Glossary of Terms

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Term Definition
Bookshelf girt

A girt with its wide faces horizontally oriented thus enabling it to effectively function as a shelf when left exposed.


The gravel or earth replaced in the space around a building wall after foundations are in place.


The wall or surface to which the veneer is secured. 


A small column.

Barn Raising

An event in which a community comes together to assemble a barn for one or more of its households.

Base plate

A corrosion and decay resistant member that is attached to the top of a concrete floor or wall. A base plate is generally located between posts and may function like a bottom girt. Unlike a girt, primary attachment of a base plate is to the concrete and not the posts.


A board along the floor against walls and partitions to hide gaps.


Insulation in the form of a blanket, rather than loose filling.


Any of a number of similar major vertical divisions of a large interior, wall, etc.


One of the principal horizontal timbers in a wood-framed building. Its primary function is to carry transverse loads such as floor joists or rafters.

Bearing block

A relatively short structural support used to transfer vertical load from one structural member to another. Frequently used to transfer load from a girder to a post or a truss to a post.

Beveled purlin

A purlin with an edge that has been cut at an angle, generally to facilitate cladding attachment.

Bird's Mouth

A cutout near the bottom of a rafter that fits over the rafter plate.

Bottom chord continuous lateral restraint

A row of structural framing members that provides lateral support to the bottom chords of adjacent trusses.

Bottom chord diagonal brace

A diagonal brace that lies in the plane formed by the bottom chords of adjacent trusses (a.k.a.., the ceiling plane). The braces are used to prevent bottom chord continuous lateral restraints from shifting.

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