Building Construction Illustrated / Edition 4

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A new edition of the illustrated architectural classic

Now in a third edition, this bestselling architectural reference features more than 1,100 line drawings, providing a highly visual means of learning about the fundamentals of building construction. This edition features coverage of ADA requirements and environmentally friendly materials, and also includes metric units in addition to the customary U.S. units. The book follows a typical design process--from selection of the building site to building components and mechanical systems to finish work and beyond. Topics are organized within each chapter according to their place in the CSI format. Building Construction Illustrated, Third Edition is an indispensable resource for architects, interior designers, and other building professionals who need to understand available materials and structural choices and how these affect building construction.

Francis D. K. Ching (Seattle, WA) is a registered architect and a professor at the University of Washington. He is the author of six highly successful books on the basic processes and forms of architectural design. Cassandra Adams (Berkeley, CA) is an architect and consultant in construction management and ecological design.

In response to numerous requests by readers, this edition of a classic manual on residential and light construction techniques includes increased coverage of concrete material and methods--plus the latest data on concrete, steel and glazing technology, energy efficiency in buildings, moisture and thermal protection, natural lighting and masonry. 380 line drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

This time-tested introduction to the principles of building construction offers both written and visual descriptions of each stage of the design process, including site selection, building components, mechanical systems, and finishes. Over 1,000 line drawings provide clear illustrations of the techniques and processes being described. This edition includes chapters on environmentally friendly materials, sustainable construction strategies, ADA requirements, as well as the use of both metric and standard US measurements. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470087817
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 8.58 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

FRANCIS D.K. CHING is Professor Emeritus of Architectureat the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the bestsellingauthor and coauthor of numerous architecture and design books,including Architectural Graphics; Building Codes Illustrated;Architecture: Form, Space, and Order; A Visual Dictionary ofArchitecture; A Global History of Architecture; Building StructuresIllustrated; and Design Drawing. Mr. Ching’s workshave been translated into more than eleven languages and arerecognized for their clear explanations and graphic presentationsof complex material.

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Table of Contents

The Building Site.
The Building.
Foundation Systems.
Floor Systems.
Wall Systems.
Roof Systems.
Moisture and Thermal Protection.
Doors and Windows.
Special Construction.
Finish Work.
Mechanical and Electrical Systems.
Notes on Materials.
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The first edition of this illustrated guide to building construction introduced students and builders of architecture to the fundamental principles that govern how buildings are erected. The second edition provided a more expansive survey of building construction by adding coverage of structural steel, reinforced concrete, and curtain wall systems. This third edition remains a comprehensive introduction to the principles underlying building construction, refines the graphic format and organization of the first two editions, and incorporates the following changes.

  • Chapter 2 expands the discussion of structural principles, elements, and systems.
  • Chapter 3 includes coverage of pile and caisson foundation systems.
  • Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are reorganized to conform more closely to the Masterformat system established by The Constructions Specifications Institute (CSI) for organizing construction information.
  • Chapter 7 now includes coverage of external cladding and siding systems, while Chapter 10 focuses on interior finishes.
  • CSI Masterformat section numbers are referenced wherever they apply to a building material or construction activity.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines are provided not only in the Appendix but integrated as well throughout the various chapters wherever appropriate.

It would be nearly impossible to cover all building materials and construction techniques, but the information presented herein should be applicable to most residential and commercial construction situations encountered today. Construction techniques continue to adjust to the development of new building materials, products, and standards. What does not change are the fundamental principles that underlie building construction. This illustrated guide focuses on these principles which can serve as guideposts when evaluating and applying new information encountered in the planning, design, and construction of a building.

Each building element, component, or system is described in terms of its end use. The specific form, quality, capability, and availability of an element or component will vary with manufacturer and locale. It is therefore important to always follow the manufacturer's recommendation in the use of a material or product and to pay careful attention to the building code requirements in effect for the use and location of a planned building. It is the user's responsibility to ascertain the appropriateness of the information contained in this handbook and to judge its fitness for any particular purpose. Seek the expert advice of a professional when needed.

Metric Equivalents

The International System of Units is an internationally accepted system of coherent physical units, using the meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, and candela as the base units of length, mass, time, electric current, temperature, and luminous intensity. To acquaint the reader with the International System of Units, metric equivalents are provided throughout this book according to the following conventions:

  • All whole numbers in parentheses indicate millimeters unless otherwise noted.
  • Dimensions 3 inches and greater are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5 millimeters.
  • Nominal dimensions are directly converted; for example, a nominal 2x4 is converted to 51 x 100 even though its actual 1-1/2" x 3-1/2" dimensions would be converted to 38 x 90.
  • Note that 3487 mm = 3.847 m.
  • In all other cases, the metric unit of measurement is specified.
  • Refer to the Appendix for metric conversion factors.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2011


    Buy the hard copy if you actually read the material and study the diagrams. The image quality is awful and once you zoom in, you can't scroll down to see/read the rest of the page. I have the Nook app for my Mac, not sure if that makes a difference. I have purchased other construction books and have no problem, this one in particular was a complete waste of money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2000

    Look for the newest 3rd edition

    This is the best book and now has a new edition published 2001 gold cover. Same beautiful isometric drawings but on more subjects, More CSI format, more ADA

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2000

    This book explains it all

    Everything you need to know about Construction is in this book and this 3rd Edition is better than ever. Same beautiful isometric drawings but over more topics. CSI format used thruout and ADA added

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    Posted March 21, 2012

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    Posted August 5, 2011

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    Posted November 18, 2008

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