Residential Retrofit: 20 case studies
Marion Baeli, RIBA Publishing, 128pp, PB, £25
Did you hear the one about the architect who asks his Irish builder ‘So Paddy, what’s the difference between a joist and a girder?’ ‘Ah,’ he replies ‘One wrote Ulysses and the other wrote Faust.’ We can be confounded by our own preconceptions, which is why I like the fact that before this book even starts, the author, an associate at architect Paul Davis+Partners, gives precise definitions: units of measurement, energy nomenclature and sustainable terminologies. Only then does she go into detail on 20 completed retrofit residential projects from 1919 to the present, by different architects. Plans and sections augment concise explanatory text, photographs, graphs and diagrams. Many books cover this topic, but in few is the information so readily to hand and comprehensible. An invaluable text for those working in residential retrofit.