v factor

See Vegetative cover. (US Dept of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service)

VA Guarantee

An insurance contract in which the Veterans Administration (VA) insures that the named lender will recover a specific percentage of the loan amount from the insurer in the event the loan goes bad. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

VA Guaranteed Loan

A mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (Federal Trade Commission)

VA Loan/Mortgage

A form of mortgage insurance. Housing loans to veterans by banks, savings and loans, or other lenders are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration). This enables a veteran to buy a principal residence with little or no down payment. (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau) A mortgage guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (US Dept of HUD) A government-backed mortgage loan supported by the US Veterans Administration. (US Dept of Agriculture- Home Loans) A mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). (HardwickAssociates)

vacancy rate

The current percentage of vacant properties in a given area, regardless of why they are vacant. (HardwickAssociates)

vacant unit

A dwelling unit that has been vacant for not less than nine consecutive months. (US Dept of HUD)

vacuum evaporation

The deposition of thin films of semiconductor material by the evaporation of elemental sources in a vacuum. (US Dept of Energy)

valence band

The highest energy band in a semiconductor that can be filled with electrons. (US Dept of Energy)

valley

The depression at the meeting point of two roof slopes. (Publications- USA.gov)

valuation services

Services pertaining to aspects of property value. (USPAP -The Appraisal Foundation)

value

The monetary relationship between properties and those who buy, sell, or use those properties. (USPAP -The Appraisal Foundation)

value of collateral (for use in determining loan-to-value ratio)

According to the Agencies� real estate lending standards guidelines, the term ?value? means an opinion or estimate set forth in an appraisal or evaluation, whichever may be appropriate, of the market value of real property, prepared in accordance with the Agencies� appraisal regulations and these Guidelines. For loans to purchase an existing property, ?value? means the lesser of the actual acquisition cost or the estimate of value. (US Dept of Treasury- Interagency)

valued policy

A policy in which the insured and the insurer agree on the value of the property insured, that value being payable in the event of a total loss. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy is not a valued policy. (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

valve

A device used to control the flow in a conduit, pipe, or tunnel that permanently obstructs a portion of the waterway. As distinguished from gates, valves are constructed so that the closing member remains in the water passageway for all operating positions. See butterfly valve, fixed cone valve (Howell Bunger valve), Ensign valve, gate valve, hollow-jet valve, needle valve, and tube valve. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vane shear test

An in-place shear test in which a rod with thin radial vanes at the end is forced into the soil and the resistance to rotation of the rod is determined. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vanpool (transit)

Public-sponsored commuter service operating under prearranged schedules for previously formed groups of riders in 8- to 18-seat vehicles. Drivers are also commuters who receive little or no compensation besides the free ride. (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

vapor

The gas given off by substances that are solids or liquids at ordinary atmospheric pressure and temperatures. (US EPA- Pesticides)

vapor barrier

Material such as paper, metal or paint which is used to prevent vapor from passing from rooms into the outside walls. (Publications- USA.gov)

vapor dispersion

The movement of vapor clouds or plumes in the air due to wind, gravity, spreading, and mixing. (US EPA- Pesticides)

vapor retarder

A component that retards water vapor diffusion but does not totally prevent its transmission. Vapor retarder material is usually a thin sheet or coating. However, a construction of several materials, some perhaps of substantial thickness, could also constitute a vapor retarder system. (Energycodes.gov) A material that retards the movement of water vapor through a building element (walls, ceilings) and prevents insulation and structural wood from becoming damp and metals from corroding. Often applied to insulation batts or separately in the form of treated papers, plastic sheets, and metallic foils. (US Dept of Energy)

variable air volume system

(aka VAV) HVAC system that controls the dry-bulb temperature within a space by varying the volumetric flow of heated or cooled supply air to the space. (Energycodes.gov) Air handling system that conditions the air to constant temperature and varies the outside airflow to ensure thermal comfort. (US Environmental Protection Agency)

variable costs

Input costs that change as the nature of the production activity of its circumstances change; for example, as production levels vary. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

variable expenses

Costs or payments that may vary from month to month, for example, gasoline or food. (US Dept of HUD)

variable frequency drive

Changes the speed of the motor by changing the voltage and frequency of the electricity supplied to the motor based upon system requirements. (Energycodes.gov)

