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5.0 out of 5 stars An essential text for the student or professional architect, 24 Feb 2014
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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I requested this as I am a great fan of Ching's very accessible books on architectural history A Global History of Architecture and space, form and function Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. I am NOT a professional or student of architecture, just someone interested in the built environment and architectural drawing.

This book really is for the professional or trainee architect as it explores the nitty-gritty of specific architectural elements, from wall, floor, roof systems, to moisture and thermal protection, finish work and the provision of electrical and mechanical elements. All these are accompanied, of course, by Ching's very clear drawingsThe commentary is underpinned by reference to UK building regs and European requirements where appropriate. Because of its largely technical nature, this is not a text I am likely to look at very frequently and I have to confess that this is the first of Ching's books that I have found easy to put down. But that reflects my failure to recognise the book's very precise practical/theoretical purpose, not any weakness in the book.

I can't pretend I love the book, but that is simply because it is a ore specialised text than I had imagined: it certainly merits 5 stars for the clarity and inclusiveness of its detail, a real boon to any architecture student or newly qualified professional who would find this a very handy treasure trove of essential information and high quality illustrations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 May 2014
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B Keeler "velocirapta" (South Coast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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Excellent reference textbook for any architect, both professional and trainee. An essential purchase for those with any interest or knowledge in construction or engineering. Recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference for the construction enthusiast, 29 April 2014
By 
Peter Buckley "peter15115" (Dyfed, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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This publication was of initial interest because what building construction I do get involved with, usually as a sideline to my normal work, is expected to reach industry standard. This book was ideal for reassuring me and my customers. It contains a vast amount of information, I can only judge it by areas I am familiar with, damp-proofing, timber joinery, for example. I was very impressed with the clear accurate way each topic was covered, and especially by the illustrations. They set this book ahead of the competition. Recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting and detailed, 24 April 2014
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Amazon Customer "MjD" (Edinburgh, Scotland. { Kobe, Japan. Saipan. Alabama.}) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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European Building Construction Illustrated by Francis DK Ching: This is an interesting book. I didn’t really know what to expect when I ordered this. As a fan of architecture, both visually and from TV shows such as Grand Designs I have always had an interest in this subject. This book is really aimed at the professional architect or builder. It is a very detailed illustrated guide to European architectural design, construction and specifications from a technical perspective. It is very detailed on measurements, regulations, weights & measures, etc, on all aspects of building construction techniques. Still I found it very interesting and if I ever get the chance to self-build am sure it will be an invaluable reference. However, this is an amateur viewpoint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reference for any building project - even for non-professionals., 23 April 2014
By 
Ross Boardman "Ross B" (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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When you work with plans, even as an amateur, like me, you need to know if they are feasible. You can spend all day putting in the various places you want doors, floors, windows and stairs. It's almost fun to move things around when you designing a dream home. Then reality kicks in as you need to obey different rules.

First you need to understand the methods of construction. You cannot design a roof as a plane on a graphics package, you need to know which materials are in use and how they are put together. Likewise, is that staircase you are proposing of a standard in terms of it's slope and the correct components. Secondly, it has to be of a construction that complies with local building regulation.

This book covers all of this in a way that you know what all your options are. If you can find a method of construction that fits with your project, meets building regulations, can be costed and your contractor can understand, then you are able to build it. The diagrams that accompany the work are highly detailed and make you understand what considerations you have to make.

Aesthetically this is a beautiful book to look through. It is also highly thorough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best visual reference to construction, 14 Mar 2014
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Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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Francis Ching seems to have corned the market in beautiful looking visual books on architecture. I bought the first edition of this title years ago mainly because it looked so accessible with all the art by Cassandra Adams. Her work in later editions has been slightly enhanced and the original text which she hand-lettered is now set in Tekton.

What I find surprising, for a technical book, is that this is the first European edition, almost forty years since the original American title was published. Though there are many common elements to building in the US or Europe there are a some differences. For example: in the vehicular parking section in the US edition standard car dimensions are 1980 to 5485mm, in the European edition the a standard car is 1900 to 4500mm. Language plays its part too, in the US edition index there is a reference to a Rabbet joint, it's absent from the European edition index (it's a rebate joint) the US edition has a graphic of jalousie windows which are is not in the European edition. Elevators are common to both editions.

The book is an obvious choice for architectural students (as would be Ching's other great book:A Visual Dictionary of Architecture) or anyone interested in how buildings are erected. The hundreds of beautiful illustrations explain in precise detail what is going on inside and outside of a building. Visually I thought it was so much better than Chudley and Greeno's Building Construction Handbook which still seems to be using CAD art and type from the original 1988 edition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, aesthetic, intelligent and informative, 14 Mar 2014
By 
J. Ward (Brecon Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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This is a book on the principles of building construction primarily written for architects and students of architecture. Because the book is very comprehensive and goes into considerable detail, from the macro projects of foundation, wall, floor and roofing systems, right down to unexpected information on relatively obscure features such as door locks, timber joints used in buildings and even types of carpet weave, it could be useful for the general builder, someone engaged in building design, or even the self-builder. Most of the book consists of over 1000 exquisite fine lined drawings (there are no photographs) with textual notes written in current architectural language, which are always explained adequately, therefore the book is easily understandable to the intelligent layman. The font used for the text is strange, it looks like the elegant hand written style commonly found on architectural drawings, which is less clear and slower to read than conventional book fonts. However, many love it.

