Is "medium appearance residential buildings" correct? Am I not sure it's correct or not?

Is it the representative of "aged and worn out residential buildings"? How else might I express this? I want a phrase that combines semi-aged and semi-worn out in one.

I am writing a scientific paper. I categorized buildings by their qualitative state in three classes. I simply want a good name for those classes. those classes were good appearance buildings, medium appearance buildings, and decayed buildings. (In the case of repair, quality of material and how rusty they are - just physical appearance.) But I think this combination is not good for repeated usage in my text.

  • 1
    Since you are writing a scientific paper, the problem here seems to be more of a style issue between you and the journal editor, and isn't really a matter of English usage. Either your classification scheme corresponds with existing English words -- in which case the editor should tell you what those are -- or it doesn't and you have to either create those words, or at very least use something like A, B and C as @Canadian Yankee suggested. For example, BOMA does use A, B and C for office buildings, but that is more than just appearance. I'd push back on the editor.
    – tkp
    Jul 24, 2018 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


You want qualitative terms. I'd suggest:


Needing repair

Beyond repair (in a state of ruin and should be demolished)

P.S. You might consider a fourth category to be inserted above "Beyond repair", namely "Salvageable", which means "in need of a great many repairs but not in ruin yet, and worth saving". As it stands, the middle category of the three is extremely broad.

  • Thanks. if you want to name a title for these categories, what it would be in your opinion? (e.g.: Buildings Qualitative state)
    – Ash
    Jul 25, 2018 at 16:01
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    I would call it "Building State of Repair". "Building" is unnecessary if the article is about buildings. "State of Repair" would suffice.
    – TimR
    Jul 25, 2018 at 16:41

"Buildings in an average state of repair" is quite explicit in meaning exactly what you seem to be getting at, but it is of course not particularly succinct.

However if you are writing a scientific paper, then you can define these categories as succinctly as you like, so long as you tell your readers what your definition is. You could write something like, "we will refer to residential buildings in an average state of repair as 'average buildings.'" Or even define your categories as type A, type B, and type C if you to be as concise as possible.

  • I did that but the journal's editor was not happy with it. then I came with 'medium appearance residential buildings', which I suspect it's correctness grammatically and also I'm looking for a shorter phrase if it's possible.
    – Ash
    Jul 23, 2018 at 19:45
  • Just saying "medium appearance" or "average" could mean it's brand new construction designed for the middle class (or mid range priced) which is probably why the journal editor wants you to explicitly refer to the state of repair.
    – pboss3010
    Aug 1, 2018 at 12:41

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