Please Note: This review is about the Eleventh Edition of this book. The Twelfth Edition of the book has been released, but we have not been able to review it yet. We will update this review once we have been able to do a thorough review. You can purchase the Twelfth Edition on Amazon.
by Charles Ramsey, Harold Sleeper, and the American Institute of Archietcts
Considered to be the "Architect's Bible" since it was first published in 1932, Architectural Graphic Standards continues to be the go-to guide for construction detailing in most American firms. The book includes thousands of illustrations, from isometric sectional cut-away views to two-dimensional details, which help an architect understand the intricacies of architectural detailing.
The Eleventh Edition has been completely overhauled. Bruce Mau Design redesigned the book with new fonts, new layouts, and a much needed hint of color in the headings. In addition to the design, the organization of the book has been rethought and is now set up based on UniFormat, which organizes the content based on systems - substructure, shell, interiors, services, materials, etc. The new organization will take some getting used to, but better aligns with how architects work - especially in early stages of design.
Several sections have been expanded to acknowledge the important philosophical changes in the profession. The Energy and Environmental Design section has been completely reworked and is now the Sustainable Design section. The Accessibility section is now a subsection of Inclusive Design, which contains more information than ever before. In addition, case studies are now included at the end of each chapter to help translate the information into real-life design situations.
For all of the new information that is provided, some things are surprisingly missing. Previous editions of the book had lots of great dimensional information on the human body - space needs for sitting, standing, reach distances, etc - this is no longer here. Many readers also complain about the lack of information on vehicle sizes, parking layouts, and turning radii. We think the publishers need to reconsider including this information in future editions of the book. If you regularly use that information, we suggest you purchase the Tenth Edition of the book.
While the new layout may confuse some architects who have been using older editions of Architectural Graphic Standards for many years, we think the improvements were needed to address contemporary changes in the way we design buildings and will ensure that the book will continue to be an important reference for many years to come.