In Barry’s Introduction to Construction of Buildings we provided an introductory chapter
that set out some of the basic requirements and conditions relevant to all building projects,
regardless of size and complexity. In this volume the emphasis shifts from domestic to
larger-scale buildings, primarily residential, commercial and industrial buildings constructed
with loadbearing frames. This is supported with information on fit out and second
fix, lifts and escalators, and off-site construction. Many of the principles and techniques set
out in the introductory volume are, however, still appropriate to this volume. Similarly,
many of the technologies described here are also used in smaller buildings. Thus we would
urge readers to consult both volumes of the Barry series. In this introductory chapter we
start to address some additional, yet related, issues, again with the aim of providing some
context to the chapters that follow
Structure and building fabric have a very special relationship. It is the combined performance
of the structure and building fabric, together with the integration of services, which
determines the overall performance of the building during its life. In loadbearing construction,
the materials forming the structural support also provide the fabric and hence the
external and internal finishes. In framed structures, the fabric is independent of the structure,
with the fabric applied to the loadbearing structural frame

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