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Who is this book for, and why?

James Woudhuysen and Ian Abley draw on the latest technologies that have emerged both inside and outside the sector to form a detailed, practical alternative to the conventional wisdom in building design and urban planning. This book will be of interest to all who seriously want to end the backwardness of the construction sector.

Why is construction so backward? James Woudhuysen, Ian Abley, Stefan Muthesius and Miles Glendinning

1. Why is construction so backward ?

Because John Prescott and his advisers are in thrall both to Blairite social engineering and Green alarmism

2. What can we do about it ?

Dump the UK's planning system and instead invest in mass prefabrication

3. What does the backwardness of construction mean for the British economy ?

Inflated house and general construction prices, maintenance bills and repair bills ­ as well as inflated architects' egos and fees

4. How does the book relate to homeowners, home buyers and interior designers ?

It explains how their problems with estate agents, mortgages, local authorities and builders are not God-given, but curable

5. What has the book got to do with policymakers ?

It is a powerful but left-wing call for less regulation, fewer Key Performance Indicators and less reliance on the idea that densely packed cities will solve our problems

6. What has the book got to do with general management ?

It shows that, in the construction industry and elsewhere, the trendy agenda of Corporate Social Responsibility tends to distract from the harder graft of innovation

7. What does the book do for architects ?

It shows that they cannot go on taking the irrational premises of their profession for granted

8. Why would a builder buy it ?

To get a long-term but technically bang-up-to-date overview of where his/her industry is going

9. What does the book hold for surveyors ?

It shows where EU and UK environmental thinking is headed: toward paralysis through litigation

10. What does the book hold for geographers and town planners ?

It shows that construction's threat to Britain's green and pleasant land is vastly exaggerated

11. What has the book got to do with facilities managers ?

If they don't wake up, their job could well just turn into environmental risk management

12. What does the book suggest about design ?

It shows how new materials and IT can be used to turn architecture into the mass manufacture of great buildings-as-products

13. What does the book say about IT ?

It demolishes some myths about IT and the city, but brings out the practical potential of IT to raise productivity and lower costs ­ both on and off site

14. What has the book got to do with marketing ?

It shows the prevalence and the limitations of buildings as branded destinations, both for their owners and for urban planners

15. What has the book got to do with cultural studies ?

It shows that construction is a political question, dominated more by the prejudices of Western elites than the production techniques of US carmakers and Japanese building prefabricators

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Sustaining Architecture in the Anti-Machine Age, edited by Ian Abley and James Woudhuysen

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