Terms Beginning with "C"

cantilever: A projecting beam or other structure supported at only one end. Also, any part of a structure that projects beyond its main support and is balanced on it.

CCI: Certified Commercial Inspector

CCPIA: Certified Commercial Property Inspectors Association

ceiling joist: One of a series of parallel framing members used to support ceiling loads and supported, in turn, by larger beams, girders or bearing walls. Also called a roof joist.

ceiling plenum: space below the flooring and above the suspended ceiling that accommodates the mechanical and electrical equipment and that is used as part of the air distribution system. The space is kept under negative pressure.

CFM: Cubic feet per minute.

chimney: a structure containing one or more flues for removing gases to the outside atmosphere.

circulation path: an interior or exterior passageway people use to move through a building and use its components, including hallways, ramps, and stairways.

cladding: something that covers or overlays, often used to describe exterior wall coverings or metal that covers windows, doors or fascia for weather protection.

cleanout: an accessible opening in the drainage system used for the removal of possible obstructions and for inspections; an opening in a chimney that provides access to the flue for cleaning purposes.

clear floor space: the unhindered area providing wheelchair mobility.

clear span: The unobstructed and unsupported distance between two supports of a beam.

clear width: the measured distance between walls or fixed points.

clearance: the minimum distance through air measured between the surface of something heat-producing and the surface of something combustible.

clearly identifiable: capable of being recognized by a person of normal vision.

cleat: a crosspiece that forms the step of a fixed ladder’s rectangular cross-section.

client: the party that retains the inspector and pays for the inspection.

CMI: Certified Master Inspector

CO: Carbon monoxide.

CO2: Carbon dioxide.

coal tar pitch: A bituminous material that is a byproduct of the coking of coal and used as the waterproofing material for tar-and-gravel built-up roofing.

code official: the officer or other government-designated authority charged with enforcement of building codes.

combustible: describes any material that will burn.

commercial cooking appliances: appliances used in a commercial food service establishment for heating or cooking food.

commercial property: the building structures and improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate.  These may include structures such as buildings with residential units operated for profit, mixed-use buildings, strip malls, motels, factories, storage facilities, restaurants and office buildings.

commissioning: Start-up of a building that includes testing and adjusting HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and other systems to assure proper functioning and adherence to design criteria. Commissioning also includes the instruction of building representatives in the use of the building systems.

common use: interior and exterior circulation paths, rooms, spaces and elements that are not for public use and available for shared use of two or more people.

component: a permanently installed or attached fixture, element, or part of a system.

compressive stress: The opposite of tensile stress, it is the squeezing force applied on an object.

ComSOP: International Standards of Practice for Inspecting Commercial Properties

concealed: rendered inaccessible by the structure or finish of the building.  Wires in concealed raceways are considered concealed, even though they may become accessible by withdrawing them.

concrete masonry unit: Often abbreviated CMU, or referred to as an architectural block, it’s the standard-size rectangular block used for building construction.

condition: the plainly visible and conspicuous state of being of a material object or thing.

conditioned air: Air that has been heated, cooled, humidified, or dehumidified to maintain an interior space within the “comfort zone.” (Sometimes referred to as “tempered” air.)

conditioned space: an area or room within a building being heated or cooled.

connector: the pipe that connects a fuel-burning appliance to a chimney.

constant air volume systems: Air handling system that provides a constant air flow while varying the temperature to meet heating and cooling needs.

consultant: a person with particular expertise in a subject who assists the inspector with portions of the inspection.

contamination: an impairment of the quality of the potable water.

control joint: A vertical, continuous weak plane that is built into brick and concrete block masonry that deliberately allows cracks to occur in a predetermined location to accommodate shrinkage.

conventional roof system: A low-slope roof system where the insulation is installed under the roof’s membrane.

coping: A construction unit placed at the top of a parapet wall to serve as a cover for the wall.

core sampling: A vertical cut taken of the roofing system that can be used for analyzing the roof’s layers of composition.

corrosion: The deterioration of metal by chemical or electrochemical reaction resulting from exposure to weathering, moisture, chemicals, or other agents or media.

counter-flashing: A pre-formed metal that is secured to a wall, curb or rooftop unit used to cover and protect the upper edge of a base flashing and its associated fasteners.

cover board: A relatively thin substrate that’s placed over the primary thermal insulation in a roofing system.

CPI: Certified Professional Inspector

cracking: A term used to describe nonlinear visible breaks on the surface of a material.

crater: A pit in the surface of BUR resulting from a burst blueberry blister.

crawlspace: the area within the confines of the foundation and between the ground and the underside of the lowest floor’s structural component.

creep: The deformation of a material over time under persistent load.

cricket: An elevated and peaked construction installed on low-slope and structural metal roofs to divert water around roof-penetrating components.

cross-connection: any connection between two otherwise separate piping systems, one of which contains potable water, and the other that contains something that could contaminate the potable water.

crown: the sloped top of a masonry chimney designed to shed water away from the flue; also called a splay or a wash.

CSA: Canadian Standards Association

Cumulative Style Report: A reporting style for multi-family properties that creates an individual report for each unit in a building.

curb: A square or rectangular-shaped member that is built above the level of the roof that provides a means of support for flashing.

curb cut: a solid ramp that transforms a curb into an accessibility feature.

positive pressure: Condition that exists when more air is supplied to a space than is exhausted, so the air pressure within that space is greater than that in surrounding areas.