Roof Deck Nomenclature

No matter what industry or field that you work in, you will more than likely have your own nomenclature and industry-specific lingo that you use on a daily basis and one that you will (after time) assume everyone else knows as well.

Being cognizant of this fact, we figured, ‘What better way to educate our clients than to provide a roof-deck + garden nomenclature guide’? So hopefully, the next time we meet, you won’t feel like we are speaking an entirely different language.

Parapet Wall – A parapet is a barrier which is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure.  In the city of Chicago, parapet walls exist on the majority of roofs.  We often will attache pergola posts, or screening directly to the parapet walls.

The pergola/veranda hybrid have been secured to the parapet walls The pergola/veranda hybrid have been secured to the parapet walls

Pergola – A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice.

Pergola over outdoor kitchen Pergola over outdoor kitchen

Veranda – Defined as a “roofed platform along the outside of a house, level with the ground floor”, a veranda is similar to a pergola with one major exception: the top is completely closed.

Veranda over outdoor kitchen Veranda over outdoor kitchen

Trellis – An architectural structure, usually made from an open framework or lattice of interwoven or intersecting pieces of wood, bamboo or metal that is normally made to support and display climbing plants, especially shrubs.  Trellises can run horizontally but primarily they run vertically.  They can be freestanding or attached to a structure like a garage, house, or pergola.

The wood trellis acts as screening along the parapet walls The wood trellis acts as screening along the parapet walls

Ipe (pronounced: e-pay) – A type of wood of the genus Tabebuia, similar to teak, used for outdoor decking and furniture. Ipe technically comes from a Brazilian walnut tree and is very dense material and thus great for outdoor construction.  Here at CRD+G we use this on the majority of our projects in one form or another.

Ipe Screening Ipe Screening Curved Ipe Planter Curved Ipe Planter

Synlawn – Short for synthetic lawn, ‘Synlawn’ is an incredible product and a great example of how far synthetic turf options have come in just the past decade.  These days, the aesthetic and even the feel are much more resemblant of actual grass.  Synlawn is great for covering a large area of your roof deck space without breaking the bank.

Synlawn on an entire front yard Synlawn on an entire front yard