Materials for Architects and Builders is written as an introductory text to inform students at undergraduate degree and national diploma level of the relevant visual and physical properties of a wide range of building materials. The third edition has been significantly enhanced by the incorporation of full colour images throughout, illustrating the materials and in many cases their use in buildings of architectural merit. The text includes the broad environmental debate with sections on energy saving and recycled materials. There are seventeen chapters covering the wide range of materials under standard headings. Each chapter describes the manufacture, salient properties and typical uses of the various materials, with the aim of ensuring their appropriate application within an awareness of their ecological impact.

European Standards are taking over from the previous British Standards, and for most key materials the European Norms have now been published. Generally, this has led to an increase in the number of relevant standards for building materials. However, in many cases, both the British and European Standards are current and are therefore included in the text and references.

New and rediscovered old materials, where they are becoming well integrated into standard building processes are described; other materials no longer in use are generally disregarded, except where increased concern for environmental issues has created renewed interest. The use of chemical terminology is kept to the minimum required to understand each subject area, and is only significantly used within the context of the structure of plastics. Tabulated data is restricted to an informative level appropriate to student use. An extensive bibliography and listed sources of technical information are provided at the end of each chapter to facilitate direct reference where necessary.

The text is well illustrated with over 250 line drawings and colour photographs, showing the production, appearance and appropriate use of materials, but it is not intended to describe construction details as these are well illustrated in the standard texts on building construction. Environmental concerns including energy-conscious design, and the effects of fire, are automatically considered as part of the broader understanding of the various key materials.

The text is essential reading for honours and foundation degree, BTEC and advanced GNVQ students of architecture, building, surveying and construction, and those studying within the broad range of built environment subjects, who wish to understand the principles relating to the appropriate use of construction materials.

Arthur Lyons

March 2006

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