When you build, you have to deal with engineering concepts, and any builder who has an advanced knowledge of engineering has a competitive advantage.

However, for those builders without advanced engineering knowledge there is a resource in its 12th edition that serves as a handy engineering reference book in a compact package. This is also a valuable resource for estimators, schedulers, project managers, and students of construction and architecture. And, anyone who deals with submittals and RFIs will find plenty of necessary details here when working on specifications.

Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders, 12th Edition, provides plenty of depth, but also supplies handy tables and charts when you just need to get some quick answers.

Want to know the allowable spans for wooden joists and rafters? Turn to page 219. Need a quick overview and pictures of structural steel products? Check out page 270. Need to know the safe loads for square column footings? They’re on page 523.

Compact Yet Thorough

It’s a big book (more than 600 pages) but in a compact size, so it’s easy to carry around, and it fits nicely into the glove box, or tool box. And, for those who want to learn about engineering, there’s a lot here to recommend.

There is a complete section on structures, covering forces, force systems, loading and reactions. The Structural Systems for Buildings chapter steps you through the considerations that go into building design, including rules for keeping costs in line. That’s followed by three case studies exploring structural design considerations for three different types of buildings. There are even sections that dig into alternative design ideas for each of the buildings.

Theory Plus Reality

Many chapters include problems for you to work through as you learn the concepts. For students, and anyone who purchases the book, there is a bonus website with study material to further help in understanding the material, which can be mathematically complex. For teachers who use the book in their courses, the authors have added some problems without providing the answers.

For a book covering so much material you might find the index is sparse. It doesn’t break the text down in deep detail. However, the Quick Reference section helps tremendously by listing the page numbers for tables and charts that cover spans, loads, capacities and properties. You’ll find these quick reference pages will get you quickly to actionable information.

There are many books that deal with engineering, but most are geared for the professional engineer, or advanced student. Here, the authors have struck a fine balance between covering the theory, and providing immediately-useful, technical information. It can serve both as textbook, and as a handy reference in the field.

Besides as a hard cover, you can get it as an E-Book from many outlets as well as from the publisher, Wiley.

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