Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods 7th Edition

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Edward Allen and Joseph Iano’s Fundamentals of Building Construction has been the go-to reference for thousands of professionals and students of architecture, engineering, and construction technology for over thirty years. The materials and methods described in this new Seventh Edition have been thoroughly updated to reflect the latest advancements in the industry. Carefully selected and logically arranged topics—ranging from basic building methods to the principles of structure and enclosure—help readers gain a working knowledge of the field in an enjoyable, easy-to-understand manner. All major construction systems, including light wood frame, mass timber, masonry, steel frame, light gauge steel, and reinforced concrete construction, are addressed.

Now in its Seventh Edition, Fundamentals of Building Construction contains substantial revisions and updates. New illustrations and photographs reflect the latest practices and developments in the industry. Revised chapters address exterior wall systems and high-performance buildings, an updated and comprehensive discussion of building enclosure science, evolving tools for assessing environmental and health impacts of building materials, and more. New and exciting developments in mass timber construction are also included. 

This Seventh Edition includes:

  • 125 new or updated illustrations and photographs, as well as 40 new photorealistic renderings
  • The latest in construction project delivery methods, construction scheduling, and trends in information technology affecting building design and construction
  • Updated discussion of the latest LEED and Living Building Challenge sustainability standards along with expanded coverage of new methods for assessing the environmental impacts of materials and buildings
  • Expanded coverage of mass timber materials, fire resistance of mass timber, and the design and construction of tall wood buildings
  • Revised end-of-chapter sections, including references, websites, key terminology, review questions, and exercises
  • Fully-updated collection of best-in-class ancillary materials: PowerPoint lecture slides, Instructor’s Manual, Test Bank, Interactive Exercises, and more
  • Companion book, Exercises in Building Construction, available in print and eBook format

For the nuts and bolts on building construction practices and materials, Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods, 7th Edition lays the foundation that every architect and construction professional needs to build a successful career. 


