding of the essential architectural terms. We will include terms that are very hard to find exact definition for, in the context of architecture, and terms that you don’t usually find in architectural dictionary.

Basic terminology should know every architect and architectural students.

1) Access

  • A reasonable way to deal with a plot or a building.

2) Balcony

  • A horizontal projection, with a handrail or balustrade or a railing, to serve in as passage or sitting out place..

3) Basement or Cellar

  • The lower storey of a building, below or partly below ground level.

4) Building

  • Any structure for at all reason and of at all materials constructed and each part thereof, if utilized as human habitation and includes  foundation,  plinth, walls,  floors,  roofs, chimneys,  plumbing  and  building  services,  fixed platforms, Verandah, balcony, cornice or projection, part of a structure or anything affixed thereto or any divider encasing or planned to encase any land or space and  signs  and  outdoor  display  structures. Tents, Shamianahs,  tarpaulin  shelters,  etc,  erected  for temporary  and  ceremonial  occasions  with  the authorization of the Authority will not be considered as building.

5) Building, Height of

  • The vertical distance measured on account of level rooftops, from the average level of the ground around and coterminous to the building or as chosen by the Authority to the terrace of last reasonable floor of the structure contiguous the external dividers; and on account of pitched rooftops, up to the point where the outside surface of the external wall intersects the completed surface of the slanting rooftop; and in the instance of peaks confronting the street, the mid-point between the overhang level and the edge.
  • Architectural features serving no other function except that of decoration shall be excluded for the purpose  of measuring statures.

6) Building Line

  • The line up to which the plinth of a structure bordering a road or an extension of a street or on a future road may legally broaden.
  • It includes the lines endorsed, assuming any, in any plan.
  • The building line may change every once in a while, as decided by the Authority

7) Cabin

  • A non-residential enclosure constructed of non-load bearing partition

8) Canopy

  • A projection over any entrance.

9) Carpet area

  • The covered area of the usable rooms at any floor level (excluding the area of the wall)

10) Chhajja

  • A slanting or even structural overhang normally gave over openings on external walls to give insurance from sun and downpour.

11) Chimney

  • An upstanding shaft containing one or more pipes accommodated the movement to the outer air of any result of burning coming about because of the operation of warmth delivering machine or equipment employing strong, fluid or vaporous fuel.

12) Chowk or Courtyard

  • A space permanently open to the sky, enclosed fully or partially by building and may be at ground level or any other level within or adjacent to a building.

13) Chowk, Inner

  • A chowk enclosed on all sides.

14) Chowk, Outer

  • A chowk one of whose sides is not enclosed.

15) Covered Area

Ground area covered by the building quickly over the plinth level. The area covered by the accompanying in the open spaces is excluded from covered area

  1. Garden, rockery, well a lot structures, plant nursery, water pool, swimming pool(if revealed), stage cycle a tree, tank, wellspring, seat, Chabutra with open top and unenclosed on sides by dividers and so forth
  2. Drainage course, channel, get pit, ravine pit, chamber, canal and such;
  3. Compound divider, door, unstoreyed patio and portico,  canopy,  slide,  swing,  revealed flight of stairs, inclines zones covered by Chhajja and such; and
  4. Watchmen.s corner, siphon house, trash shaft, electric lodge or sub-stations, and such other utility structures implied for the administrations of the structure viable.

16) Floor Area Ratio (FAR)

  • The quotient obtained by dividing the total covered area (plinth area) on all floors by the area of the plot

17) Habitable Room

  • A room involved or designed for inhabitance by at least one people for study, living, sleeping, eating, kitchen on the off chance that it is utilized as a living room, but not including bathrooms, water-closet compartments, laundries, serving and store pantries, corridors, basements, lofts, and spaces that are not used frequently or during expanded periods.

18) Mezzanine floor

  • An intermediate floor between two floors of any storey forming an integral part of floor below.

19) Open Space

  • An area, forming an integral part of the plot, left open to the sky.

20) Open Space, Front

  • An open space across the front of a plot between the building line and front boundary of the plot.

21) Open Space, Rear

  • An open space across the rear of a plot between the rear of the building and the rear boundary of the plot.

22) Open Space, Side

  • An open space across the side of the plot between the side of the building and the side boundary of the plot.

23) Parapet

  • A low wall or railing built along the edge of a roof or floor.

24) Plinth

  • The portion of a structure between the surface of the surrounding ground and surface of the floor, immediately above the ground.

25) Partition

  • An interior non-load bearing barrier, one storey or part-storey in height.

26) Parking Space

  • An area enclosed or unenclosed, covered or open, adequate in size to park vehicles, along with a driveway interfacing the parking space with a road or rear entryway and permitting ingress and departure of the vehicles.

27) Owner

  • A person, a gathering of persons or a body having a lawful interest in land as well as building thereon. This incorporates free holders, leaseholders or those holding a sublease, who will have a lawful right to occupation and have liabilities in regard of wellbeing or building condition. In instance of rent or sublease holders, to the extent ownership with regard to the structure is concerned, the structure of a level or structure on a plot has a place with the allottee/ lessee till the distribution/rent stays alive.

28) Porch

  • A covered structure supported on pillars or otherwise for the purpose of pedestrian or vehicular approach to a building.

29) Room Height

  • The vertical distance measured from the completed floor surface to the completed ceiling surface. Where a got done with ceiling isn’t given, the underside of the joists or beams or tie beams shall determine the upper point of measurement.

30) Set-Back Line

  • A line usually parallel to the plot boundaries and laid down in each case by the Authority, beyond which nothing may be constructed towards the plot boundaries.

31) Site (Plot)

  • A parcel (piece) of land enclosed by definite boundaries.

32) Staircover (or mumty)

  • A structure with a roof over a staircase and its landing built to enclose only the stairs for the purpose of providing protection from weather and not used for human habitation.

33) Verandah

  • A covered area with at least one side open to the outside with the exception of 1 m high parapet on the upper floors to be provided on the open side.

34) Water Closet

  • A water flushed plumbing fixture designed to receive human excrement directly from the user of the fixture. The term is used sometimes to designate the room or compartment in which the fixture is placed.

35) Window

  • An opening to the outside other than a door, which provides all or part of the required natural light or ventilation or both to an interior space.

36) Floor Area (Gross)

  • The area of the floor within the inside perimeter of the outside walls of the floor of the building under consideration with no deductions for corridors and passage-ways, stairs, closets, thickness of interior walls, columns, lifts and building shafts or other features.

37) High Rise Building

  • A building 15 m or above in height (irrespective of its occupancy).

38) Lift Lobby

  • A space from which people directly enter a lift car(s) and into which people directly enter upon exiting a lift car(s).

39) Mixed Occupancy

  • A multiple occupancy where the occupancies are intermingled.

40) Multiple Occupancy

  • A building or structure in which two or more classes of occupancy exist.

41) Occupancy or Use Group

  • The principal occupancy for which a building or a part of a building is used or intended to be used; for the purpose of classification of a building according to the occupancy, an occupancy shall be deemed to include subsidiary occupancies which are contingent upon it.

42) Occupant load

  • Maximum number of persons that might occupy a building or portion thereof at any one time.

43) Public Way

  • A street, alley, or other similar parcel of land essentially open to the outside air, dedicated, or otherwise permanently appropriated to the public for public use and having a clear width and height of not less than 3 m.

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