Understanding Architectural Jargon

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Understanding Architectural Jargon

Confused by Architectural Jargon? Find out What it all Means


Building a house is one of the most important investments in life. You may be looking to convert or extend your property as well. Whatever you plan to do, it is critical to have some architectural information. A residential architect will guide you through the design and planning process. Having said this, it is essential to have some prior insight regarding your project.

To this end, learning a few relevant architectural jargon is in order. This article expounds on some of the top jargon you will find in architecture.

Lawful development certificate

This is a certificate issued by the council to prove that you indeed have the requisite permission to carry on with your building work. Without this certificate, you might be forced to bring down your project. If you happen to get away, selling the building or house might be an uphill task. Every project must be development in a lawful manner and checking for approval with the council is pivotal.

CCTV surveys

In architecture, this refers to the checking of drains for blockages or damage. These problems might hold up construction if not addressed accordingly. Therefore, having them checked early is key to pacing the project as needed. There is also an entire checklist of things that must be done to avoid delays in your construction. A qualified architect should guide you step by step in this regard.

Party wall

This refers to any shared infrastructure with neighbors. When you are extending or converting, this element may be affected. To this end, you need to agree with your neighbors and reach an amicable solution. In law, your neighbors do not really have to give you persimmon. However, it is better to retain good rapport with those living around you. Party wall agreements should be reached after thorough consultations and every party should be happy.

Elevation drawings

These are floor plans for your walls. For plotting out kitchen cabinets, these drawings are particularly useful. The builders will be guided better through the building process with clear wall applications.

Building envelope

This refers to all the physical separators between the interior and exterior of a building. Also called a building skin, it refers to separators like roofs, walls, floors, doors and fenestration.

Green/sustainable building

This term is becoming more and more popular in the architectural circles. Indeed, more people are looking for sustained living made possible by green buildings. The term refers to the structure and processes that go to promote energy efficiency. To erect such a building, many environmental factors will be taken into account; from the initial design, construction all the way to completion. Also, these green elements will apply to any future maintenance, renovations or demolition.

Built environment

Any spatial and cultural environment built by man is basically referred to as a built environment. These are the spaces where people work, recreate and even play. Nature or natural settings are the opposite of build environments. There are many other architectural jargon to learn about; the above terms are just some of the most common ones.