Glossary – B


Balcony:
An external platform usually accessed from an upper floor level.

Baluster:
One of the vertical pieces of a stair or porch railing.

Balustrade:
Railing fixed from stair treads, landing, balcony or bridge.

BASIX:
The Building Sustainability Index which ensures homes are designed to use less potable water and be responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting energy and water reduction targets for houses and units.

Basement: 
A storey either above or below ground level or that projects no more than one metre above finished ground level.

BASIX Certificate:
This lists all the commitments the owner has agreed to, and the Certifying Authority will check these at various stages of construction. The BASIX Certificate must be attached to the development application before it can be processed.

Bay window: 
A projecting compartment that is glazed and has windows all around.

Bearer:
A sub-floor structural member which supports the floor joints

Bi-fold doors: 
A door consisting of a number of hinged panels folding to one or both sides of a door opening.

B.O.S: 
Building over sewer: Sometimes the location of the sewer pipes make it necessary to build over them. This requires a site inspection by a Water Board inspector to tell you exactly how big the pipe is and how deep down it is. The pipe may then need to be encased in concrete. (refer “zone of influence”).

Box Gutter:
A preformed gutter located horizontally, not on an external face of a building; generally in a roof valley.

Brace:
A structural member, usually a diagonal which resists lateral forces and/ or movements of a framed structure

Bricks: 
Used on an outer wall of brick veneer homes. made of clay and baked. May vary in colour and a wide range of types and textures are available. This outer wall is not load bearing but is cladding or “skin” only.

Brick Bond(s):
The Pattern formed by the exposed faces of masonry units.

Brick ties: 
Galvanised steel wire (or plastic) ties built into brick walls at regular intervals to link internal and external portions of a cavity brick wall.

Brick Veneer Construction:
A method of construction in which a single skin of non-load bearing wall of brickwork is tied to a timber or metal framed load-bearing structure to form the external enclosure.

Bottom Plate:
The Bottom Plate member of a timber frame wall to which studs are fixed

Building code of Australia (BCA):
A set of national requirements for use in the design, construction, alteration or demolition of buildings, and other structures throughout Australia

Building Envelope:
A zone which defines the external limits of a building, for the purposes of establishing the buildings wall heights and position relative to the side boundaries.

Building Footprint:
The area of the site occupied only by the building structure.

Building Line:
The minimum distance from the allotment boundary to the nearest external face of a building. Council has minimum standards in this regard.

Bulkhead: 
Lowered portion of a ceiling usually to hide an overhead beam or drainage pipe

Bulk Thermal insulation:
Insulation materials usually placed in ceilings or walls, is mostly available in the form of batts, blankets, slabs, loose fill or foamed in-situ.

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