FBC or MEHTA which one to look at



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    Hans-Christian Karlberg

    Hi Kai,

    I don't think it's a question of "or", but a question of "and". Below is a list of building construction books that are currently listed in the NCARB Handbook. Madan Mehta's Building Construction, Principles, Materials and Systems is not listed, nevertheless I recommend it. It would be safe to say that if you don't have time to read it, you can stick to the list below and still pass PPD/PDD/CE. Mehta's book has some useful quizzes at the end of each chapter to see if you were actually paying attention.

    Good luck and enjoy the reading!


    Books on construction listed in the NCARB Handbook:

    • Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods Edward Allen and Joseph Iano John Wiley & Sons, 6th edition (2013) and 7th edition (2019)
    • The Architect's Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design Edward Allen and Joseph Iano John Wiley & Sons, 6th edition, 2017
    • Architectural Graphic Standards The American Institute of Architects John Wiley & Sons, 11th edition (2007) and 12th edition (2016)
    • Building Construction Illustrated Francis D.K. Ching John Wiley & Sons, 6th edition, 2020
    • Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods H. Leslie Simmons John Wiley & Sons, 9th edition, 2011
    • Building Structures James Ambrose and Patrick Tripeny John Wiley & Sons, 3rd edition, 2011
    • Green Building Illustrated Francis D.K. Ching and Ian M. Shapiro Wiley, 2014


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    Kai Qian

    Thank you, that's great suggestion

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    Jinliang Chen

    Hans-Christian, thank you for your suggestions! Those quizzes are an effective way to check if I’ve grasped the ideas or not. Really love them. For me, MEHTA is extremely easy to read and comprehend because of the design of the book. Even I have the physical copy of FBC, I read MEHTA as much as possible to understand concepts and methods, then look through things in FBC that MEHTA doesn’t cover but might be on exams. It has been effective.

    The Architect’s Studio Companion is helpful. But for structural, I feel that Architectural Graphic Standard has clearer language when comparing certain systems. I didn’t have enough time to get to other books when I was preparing PPD and PDD so I was not familiar with those.

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