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Neufert's data day

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After 20 years of gathering dust on the top shelf of architects' libraries, Neufert has finally printed an update of Neufert Architects'Data, which is almost 50 per cent bigger than the previous edition. During the intervening years, many architects have shifted loyalties to the Metric Handbook, because it is more contemporary. But with this thorough rewrite, Neufert has produced, yet again, an invaluable reference book.

Ideal for students specifically, and hardpressed architects generally, this is a great source book for the basics. For example, finding out about different lamp types is a pain in the neck from a lighting catalogue, but straightforward here. The section on bathroom layouts and the significant sections on ergonomics are also very concise.

Indeed, the pages are crammed with information, though it unfortunately does not lend itself to readability in many instances.

Some tables and graphs are confusing without the aid of explanatory notes, while at the other extreme, the illustrated text showing the reader how to cut paper, or how to hold a pencil (page seven), is a little bit silly.

The new edition has improved information on generic wheelchair accessibility (pages 3001) and has new sections on: room acoustics (122-4); group practices for health care/hospitals (541-2); hospital day clinics (566); teaching and research facilities ( 572);

food courts (370); supermarkets/hypermarkets (371-4); shed types (397); and more.

The section on offices is significantly different from the last edition - see general office building shapes (339); space requirements (348-51); and examples (352-8).

It is unfortunate that the book comes out at a time when Parts A, B, E, H, J, L and M of the Building Regulations Approved Documents are all under review. Neufert will have to update this edition more quickly than last time.

Metric Handbook, Butterworth Heinman 1999 .

Neufert Architects'Data, Blackwell Science,2000

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