Glossary – S


Sarking: 
A metal foil membrane laid between the roof framing and the roof ‘cladding’

Sash:
Framework that holds the panes of glass in a window

Scaffolding: 
A tubular steel temporary structure assembled on site which provides a working platform for tradesmen – usually bricklayers. More recently a metal fence like structure placed around the edge of the roof to protect tilers from falling. Required by law.

Scale: 
The relationship of the size of a drawing to the size of the actual object

Seasoned Timber:
Timber dried to a stale moisture content prior to use. Unseasoned timber will shrink over time as the timber dries, causing movement in the building structure.

Section:
Cut away through the structure

SEDA :
“Sustainable Energy Development Authority”

Sediment Control Barrier:
A barrier placed around the boundary of the land on the low side to prevent soil or excavation material washing from the site and entering the local drainage system or adjoining properties. Usually a hessian fence or hay bales installed and maintained by the builder. A Council requirement.

Septic system:
A sewerage disposal system, relying on bacterial action to break down the sewerage, incorporating a holding tank, a liquefying tank and an effluent disposal line.

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

Sill: 
The lower horizontal portion of a window or door frame

Site:
The land to which the application relates.

Site area:
The area of land (excluding any access handle) to which an application for consent to carry out development relates.

Site Classification:
The classifying of foundation conditions to provide a rationalised basis for footing design.

Site coverage: 
A formula, usually imposed by Council, designed to prevent buildings being out of scale (too big) with the surrounding neighbourhood. Also designed to ensure sufficient open space, play area and off street parking. Varies from 40% – 60% of the site area depending on your local Council regulations.

Site inspection: 
The term used to describe the situation where the builder has a qualified building supervisor visit your land and assess the costs of building on it. He would look at the location of services, amount of slope of the land, location of trees, access for trucks, space to store building materials etc. These will appear in your tender, together with the relevant cost.

Skillion Roof:
A roof sloping in one direction only, without a ridge or peak

Skirting:
Narrow and horizontal timber or customwood strips around the bottom of internal walls where it joins the floor

Slab:
A horizontal flooring or roofing member usually constructed out of reinforced concrete.

Slab-on-fill: 
A flooring system where before a concrete slab is poured, a perimeter wall of brickwork is constructed. The area inside the perimeter walls is filled with earth and the slab laid on top of the combined brickwork and fill. Usually used where it’s necessary to raise the finished floor levels.

Slab-on-ground construction:
A construction in which a concrete slab with rebated thickened edges is placed on the ground and provides the base and floor structure for the building

Soffit:
Generally the underside of eaves

Soil classification: 
A system to gauge volatility of soil.
“S” means stable ground – not much expansion or contraction.
“M” means moderately reactive soil – some expansion or contraction.
“H” means highly reactive – large measure of expansion and contraction.
These conditions are determined by Engineers and slabs are designed to cope with them.

Span:
The horizontal distance between two supports of a beam bridge or other structural element

Specification:
A written document with technical directions and conditions describing the quality of materials and standard of workmanship of the project, and formes part of the contract document

Square set: 
Where the plasterboard or wall lining is squared off or “square set”, no skirtings or cornices

Square set opening:
A door opening that does not have timber or metal architraves. The plasterboard is squared off or “square set”.

Statement of Environmental Effects(SOEE):
Identifies the environmental impacts of the proposal and demonstrates that steps have been taken to protect or alleviate possible harm to the environment.

Storey:
Is that part of a building between floor levels. If there is no floor above, it is the part between the floor level and the ceiling.

Stress Grade:
Indicates bending stress of timber measured in megaPascals (mPa), and designated with the prefix “F”

Stringer: 
The two pieces of timber between which the stairs treads are set

Strip Footing:
A continuous footing beam formed in steps to rise or fall from one level to another

Strutting Beam:
A structural beam spanning between load-bearing walls from which purlins may be strutted

Stud:
An upright supporting member of a timber or metal wall frame to which wall covering (linings and/or claddings) are fixed

Sub-Floor:
Generally the area under a house or any floor laid as a base for other floor finishes, e.g. concrete to be tiled.

Sub Floor Ventilation:
The provision of natural air movement under a suspended timber floor to prevent decay of timber and reduce moisture in the sub-floor space

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