Architectural Detailing: Function, Constructibility, Aesthetics, 3rd Edition

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The industry-standard guide to designing well-performing buildings

Architectural Detailing systematically describes the principles by which good architectural details are designed. Principles are explained in brief, and backed by extensive illustrations that show you how to design details that will not leak water or air, will control the flow of heat and water vapor, will adjust to all kinds of movement, and will be easy to construct. This new third edition has been updated to conform to International Building Code 2012, and incorporates current knowledge about new material and construction technology. Sustainable design issues are integrated where relevant, and the discussion includes reviews of recent built works that extract underlying principles that can be the basis for new patterns or the alteration and addition to existing patterns. Regulatory topics are primarily focused on the US, but touch on other jurisdictions and geographic settings to give you a well-rounded perspective of the art and science of architectural detailing.

In guiding a design from idea to reality, architects design a set of details that show how a structure will be put together. Good details are correct, complete, and provide accurate information to a wide variety of users. By demonstrating the use of detail patterns, this book teaches you how to design a building that will perform as well as you intend.

  • Integrate appropriate detailing into your designs
  • Learn the latest in materials, assemblies, and construction methods
  • Incorporate sustainable design principles and current building codes
  • Design buildings that perform well, age gracefully, and look great

Architects understand that aesthetics are only a small fraction of good design, and that stability and functionality require a deep understanding of how things come together. Architectural Detailing helps you bring it all together with a well fleshed-out design that communicates accurately at all levels of the construction process.

Part I – Detail Patterns 1

Section 1 Function 3

Chapter 1 Controlling Water 5

Wash 7

Overlap 12

Overhang and Drip 15

Drain and Weep 19

Unobstructed Drainage 21

Ventilated Cold Roof 22

Foundation Drainage 24

Moisture Break 25

Capillary Break 26

Labyrinth 28

Rainscreen Assembly and Pressure Equalization 29

Upstand 34

Sealant Joints and Gaskets 36

Chapter 2 Controlling Air 45

Air Barrier System 46

Weatherstripped Crack 48

Chapter 3 Controlling Heat Flow 51

Thermal Insulation 52

Thermal Break 54

Multiple Glazing 59

White and Bright Surfaces 60

Reflective Glazing 61

Reflective Surface and Airspace 62

Outside-Insulated Thermal Mass 64

Chapter 4 Controlling Water Vapor 67

Warm Interior Surfaces 68

Warm-Side Vapor Retarder 70

Vapor Ventilation 75

Condensate Drainage 78

Chapter 5 Controlling Sound 79

Airtight, Heavy, Limp Partition 80

Cushioned Floor 83

Quiet Attachments 85

Sound-Absorbing Surfaces 86

Chapter 6 Accommodating Movement 89

Seasoning and Curing 91

Vertical-Grain Lumber 94

Equalizing Cross Grain 96

Relieved Back 98

Foundation below Frost Line 99

Structure/Enclosure Joint 100

Abutment Joint 102

Expansion Joint 103

Control Joint 106

Sliding Joint 109

Building Separation Joint 111

Chapter 7 Providing Structural Support 113

Small Structures 114

Connecting Dissimilar Materials 116

Distributing Loads 118

Chapter 8 Providing Passages for Mechanical and Electrical Services 121

Vertical Chase 122

Horizontal Plenum 125

Chapter 9 Health and Safety 129

Safe Footing 130

Fall Protection 132

Safe Edges 134

Safe Glazing 135

Nontoxic Materials 136

Fire-Safe Materials 137

Fire-Resistant Assemblies 138

Barrier-Free Design 140

Universal Design 141

Chapter 10 Providing for the Aging of the Building 145

Life Cycle 146

Expected Life 148

Surfaces That Age Gracefully 150

Repairable Surfaces 152

Cleanable Surfaces 153

Maintenance Access 154

Dry Wood 156

Protected and Similar Metals 158

Less Absorbent Materials 161

Robust Assemblies 163

Building Armor 164

Extreme Event Protection 166

Section 2 Constructibility 169

Chapter 11 Ease of Assembly 171

Uncut Units 172

Minimum Number of Parts 174

Parts That are Easy to Handle 175

Repetitious Assembly 178

Simulated Assemblies 180

Observable Assemblies 182

Accessible Connections 183

Detailing for Disassembly 185

Installation Clearance 187

Nonconflicting Systems 188

Chapter 12 Forgiving Details 191

Dimensional Tolerance 192

Sliding Fit 197

Adjustable Fit 201

Reveal 204

Butt Joint 206

Clean Edge 209

Progressive Finish 211

Forgiving Surface 213

Chapter 13 Efficient Use of Construction Resources 215

Factory and Site 216

Repetitious Fabrication 218

Rehearsing the Construction Sequence 220

Off-the-Shelf Parts 223

Local Skills and Resources 224

Aligning Forms with Forces 226

Refining the Detail 228

All-Weather Construction 229

Pride of Craftsmanship 231

Accepted Standards 232

Section 3 Aesthetics 233

Chapter 14 Aesthetics 235

Contributive Details 235

Timeless Features 238

Geometry and Proportion 239

Hierarchy of Refinement 241

Intensification and Ornamentation 243

Sensory Richness 245

Formal Transitions 246

Didactic Assemblies 249

Composing the Detail 250

Part II – Detail Development 251

Section 1 Applying the Detail Patterns 253

Chapter 15 Detailing a Building in Wood Light Framing 255

Chapter 16 Detailing a Building in Architectural Concrete 289

Chapter 17 Detailing a Brick Facing on a Concrete Frame 311

Section 2 Getting Started 345

Appendix A: The Detailer’s Reference Shelf 349

Appendix B: Formulating Exercises for Self‐Study, Studio, or Classroom Use 355

Index 357

"...this book presents the drawings alongside a clear description of the function of each individual element. This book would be valuable for anyone who wants to learn how and why things are built, rather than just copying some random detail from a google image search."
East-West News Service, May 2016

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