variable interest rate

An amount of compensation to a lender rate that is allowed to vary over the maturity of a loan. The amount of variation is generally governed by an index. (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau)

variable maturity mortgage

A long-term mortgage loan under which the interest rate may be adjusted periodically. Payment levels remain the same but the loan maturity is lengthened or shortened to accommodate the adjustment. (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau)

variable payment plan

Any mortgage repayment schedule that provides for periodic change in the amount of monthly payments. Changes may occur as a result of the expiration of an interest only period (flexible payment mortgage), a planned step-up in payments (graduated payment mortgage), or a change in the interest rate due to fluctuation in an index (variable or adjustable rate mortgage). (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau)

variable rate

A variable-rate agreement, as distinguished from a fixed-rate agreement, calls for an interest rate that may fluctuate over the life of the loan. The rate is often tied to an index that reflects changes in market rates of interest. A fluctuation in the rate causes changes in either the payments or the length of the loan term. Limits are often placed on the degree to which the interest rate or the payments can vary. (Federal Reserve Education) Any interest rate or dividend that changes on a periodic basis. (Help With My Bank)

variable rate mortgage

(aka VRM) A long-term mortgage loan applied to residential properties under which the interest rate may be adjusted on a 6-month basis over the term of the loan. Rate increases are restricted to no more than 1/2 point per year and 2 1/2 points over the term. (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau) A loan in which the interest rate fluctuates with the cost of funds or some other index. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

variable-speed wind turbines

Turbines in which the rotor speed increases and decreases with changing wind speed, producing electricity with a variable frequency. (US Dept of Energy)

variance

A special exemption of a zoning law to allow the property to be used in a manner different from an existing law. (US Dept of HUD) A grant of relief by a participating community from the terms of its floodplain management regulations. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) An exception to municipal zoning regulations granted for a specific time period to allow for non-conforming use of the land. (HardwickAssociates)

varved

A sedimentary bed or lamination that is deposited within one year's time. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vault cash

Cash kept on hand in a depository institution's vault to meet day-to-day business needs, such as cashing checks for customers; can be counted as a portion of the institution's required reserves. (Federal Reserve Education) Cash kept on hand in a depository institution�s vault to meet day-to-day business needs, such as cashing checks for customers; can be counted as a portion of the institution�s required reserves. (Federal Reserve Bank- SF)

vebe time

The time for concrete to fully consolidate in a Vebe cylinder. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vegetative controls

Nonpoint source pollution control practices that involve plants (vegetative cover) to reduce erosion and minimize the loss of pollutants. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vegetative cover

(aka v factor) The effect of vegetative cover in the Wind erosion equation is expressed by relating the kind, amount, and orientation of vegetative material to its equivalent in pounds per acre of small grain residue in reference condition (small grain equivalent). (US Dept of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service)

vehicle fuel consumption

Vehicle fuel consumption is computed as the vehicle miles traveled divided by the fuel efficiency reported in miles per gallon (MPG). Vehicle fuel consumption is derived from the actual vehicle mileage collected and the assigned MPGs obtained from EPA certification files adjusted for on-road driving. The quantity of fuel used by vehicles. (US Energy Information Administration)

vehicle identification number

(aka VIN) A set of about 17 codes, combining letters and numbers, assigned to a vehicle at the factory and inscribed on a small metal label attached to the dashboard and visible through the windshield. The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a unique identifier for the vehicle and therefore is often found on insurance cards, vehicle registrations, vehicle titles, safety or emission certificates, insurance policies, and bills of sale. The coded information in the VIN describes characteristics of the vehicle such as engine size and weight. (DOE4) (DOE5) (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

vehicle miles of travel

(aka VMT) The number of miles traveled nationally by vehicles for a period of 1 year. VMT is either calculated using 2 odometer readings or, for vehicles with less than 2 odometer readings, imputed using a regression estimate. (DOE5) (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

vehicle-miles (highway)

Miles of travel by all types of motor vehicles as determined by the states on the basis of actual traffic counts and established estimating procedures. (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

vehicle-miles (transit)

