As the name of the book suggests, it is the whole and a sorted guide to the construction of buildings. Written elaborately, describing every stage of the building construction, these books penned down by Robin Barry, can help anybody whether related or not to the construction industry. Written in many volumes and various editions, these books are recommended to every faculty of architecture, civil and structural engineering. Let’s review the Volume 1(Sixth Edition).
A to Z:
The description goes chapter-wise, starting from the foundation and ending at roofs. All the chapters further have sub-topics which detail out various descriptions needed according to the stage of construction. For example, in the chapter of the foundation, it has a table of the Typical Bearing Capacities according to the soil and rocks and what is found in them.
In every chapter, each stage has its functional requirements penned down by Barry. It states the need and why every stage is necessary for the growth of the building. The requirements are listed down and then explained and progresses accordingly. In the chapter of floors, it is listed down that the functional requirements of it are strength and stability, resistance to weather and ground moisture, etc. and these are further described.
Description with Illustrations:
The book describes all the chapters with topics and sub-topics and does so quite successfully. But what makes it much easier to understand, is the illustrations in the form of sections or sketches with sizes. These illustrations are really helpful and keep the reader interested in the further progression of the book.
Technology and Methodology:
Techniques and methods, whether manual or mechanical, the book has it all. It describes what is needed, when and the alternates or varieties of it. The effectiveness of the technique/method is also mentioned with the contextual data and dimensions. The author also mentions at the very beginning about the standard size used and the standard dimension, which makes it much simpler to read the drawings.
Materials and Its Data:
For every stage that the book reaches and describes, it also very clearly mentions the materials that will be needed to proceed, for that stage. It provides specific data in a tabular form, of the material that would be needed according to the context. These numeric and theoretic data comes in very handy for any and everyone. In the chapter on Roofs, table 17 gives the data of various materials, their thickness, sizes, usage and their U-values (U-values measure how effective a material is an insulator.). This data allows everyone to understand a material and when and where it can be used.>
Proportions and Volumes:
There are various volumes and proportions for various mixes that are regularly used while a construction is in progress. These mixes require different materials like lime, cement, mud, etc., the book discusses all the possibilities and the proportions that the materials should be mixed in, at various stages. Along with the ratios, it is also informed what mix is required and for what works and where.
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