Buildings and Architecture Glossary: M - O

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- M -

Masking noise: Noise intentionally introduced into an environment in order to make certain noises less obtrusive, or to make conversations more private.

Masonry: Brickwork, stonework, or concrete blockwork.

Mastic: A substance that is semi-liquid, viscous, and sticky.

Mat foundation: See Foundation, mat.

Mean radiant temperature (MRT): The weighted average of the temperatures of all the objects that exchange thermal radiation with a given point.

Membrane roof: A low-slope roof that is made waterproof by a single sheet of impervious material.

Monitor: A boxlike protrusion above a roof that contains windows and /or ventilating louvers.

Mortar: The substance used between masonry units as a cushion, spacer, shim, adhesive, and sealant.

MRT: See Mean radiant temperature.

- N -

Neutral wire: A wire that is connected to ground.

Night blindness: An inability to see in darkness immediately after leaving a much brighter environment, due to the time that it takes the eye to adjust from one level of illumination to another.

Night-sky radiation: Long-wave infrared radiation from terrestrial objects into space.

Night soil: Human excrement.

Noise: Unwanted sound.

Nosing: The projecting front edge of a stair tread.

- O -

One-way: Structural action in a slab or plate that takes place only in one principal direction.

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