The total number of miles traveled by transit vehicles. Commuter rail, heavy rail, and light rail report individual car-miles, rather than train-miles for vehicle-miles. (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

veiling reflection

Regular reflections that are superimposed upon diffuse reflections from an object and that partially or totally obscure the details to be seen by reducing the contrast. This sometimes is called reflected glare. (Energy Star.gov)

vein

A layer, seam, or narrow irregular body of material different from surrounding formations. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

velocity

The rate at which money balances turn over in a period for expenditures on goods and services (often measured as the ratio of GNP-gross national product-to the money stock). A larger velocity means that a given quantity of money is associated with a greater dollar volume of transactions. (Federal Reserve Education) The rate at which money balances turn over in a period for expenditures on goods and services (often measured as the ratio of GNP�gross national product� to the money stock). A larger velocity means that a given quantity of money is associated with a greater dollar volume of transactions. (Federal Reserve Bank- SF) Rate of flow of water expressed in feet per second or miles per hour. The time rate of displacement of a fluid particle from one point to another. Velocity is a vector quantity that has magnitude and direction. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vendee

A purchaser of real property under land contract. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

vendor

A seller of real property under land contract. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

venetian window

A window with one large fixed central pane and smaller panes at each side. (Publications- USA.gov)

vent

The connection and piping through which gases enter and exit a piece of equipment. (US EPA- Pesticides) A component of a heating or ventilation appliance used to conduct fresh air into, or waste air or combustion gases out of, an appliance or interior space. (US Dept of Energy)

vent damper

A device intended for installation in the venting system of an individual, automatically operated, fossil-fuel-fired appliance in the outlet or downstream of the appliance draft control device, which is designed to automatically open the venting system when the appliance is in operation and to automatically close off the venting system when the appliance is in a standby or shutdown condition. (Energycodes.gov) A device mounted in the vent connector that closes the vent when the heating unit is not firing. This traps heat inside the heating system and house rather than letting it draft up and out the vent system. (US Dept of Energy)

vent pipe

A pipe which allows gas to escape from plumbing systems. (Publications- USA.gov) A pipe allowing gas to escape. (HardwickAssociates) A tube in which combustion gases from a combustion appliance are vented out of the appliance to the outdoors. (US Dept of Energy)

vented

��Natural gas that is disposed of by releasing to the atmosphere. (US Energy Information Administration)

vented heater

A type of combustion heating appliance in which the combustion gases are vented to the outside, either with a fan (forced) or by natural convection. (US Dept of Energy)

vented natural gas

��See vented. (US Energy Information Administration)

ventilated mechanically

The process of supplying or removing air by mechanical means to or from any space. Such air may or may not have been conditioned. (Energycodes.gov)

ventilated naturally

The process of supplying or removing air by natural means to or from any space. (Energycodes.gov)

ventilation

The process of supplying or removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space. Such air shall be permitted to be conditioned or unconditioned. (Energycodes.gov) The process of moving air (changing) into and out of an interior space either by natural or mechanically induced (forced) means. (US Dept of Energy)

ventilation air

That portion of supply air that comes from outside (outdoors) plus any recirculated air that has been treated to maintain the desired quality of air within a designated space. See ASHRAE 62 and definition of "Outdoor Air." (Energycodes.gov) Defined as the total air, which is a combination of the air brought inside from outdoors and the air that is being re-circulated within the building. Sometimes, however, used in reference only to the air brought into the system from the outdoors; this document defines this air as "outdoor air ventilation." (US Environmental Protection Agency) That portion of supply air that is drawn from outside, plus any recirculated air that has been treated to maintain a desired air quality. (US Dept of Energy)

ventilation rate

The rate at which outdoor air enters and leaves a building. Expressed in one of two ways: the number of changes of outdoor air per unit of time (air changes per hour, or "ach") or the rate at which a volume of outdoor air enters per unit of time (cubic feet per minute, or "cfm"). (US Environmental Protection Agency)

venturi

A pressure jet that draws in and mixes air. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

verge

The edge of tiles, slates or shingles, projecting over the gable of a roof. (Publications- USA.gov)

verification of deposit

(aka VOD) Written document sent to the borrower's depository institution to confirm the existence of a down payment or cash reserves. (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council)

verification of employment

(aka VOE) Written document sent to the borrower's employer to confirm employment/income. Employment is often reconfirmed by calling the employer prior to funding. (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council)

verification of income

(aka VOI) Written documentation supporting the borrower�s income level and income stream. (Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council)

vernier

A device permitting finer measurement or control than standard markings or adjustments. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vertical accuracy

