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Fundamentals of Building Construction 8

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First published almost a quarter century ago, Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, now in its fifth edition, has wrought a revolution in construction education. It has been instrumental in making a previously unpopular area of study not merely palatable but vibrant and well liked.

 It has taken a body of knowledge once characterized as antithetical to design excellence and has made it widely recognized as being centrally relevant to good building design. It has replaced dry, unattractive books with a well designed, readable volume that students value and keep as a reference work. It was the first book in its fi eld to be even-handed in its coverage and profusely and effectively illustrated throughout. It was the fi rst to release the teacher from the burden of explaining everything in the subject, thereby freeing class time for discussions, case studies, field trips, and other enrichments.

 Gaining a useful knowledge of the materials and methods of building construction is crucial and a necessity for the student of architecture, engineering, or construction, but it can be a daunting task. 

The field is huge, diverse, and complex, and it changes at such a rate that it seems impossible to ever master. This book has gained its preeminent status as an academic text in this fi eld because of its logical organization, outstanding illustrations, clear writing, pleasing page layouts, and distinctive philosophy: 

It is integrative, presenting a single narrative that interweaves issues of building science, materials science, legal constraints, and building craft so that the reader does not have to refer to separate parts of the book to make the connections between these issues. Building techniques are presented as whole working systems rather than component parts. It is selectiverather than comprehensive.

 This makes it easy and pleasant for the reader to gain a basic working knowledge that can later be expanded, without piling on so many facts and figures that the reader becomes confused or frightened away from wanting to learn about construction. Reading other texts was once like trying to drink from a fire hose; reading this one is like enjoying a carefully prepared meal.

 It is empowering because it is structured around the process of designing and constructing buildings. The student of architecture will find that it features the design possibilities of the various materials and systems. 

Students interested in building or managing the construction process will fi nd its organization around construction sequences to be invaluable.

 The book is necessarily complex without being complicated. It avoids the dilemma of having to expand infinitude over time by presenting the basic construction systems, each in sufficient detail that the student is brought to an operational level of knowledge. It deals, as its subtitle indicates, with fundamentals. We have made many changes in the book between the fourth and fifth editions

. Chapter 1 includes new coverage of the role of the construction contractor in the process of making buildings. Included in this section are a discussion of different models and contractual arrangements for the delivery of construction services, the scheduling and management of construction, and evolving trends in the delivery of both design and construction services.

 A new series of sidebars, Building Enclosure Essentials, is introduced. These treat topics critical to the performance of the building envelope, such as the flow of heat, air, and moisture through the exterior walls and roof.

Coverage of sustainable construction and green building rating systems has been updated and expanded, both within the body of the text and within the sidebars dedicated to considerations of sustainability for different materials which appear in almost every chapter. The book tracks a number of trends that are discernable in the building industry: 

Sustainable design is becoming increasingly mainstream and growing in sophistication. New forms of contractual relationships between the owner, architect, and builder encourage more streamlined and cooperative design and building processes. The materials of construction themselves continue to evolve, with higher strength steel and concrete, high-performance glazing, waste reduction and materials recycling. We continue to expand the book’s use of photorealistic renderings. These fi gures play an important part in achieving the authors’ goal of making complex building details readily understandable, while also appealing to the eye. 

We continue to take maximum advantage of the ever-expanding World Wide Web. The text’s encyclopedic details, along with an array of additional resources for both students and teachers, are readily available via its dedicated web site

A test bank, PowerPoint slide show, review questions, Instructor’s Manual, and more can be found there. Coauthor Joseph Iano’s personal web site provides an outlet for additional content and up-to-date coverage of new developments in the field. 

The selected list of web site addresses included in the reference section at the end of each chapter provides links to the other most relevant resources available on the Web, providing starting points for students’ further explorations. With this edition we have thoroughly updated references to contemporary building standards, codes, and practices, to ensure that the text remains the most current and accurate source of information on construction fundamentals available.

 Every chapter has been revised to reflect the latest versions of MasterFormat, the International Building Code, LEED, ANSI, and ASTM standards. Industry-specific standards, such as those from the American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), and American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), to name just a few, have been thoroughly updated in the appropriate sections of the text as well. The updated and expanded companion Exercises in Building Construction and its answer key continue to provide a unique and invaluable tool for helping students to understand the real-world application of building construction knowledge to the design and construction of buildings. 

Despite the extensive scope of this latest revision, every change has been carefully reviewed by the authors and an independent board to be sure that the text remains up-to-date, accurate, and consistent with its original principles. In this way, as the book continues to change over time, the essential qualities that make it an educational success are preserved and strengthened.

 The authors’ special thanks go to the talented Lon R. Grohs, producer of the text’s stunning photorealistic illustrations, and in this latest edition, of the cover art as well. We are also grateful to the many photographers and organizations who have furnished new information and illustrations.

 The people of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. continue, as always, to demonstrate great professionalism. Amanda L. Miller, Vice President and Publisher, has for many years been a source of wisdom and support. Paul Drougas, Editor, has been invaluable for his industry knowledge, patience, and sense of humor.

 He is a true friend. Lauren Olesky, Assistant Developmental Editor, was reliable and helpful through all stages of this revision. Donna Conte, Senior Production Editor, continues, as in previous revisions, to oversee the most diffi cult task of managing production and schedules with grace and perseverance.

 We especially offer our thanks to the many teachers, students, and professionals who have purchased and used this work. Your satisfaction is our greatest reward, your loyalty is greatly appreciated, and your comments are always welcome! Joseph Iano dedicates this Fifth Editionto Lesley, Allen, Paul, and Ethan.