Modern Construction Handbook / Andrew Watts

A good construction manual is a must have for any architect’s library.

The Modern Construction Handbook by Andrew Watts is in my opinion one of the best construction manuals these days, covering construction systems in an extensive way. The best of this book are the details: good quality of the drawings and 3D sections that help you understand the details in a better way.

Construction manuals tend to be very outdated, even if they are brand new. On the contrary, this book includes a whole section on energy and alternative materials, along with a section called “Future” which helps us resolve complex geometries, twisted facades, new glazing systems and more.

The book has 500 pages printed in good quality paper, something very important for  a book that you will be constantly flipping when needing help on a project.

More images about the book, along with the full index so you can see if it fits you after the break:

The Modern Construction Handbook has become a building construction classic. Its systematic approach with chapters on materials, walls, roofs, construction and environment offers clear and efficient orientation.

The second edition underwent a considerable expansion and has been thoroughly updated:

Digital fabrication techniques are included and presented in an instructional book for the first time, in addition to traditional production processes - Constructive building principles are shown with new, color 3D drawings and illustrated with photos of built examples of the work of renown architects - More and densely packed information provided by 3D drawings of the individual components and structures - Glossary following every chapter containing explanations of terminology and related information - Environmental aspects and properties of the different materials - New design and rendering methods such as parametrical design, CAD/CAM and 3D Modeler are explained, shown and integrated in the respective chapters.

- SpringerWienNewYork

Publisher: SpringerWienNewYork Author: Andrew Watts Layout and Cover Design: Yasmin Watts

Language: English Cover: Hardcover Pages: 504 Illustrations: 1000 color illustrations Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.5 x 1.6 inches ISBN: 978-3-211-99195-4



Introduction to Second Edition Changes from the First Edition Structure of this book

1. Materials

Taxonomy of material systems Structure and envelope Digital tectonics Parametric design

Tectonics in metal Steel Aluminium Copper, zinc and lead

Tectonics in glass Glass

Tectonics in concrete Concrete

Tectonics in masonry Masonry Concrete block Stone Brick

Tectonics in plastics Plastics and composites

Tectonics in timber Timber Fabrics and membranes

Internal walls Fixed and demountable Plaster systems Wallboard systems

Floors Ceilings

2. Walls

Trends in facade design Generic wall types

Metal Sheet metal Profiled cladding Composite panels Rainscreens Mesh screens Louvre screens

Glass systems Stick systems Unitised glazing Clamped glazing Bolt fixed glazing Glass blocks and channels Steel windows Aluminium windows Timber windows

Concrete Cast in situ Storey height precast Small precast panels

Masonry loadbearing walls

Masonry cavity walls Brick Stone and block Masonry cladding Masonry rainscreens

Plastic Plastic-based cladding Plastic rainscreens

Timber Timber frame Cladding panels

3. Roofs

Trends in roof design

Metal roofs Metal standing seam Profiled metal sheet Composite panels Rainscreens Metal louvres

Glass roofs Greenhouse glazing and capped systems Silicone-sealed glazing and rooflights Bolt fixed glazing Bonded glass rooflights

Concrete Concealed membranes Exposed membranes Planted roof

Timber roofs Flat roof: mastic asphalt coverings Flat roof: bitumen-based sheet membranes Pitched roof: tiles

Plastic roofs GRP rooflights GRP panels and shells

Fabric systems ETFE cushions Single membrane: cone-shaped roof Single membrane: barrel-shaped roof

4. Structure

Material systems for structures

Braced frames Reinforced concrete Steel Timber

Portal frames

Loadbearing boxes Reinforced concrete Brick Glass


Arches and shells

Space grids

Floor structures Cast in situ / cast-in-place concrete Precast concrete Steel and steel mesh Timber Glass

Stairs Concrete Steel Timber Glass

5. Environment

Energy and the building envelope

Double skin facades Environmental studies for envelopes

Analysis for design Solar radiation Daylight Embodied energy

Passive design Natural ventilation Solar shading and daylight controls Solar power Solar heating

Low energy material systems Straw bales and hemp Rammed earth, cob and adobe bricks Green oak and bamboo Green walls

Active design Liquid based heating/cooling systems Mechanical heating/cooling systems Electrical lighting Fuel and water supply

Support services Sanitation and drainage Fire control Maintenance and cleaning Lifts

6. Future

A future for building construction Folded glazing Metal solar shading: louvres and mesh Triangular panels for twisted facades Twisted panels with flat glass for twisted facades Moving shading panels Precast concrete panels for facades of complex geometry Glazing systems with integral solar shading Stick glazing for double facades Shingled glazing for facades of complex geometry Variable concrete panels for solar shading Structural facades of complex geometry Facade with integrated furniture


Glossary of terms Authorship Photo credits Index

About this author
Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "Modern Construction Handbook / Andrew Watts" 07 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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