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Re: SEMANTICS: Def. of "Joist" vs. "Beam"

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> From: "Polhemus, Bill" <BPolhemus(--nospam--at)>

> What is the definition of a "joist" (generically speaking) as distinct
> from a "beam"? I say that what I'm looking at are "joists": They are
> flexural members that directly accept the service loads, are laid
> parallel to one another and are closely spaced.
> He says they are "beams."  But maybe I'm putting too fine a point on it.
> What say you?

A joist is a beam in a particular application.

In code parlance, if words are not explicitly defined, they revert to
common (mis-)use interpretation. Its just common sense, right? :)

I believe that your definition of a joist should include the words
horizontal, floor or roof and they typically receive the load through a
cladding, sheathing or overlay. Not directly.

If it's not horizontal, it might be a stud.

My Concise English Dictionary says:
One of a series of parallel horizontal timbers to which floor-boards or
the laths of a ceiling are nailed. (This needs some serious up-dating)

Can you and your colleague agree on a different term, like, "spanning
thingy supporting stuff," or, "anti-gravity mechanism?"


R. Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ado26(--nospam--at)> <>

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