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Areas of Service: 
Adaminaby, BerridaleBredbo, Cooma, Jindabyne, Perisher, Thredbo

Building Terms We May Use In Our Reports

Although our Building Reports are written in a laymans easy to read format we may sometimes use words of a technical nature.
This Glossary is provided to help our Clients understand those terms.

Term Main definition
Portal frame

a rigid structural frame consisting essentially of two uprights connected at the top by a third member.

Primary Elements

Those parts of the building providing the basic load bearing capacity to the Structure, such as foundations, footings, floor framing, load bearing walls, beams or columns. The term ‘Primary Elements’ also includes other structural building elements including: those that provide a level of personal protection such as handrails; floor-to-floor access such as stairways; and the structural flooring of the building such as floorboards.

Rafter

roof structural members that slope downwards to the eaves

Readily Accessible Areas

Areas which can be easily and safely inspected without injury to person or property, are up to 3.6 metres above ground or floor levels or accessible from a 3.6 metre ladder, in roof spaces where the minimum area of accessibility is not less than 600 mm high by 600 mm wide and sub floor spaces where the minimum area of accessibility is not less than 400 mm high by 600 mm wide, providing the spaces or areas permit entry. Or where these clearances are not available, areas within the consultant's unobstructed line of sight and within arm's length.

Roof pitch

the incline or slope of a roof.

Sagging

the bend or deflection of a timber between its supports.

Sarking

a reflective foil laminate that is installed inside roofs. It has many benefits including weather proofing, insulation and reduction of dust and sound.

Secondary Elements

Those parts of the building not providing loadbearing capacity to the Structure, or those non-essential elements which, in the main, perform a completion role around openings in Primary Elements and the building in general such as non-loadbearing walls, partitions, wall linings, ceilings, chimneys, flashings, windows, glazing or doors.

Serious Safety Hazard

Any item that may constitute an immediate or imminent risk to life, health or property. Occupational, health and safety or any other consequence of these hazards has not been assessed.

Sill

a window's lower horizontal framing member.

Skillion

a sloping roof without a ridge or peak.

Skirting

a moulding that covers the join between wall and floor

Smoke Detector

A fire-protection device that automatically detects and gives a warning of the presence of smoke.

Soffit

the under surface of a beam, arch or stair. Often refers to the underside of the eaves of a roof.

Soil tests

tests on the building site that determine the stability of soil and the type of footings required.

Structural Cracking and Movement

Major (full depth) cracking forming in Primary Elements resulting from differential movement between or within the elements of construction, such as foundations, footings, floors, walls and roofs.

Structural Damage

A significant impairment to the integrity of the whole or part of the Structure falling into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Structural Cracking and Movement – major (full depth) cracking forming in Primary Elements resulting from differential movement between or within the elements of construction, such as foundations, footings, floors, walls and roofs.
  2. Deformation – an abnormal change of shape of Primary Elements resulting from the application of load(s).
  3. Dampness – the presence of moisture within the building, which is causing consequential damage to Primary Elements.
  4. Structural Timber Pest Damage – structural failure, i.e. an obvious weak spot, deformation or even collapse of timber Primary Elements resulting from attack by one or more of the following wood destroying agents: chemical delignification; fungal decay; wood borers; and termites.
Structural Timber Pest Damage

Structural failure, i.e. an obvious weak spot, deformation or even collapse of timber Primary Elements resulting from attack by one or more of the following wood destroying agents: chemical delignification; fungal decay; wood borers; and termites.

Structure

The load bearing part of the building, comprising the Primary Elements.

Termites

Insects belonging to the order Isoptera; they are very active destroyers of woody material in the tropical and subtropical zones of the world.

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