Glossary

Definitions of commonly used Standard Work Specification terms.
Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

AAMA
American Architectural Manufacturers Association, www.aamanet.org
AARST
American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, www. aarst AARST American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, www.aarst.org .org
AB
Air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary
ACCA
Air Conditioning Contractors of America, www. acca ACCA Air Conditioning Contractors of America, www.acca.org .org
ACM
Asbestos-containing material
ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act
ADC
Air Diffusion Council, www.flexibleduct.org
AFUE
Annual fuel utilization efficiency
AGA
American Gas Association, www. aga AGA American Gas Association, www.aga.org .org
AHJ
Authority having jurisdiction
AHRI
Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, www.ahrinet.org
Air barrier
The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary
AL
Action level
ANSI
American National Standards Institute, www. ansi ANSI American National Standards Institute, www.ansi.org .org
ASHRAE
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www. ashrae ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org .org
ASTM
ASTM ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org International, www. astm ASTM ASTM International, www.astm.org .org

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B

Backdraft damper
A damper that allows air to flow in only one direction
Beaded collar
A round fitting with a ridge or lip part way down its length that prevents a flexible duct mechanically attached with a draw band from sliding off
Bonus room
A livable room that is often over a garage or in an attic area; the room commonly contains slanted ceilings and knee walls
BPI
Building Performance Institute, www. bpi BPI Building Performance Institute, www.bpi.org .org
BTU
British thermal unit

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C

Can light
A light fixture (or can) that is recessed into the ceiling
Cathedral ceiling
A condition in which the ceiling has the same slope as the roof
Cathedralized attic
An attic that contains insulation located at the roof deck rather than the attic floor, bringing the attic space into the thermal boundary Thermal boundary The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows heat flow of the house
CAZ
Combustion appliance zone
CFL
Compact fluorescent lamp
CFM
Cubic feet per minute
CGSB
Canadian General Standard Board
Closed crawl space
A foundation without wall vents that uses air-sealed walls, ground and foundation moisture control, and mechanical drying methods to control crawl space moisture. Insulation may be located at the conditioned floor level or on the exterior walls. Return pathways are not allowed from the crawl space to the living space
CO
Carbon monoxide
Conditioned basement
A below- or partially below-grade livable space with concrete or finished floor that is intentionally heated or cooled
Conditioned crawl space
A foundation without wall vents that encloses an intentionally heated and/or cooled space. Insulation is located on the exterior walls
CPSC
Consumer Product Safety Commission
CSA
Canadian Standards Association

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D

DACUM
Developing a curriculum
dBA
A-weighted decibels
Dense pack
The process of installing loose-fill insulation to reduce air flow and perform to a stated R-value
DHW
Domestic hot water
Dielectric union
A plumbing connection that separates two different materials and does not allow them to chemically react and break down
Draft regulator
A device that functions to maintain a desired draft in the appliance by automatically reducing the draft to the desired value. Source: National Fire Protection Association 54, 2012
Dual-Cooling Up-Duct
Piece of duct located between the living space and attic to allow air flow in pressurized homes having evaporative coolers

