Namesort descending Definition

abbr. finished floor area


abbr. fiberglass

Fiberglass-Faced Gypsum Sheathing

Moisture resistant type of exterior gypsum sheathing. The gypsum core is silicone treated for water repellency and the glass mat applied to each face as reinforcement meeting the requirements of ASTM C1177.

Finish Coat

The coating applied to the base coat to finish the lamina of an EIFS. The finish coat provides color, texture, water protection, dirt resistance and ultra violet ray resistance.


A deficiency in the installation of membranes (roofing, self-adhering membranes, etc.) that results in a fold in the edge of the membrane, through which air and/or water can penetrate.

Flash Set

Early hardening or stiffness in the working characteristics of a Portland cement paste, usually with the evolution of considerable heat. Stiffness cannot be dispelled nor the plasticity regained by further mixing without addition of water.


A waterproof material used to redirect or shed drained water, or occasionally to act as a capillary break.

Related Resources: Info 303: Common Flashing Details; Water Management Details for Residential Buildings

Floor Plan

A horizontal section drawing showing the basic layout of a building, including the placement of walls, windows and doors.


A substance formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid. Solid foams can be divided into closed-cell foams (where each pocket is separated) and open-cell foams (where the pockets connect with each other). Foams have many possible uses in building. A common use is as an insulator.


A thin, flexible sheet or membrane of metal.

Foundation, Water-Managed

A system for at-grade or below-grade enclosure assemblies where gravity (drainage) is used to move liquid water away from the structure, relieving hydrostatic water forces.

Framing Member

Studs, joists, plates (tracks), bridging, bracing, and related accessories manufactured or supplied for wood or light gauge steel framing.


Damage that occurs to stone, clay, or cementitious products due to high moisture content (near saturation) combined with cycling above and below the freezing temperature. Typically manifested as spalling of the surface.


abbr. Florida Solar Energy Center

FSEC's mission is to research and develop energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and to educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research.


A non-hardening preformed flexible or compressible material that is used to seal a gap, joint, or junction between two components.


abbr. generic optimization program

Grade Beam

A foundation wall that is cast at or just below the grade of the earth, most often associated with the deepened perimeter concrete section in slab-on-grade foundations.

Gum Lip

A method of sealing a flashing to a wall surface whereby the top edge of the flashing is bent outwards to form a sealant-filled reveal (typically at the vertical termination of a waterproof membrane).

Habitable Space

Building space intended for continual human occupancy. Such space generally includes areas used for living, sleeping, dining and cooking, but does not generally include bathrooms, toilets, hallways, storage areas, closets, or utility rooms.

Half-Pound Foam

See ocSPF.


A framing member that goes over a window, door, or other opening. A beam placed perpendicular to joists and to which joists are nailed in framing for chimney, stairway, or other opening.


Related resource: BSI-030: Advanced Framing

Heating Degree Days

Heating degree days and cooling degree days are climatalogical metrics used to express the magnitude of the heating or cooling load in a given location. These metrics are expressed in terms of a "base temperature" (e.g., "Heating Degree Days Base 65 F"). Heating degree days are calculated by taking the daily average temperature; if it is colder than the "base temperature," the difference is calculated. This difference is summed for the period (week, month, year) in question.


abbr. Home Energy Rating System

A standard for measuring a home's energy efficiency. Developed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET).

High-Heel Truss

See Raised Heel Truss.

High-Performance Building

A building that exceeds the performance of conventional buildings in important areas, typically including energy conservation, durability, comfort, safety and indoor air quality. Some definitions include additional criteria such as accessibility and enhanced occupant productivity.



Any of the numerous artificial polymer rolled sheet goods designed to function as drainage planes, a class of sheathing membranes. Some are also used as part of an air barrier system. Can be made of spun-fiber polyolefin, perforated plastic films, or coated and micro-perforated polymers.


abbr. high-performance lighting


abbr. Heat Recovery Ventilator


abbr. heating seasonal performance factor

An energy rating metric for air source heat pumps (rating their heating performance, as opposed to SEER, which measures cooling performance).


abbr. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

HUD's mission is to increase homeownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. To fulfill this mission, HUD will embrace high standards of ethics, management and accountability and forge new partnerships—particularly with faith-based and community organizations—that leverage resources and improve HUD's ability to be effective on the community level.


abbr. heating, ventilation, and air conditioning


A term used to describe a surface or material that attracts and holds water, transiently bonding with it via hydrogen bonds.  Liquid water on a hydrophilic surface will tend to absorb into the material—i.e., the material is "wettable."

Related terms: Hydrophobic, Hygroscopic


Materials that do not attract liquid water; they will force liquid water to form beads on their surface, act as capillary breaks and are non-hygroscopic.


A term used to describe pressures developed by a non-moving fluid (typically water, in our cases), such as the buildup of subsurface water against a foundation wall.


Materials that interact with water vapor by adsorbing water vapor into their pore structure as a function of the relative humidity of the surrounding air.

Hygrothermal Region

See Climate.


abbr. integrated circuit motor

See Brushless Permanent Magnet (BPM).


abbr. indirect-direct evaporative cooler


abbr. integrated design process


abbr. International Energy Conservation Code