Skip to main content


Construction Technology: Analysis and Choice, 2nd Edition

Tony Bryan

ISBN: 978-1-405-15874-9 March 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 464 Pages


The second edition of Construction Technology: Analysis and Choice has been expanded to include commercial buildings. This now covers, in a single textbook, all the basic forms of construction studied on professional courses.

The book takes as its theme the process of choice: what the expert has to know and how he/she might think through the decisions to be made about the design, production, maintenance and disposal of buildings.

It is written with the conviction that by focusing on the process of choice, the range of theory and knowledge that is useful to practice becomes explicit, making the link between knowledge and practice, and between understanding and experience.

The new edition has been updated throughout with extensive additions to Chapter13: Manufacture and Assembly and to Chapter 15: Sustainability. An entire new section has been added, covering all the main elements of commercial construction.

Students will find here explanations of how environments, structural behaviour, production know-how, cost and social concerns such as sustainability can be taken into account in the choice of construction. They will also gain a clear understanding of the construction details and specifications adopted for both housing and commercial buildings in the UK at the beginning of the 21st century.

  • Provides a framework to think through proposed solutions
  • Sets the choice of solution in both time and place, and in the context of sustainability
  • Focuses on key questions: will the proposal fail; and can it be built?
  • Considers a building’s response to loading, environmental conditions and time
  • Looks at the production process as manufacture and assembly

Book website at

Contains nearly 200 fully referenced, clear line drawings to download for free, as well as suggested learning activities for lecturers to incorporate into their teaching programmes.

Buy Both and Save 25%!

This item: Construction Technology: Analysis and Choice, 2nd Edition

Construction Technology: An Illustrated Introduction (Paperback $62.95)

Cannot be combined with any other offers.

Original Price:$116.95

Purchased together:$87.71

save $29.24


Part 1 Analysis.

1 The Framework for Understanding.

Process and knowledge.

The initial suggestion.

Carrying out the evaluation.

Physical and social context.

The basis of analysis.

Knowledge needed for choice.


2 Building Purpose and Performance.

Activities, space and construction.

Introduction to performance requirements.

Environmental impact and sustainability.


3 Common Forms - Specific Solutions.

General and constructed forms.

The emergence of general building forms.

Uncertainty and risk.


4 Construction Variables.

The variables of construction - the outcome of choice.

Choosing materials.

Choosing shape.

Choosing size.

Spatial relationships.

Joints and fixings.


5 Defining Conditions.

Physical and social conditions.

Activity and construction-modifying environments.

The dynamics of the system.

Choice of interior elements of the building.

Inside the construction itself.


6 The Resource Base.


Materials - the primary resource.

Knowledge and skill - the human resource.

Plant and machinery - the technological resource.

Money - the enabling resource.


7 Design Concept.

Linking design to construction choice.

Concept design - general form.

Physical performance and appearance - commodity, firmness and delight.

Function of the whole, function of the parts.


8 Appearance.

Visualising attributes and response.

Space and context.

Physical space for the construction.

The approach to analysis.


9 Analysis of Physical Behaviour.

Visualising conditions and response.

Function and performance - a technical aim.

Preventing failure - a technical objective.

The role of observation and science in the analysis.

The approach to analysis.


10 Physical Behaviour Creating Environments.

Aspects of environment.

The building as a system.

The dry environment.

The warm environment.

The light environment.

The acoustic environment.

The clean environment.

The safe environment.

The private environment.


11 Physical Behaviour Under Load.

Forces, external and internal.

Basic structural members.

Curving (and folding) structural members.

Structural connections.

Grid members - pin-jointed frames.

Building structures - wind stability.

Stress/strain and the choice of material.

Structural analysis and design.

Movements and structural behaviour.

Stresses in the ground.

The major structural forms.


12 Physical Behaviour Over Time.

Reliability: renewal, maintenance, repair and disposal.

Basis of analysis.

Soiling and cleaning.

Durability of materials.

Movements in components.

Ground movement, settlement and subsidence.

Movement and detailing.

Wear of components.


13 Manufacture and Assembly.

Realisation of performance.

Visualising stages and sequence.

Analysis of operations, methods and resources.

Materials and labour.

Production equipment.

Production options.

Knowledge and expertise for the analysis of the process


14 Cost.

Cost and value.

Cost and price.

Cost and time frames.

Cost and cost data.


15 Sustainability - Social Concern.

Two major forces.


Established influences and new concerns.

Responding to the sustainability agenda.

Buildings as systems.

Renewable energy sources.

Water and Waste.

Materials choice and detailing.

Planning and design concepts.

Emerging technologies.



16 Applying the Framework to Housing.

The need for an integrated approach.

The basis of the case study.


17 Floors.

Upper floors.

General forms for upper floors.

Timber joisted upper floors.

Ground floors.

Suspended ground floors.

Ground-supported slab floors.

Services and other elements.

Site influences on choice of ground floors.

Production operations for ground floors.

The final choice.


18 Roofs.

Pitch and span.

Other functions.

Pitched roofs.

Flat roofs.


19 Walls.

Wall types by function.

General forms.

Walls in the case study.

Masonry cavity external walls.

Openings in the external wall.

Doors and windows - the components in the openings

The panel frame option.

Party (separating) walls.

Partition walls.


20 Foundations.

Basic function.

Site investigation.

Foundation design.

The strip foundation.

Foundations for poor surface conditions.

Economics of foundations.



21 Services.


Analysis of services systems.

Hot and cold water.

Heating systems.


Electrical systems.



22 Applying the framework to commercial buildings.

The story so far.

The way forward.

The technological mix.


23 Common forms and emerging technologies.


UK commercial building through the twentieth century.

Low environmental impact.


24 Interface design.


The enclosure - services interface.

The enclosure - structure interface.

The structure - services interface.


25 Structural skeletal frames.

Materials development and structural options.

Reinforced concrete - performance.

In situ reinforced concrete frames - production.

Precast concrete frames - production.

Structural steel - performance.

Structural steel - fabrication and construction.

Structure choice and overall design.


26 Roof structures


Variety of structural form.

Broad options

Construction details.


27 Loadbearing structural walls.

Broad options.

Multi-storey construction.

Single-storey industrial construction.


28 Structure below ground.


Foundation design.

Foundation types.

Soil improvement.


Large area industrial concrete ground floors.


29 External enclosure to structural frames.


External walls.

Cavity brickwork.

Cladding panels.

Curtain walling.

Facing materials.

Lightweight cladding.

Structural glazing.

Roof construction.


30 Internal enclosure.


Applied finishes.

Component systems.


31 Services - scope and space.




Environmental services.

Public health services.

Power supply.


Operational services.

The need for co-ordination.

Production sequence and contract time.

Cost of services systems.


32 Guide to Further Reading.

What this book provides.

Sources of information - authority, validity and relevance.

Finding information.

Using information - corroboration, confirmation and risk.



Construction Technology Visit the website to access the illustrations from the book complete with full referencing information, and also suggested learning activities based on some of the key ideas in Part 1 of the book.

  • Establishes a comprehensive framework introducing all the key factors that determine the success of a construction solution

  • Explains how environments, structural behaviour, production know-how, cost and social concerns such as sustainability can be taken into account in the choice of construction

  • Provides an understanding of the construction details and specifications adopted for housing in the UK at the beginning of the 21st century.