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E

Efflorescence
Deposits of crystals or salts left attached to masonry materials after moisture has evaporated off of the surface
Egress window
A window that people can escape through in an emergency
EIFS
Exterior insulation and finish systems
EIMA
EIFS EIFS Exterior insulation and finish systems Industry Members Association
Energy factor
Measure of overall efficiency for a variety of appliances. For water heaters, the energy factor Energy factor Measure of overall efficiency for a variety of appliances. For water heaters, the energy factor is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses. For dishwashers, the energy factor is defined as the number of cycles per kWh of input power. For clothes washers, the energy factor is defined as the cubic foot capacity per kWh of input power per cycle. For clothes dryers, the energy factor is defined as the number of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of power consumed. is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses. For dishwashers, the energy factor Energy factor Measure of overall efficiency for a variety of appliances. For water heaters, the energy factor is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses. For dishwashers, the energy factor is defined as the number of cycles per kWh of input power. For clothes washers, the energy factor is defined as the cubic foot capacity per kWh of input power per cycle. For clothes dryers, the energy factor is defined as the number of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of power consumed. is defined as the number of cycles per kWh of input power. For clothes washers, the energy factor Energy factor Measure of overall efficiency for a variety of appliances. For water heaters, the energy factor is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses. For dishwashers, the energy factor is defined as the number of cycles per kWh of input power. For clothes washers, the energy factor is defined as the cubic foot capacity per kWh of input power per cycle. For clothes dryers, the energy factor is defined as the number of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of power consumed. is defined as the cubic foot capacity per kWh of input power per cycle. For clothes dryers, the energy factor Energy factor Measure of overall efficiency for a variety of appliances. For water heaters, the energy factor is based on three factors: 1) the recovery efficiency, or how efficiently the heat from the energy source is transferred to the water; 2) stand-by losses, or the percentage of heat lost per hour from the stored water compared to the content of the water: and 3) cycling losses. For dishwashers, the energy factor is defined as the number of cycles per kWh of input power. For clothes washers, the energy factor is defined as the cubic foot capacity per kWh of input power per cycle. For clothes dryers, the energy factor is defined as the number of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of power consumed. is defined as the number of pounds of clothes dried per kWh of power consumed.
Envelope
The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that includes a combination of air and thermal barrier
EPA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www. epa EPA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov .gov
ERV
Energy recovery ventilator
ESP
External static pressure
Exfiltration
The uncontrolled passage of inside air out of a building through unintended leaks in the building envelope Envelope The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that includes a combination of air and thermal barrier
Exterior storm window
An additional window assembly installed on the exterior of the main window

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F

Finished attic
An attic space that has been converted into an additional living space of the house

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G

GFCI
Ground-fault circuit interrupter
GPM
Gallons per minute

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H

Hi-limit switch
A protective electronic switch that keeps a burner from continuing to operate and damage the appliance
HRV
Heat recovery ventilator
HVAC
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
HVI
Home Ventilation Institute
Hydrophobic
Lacking affinity for water; tending to repel and not absorb water; tending not to dissolve in, mix with, or be wetted by water

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I

I-P
Inch-pound
IAQ
Indoor air quality
IBC
International Building Code
IBR
Institute of Boiler and Radiator Manufacturers
IC
Insulation contact
ICC
International Code Council
IECC
International Energy Conservation Code
IFGC
International Fuel Gas Code
Ignition barrier
Any layer of material that protects another from catching fire due to heat or spark
IMC
International Mechanical Code
Infiltration
The uncontrolled passage of outside air into a building through unintended leaks in the building envelope Envelope The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that includes a combination of air and thermal barrier
Interior storm window
An additional window assembly installed on the interior of the main window
IPM
Integrated Pest Management
IRC
International Residential Code
IWC
Inches of water column

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J

JTA
Job task analysis

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K

Knee wall
Any wall between the conditioned space and the attic
KSA
Knowledge, skills, and abilities

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L

LED
Light-emitting diode

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M

MERV
Minimum efficiency reporting value
Modulating systems
Heating systems with the ability to adjust the heating capacity and output based on the heating demand
MSDS
Material Safety Data Sheet

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N

NAHB
National Association of Home Builders, www. nahb NAHB National Association of Home Builders, www.nahb.com .com
NAIMA
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, www. naima NAIMA North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, www.naima.org .org
NATE
North American Technician Excellence, www.natex.org
NEBB
National Environmental Balancing Bureau, www. nebb NEBB National Environmental Balancing Bureau, www.nebb.org .org
NEC
National Electrical Code
NFPA
National Fire Protection Association, www. nfpa NFPA National Fire Protection Association, www.nfpa.org .org
NIOSH
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, www.cdc.gov/ niosh NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, www.cdc.gov/niosh

