BEAM A structural member, usually horizontal, that carries a load that is applied transverse to its length.
COLUMN An upright structural member acting primarily in compression.
CURTAIN WALL An exterior building wall that is supported entirely by the frame of the building, rather than being self-supporting or load bearing.
DEAD LOAD The weight of the building or building components.
DEFLECTION The distance a beam or structure deforms under loading, typically due to bending in a beam.
FREE-BODY DIAGRAM A diagram used to isolate a body from its environment, showing all external constraints and forces acting upon it and all geometric measurements necessary to model the body.
GIRDER A horizontal beam that supports other beams; a very large beam, especially one that is built up from other sections.
LIVE LOAD The weight of movable objects such as people, furnishings, machines, vehicles, and goods in or on a building.
LOAD BEARING WALL A structural wall that carries loads other than its own weight.
NON-LOAD BEARING WALL A wall that does not carry vertical load other than its own weight.
REINFORCED CONCRETE Concrete into which steel reinforcing bars have been embedded to impart tensile strength to the construction.
SAFETY FACTOR A factor intended to compensate for uncertainties in design and analysis by reducing the theoretical strength of a member for use in design.
SEISMIC LOAD A load on a structure caused by movement of the Earth relative to the structure during an earthquake.
SPAN The distance between supports for a beam, girder, truss, or other horizontal structural member; to carry a load between supports.
STRENGTH The capacity of a structure to resist the effects of loads.
TRIBUTARY AREA The area of floor or roof representing the surface area from which an applied uniform load is assumed to transfer to a supporting structural member.
TRIBUTARY WIDTH The width of floor or roof along the length of a beam, measured perpendicular to the beam, representing the portion of surface from which an applied uniform load is assumed to transfer to that beam.
TRUSS An assembly of structural members joined to form a rigid framework, usually connected to form triangles.
WIND LOAD Pressure from the wind that can cause lateral loads as well as uplift on the roof or downward pressure.