Understanding Buildings
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Understanding Buildings

A Multidisciplinary Approach

By Esmond Reid





Understanding Buildings provides students in architecture and other allied disciplines with a basic introduction to building technology in all its aspects. This general, multidisciplinary text provides an overall explanation of the building process through an examination of underlying principles as well as design examples. In seven chapters, the book discusses structure, enclosure, climate services, utility services, lighting, acoustics, fire safety, and future needs. It is generously illustrated with 400 diagrams, tables, charts, and construction details.Esmond Reid is an architectural writer and consultant.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262181167 230 pp. | 9.75 in x 7.3875 in


$34.00 S | £27.00 ISBN: 9780262680547 230 pp. | 9.75 in x 7.3875 in

Paperback for sale only in the US and Canada.


  • A most useful tool for developing intuition in architectural engineering for architects, engineers, and builders alike.

    Omer Akin

    Carnegie Mellon University

  • In the preface to this book Reid provides an excellent promises for such a text—'over-emphasing technology in design is impoverishing, but deying it its sensible place is equally so. Properly understood the physical 'constraints' are of course not only constraints but also inputs.'

    John P. eberhard

    Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems, National Research Council

  • Understanding Buildings by Esmond Reid is a welcome new textbook for undergraduates interested in building technology. It is particularly welcome because it covers in a direct way each of the major technological issues that are important in the design of buildings, including structure, enclosure, climate and utility services, lighting acoustics and fire safety. Covering all of these topics in a readable way in a single book is no easy task, but Esmond Reid has done so successfully. I highly recommend the book.

    Professor Daniel L. Schodek

    Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

  • A remarkably clear and well-balanced presentation of building construction and environment principles, matched with well-chosen examples at more detailed levels and illustrated with a welcome and consistent graphic clarity. A comprehensive introductory text and reference primer emphasizing how multi-disciplinary design decisions emerge from a recognition of technical restraints and possibilities.

    Robertson Ward, Jr., FAIA

    Laboratory of Architecture and Planning, MIT