Now in its Fifth Edition, this essential textbook has been used by thousands of students annually in schools of architecture, engineering, and construction technology. The bestselling reference focuses on the basic materials and methods used in building construction, emphasizing common construction systems such as light wood frames, masonry bearing walls, steel frames, and reinforced concrete. New introductory material on the processes, organization, constraints, and choices in construction offers a better look at the management of construction. New sections covering the building envelope uncover the secrets to designing enclosures for thermal insulation, vapor retarders, air barriers, and moisture control. The Fifth Edition also features more axonometric detail drawings and revised photographs for a thoroughly illustrated approach and the latest IBC 2006, CSI MasterFormat, ASTM references, and LEED information.