abbreviation of "anno domini", meaning the time counted from the birth of Christ.


Greek term: market, square, meeting place of citizens in ancient Greece.


snail-shaped fossils found in limestone rocks.


a stone structure supplying water to cities, ancient waterworks.


a person who studies past cultures and civilizations and their relations with the surrounding world.

autonomous house

a building designed to have its own source of energy (solar panels, windmills) and water (wells), its own sewage treatment plant, and to be able to function without external media.


abbreviation for before the birth of Christ.


something that decomposes without leaving waste behind.

biological wastewater treatment plant


a horizontal structure that separates the individual floors of a building.


a fortress protecting a city.


a society at a high level of economic and cultural development, with its own religion, offices and traditions.


a natural building material created in the Ice Age, from crushing rocks under the weight of a glacier; it remained in the ground as post-glacial sediment after the glacier melted (more information in the "Natural materials" section).


multi-story stone theater on a circular plan; the most famous is the Colosseum in Rome, where gladiator fights took place.

constant level of moisture

it is very important in the rooms where we stay; when it is too dry we get sick, and when it is too wet - mold or fungus appear and we get sick too; in buildings made of natural materials, the indoor climate is healthy and the humidity does not change.


canopy-shaped vault of the building.


hand-cleaved board made of coniferous wood.


a building constructed in a mixed technology: from natural and waste materials and from recycled materials (more in the "Building techniques" section).


human action to protect the environment, i.e., clean water, land and air; ecological construction means building from natural resources: clay, wood, stones, straw, hemp.


one that allows you to reduce the cost of heating your home.


the outer wall of the house; the wall visible from the street is the front elevation, the garden wall is the rear elevation, and there is also a side elevation.


a construction beam, e.g. wooden, placed in the walls of the building and surrounding the ceiling, which connects the ceiling to the walls; the finial also stiffens of the entire building.


a temporary construction of two walls made of boards spaced apart by the thickness of the wall being built; clay or hemp concrete is poured between the boards and then compacted.


Roman name: market square, meeting place for the city's inhabitants.


the base, a building’s structural element, located in a trench in the ground; a house is erected on the foundation, made of concrete, reinforced concrete (concrete with iron bars), made of bricks or stones; without a foundation, the house would fall apart.


in Japanese houses, a decorative light wooden frame filled with double paper, decorated with patterned paper or fabric, non-transparent; it was used to partition the living space inside the house by sliding in rails on the floor and ceiling.

gable roof

the most common kind of roof, with two opposite planes (slopes) meeting at the ridge (upper edge of the roof) and falling on two sides.

gray water

water that has already been used for washing and then used for flushing toilets.

ground beam

the lowest, first beam placed on the foundation of a wooden house.


a type of plant that grows very quickly, from 4 to 6 months, and reaches 1.5 m to 2.5 m in height; the natural building material are the woody parts of hemp stalks, which, when mixed with lime and water, make hemp concrete (more information in the "Natural materials" section).

hemp concrete

construction mass obtained from hemp shives (woody parts of the hemp plant), lime and water, for wall construction, poured in formwork with an internal wooden structure (described in more detail in the "Building Techniques" section).


the top layer of the earth rich in nutrients necessary for plant growth.


protection of the building against moisture, low and high air temperature.

load-bearing structure

part of the house structure responsible for supporting the entire structure.


in wooden construction, a combination of elements cut in such a way that they complement each other.


the most densely populated part of New York (a city in the USA), located on the island of the same name, famous for its skyscrapers and a great park called Central Park.


natural fertilizer from animal excrement.

natural asphalt

natural asphalt deposits that are usually found near crude oil deposits.

open-air museum

a place where historic buildings are collected to protect them from damage.

organic compound

living organisms or their remains.


a type of paper obtained from papyrus cane, growing in wetlands, in a warm climate; this plant was up to 5 meters tall; the most famous are the Egyptian papyri with the history of Egypt and its rulers, the pharaohs.