1 Making Buildings 3

Learning to Build 4

Buildings and the Environment 4

Other Sustainable Building Programs and Standards 8

The Work of the Design Professional 12

The Work of the Construction Professional 20

Trends in the Delivery of Design and Construction Services 25

2 Foundations and Sitework 33

Foundation Requirements 34

Earth Materials 35

Sustainability and Foundations and Sitework 41

Earthwork and Excavation 42

Foundations 50

Foundations as Building Enclosure 65

Sitework 72

Designing Foundations 75

Foundations and the Building Code 75

3 Wood 79

Trees 80

Sustainability and Wood 84

Lumber 84

Wood Products 96

Plastic Lumber 102

Wood Panel Products 102

Protecting Wood from Decay and Fire 106

Chemical Wood Preservative Treatments 107

Wood Fasteners and Adhesives 109

Wood Product Adhesives and Formaldehyde 115

Prefabricated Wood Components 115

Case Study 121

4 Heavy Timber and Mass Timber Construction 125

Types of Construction 126

Sustainability and Heavy Timber and Mass Timber Construction 129

Fire Resistance of Large Wood Members 131

Calculating the Fire Resistance of Wood Members 131

Traditional Heavy Timber Construction 132

Contemporary Heavy Timber Construction 134

Mass Timber Construction 140

Wood–Concrete Composite Construction 143

Longer Spans in Heavy Timber and Mass Timber 144

Preliminary Design of Heavy Timber and Mass Timber Structures 148

5 Wood Light Frame Construction 151

6 Exterior Finishes for Wood Light Frame Construction 211

Protection from the Weather 212

Roofing 213

Windows and Doors 220

Paints and Coatings 224

Siding 228

Corner Boards and Exterior Trim 237

Sealing Exterior Joints 238

Sustainability and Paints and Other Architectural Coatings 240

Exterior Painting, Finish Grading, and Landscaping 240

Exterior Construction 240

7 Interior Finishes for Wood Light Frame Construction 245

Completing the Building Enclosure 253

Sustainability and Insulation Materials for Wood Light Frame Construction 262

Wall and Ceiling Finish 264

Millwork and Finish Carpentry 265

Proportioning Fireplaces 266

Proportioning Stairs 280

Flooring and Ceramic Tile Work 282

Finishing Touches 284

8 Brick Masonry 289

History 290

Mortar 293

Sustainability and Brick Masonry 296

Brick 296

Brick Masonry 304

Masonry Wall Construction 319

9 Stone and Concrete Masonry 329

Stone Masonry 330

Sustainability and Stone and Concrete Masonry 343

Concrete Masonry 348

Other Types of Masonry Units 358

Masonry Wall Construction 359

10 Masonry Wall Construction 363

Types of Masonry Walls 364

Preliminary Design of Loadbearing Masonry Structures 372

Spanning Systems for Masonry Bearing Wall Construction 372

Detailing Masonry Walls 376

Special Problems of Masonry Construction 380

Movement Joints in Buildings 382

Masonry Paving 388

Masonry and the Building Codes 389

Uniqueness of Masonry 389

11 Steel Frame Construction 395

History 396

The Material Steel 398

Preliminary Design of Steel Structures 401

Joining Steel Members 409

Details of Steel Framing 415

Seismic Force Resisting Systems 421

The Construction Process 426

Fire Protection of Steel Framing 442

Longer Spans and Higher-Capacity Columns in Steel 447

Fabric Structures 454

Sustainability and Steel Frame Construction 458

Steel and the Building Codes 459

Uniqueness of Steel 459

12 Light Gauge Steel Frame Construction 467

The Concept of Light Gauge Steel Construction 468

Sustainability and Light Gauge Steel Framing 469

Light Gauge Steel Framing 470

Other Uses of Light Gauge Steel Framing 479

Preliminary Design of Light Gauge Steel Frame Structures 481

Insulating Light Gauge Steel Frame Structures 481

Finishes for Light Gauge Steel Framing 482

Advantages and Disadvantages of Light Gauge Steel Framing 482

Light Gauge Steel Framing and the Building Codes 482

Metals in Architecture 484

Case Study 490

13 Concrete Construction 495

History 496

Cement and Concrete 497

Sustainability and Concrete Construction 500

Making and Placing Concrete 503

Formwork 507

Reinforcing 508

Concrete Creep 522

Prestressing 522

Concrete Standards 527

Innovations in Concrete 527

14 Sitecast Concrete Framing Systems 533

Casting a Concrete Slab on Grade 535

Casting a Concrete Wall 540

Casting a Concrete Column 544

One-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems 545

Two-Way Floor and Roof Framing Systems 555

Sitecast Posttensioned Framing Systems 561

Other Types of Sitecast Concrete 562

Cutting Concrete, Stone, and Masonry 568

Longer Spans in Sitecast Concrete 570

Designing Economical Sitecast Concrete Buildings 572

Preliminary Design of Sitecast Concrete Structures 574

Sitecast Concrete and the Building Codes 575

Uniqueness of Sitecast Concrete 575

15 Precast Concrete Framing Systems 583

Precast, Prestressed Concrete Structural Elements 586

Preliminary Design of Precast Concrete Structures 587

Assembly Concepts for Precast Concrete Buildings 588

Manufacture of Precast Concrete Structural Elements 589

Joining Precast Concrete Members 595

Fastening to Concrete 596

Composite Precast/Sitecast Concrete Construction 609

The Construction Process 609

Sustainability and Precast Concrete Framing Systems 610

Precast Concrete and the Building Codes 611

Uniqueness of Precast Concrete 611

16 Designing the Building Enclosure 621

Functional Requirements of the Building Enclosure 622

Sustainability and the Building Enclosure 629

Keeping Water Out 629

Controlling the Flow of Heat 634

Controlling Air Leakage 636

Controlling the Diffusion of Water Vapor 638

Sealing Joints in the Exterior Wall 641

17 Roofing 649

Low-Slope Roofs 651

Sustainability and Roofing 656

Steep Roofs 671

Cool Roofs 684

Dissimilar Metals and Galvanic Corrosion 686

Green Roofs 688

Photovoltaic Systems 690

Roofing and the Building Codes 691

18 Glass and Glazing 695

History 696

The Material Glass 699

Sustainability and Glass 700

Other Types of Glass 711

Glazing 712

Glass and Energy 721

Glass and the Building Codes 721

Case Study 726

19 Windows and Doors 731

Windows 732

Plastics in Building Construction 739

Sustainability and Windows and Doors 745

Doors 745

Other Window and Door Requirements 752

Case Study 726

20 Cladding with Masonry and Concrete 759

Masonry Veneer Curtain Walls 760

Stone Curtain Walls 767

Precast Concrete Curtain Walls 771

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems 774

Case Study 778

21 Cladding with Metal and Glass 783

Aluminum 784

Sustainability and Cladding with Metal and Glass 789

Aluminum and Glass Framing Systems 791

An Outside Glazed Curtain Wall System 797

Double-Skin Facades 800

Sloped Glazing Systems 800

The Curtain Wall Design Process 801

Metal Panel Cladding 801

22 Selecting Interior Finishes 807

Installation of Mechanical and Electrical Services 808

Sustainability and Interior Finishes 810

The Sequence of Interior Finishing Operations 810

Selecting Interior Finishes 811

Other Surface Flammability Criteria 815

Long-Term Trends in Interior Finish Systems 817

23 Interior Walls and Partitions 821

Interior Walls and Fire Criteria 822

Partition Framing 823

Sustainability and Gypsum and Other Wall Covering Products 826

Plaster Partitions 827

Gypsum Board Partitions 837

Plaster Ornament 838

Masonry Partitions 848

Wall and Partition Facings 848

24 Finish Ceilings and Floors 855

Finish Ceilings 856

Types of Ceilings 857

Sustainability and Finish Ceilings and Floors 866

Finish Flooring 867

Types of Finish Flooring Materials 871

Appendix 884

Glossary 886

Index 917

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