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Synopses & Reviews
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION THE exhaustion of the first edition of this book, within so short a time of its publication, makes it difficult to add much new matter for the reissue now called for, or, in the light of subsequent research and experience, to revise what had already been written. Any book that seemed to show a way of meeting the present building difficulties, however partially, was fairly assured of a welcome, but the somewhat unforeseen demand for my small contribution to the great volume of literature on cottage-building is, I think, to be attributed chiefly to its description of Pise- building. Of the very large number of letters that reach me from readers of the book, quite ninety-nine out of every hundred are concerned with Pise. The other methods of building have their advocates and exponents, but it is clearly Pise that has caught the attention of the public as well as of the Press both at home and abroad, and it is to this method of construction that I have chiefly devoted my attention since the writing of the book as it first appeared. In our English climate Pise-building is a summer craft, and the small-scale experiments of one person through a single summer cannot in the nature of things add very greatly to the sum of our knowledge of what is possible with Pise and of what is not. Most of the new data have come through the building of Mr. Stracheys demonstration house, an account of which is included in the present volume. At the time of writing, various tests are being carried out with the help of the National Physical Laboratory but the results, though exceedingly encouraging, are not yet ready for publication. 1 The fact that Pise- building is essentially aDry-earth method makes necessary the creation of artificial summer conditions under which the experiments may be conducted 1 Certain of these have since been issued and will be found in Ap pendix IV. at the end of the book. 484387 Preface to Second Edition during the past winter. As a result of these researches, a considerable mass of useful data has become available for the opening of the present building season. 1 Much helpful information is also likely to come to us from the Colonies, particularly from Rhodesia and British East Africa, where there is great activity in Pise-building, and where there is no close season such as our winter us here. imposes upon It is instructive also to note that great interest in Pise- building has been aroused in Canada and in Scandinavia, the two countries that we were wont to associate particularly with timber-building. From both I have received a number of letters complaining of the lumber shortage, and discussing the advantages of Pise as compared with their traditional wood-construction. If these great timber countries are themselves feeling the pinch, the advocates of wooden houses for England may find that they are not merely barking up the wrong tree, but up a tree that is not even there. The timber famine is, – in any case, a calamity to anyone dependent on building, that is to everyone, for even a Pise house must still have a roof and floors and joinery. But to invoke the timber house as our salvation under existing conditions seems to be singularly perverse and unhelpful…