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RCL Career Resources Building and Construction Trades: All Titles

RCL Building and Construction Trades + Choice Titles

Outstanding Academic Title

This is a wonderful book on an important subject for architects and connoisseurs of architecture. It traces the history of brickwork, some fundamentals of design, and construction methods. Written by a British architect and a Dutch art historian, it is by no means provincial, but it does concentrate on English examples of this almost ubiquitous building material. Well written, well researched, and well illustrated, it seems to be unique; no other book covers brickwork quite so comprehensively with so many sumptuous color illustrations. Ronald V. Brunskill'sBrick Building in Britain (1990) is geographically limited, and Karl Gurcke's fascinating Bricks and Brickmaking (CH, Apr'88) concentrates on American subject matter. General; advanced undergraduate; professional. This review refers to an earlier edition. 

--P. Kaufman, Boston College

Outstanding Academic Title

The Builders presents, in a very unique way, some of the most ambitious projects created by civil engineers. Some of the structures discussed in this easy-to-read book include the Pan American Highway, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the George Washington Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Panama Canal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, the CN Tower, the Channel Tunnel, and others. The book is divided into several sections, including roads, canals, pipelines, bridges, towers, skyscrapers, sports arenas, domes, and many other interesting civil engineering topics. Each section contains examples, with graphs and pictures, related to these topics. One of the most interesting of reading materials for any engineer, and an excellent source of references. Recommended for the libraries of all engineering schools.

--S. N. Amirkhanian, Clemson University

Dykstra, an architect and teacher of construction management courses, offers an introduction to managing contracted construction projects in 25 chapters. Chapters 1-7 describe the construction project environment. Chapters 8-16 address the contract documents and the bidding process. Chapters 17-22 describe the actual construction of the facility. The author wraps up the book in the final three chapters that deal with payments, contract closeout, and litigation. By and large, the chapters tend to address issues of the construction contract process chronologically, and this feature is helpful to the reader. Additionally, each chapter contains definitions of the relevant nomenclature and a set of self-test questions. The premise of the coverage of topics is that the design of the work has already been completed, and that the actual implementation of the construction will need to be accomplished by a construction contractor. Although the book discusses project management topics such as estimating and scheduling, the thrust of the work is on contract management issues such as the bidding environment, bidding process, incremental payments, and contract-related negotiations. This book is useful for students taking introductory courses in construction management at both four-year and two-year colleges. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates and two-year technical program students.

--P. F. Rad, formerly, Western Carolina University

Like the well-received first edition (1989), this is not a true encyclopedia but rather a directory of commercial timbers with some additional background information. It features superbly illustrated photographs and illustrations of what the editors consider the 150 most important timbers (criteria are not given). The timbers are the same ones featured in the original volume, but now a separate page is devoted to each type of wood. The directory constitutes the main section. There are shorter sections on tree anatomy, growth, and structure; environmental problems related to logging and the destruction of rain forests; and issues arising from the use of timber for various products. Arranging items alphabetically by Latin name, the directory lists species, family, and common name, along with a hardwood/softwood designation. Each page has a color photograph with exceptionally clear grain and information on appearance, properties, and use. A world map shows timber locations, and a chart (only marginally clearer than the one in the first edition) indicates characteristics such as bending and stiffness. A short glossary, an index of common names, and a listing of a few subject terms are appended. The editor has expanded the directory but eliminated most of the original sections on logging and political issues, as well as "The World of Wood," a beautifully illustrated section on the best-known trees and their uses. The only information about the contributors is listed on the book jacket; most are journalists specializing in woodworking as a craft. Credits at the end of the book simply list the pages the contributors wrote. One contributor, W. A. Lincoln, previously wrote the more extensive World Wood in Color (CH, Nov'86). This new edition is ideal for public and school libraries. Although certainly not scientific or scholarly, it would be a good, inexpensive addition to academic collections. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.

--N. Kobzina, University of California, Berkeley

For many years this reviewer has been looking, without success, for a book on the metallurgy of welding. This ameliorated second edition (1st ed., 1987) fulfills all those needs and expectations. An introductory five chapters discuss fusion welding processes, heat and fluid flow, and chemical reactions in welding, as well as residual stresses, distortion, and fatigue. A further 13 chapters, grouped in three sections, focus on the fusion zone, the partially melted zone, and the heat affected zone. Weld solidification and cast microstructure, microsegregation and macrosegregation, solid-state phase transformations, and weld cracking are thoroughly treated. Each chapter is followed by a list of references, a list for further reading, and a comprehensive list of problems. The book is very well written and well bound with high-quality illustrations. All those who need a basic understanding of the structure and failure of welds will greatly benefit from it. A valuable acquisition for academic and industrial libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, researchers, and professionals.

--T. Z. Kattamis, University of Connecticut

A collection of accounts of structural failures that can be understood by people with a wide range of backgrounds. The structural engineer, architect, and students studying each of these disciplines will appreciate the explanation of failures that they have probably encountered in other readings. Failures of ancient facilities, through modern bridges and buildings, are presented. There are simple explanations of the effects of various loads on a structure, such as those due to wind, earthquake, or fatigue. Some of the basic principles of statics and strength of materials are illustrated so that even readers with limited or no engineering backgrounds will find the book compelling. Hand-drawn sketches add to the friendly style of the writing. For all engineering libraries as well as public libraries.

--H. I. Epstein, University of Connecticut