Since the spread of classical design and construction amongst
the upper echolons of British society in the late seventeenth
century, traditional construction methods have largely fallen by
the wayside. Centuries later, as the construction industry faces up
to its environmental responsibilities, this book explores its rich
and ancient tradition to provide tried and trusted solutions to
modern day construction problems.
By way of introduction, the ancient and historical lifestyles
that dictated the nature of traditional construction are explored,
before focussing on its health and ecological benefits. As well as
cultural background, this book includes a detailed scientific
description of traditional building materials and their
constituents which draws a sharp contrast with modern
petrochemical-based materials. The studies of traditional buildings
included reveal the sustainability of features such as natural
ventilation and breathing walls, and comparisons with modern
construction methods show how they could prevent 'sick building
syndrome'. The author argues that maintenance for long life, by
contrast with the modern concept of life-cycle costing, is at the
nub of sustainability and underlies the contribution traditional
building construction can make to tackling climate change.
Over 250 original photos, and over fifty bespoke diagrams
illustrate the features, techniques, and characteristics of
traditional construction that could make such a valuable
contribution to the industry today. The inclusion of a close study
of how these methods relate to British building regulations makes
this book a practical guide for construction professionals, as well
as an authoritative resource for students and policy-makers.
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