Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, Sixth Edition

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-14
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Supplemental Materials

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Note from the publisher:

Now in its sixth edition, this bestselling reference focuses on the basic materials and methods used in building construction. Emphasizing common construction systems such as light wood frame, masonry bearing wall, steel frame, and reinforced concrete construction, the new edition includes new information on building materials properties; the latest on "pre-engineered" building components and sustainability issues; and reflects the latest building codes and standards. It also features an expanded series of case studies along with more axonometric detail drawings and revised photographs for a thoroughly illustrated approach.


Author Biography

Edward Allen, FAIA, has taught for more than thirty-five years as a faculty member at Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and as an invited guest at institutions in the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia.  He has designed more than fifty constructed buildings and is the best-selling coauthor of The Architects Studio Companion, Architectural Detailing, Form & Forces, and Fundamentals of Residential Construction, all published by Wiley.

Joseph Iano is an author, illustrator, and practicing architect who has taught design and technology in schools of architecture throughout the United States, as well as work in the construction trades. He has collaborated with Edward Allen on numerous publications over the span of more than thirty years. Currently, he heads a Seattle firm that provides technical and quality management consulting to architects and others in the design and construction industry.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Sixth Edition

1 Making Buildings

Learning to Build

Buildings and the Environment

The Work of the Design Professional

The Work of the Construction Professional

Trends in the Delivery of Design and Construction Services

2 Foundations and Sitework

Foundation Requirements

Earth Materials

Sustainability of Foundations and the Building Site

Earthwork and Excavation


Protecting Foundations from Water, Heat Flow, and Radon Gas



Up-Down Construction

Designing Foundations

Foundation Design and the Building Code

3 Wood


Sustainability of Wood


Wood Products

A Naturally Grown Building Material

Plastic Lumber

Wood Panel Products

Wood Chemical Treatments

Wood Fasteners

Wood Product Adhesives and Formaldehyde

Prefabricated Wood Components

Types of Wood Construction

From Concept to Reality: French American School

4 Heavy Timber Frame Construction

Fire-Resistive Heavy Timber Construction

Sustainability in Heavy Timber Construction

Heavy Timber in Other Construction Types

Lateral Bracing

Cross Laminated Timber Construction

Accommodating Building Services

Wood-Concrete Composite Construction

Longer Spans in Heavy Timber

For Preliminary Design of Heavy Timber Structures

Heavy Timber and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Heavy Timber Framing

5 Wood Light Frame Construction


Platform Frame

Sustainability in Wood Light Frame Construction

Foundations for Light Frame Construction

Building the Frame

Variations on Wood Light Frame Construction

For Preliminary Design of a Wood Light Frame Structure

Wood Light Frame Construction and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Wood Light Frame Construction

