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Preface
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As you would have observed from the book cover, you have just entered the portal of knowledge which will serve as beacon of light throughout your professional life.

The greatest strength of Construction Handbook, Volume 1, is that it provides under one cover the best of the current knowledge on latest construction material and its manufacturing process, building concepts and equipment. It covers construction of all types of structures including railroads, highways and buildings.
A practicing engineer and architect in the field usually do not have easy access to a library. Besides it is not easy to identify books of practical utility and the applicable IS code for a material or construction practice; the books by foreign authors are not only very costly, they are not easily available in the market and have only limited relevance to Indian conditions. Locating the specific information desired in a particular situation from a book is thus a daunting and frustrating task.
Having bulk of the information of practical value on numerous sub-disciplines of civil engineering and architecture under one cover will be a boon to the practicing professionals in the field. I have attempted to cover in the Handbook most of the materials, principles, and methods adopted in the construction of a structure.
A comprehensive list of references is included at the end of each chapter from where additional information on a specific topic may be obtained in a focused and productive manner.

The Handbook is based mostly on the Indian Standard specifications for building materials and construction practices. The specifications contained in the latest codes including National Building Code of India - 2005 have been covered in the book. The number of IS and IRC codes referred to in the book is in excess of 700.
The Construction Handbook is an authentic and authoritative source of information; it provides the authority to the Engineer and the Architect for the decisions taken by him, which may have a contractual and financial implication. The book thus supplements the book of Standard Specifications issued by various Government Departments in the centre and the states. Book of Standard Specifications is a techno-legal document meant for contract administration and it is not expected to adopt a reader friendly format. Construction Handbook has been written in an easy to follow textbook style with numerous sketches and tables placed in juxtaposition with the text. A good picture is worth several pages of text and there are nearly one thousand sketches and pictures in the book all drawn in AutoCAD/CorelDraw.

I have presented first the specifications of construction materials and their manufacturing process, followed by a lucid explanation of the building concepts and practices. The focus of the book throughout is on concise practical guidelines for dealing with most major problems likely to be met during construction of a structure.
Majority of Handbooks available in market have been published by major publishing houses by compiling the text on each chapter by a contributor. The continuity of the theme is, therefore, missing and the treatment of the topics in the book at times appears a little disjointed. In the Construction Handbook, the reader will find a continuity of flow, the hallmark of any good text book. Each topic is extensively cross-referenced for ease of reference.
I have consciously avoided splitting the Handbook into more than one volume so that the reader friendly character of the extensive book index is not lost for commercial gain.

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