Francis Ching is a professor of architecture at the University of Washington and his book on building construction has been around for some time, first published in 1975 and revised periodically, it has become a revered classic and although focused on US methods of construction, it has been avidly read by students world-wide and adapted to their local building regulations. Well, this edition precludes the need for any adaptation, because taking the fourth edition of 2008 as the basis, Mark Mulville of the University of Greenwich, has edited it to bring it in line with European construction methods and regulations, as they stand in 2013, and with particular reference to UK Building standards. Although there are some references to the European Committee for Standardization and to the German Institute for Standardization, they are minimal and essentially this is a British version of Ching’s book, although it has to be conceded that the architectural principles illustrated in the book are universal and applicable European Continent wide.

A brief chapter on construction in the Arab Middle East States is surprisingly included and may seem out of place in a book on European construction, until it is remembered that many European architects presently ply their trade in the rich Gulf States.

The book is very thorough, illustrating both domestic and commercial construction. It begins with (1) Site Selection: sustainability, green building, carbon reduction strategies, the Passive House Standard, soil analysis, rainfall, wind, drainage, vehicle circulation and site plans etc. (2) Building Systems: regulations, wind loads, structural forces and loads, columns, beams, trusses, frames, walls, spans, lateral stability, high rise structures, membrane structures etc. (3) Foundation Systems: types, underpinning, rising and retaining walls, piles etc. (4) Floor Systems: concrete beams, slabs, prestressed and precast concrete, steel framing, composite flooring, timber joists and beams etc. (5) Wall Systems: concrete walls and formwork, masonry walls, columns, piers, arches, lintels, rammed earth and straw bale construction, hemp, steel, timber stud, structural panels etc. (6) Roof Systems: slopes, trusses, rafters, decking, prefabrication and lamination structures, etc. (7) Moisture and Thermal Protection: slates, tiles, green roofing, metal roofs, shingles, drainage and flashing, internal and external insulation, air-tightness, ventilation, vapour barriers, radon gas, structural movements and sealants, etc. (8) Doors and Windows: timber, metal, UPVC, skylights, sliding and revolving doors, etc. (9) Special Construction: stairs, elevators, fireplaces, chimneys, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. (10) Finishing: plaster types and boards, ceramic tiles, timber, stone and terrazzo flooring, acoustic ceilings, timber mouldings, etc. (11) Mechanical and Electrical Systems: thermal comfort, heating and cooling systems, water supply, hot-water, fire protection, plumbing and electrical systems, lighting, etc. (12) Materials: life-cycle assessment, etc. And so much more! At the end there is an index and several useful appendixes on human dimensions, accessibility, acoustics, egress, architectural drawing conventions, etc. The book excites few criticisms; but it is poor and inadequate on electrical installation.

The Ching-Mulville book is intelligently and efficiently written, it is concise where necessary, expansive where useful, amazingly detailed, profusely informative, and yet is always elegant and aesthetic as befits architecture at the highest level. Of its type there is probably no better publication available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classical Visual Guide, 3 Mar 2014
By 
G. Wylie "george11171" (Scottish Highlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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In my youth I had an unfulfilled desire to become an architect and have remained fascinated by architecture since then. A brief glance at my bookshelves will confirm this. While the bulk of my collection relates to the aesthetics and the use we make of buildings both at home and abroad, you will find a few well browsed items linked to the very practical nuts and bolts side of construction. Items like solar and geothermal heating systems, for example, and my favourite is a brilliant small book called 'Architects Pocket Book' by Charlotte Baden-Powell, which I consider a treasure trove of practical information. I also own another work by Frank Ching, so, when I spotted this book, trying to get a copy was a no brainer. And I'm so glad I did. It is a beautiful book. A work of art in itself! It is highly informative, full of brilliant ideas and beautifully illustrated throughout by Ching. Adobe were so fascinated by Ching's own stylish script he used to describe his early work that they adapted it and created a delightful digital font. I believe it is used throughout this book. Ching is an amazing character. Apart from being a talented architect and teacher, I think of him as being something of an American version of, and kindred spirit to, Wainwright, the creator of the magnificent mountain walking guides.

Based in the States, Ching has been very influential in American architecture. Originally this book was published for guidance there. It looks at everything from foundations to the finished article. It was a great success and proved highly popular. I am not in the least surprised that Wiley, the publishers, decided to adapt it for use here, taking into account the UK and European building rules. I am only surprised they took so long! The result is this brilliant collaboration between Frank Ching and Mark Mulville.

This is a highly practical book and I would not recommend it to anyone whose interest in architecture is mostly of an aesthetic nature. While it is mainly aimed at architects, engineers, and students of architecture and design, and will generate tremendous local interest amongst them, I have little doubt, from personal experience, that it will provide valuable insight for the practical lay-person with its stress on visual presentation. It is a great addition to my growing library.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Larger format reference, 25 Feb 2014
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avid british reader (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: European Building Construction Illustrated (Paperback)
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This book has a clear and concise reference drawing on all matters- a great valuable guide for a student in this subject and I passed it to my godson who I studying engineering at uni. A classic reference guide and its larger format makes it easy to read.
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European Building Construction Illustrated
European Building Construction Illustrated by Mark Mulville (Paperback - 3 Jan 2014)
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