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O

Orphaned equipment
Condition when one smaller combustion appliance exists after being commonly vented with a larger appliance. What remains is a larger exhaust flue or chimney than is necessary for the remaining smaller appliance
Orphaned water heater
Condition when one smaller combustion appliance (e.g., water heater) exists after being commonly vented with a larger appliance. What remains is a larger exhaust flue or chimney than is necessary for the water heater
OSHA
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www. osha OSHA U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, www.osha.gov .gov

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P

PEL
Permissable exposure limit
Perm rating
The measurement of a material's ability to allow the transfer of water vapor through the material
PPE
Personal protective equipment
Programmable thermostat
A thermostat designed to adjust the temperature according to a series of programmed settings that take effect at different times of the day
Psi
Pounds per square inch
Psig
Pound per square inch gauge

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R

Reverse or upslope lapping technique
Upper course laps under a lower course to keep the moisture under the barrier

Synonyms: "reverse" or "upslope lapping" technique upslope lapping

Rigid material
Drywall, oriented strand board, duct board, cardboard, or any other stiff product that may support the load of insulation while serving as a durable air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary
RPA
Radiant Professional Alliance
RRP
Renovation, repair, and painting

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S

Sealant foam
One- or two-component polyurethane foam typically applied as a bead and used to control air leakage as part of an air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary system within the building envelope Envelope The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that includes a combination of air and thermal barrier
Service switch
An electrical switch that controls the complete flow of electricity to a mechanical device
SHGC
Solar heat gain coefficient
SI
Système International
SMACNA
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association, www. smacna SMACNA Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association, www.smacna.org .org
SPF
Spray polyurethane foam
SPFA
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance
SSE
Steady state efficiency
Standby loss
Heat loss through the outer part of a water heater. Energy that is used even when a device is turned off
Storm door
An additional door assembly that is installed on the exterior of the main door
Strip heat
A function of a heat pump that uses energy-intensive resistance heat to warm conditioned space when the heat pump is unable to satisfy the heating demand; also provides emergency heat backup for heat pumps
Support material
Typically, wooden strips that provide support over holes greater than 24" in size for less rigid air barrier Air barrier The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows air flow to the point that no smoke movement is visible at 50 pascals of pressure difference across the boundary materials

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T

T&TA
Training and Technical Assistance
TABB
Testing and Balancing Bureau, www.tabbcertified.org
TDC
Transverse duct connector
TDF
Transverse duct flange
Thermal boundary
The separation between the interior and exterior environments of a building that slows heat flow
Thermal resistance
The insulation or other building material that offers the primary barrier to thermal transmittance. R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance Thermal resistance The insulation or other building material that offers the primary barrier to thermal transmittance. R-value is a measurement of thermal resistance
Tie band
A strap, often made of nylon, that mechanically squeezes a flexible duct to a fitting. Must have a minimum performance temperature rating of 165° (per UL UL Underwriters Laboratories 181A-type test) and a minimum tensile strength rating of 50 pounds

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U

UL
Underwriters Laboratories
Unconditioned basement
A below- or partially below-grade livable space with concrete or finished floor without intentional heating or cooling
UV
Ultraviolet

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V

Vapor barrier
A material that retards the passage of water vapor and contains a perm rating Perm rating The measurement of a material's ability to allow the transfer of water vapor through the material of less than 1
Vapor retarder
A material that slows the passage of water vapor and contains a perm rating Perm rating The measurement of a material's ability to allow the transfer of water vapor through the material above 1
Vaulted ceiling
A condition where a non-horizontal ceiling has a different slope than the roof
Vented crawl space
A foundation that uses wall vents as a primary means to control moisture. Insulation is located at the conditioned floor level above the crawl space
VOC
Volatile organic compound

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W

WAP
DOE Weatherization Assistance Program
WDMA
Window and Door Manufacturers Association, www. wdma WDMA Window and Door Manufacturers Association, www.wdma.com .com
Wg
Water gauge
Wind intrusion
A condition where air from outside of a structure can pass through insulation and reduce its performance
Wood/materials shrinkage
A loss of dimension and weight as a result of drying the structure and operating the building at lower relative humidity

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