Bridging the Dutch Landscape: Design Guide for Bridges Christa van den Berg and Gerhard Nijenhuis, BIS Publishers, 2007, £22.99 For anyone interested in bridges, and even those who aren't, this small landscapeformat book is packed full of information, complete with drawings and many photographs of over 20 recent bridges in Holland by coauthor Nijenhuis' Delft-based practice. The first half of the book is an intelligent design guide, which looks at bridge types, materials, decks and railings, engineering, and even costs. The second half presents two-page case studies. All drawings are at the same scale (1:100), so it's easy to compare different designs. A marvellous little book which leaves one in awe of municipal bridge construction in Holland. If only we could see the same happening here.
Designing Quality Buildings, a BRE guide IHS BRE Press, 2007, £67.50 This book attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of the detail design issues involved in new low-rise buildings, with chapters arranged by building component, for example site investigation, foundations, external walls, etc. Although the book contains useful information, the simplistic diagrams and presentation make it feel dated upon publication. Information is summarised in 'key points', many of which are selfevident truisms: 'walls and roofs must prevent snow and water reaching the interior of a building'. The extensive tables and references are indeed useful, but poor-quality photographs do not do justice to the content.
All in all, not worth the price.