Understanding Architectural Details – Second Edition

The Third Edition has now been updated to the 4th Edition! Check out the details below!

Save time and improve your

construction detailing


Understanding Architectural Details

Residential Construction ebook


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What is included?

Understanding Architectural Details – Residential, is dedicated to residential construction. The book is packed full of over 150 construction details in 2D, and 150 construction details in 3D.
We look at the principles behind construction detailing, and delve deep into each area of the building to make sure you have a full understanding of construction design.


  • strip foundations
  • pad foundations
  • pile foundations
  • raft foundations

Masonry Construction

  • ground bearing floors
  • suspended floors
  • walls (including cladding options)
  • roofs (flat and pitched)
  • doors and windows

Timber Frame Construction

  • ground bearing floors
  • suspended floors
  • walls (including cladding options)
  • roofs (flat and pitched)
  • doors and windows

PLUS new to this second edition:

  • Functional Requirements
  • Detailing Principles
  • Materials
  • Even more details than before!

Steel Frame Construction

  • floors
  • walls
  • roofs

Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)

  • floors
  • walls (with cladding options)
  • doors and windows
  • roofs

Insulated Concrete Formwork (ICF)

  • floors
  • walls
  • doors and windows
  • roofs

Green Roof Construction

  • intensive
  • extensive

Download over 150 2d CAD files and over 150 3D SketchUp models!

How this book will help you

  • Gain a better understanding of residential construction
  • Understand the principles of construction detailing
  • Understand the functional requirements of a building in relation to the building regulations
  • Learn about the different materials available and their benefits
  • Improve your technical ability
  • Increase your skill set to make you more employable
  • Save a huge amount of time searching for details, over 150 details in one place
  • Edit and develop the cad files into your own detail library
  • Explore the 3d sketchup files to improve your understanding of the construction

Not sure if the books are right for you? Please feel free to download a sample so you can get a closer look.

Who is it for?

students | graduates | professionals | tutors | professors

This book is really useful to quite a few different people.
Students looking to increase their knowledge of construction.
Graduates use the book to take out into the workplace and use as a reference.
Professionals use the book as a reference book and foundation for their construction libraries.
The book is also highly recommended by many tutors, lecturers and professors who teach construction at colleges and universities around the globe.

Hi, I’m Emma…

This is why I wrote the book

In the past I have spent hours searching for details, trying to find an example of a detail so that I can understand the construction a bit better. When I was at university I was really frustrated with how difficult it was to improve my construction knowledge. There just doesn’t seem to be much clear and concise information readily available on commercial and industrial construction. When you do find what you are looking for it is often difficult to digest. That is why I knew what a valuable resource this book would be for both architecture students and professionals.


After writing three successful construction books (Commercial, Residential US and Basement construction), I know that this new edition of the Residential Construction book really fills the gap I have experienced both as a student and professional.

Exactly what you need

Architect James Rich describes how the book has helped him.

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.

Michael - Architecture Student

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 - Architect

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.
Alex - Architectural Technologist

I found this book to be very thorough and concise. The text and images are very well presented and the 2-D scaled dwg drawings, and the 3-D rendered SketchUp.skp drawings are especially informative. The fact that they are based on UK construction methods and standards is all the more valuable. The books not only deal with residential construction details, but also commercial and basement construction. These books and downloads have been long overdue. I would highly recommend them. 

Pat - Architect

How will I receive the book?
Upon payment you will be sent an email which contains a download link for the book. You can then download the book (and associated files if you have purchased bundle 2 or 3) onto your computer.
Please be sure to keep an eye on your spam or junk folder.
Can I buy the book for a university library?
Yes! The books are available to colleges, universities or institutions but as hard copies only. You can find out more here.
The series is also available as an online subscription so students can gain access to the books 24/7. To discuss in more detail, please email me directly. emma@firstinarchitecture.co.uk
Can I get a hard copy of the book?

Yes there are hard copies available, but they are quite expensive due to one off printing costs. If you are interested follow this link: Understanding Architectural Details hard copy

What happens if I lose the pdf after purchase?

After you have downloaded your purchase, it is your responsibility to carry out any backups to ensure that your book is safe. If you lose the pdf, buy a new computer, or your computer crashes, we are not always able to replace your copy.

What is the format of the book?

The book is in pdf format. You can view it easily on your computer, or on a tablet if you have an appropriate pdf viewer.

What version of CAD and SketchUp are the files?

The CAD files are saved in AutoCAD 2010, and the Sketchup files are saved in SKP 2015.

Can I pay by card?

You can pay by both PayPal and card. Start the check out procedure, if you wish to pay by card, fill out your details and click proceed to shipping, you will be asked for your payment details after this.

Have I missed something, or do you have a question? Please, drop me an email and I would be happy to help: hello@firstinarchitecture.co.uk

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  1. Hi,

    I’m a teacher in Dublin. Your books seem very interesting. I was just wondering if I could get any samples for more detail.


    • Hi Eoin, I have sent you an email directly.

  2. I am quite excited to get that book my career let me workhard on it

  3. Hi,
    I m asfar … I m student of architecture … These books are very informative.. May I got these books in soft form , free of cost..???

  4. Hi,

    Is there an option to buy relevant CAD architectural details rather than the whole book?

    • Hi there,
      I’m afraid it is not possible to buy the cad details on their own. Any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks, Emma

  5. HI Nice detail book

  6. Hi Emma, Please will this book contain details on brick construction?

    • Hi Alex, yes it does – you can download a sample of the book to get an idea of what is included.


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