Preface to Building Services Handbook Sixth Edition eBook
The Building Services Handbook originated as Fred Hall ’ s Essential Building Services and Equipment some thirty years ago. Since then, under its new title, the content has been regularly expanded, updated and revised retaining the original presentation of simple illustrations, easily accessible text, tables and charts, calculations and references for further study. In combination with the Building Construction Handbook this book is an essential reference for the building industry and for all students pursuing building services and construction related courses.
Building services encompass a range of professions and specialised practices, the extent of which is impossible to contain in one comprehensive volume. This book is a learning resource that presents aspects of the services most commonly encountered in existing and new buildings. It is not intended to be prescriptive, neither is it extensive. A library of texts and reference material is needed to develop this subject in full and many excellent specialised texts exist for this purpose. As a handbook it provides the reader with an understanding and appreciation of the importance of building services to the environment in which we live, work and play. Building services are the dynamics in a static structure.
They provide facilities for light, comfort, movement, communications and convenience. The impact of services in a modern building can be measured against the amount of space they occupy and the cost of installation, notwithstanding the maintenance bill thereafter. In spatial terms, the equivalent of one fl oor in six, i.e. over 15% of a building ’ s volume can be attributed to accommodating cables, ducts, pipes, etc. As a proportion of the capital cost of constructing a highly serviced structure, such as a hospital or a sports centre, in excess of 75% is not unusual.
A typical modern offi ce block can require about 50% of the construction budget for its services. Historically, building services have been little more than a few cables, pipes and ducts. In the past half-century the role of mechanical and electrical (M & E) engineers, as they were known, has transformed to architectural design team consultants and construction site coordinators. The complexity and impact of building services has not always been appreciated, as indicated by the architect Louis Kahn when in 1964 he wrote disparagingly in World Architecture: “ I do not like ducts, I do not like pipes. I hate them so thoroughly, I feel that they have to be given their place. If I just hated them and took no care, I think they would invade the building and completely destroy it. ”
Designers now accept services as an integral part of a building and that they can be accommodated within raised fl ooring and suspended ceilings. Some architects have even featured the pipes and ducts on the outside of their designs, viz. the Pompidou Centre in Paris (Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers) and the Lloyds Building in London (Rogers). Today, sustainable design has political, economic and social importance to modern buildings. Conservation and the control of diminishing fossil fuels, atmospheric pollution and other ‘ green ’ issues are at the forefront of research and development. This new edition contains examples of contemporary practice designed to attain these objectives, including guidance on a variety of alternative and renewable energy concepts and initiatives.
Today, sustainable design has political, economic and social importance to modern buildings. Conservation and the control of diminishing fossil fuels, atmospheric pollution and other ‘ green ’ issues are at the forefront of research and development. This new edition contains examples of contemporary practice designed to attain these objectives, including guidance on a variety of alternative and renewable energy concepts and initiatives.
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