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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.

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