by Ernst Neufert
Ernst Neufert's Architects' Data is an important reference book for architects practicing in countries that use the metric system. Data is the key word - the book is full of huge amounts of information that an architect needs to plan a building.
The book is organized by building type and can assist the architect in determining space needs for every building type from places of worship to schools to the most obscure athletic facility. The housing sections are especially detailed, providing space needs for various furniture, down to the proper layout of a table place-setting. Many of the drawings and space plans have dimensions and there are diagrams of some very well known buildings for reference.
The book is comparable to Architectural Graphic Standards that is used in the US, however the focus of Neufert's book is on the initial planning of a building so there are very few construction details.
One minor drawback for US readers, as mentioned earlier, is that all of the dimensions are metric. However, Neufert provides some very extensive conversion tables. These concerns should not deter an American architect from having this book on the shelf; the value in the wide range of space planning information is incredibly useful.