passive house

a house which is very well insulated from the outside (good thermal insulation) and which needs very little or no energy to heat the interior.


a wooden garden structure in the form of a shaded path; a wooden "corridor" overgrown with plants.


mulching, new agriculture that uses natural garden waste (branches, leaves, hay, straw, nettles), no fertilizers and no plowing of the soil.


chemical compounds that have the ability to glow caused by something other than heating.

photovoltaic panels

devices for converting solar energy into electricity.


a protruding part of a wooden element which can be connected with another element with "pin and seat" (where the pin is protruding and the seat is a matching hole).

rammed earth

also: tamped earth / clay (described in more detail in the "Building techniques" section - tamped clay).


processing construction waste into new materials for reuse; the goal of recycling is to save energy and water, protect the environment by reducing the extraction of raw materials (oil, stone, coal, minerals) and to reduce the amount of waste.

renewable energy sources

energy sources that will not run out: sun, water, air; energy from these sources is used to produce heat and electricity; coal, crude oil, uranium, natural gas - these are fossil fuels that run out and are therefore called non-renewable energy sources.

retaining wall

a structure protecting against landslides.

rock weathering

the process of crushing and chemical transformation of solid rocks into loose rocks.

roof truss

a wooden skeleton of the roof that transfers the load from the roof to the bearing walls of the building.

secondary raw material

production waste or used materials that, after appropriate preparation, can be used for re-production or construction.

self-supporting structure made of straw

construction of a house made of straw cubes, without any additional wooden frame.


wooden material for covering the roof, in the form of softwood planks, joined by inserting one plank into another.


a wooden or bamboo frame that forms the walls in a Japanese house, filled with double (exterior walls) or single (interior walls) washi white paper, which lets light through.


an element of construction from the bottom of the part of the roof (eaves) projecting beyond the line of walls outside the building.

soil sterilization

occurs when the soil does not have many nutrients for plant development; the soil is sterile, for example, when only one plant is grown at a given site (so-called monoculture).

solar panels

devices for converting solar energy into heat for heating the house and water.


a natural building material in the form of rock fragments that can be found in the mountains and underground; stones were formed millions of years ago in various conditions, including volcanic eruptions and lava solidification, by crushing and moving with water and ice, as well as by the deposition of living organisms at the bottom of the oceans - then limestone rocks were formed (more information in the section " Natural materials ").


a natural building material obtained from the stems and leaves of mature crops after threshing (mechanical separation of straw from grains), e.g. wheat, rye, barley and canola, flax, field beans, poppy seeds (more information in the "Natural materials" section).

sustainable building

an ecological building, built of natural materials, with renewable energy sources (described in more detail in the section "Renewable energy sources"), well-insulated, water-saving, with a green roof or vertical garden, biodegradable.


figurines or tiles of well-cleaned and burnt clay, used to decorate rooms, known in ancient countries: Egypt, Greece, Rome; Terracotta items were made by hand or imprinted in molds and then fired.

thermal insulation

material that keeps the interior warm in winter and cool in summer.


mechanical (with special machines) separation of straw from grains.


the top layer of soil, largely composed of grass roots and other plants.

urban planning

the study of planning cities and housing estates; The task of urban planning is to ensure good cooperation between the users of individual building structures (housing estates, public transport, offices, schools, kindergartens, nurseries, theaters, cinemas, industrial plants) and to protect the environment, both natural and cultural (monuments).

wall bracing

wall reinforcement.

water dam

a barrier in a river valley used to accumulate water, usually made of concrete, reinforced concrete or earth; a water dam can be erected for various purposes, such as: flood protection; use of water drop to produce electricity; obtaining water (e.g. for municipal water supply); recreational values, i.e., tourism and leisure.

wind turbine

a device that converts wind energy into mechanical work in the form of a rotating rotor movement.


a natural material made of felled trees and prepared in sawmills for further processing (more information in the "Natural materials" section).