6 Exterior Finishes for Wood Light Frame Construction

Protection from the Weather


Windows and Doors

Paints and Coatings


Corner Boards and Exterior Trim

Sealing Exterior Joints

Sustainability of Paints and Other Architectural Coatings

Exterior Painting, Finish Grading, and Landscaping

Exterior Construction

7 Interior Finishes for Wood Light Frame Construction

Completing the Building Enclosure

Sustainability of Insulation Materials for Wood Light Frame Construction

Wall and Ceiling Finish

Millwork and Finish Carpentry

Proportioning Stairs

Flooring and Ceramic Tile Work

Finishing Touches

8 Brick Masonry



Sustainability in Brick Masonry

Brick Masonry

Masonry Wall Construction

9 Stone and Concrete Masonry

Stone Masonry

Sustainability in Stone and Concrete Masonry

Concrete Masonry

Other Types of Masonry Units

Masonry Wall Construction

10 Masonry Wall Construction

Types of Masonry Walls

For Preliminary Design of a Loadbearing Masonry Structure

Spanning Systems for Masonry Bearing Wall Construction

Detailing Masonry Walls

Some Special Problems of Masonry Construction

Movement Joints in Buildings

Masonry Paving

Masonry and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Masonry

11 Steel Frame Construction


The Material Steel

For Preliminary Design of a Steel Structure

Joining Steel Members

Details of Steel Framing

The Construction Process

Fire Protection of Steel Framing

Longer Spans and High-Capacity Columns in Steel

Fabric Structures

Industrialized Systems in Steel

Sustainability of Steel Frame Construction

Steel and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Steel

12 Light Gauge Steel Frame Construction

The Concept of Light Gauge Steel Construction

Sustainability of Light Gauge Steel Framing

Light Gauge Steel Framing

Other Uses of Light Gauge Steel Framing

Insulating Light Gauge Steel Frame Structures

Advantages and Disadvantages of Steel Framing

Finishes for Light Gauge Steel Framing

Metals in Architecture

From Concept to Reality: Camera Obscura

13 Concrete Construction


Cement and Concrete

Sustainability in Concrete Construction XXX

Making and Placing Concrete



Concrete Creep


ACI 301

Innovations in Concrete Construction

14 Sitecast Concrete Framing Systems

Casting a Concrete Slab on Grade

Cast a Concrete Wall

Casting a Concrete Column

One-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems

Two-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems

Other Uses of Sitecast Concrete

Sitecast Posttensioned Framing Systems

Selecting a Sitecast Concrete Framing System

Innovations in Sitecast Concrete Construction

For Preliminary Design of a Sitecast Concrete Structure

Architectural Concrete

Cutting Concrete, Stone, and Masonry

Longer Spans in Sitecast Concrete

Designing Economical Sitecast Concrete Buildings

Sitecast Concrete and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Sitecast Concrete

15 Precast Concrete Framing Systems

Precast, Prestressed Concrete Structural Elements

For Preliminary Design of a Precast Concrete Structure

Assembly Concepts for Precast Concrete Buildings

Manufacture of Precast Concrete Structural Elements

Joining Precast Concrete Members

Fastening to Concrete

Composite Precast/Sitecast Construction

The Construction Process

Sustainability in Precast Concrete Construction

Precast Concrete and the Building Codes

Uniqueness of Precast Concrete

16 Roofing

Low-Slope Roofs

Building Enclosure Essentials: Thermal Insulation and Vapor Retarder

Steep Roofs

Sustainability in Roofing

Cool Roofs

Green Roofs

Photovoltaic Systems

Roofing and the Building Codes

Building Enclosure Essentials: Dissimilar Metals and the Galvanic Series

17 Glass and Glazing


The Material Glass

Sustainability of Glass


Glass and Energy

Glass and the Building Codes

From Concept to Reality: Skating Rink at Yerba Buena Gardens

18 Windows and Doors


Plastics in Building Construction

Sustainability of Windows and Doors


Other Window and Door Requirements

19 Designing Exterior Wall Systems

Design Requirements for the Exterior Wall

Sustainability of Exterior Wall Systems XXX

Conceptual Approaches to Watertightness in the Exterior Wall

Sealing Joints in the Exterior Wall

Loadbearing Walls and Curtain Walls

Building Enclosure Essentials: Air Barrier

The Exterior Wall and the Building Codes

20 Cladding with Masonry and Concrete

Masonry Veneer Curtain Walls

Stone Curtain Walls

Precast Concrete Curtain Walls

Exterior Insulation and Finish System

Future Directions in Masonry and Stone Cladding

From Concept to Reality: Seattle University School of Law

21 Cladding with Metal and Glass

Aluminum Extrusions

Sustainability of Aluminum Cladding Components

Aluminum and Glass Framing Systems

Double-Skin Facades

Sloped Glazing

Curtain Wall Design and Construction: The Process

Metal Panel Cladding

22 Selecting Interior Finishes

Installation of Mechanical and Electrical Services

The Sequence of Interior Finishing Operations

Sustainability of Interior Finishes

Selecting Interior Finishes

Trends in Interior Finish Systems

23 Interior Walls and Partitions

Types of Interior Walls

Framed Partition Systems

Sustainability of Gypsum Products

Plaster Ornament

Masonry Partition Systems

Wall and Partition Facings

24 Finish Ceilings and Floors

Finish Ceilings

Types of Ceilings

Sustainability of Finish Ceilings and Floors

Finish Flooring

Types of Finish Flooring Materials

Flooring Thickness




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