(aka VA) The measure of the accuracy of the vertical measure of a reference point. (US Fish & Wildlife Service)

vertical curve

The meeting of different gradients in a road or pipe. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vertical fenestration

All fenestration other than skylights. (Energycodes.gov)

vertical ground loop

In this type of closed-loop geothermal heat pump installation, the fluid-filled plastic heat exchanger pipes are laid out in a plane perpendicular to the ground surface. For a vertical system, holes (approximately four inches in diameter) are drilled about 20 feet apart and 100 to 400 feet deep. Into these holes go two pipes that are connected at the bottom with a U-bend to form a loop. The vertical loops are connected with horizontal pipe (i.e., manifold), placed in trenches, and connected to the heat pump in the building. Large commercial buildings and schools often use vertical systems because the land area required for horizontal ground loops would be prohibitive. Vertical loops are also used where the soil is too shallow for trenching, or for existing buildings, as they minimize the disturbance to landscaping. Also see closed-loop geothermal heat pump systems. (US Dept of Energy)

vertical lift gate

All rectangular gates set in vertical guides within which the gate moves vertically in its own plane. The hoist is usually on a runway overhead. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vertical-axis wind turbine

(akak VAWT) A type of wind turbine in which the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the wind stream and the ground. (US Dept of Energy)

very high output

(aka AHO) Ballasts and T12 fluorescent lamps designed to operate using 1,500-milliamp current in order to provide greater light output. (Energy Star.gov)

very low-income

Households whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the median area income for the area, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families and for areas with unusually high or low incomes or where needed because of facility, college, or other training facility; prevailing levels of construction costs; or fair market rents. (US Dept of HUD)

vesicular (vesicles)

Containing many small cavities formed by the expansion of a gas bubble or steam when the rock solidifies. Tiny holes in volcanic rock caused by gas bubbles trapped in lava when it cooled. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

vest

To pass to a person an immediate right or interest. Title may be said to vest in John Smith. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

vested

A point in time when you may withdraw funds from an investment account, such as a retirement account, without penalty. (US Dept of HUD) Having the right to use a portion of a fund such as an IRA. Typically vesting occurs over time. If you are 100% vested, you have a right to 100% of the fund. (HardwickAssociates)

vestee

A nonlegal term used by title insurers to indicate the owner of real property in a policy or report. (Old Republic National Title Insurance Co)

Veterans Affairs, US Department of

(aka VA) The federal agency responsible for the VA loan guaranty program as well as other services for eligible veterans. In general, qualified veterans can apply for home loans with no down payment and a funding fee of 1 percent of the loan amount. (Ginnie Mae) A federal government agency that provides benefits to veterans and their dependents, including health care, educational assistance, financial assistance, and guaranteed home loans. (Federal Trade Commission) An agency of the federal government that provides services for eligible veterans. See also "VA mortgage loan." (US Dept of Commerce- Census Bureau) The successor to the Veteran's Administration, this government agency is responsible for ensuring the rights and welfare of our nation's veterans and their dependents. Among other duties, the VA insures home loans made to veterans. (HardwickAssociates)

VHO

Very high output (Energy Star.gov)

vibrating screen

A screen which is vibrated to separate and move pieces resting on it. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

virgin compression

Compression corresponding to stresses greater than the preconsolidation stress. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

virgin compression curve

The portion of the compression curve corresponding to virgin compression. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

virgin compression line

Straight line approximating the virgin compression curve. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

viruses

Submicroscopic disease-causing organisms that grow only inside living cells. (US EPA- Water Drinking Water Consumer Information Private Wells Glossary)

viscosity

The resistance of a fluid to flow. A liquid with a high viscosity rating will resist flow more readily than will a liquid with a low viscosity. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

visible light

The light waves on the electromagnetic spectrum that can be seen with the human eye. (Energy Star.gov)

visible light transmittance

(aka VLT) The fraction of solar radiation in the visible light spectrum that passes through the fenestration. (Energycodes.gov) The amount of visible light that passes through the glazing material of a window, expressed as a percentage. (US Dept of Energy)

visible radiation

The visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths from 0.4 to 0.76 microns (US Dept of Energy)

visioning

A variety of techniques that can be used to identify goals. (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

visitor day

Twelve visitor hours which may be aggregated by one or more persons in single or multiple visits. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

visitor use

Visitor use of recreation and wilderness resource for inspiration, stimulation, solitude, relaxation, education, pleasure, or satisfaction. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

v-notch weir

A weir that is V-shaped, with its apex downward, used to accurately measure small rates of flow. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

void

Space in a soil or rock mass not occupied by solid mineral matter. This space may be occupied by air, water, or other gaseous or liquid material. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

void ratio

The ratio of the volume of void space to the volume of solid particles in a given soil mass. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volatile

