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The books that will help you significantly improve your knowledge of construction detailing

First In Architecture features a selection of construction detailing books. These books provide a solid guidance to those looking to learn or expand their knowledge of construction detailing. The books are packed full of descriptive text and images, 2d scaled detail drawings and 3d rendered details. The books can be purchased as pdf downloads, with the associated digital files in dwg CAD format and skp SketchUp format also available for download. We are very proud to be able to share that the books have been purchased by many university libraries as hard copies for the university shelves.

Understanding Architectural Details

The Understanding Architectural Details series is based on UK construction methods and standards. The series contains construction details guides on Residential, Commercial and Basement construction.

“Understanding Architectural Details, Emma Walshaw’s series of books and downloads are a valuable resource for students and professionals alike. She has really filled a hole in the market, particularly with the CAD and 3D downloads which offer standard construction build-ups that can be clearly understood.”
“I have to say it is a really great resource and reference guide, and is very well put together. The sections at the front of the book (Functional Requirements) is particularly useful, and has joined the small collection of architectural and construction guides/handbooks that I refer to when I need my memory jogged or details/specifications clarified. All of the drawings and details are well put together, clear and concise. Again a great reference.” -Matt
“I don’t think I have ever seen such a comprehensive resource and clear cut explanation for architectural details! I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing your future work, the 3d models are top notch and critical in spatially understanding the construction methods.”


Understanding Architectural Details – Residential

Full of over 120 details, the Residential edition includes:
  • Functional requirements
  • Detailing principles
  • Materials
  • Masonry construction
  • Timber Frame construction
  • Foundations
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Windows & doors
  • Roofs
  • Steel frame
  • SIPS
  • Green roofs

Understanding Architectural Details – Commercial

Full of over 150 details, the Commercial edition includes:
  • Functional requirements
  • Detailing principles
  • Materials
  • Foundations & Floors
  • Basements
  • Frames (concrete and steel)
  • Portal Frames
  • Walls and cladding
  • Roofs

Understanding Loft Conversions

The loft conversion books covers:
  • Existing building
  • New strucutre
  • Planning and building regulations
  • Over 40 loft conversion construction details

Understanding Passivhaus

A simple guide to Passivhaus detailing and design.
Full of over 40 details, the book includes:
  • What is a Passivhaus?
  • Principles of Passivhaus design
  • Types of construction
  • Construction details
  • Case Studies

Understanding Architectural Details – Basements

The basement books covers:
  • Principles of basement design
  • Guide to Type A construction
  • Guide to Type B construction
  • Guide to Type C construction

Residential Construction Details (US Version)

After the success of the Understanding Architectural details books, I was receiving many emails asking if there was a US version of the books! Eventually I gave in to the pressure and decided to write a residential book, based on US standards and codes, just as my readers were asking.

Residential Construction Details

Over 300 pages packed full of 150 details, Residential Construction Details includes:
  • Foundations
  • Crawl spaces
  • Basements
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Windows & doors
  • Roofs
“Let me start with WOW! The PDF/DWG/SKP bundle is incredible! I have been drafting and designing for well over 20 years. This is the most COMPREHENSIVE set of details I have seen in a long time. What a value too! To be able to illustrate the detail in both 2D and 3D is very useful. The 3D details can be used for scopes of work, plans sets……the list goes on and on. I have trained a lot of students and architects straight from school on construction methods. This book will simplify the training! The details cover structure, insulation and most importantly the protection of moisture from flashing and house wrap. Nice Job Emma!” – Paul
“I really enjoyed the .pdf of details along with the digital version of the sketchup models and .cad. As a graduate student these were very impressive and easy to understand. With all of today’s reference textbooks and internet clutter I really felt like your details were a pleasing change of pace. Again, really enjoyed your work and I am hoping you can make a commercial version of details for U.S. Keep up the great work!”

Educational Institutions

We have a number of options for educational institutions and libraries – please follow the link below to find out more.