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Introduction > About this book - Pg. 15

About this book 15 About this book This book surveys the basic principles of landscape construction and is an introductory text for those involved in the design, specification, and construction of landscape. It aims to be of interest to architects, engineers, urban designers, planners, landscape architects, garden designers, and contractors, and it is written from the point of view of two landscape architects who have been practicing since the 1970s. It began as a set of construction courses taught by Jamie Liversedge at Hadlow College, Kent, and the University of Greenwich, London, to undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture and garden design students since 1995. Fundamental to good hard-landscape design is a knowledge of the chemical and physical characteristics of materials and the forces that work on them. For example, lumber posts for a pergola are commonly laid in concrete foundations where the groundwater will rot them: better by far to separate the post from the ground by using a steel pin or plate to connect post and foundation, or to set the post on a plinth or low wall. the aesthetic value of concrete and deals with the use of "newer"materials such as plastics while there is also appreciation of older materials such as wood, cast iron, stone, and brick. The basic premise is that good construction is good design. Well-designed landscape construction depends on a thorough understanding of materials (including their formation or manufacture, chemistry, and physical characteristics) and practical construction. Good design is not necessarily easy or cheap. Often, what is most elegant or longest lasting, the most sustainable, and the best value for money, is not the easiest to build. The book begins with a survey of overall themes and what influences choice of construction material and method, including vernacular construction techniques, industrialization and globalization, and issues of sustainability and climate change. "General Principles" outlines the properties of materials, and of structures and mechanics. "Building Materials" introduces the materials used in building: stone, concrete, brick, metals, lumber, glass, plastics, and some non-conventional materials old and