Any substance which evaporates quickly. (US EPA- Pesticides)

volatile organic compounds

Compounds that vaporize (become a gas) at room temperature. Common sources which may emit VOCs into indoor air include housekeeping and maintenance products, and building and furnishing materials. In sufficient quantities, VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritations, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, memory impairment; some are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans. At present, not much is known about what health effects occur at the levels of VOCs typically found in public and commercial buildings. (US Environmental Protection Agency) Any organic compound which evaporates readily to the atmosphere. VOCs contribute significantly to photochemical smog production and certain health problems. (US EPA- Pesticides) VOCs come from vehicle exhaust, paint thinners, solvents, and other petroleum-based products. A number of exhaust VOCs are also toxic, with the potential to cause cancer. (US Dept of Transportation- Federal Highway Administration)

volcanic rock

Rock that forms from the solidification of molten rock or magma at the earth's surface (extrusive igneous rock). (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volt

(aka V) A unit of electrical force equal to that amount of electromotive force that will cause a steady current of one ampere to flow through a resistance of one ohm. (US Dept of Energy) The unit of measurement of electromotive force. It is equivalent to the force required to produce a current of 1 ampere through a resistance of 1 ohm. See kilovolt. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

voltage

(aka E) An expression of electric force, or pressure. One volt being the force needed to move one amp against one ohm resistance. (HardwickAssociates) The amount of electromotive force, measured in volts, that exists between two points. (US Dept of Energy) Electrical pressure, i.e. the force which causes current to flow through an electrical conductor. The greatest effective difference of potential between any two conductors of a circuit. See electromotive force. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

voltage drop

A decrease in voltage caused by losses in the lines connecting the power source to the load. (Energycodes.gov)

voltage reduction

Any intentional reduction of system voltage by 3 percent or greater for reasons of maintaining the continuity of service of the bulk electric power supply system. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volt-ampere

(aka VA) A unit of electrical measurement equal to the product of a volt and an ampere. (US Dept of Energy) A unit of apparent power in an ac circuit containing reactance. It is equal to the potential in volts multiplied by the current in amperes, without taking phase into consideration. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volt-amperes reactive

(aka VARS) The unit of measure for reactive power. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volume of concrete

The total space occupied by concrete forming the dam structure computed between abutments and from the top to the bottom of the dam. No deduction is made for small openings such as galleries, adits, tunnels, and operating chambers within the dam structure. The volume includes all mass concrete appurtenances not separated from the dam by construction or contraction joints. Where a powerplant is located at the downstream toe of a concrete dam, the limit of concrete in the dam should be taken as the downstream face projected to the general excavated foundation surface. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volume of dam

The total space occupied by the materials forming the dam structure computed between abutments and from the top to the bottom of the dam. No deduction is made for small openings such as galleries, adits, tunnels, and operating chambers within the dam structure. Portions of power plants, locks, spillway, etc., may be included only if they are necessary for the structural stability of the dam. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

volumetric shrinkage

The decrease in volume, expressed as a percentage of the soil mass when dried, of a soil mass when the moisture content is reduced from a given percentage to the shrinkage limit. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

voluntary debt cancellation

(aka debt suspension fees) Charges or premiums paid for debt cancellation coverage for amounts exceeding the value of the collateral securing the obligation or for debt cancellation or debt suspension coverage in the event of the loss of life, health, or income or in case of accident may be excluded from the finance charge, whether or not the coverage is insurance, if the following conditions are met: (FDIC- TILA Act (Regulation Z))

voluntary transfer

A transfer of a debtor's property with the debtor's consent. (US Courts (Federal Courts)- Bankruptcy Basics)

vortex

A revolving mass of water (whirlpool) in which the streamlines are concentric circles and in which the total head is the same. Water rotating about an axis. (US Dept of the Interior- Bureau of Reclamation)

VRM

See also: Adjustable Rate Mortgage (Ginnie Mae)