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Book Bruce G. Sharky: Landscape Site Grading Principles : Grading with Design in Mind (Paperback); 2014 Edition


Bruce G. Sharky: Landscape Site Grading Principles : Grading with Design in Mind (Paperback); 2014 Edition

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Review Text

  • By Once in a while on December 31, 2014

    Make no mistake, this book reads like a textbook, but it is accessible if you have a knack for technical things and an interest in landscape architecture and site grading.Where it falls a bit short is where it claims to be strongest--the aesthetic side of site design. I expected a lot more in way of explanation as to why, for example, a structure situated between a couple of slopes, framed by them, with a winding driveway approach, is more appealing to the eye than a tabletop-flat lot and straight driveway. Or why a winding path invites a hiker to explore to see what's around the next bend, while a straight one is uninteresting or even discouraging.This book simply acknowledges that such things as winding paths and sloped grounds are more appealing, but doesn't delve into the why, and doesn't discuss what works and what doesn't in terms of attractiveness, eye appeal, drawing the eye to points of interest, creating "inviting" looks, and such. Or how a site can frame and show a building to its best advantage by concealing and softening hard corners or leading the eye into the grounds and onto the structure's more appealing features. Given the description of the book, that's what I had expected and hoped for.I would have liked to see many A/B comparison examples: Here's a structure on a flat site. Here's the same structure with professionally designed site contouring. Here's why B looks better than A. Here's how to make this happen.Instead, the book is strong on information on how to accomplish such things, (along with information on proper drainage and accessibility), but offers less in way of explanation or discussion as to why you would want to do that. Or even how to make aesthetically pleasing results happen (advice on where to put what to achieve that kind of result). In short, it's more how-to technical and less design and art-oriented than I hoped.That said, it is a useful book with information on how to read and prepare topographical site plans, and professionally design them. And if you are in the field of grading contracting or landscape architecture, it's probably a worthy addition to your bookshelf.

  • By Dr. E on January 6, 2015

    As is often the case with Wiley textbooks, the content is fantastic and the photographs are muddled/difficult from which to learn. Professor Sharky has clearly done an excellent job of providing a concise, information, logically structured text.While most grading texts are focused on engineering, Professor Sharky has provided a book that was intended for visual learners. In theory, this is a tremendously welcome addition to the catalog of comparable books. And, ideally, it would allow professors some variety when selecting texts for their classes. However, through no fault of the author, the gray-scale photographs are so poorly reproduced that it is extremely difficult to parse out their exact meaning (there are a few that are virtually impossible to discern. That is not hyperbole). Had the publisher been willing to invest just a bit more funds into color publishing or into hiring a specialist in black and white photography (to take truly dynamic photos), this problem would be easily solved. Just like that. Seriously.What this text has in its favor is a phenomenal, experienced professor who writes with virtually no pretense. He genuinely wants to teaches readers (and help professors teach readers) and his in-class tone is pretty clear: he loves his work. In fact, this text is as uncomplicated and jargon-free as possible ... Professor Sharky welcomes all students with his accessible writing and abundantly clear explanations.Had the publisher/editor printed this text with sharp, clear, even full-color images, this text would be indispensable (and, clearly, five-stars). As it stands, students must work all-too-hard to decode the muddy examples. That is such a pity.

  • By Lance M. Foster on January 17, 2015

    I wish they would have had this as a textbook when I was taking site grading in landscape architecture. The examples are clear and diverse. This should also be in the shelf of any heavy machinery operator/student, construction foreman, planner, and even a home owner. Improper drainage is more common that you think and a bigger problem too. Plus this book shows ways to make drainage more attractive and natural-looking.

  • By J. Brooks on July 13, 2015

    A fantastic read if you want to bone up on grading and drainage. Very helpful to clear up some of those puzzling grading challenges and it provides a good 'encyclopedia' of standard solutions for common problems. I included it as part of my study reading for Section 4 of the LARE and I think it really has helped me to be less intimidated by grading design. It's mostly practical, but there are some great tips for "design" grading as well. You have to crawl before you can walk, though.... There are so few landscape grading books out there for designers, so this is a welcome addition. It is is a bit 'primer-y' in parts, but that review, for me, was in a design context that I felt was appropriate.

  • By a customer on February 4, 2015

    The book is written very well for every student to understand the subject, it is very easy to read, considering it is such a complex subject. Every point is illustrated with photos or drawings, but they are small and black and white, although they are quite high resolution and mostly have good contrast. They also include snapshots of maps or full-scale drafts, and those are quite hard to read, but they are mostly included to illustrate a point, not to study them in detail.There is a lot of different scenarios included with many kinds of grading problems and how to solve them.

  • By Guest on October 14, 2015

    You shouldn't buy this edition. There are so many errors which is found at least once per page, making so hard to understand the point. but the overall contents look good.

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