by Francis D.K. Ching
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Architects are naturally drawn to beautiful drawings. Building Construction Illustrated is full of Ching's wonderful hand drawings, which will provide endless enjoyment and clear diagrams of construction conditions.
Ching covers all of the major systems and materials that architects must know about and also covers overall site and building issues. As indicated by the book's title, each page has multiple fully annotated drawings that describe the particular topic. Written text accompanies each diagram to provide further information.
If there is any drawback to the book, it is that it has a limited breadth. However, the book does not attempt to provide the endless detail that other books, such as Architectural Graphic Standards (review), provide.
The book is a required reference for every architecture student and professional because it makes complex construction conditions easy to understand. The drawings themselves are a tutorial for every architect who wants to provide clear and concise documentation. Building Construction Illustrated is highly recommended by archtoolbox.
Consider Building Construction Illustrated instead of A Visual Dictionary of Architecture (review) if you are interested in detailed discussions sorted by building system.