In Barry’s Introduction to Construction of Buildings we provided an introductory chapter that set out some of the requirements and conditions relevant to all building projects, regardless of size and complexity. We continue the theme in this chapter, with some additional requirements. 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 by 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 context to the chapters that follow.

1.1 The function and performance of buildings

Structure and fabric

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 ...

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