How to use the bookYou can use the book in different ways, depending upon your needs. For example, the topics don’t have to be studied in a particular order as their use depends upon your course or professional purpose. All of the subjects in the book are worthy of further study and it is hoped that this book will be a starting point for further investigations. To help you get the most from the book its features are summarised below.
You don’t need know about a topic before starting as studying chapters will give you to a good working understanding. If you have forgotten some school science you will also find it useful to read the appropriate Resource sections towards the back of the book. These sections explain basic science and principles that support the technology of the chapters.
The content of the text itself gives an indication of the depth of knowledge normally expected at this level of study. The style of writing has been kept simple but it uses correct terminology and units. It can therefore act as an example of the type of response expected when you need to display knowledge of a topic, in a project for instance.
The diagrams are intended to help explain the principles behind topics in the book. The drawings have been kept relatively simple and may be the basis for sketches of your own; remember that accurate labels are as important as the drawings.
Meanwhile the publications and websites of firms and organisations, including those listed in the reference section, will show you examples – in colour! – of practical equipment and installations.
Calculations can give greater understanding of some topics, and you may also need them in your course. The text emphasises those formulas that are especially useful and sometimes worth remembering. Important types of calculation are explained by carefully worked examples, using relatively simple calculations. Where further practice is relevant there are exercises at the end of the chapter or on this website.
Look in the margin of the book for rapid reminders of key terms and ideas and for references to other places in the book where there is related information.
Part II: Resource sections
At the end of the book there is extra information presented in forms that make it easy to look up information such as scientific terms, units and symbols. The basic principles of heat, light, sound, electricity and fluids are also presented in Resource sections to underpin and complement the applied topics in the main text. The section on references also has signposts to many external organisations whose publications and Internet sites can give more information on a topic.
This is a companion website for this book.
On this website you will find questions and projects designed to help you make further investigations. There is also a glossary and supplementary exercises to support Part II of the book.
The principles behind the applied technologies of environmental science in building are, fortunately for our sanity, the same all over the world. However, different countries and regions express their requirements for the performance of buildings, such as in their use of energy, in a variety of ways.
If you understand the principles and examples in this book you will find it easy to interpret particular requirements. You just need to be alert to what is current for the location where you are studying or designing. The reference section lists internet portals to the building regulations and codes for a variety of countries where this book is used.
In addition to the specialist information about each subject, you should aim to place your knowledge in the context of wider issues concerning construction and the environment. Use the first chapter and the last chapter of the book to help you see the bigger picture.