1.  Architects Pocket Book

This is usually the first book I reach for when I want to check out some standard dimensions while working on a project. This is basically a condensed version of number of different design books, trimming all the fat and presenting you only with the hard data. It covers a good range of topics, anywhere from environmental issues to details on different building materials. Not quite pocket-size – unlike the title suggests – but that’s besides the point anyway. Good value all around.


 2.  Building Construction Illustrated

If, like me, you’re a visual learner and love detailed sketches, then you will love this book. And if you want to learn about building details – then this is the one I’d recommend the most. The book is oozing with annotated diagrams and detailed section drawings, which makes the topics so much easier to understand. All the diagrams are hand drawn as well, which – in my humble opinion – makes it more satisfying to read. Topics covered include all major building systems and materials. After reading this you will have a better understanding of several techniques on how buildings are put together.

3. Architects’ Data

Architects’ Data dives deeper into the world of standards and common dimensions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the Architects Pocket Book, you will definitely find it here. This is the beefed up version of the pocket book, jam-packed with loads and loads of more data. It contains all the information and preliminary considerations you need to know when planning, well, pretty much any kind of building project. It’s full of diagrams and illustrations, of which most are dimensioned and clearly annotated. One of the best reference books around, for sure.


4. Fundamentals of Building Construction

As it says on the title, this book covers all the fundamentals of building construction – basically a thorough guide to understanding how buildings are made. Topics include all the common construction systems and details from light wood to steel frames, and from masonry walls to different interior finishes. This book is been used as a textbook by thousands of students in schools of architecture and construction technology. So it’s an excellent book all around – but unfortunately it’s quite pricey. If you’re not looking to invest a £100, then you might find a copy in your local library that you can rent out instead.

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