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Wordwalker
02-28-2013, 08:14 PM
This is a general one, but:

I'm doing a contemporary action story, and I'm wondering if there are some sources out there for what kind of construction different buildings might have -- any rules of thumb for how their decade, purpose and so on might set the basics. For instance, if a hero's watching a crime from a certain rooftop, what other objects might be on that roof?

BigWords
02-28-2013, 08:31 PM
Depends on the location, age of building and a bunch of other variables - can you narrow it down a little? There are regulations which you can check up for new buildings, but if the structure is a historic one then all bets are off for the construction materials.

melindamusil
02-28-2013, 10:15 PM
Also what TYPE of buildings are we talking about... residential? business? What kind of business? A 1920s house would obviously look different from a 1920s business.

Sarita
02-28-2013, 10:24 PM
I'm doing a contemporary action story, and I'm wondering if there are some sources out there for what kind of construction different buildings might have -- any rules of thumb for how their decade, purpose and so on might set the basics. For instance, if a hero's watching a crime from a certain rooftop, what other objects might be on that roof?

Current city buildings would have HVAC equipment like AC/Air Handlers on the roof. Is that the kind of stuff you mean?

Siri Kirpal
02-28-2013, 11:02 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

And do you want the actual construction method or just what the eye can see of a finished building?

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Drachen Jager
02-28-2013, 11:04 PM
Go to Google Images, punch in 'rooftop pictures [the city you want to look for]'

Scan through the photos.

King Neptune
03-01-2013, 01:39 AM
The idea of google images would work for the actual fact.

The national building code is online, but I don't think that it would help, because the actual configurations of buildings vary. There are things that have to be included, but they can be put in different places. For example, air conditioning heat exchangers are often put on rooves, but they can also be put on the ground or in the ground.

Sarpedon
03-01-2013, 04:16 AM
My advice is to go to, or use google maps to find out what kind of buildings the city you are thinking about has, and then go from there.

Construction types vary by country, geographic area, age, use, style, and local regulations etc. You are better off giving me a city and age, and me telling you about it, rather than me trying to tell you everything I know about buildings at once. Plus, its less typing for me, and that's important.

Wordwalker
03-02-2013, 06:08 PM
Construction types vary by country, geographic area, age, use, style, and local regulations etc. You are better off giving me a city and age, and me telling you about it, rather than me trying to tell you everything I know about buildings at once.

I'm weighing my options about this. I know place and era are huge variations on this, so what I'm wondering first is if there are any major patterns that these fall into-- certain periods when technology and design (for housing, industry, office, whichever) changed or building booms let the new approach show more.

Sarpedon
03-02-2013, 06:22 PM
well, yes, there are. Do you expect me to rattle them all off? What you want is a history of architecture textbook. Let me think of the different architecture movements of the 20th century:

Neo classicism, Beaux Artes, Arte Nouveau, Art Deco, the austrian secession, the Prairie Style, the International Style, de Stijle, brutalism, constructivism, deconstructivism, futurism, 'hi tech', 'blob architecture', the green movement, and more.

And that is only style, not construction systems.

You HAVE to give a place and date or I can't help you. If you want an overview, buy yourself a textbook.

SophieB
03-09-2013, 02:58 AM
http://www.amazon.com/The-Visual-Dictionary-Buildings-Dictionaries/dp/1564581020

I have this book from when my kids were young, and fund myself referring to it a LOT when writing period pieces. Many excellent photos, skins on and of, covering everything from construction to window detailing, in virtually every time period. Its an Eyewitness book, if you know what those are.

BigWords
03-09-2013, 03:16 AM
Its an Eyewitness book, if you know what those are.

The Eyewitness book is almost as good as the Pevsner "Buildings Of England" series for quick reference - though I'm not entirely sold on the shiny new editions Penguin has released.