A construction drawing is a graphical representation of the structure or physical space that is to be built as a part of a construction project. They are designed to remove all ambiguity and misinterpretation of the data that otherwise won’t be coherent without visual aid.
The process of creating Construction Drawings
Construction Drawings are made at a later stage in the design process. The first step in the design and build workflow is the basic architectural drawings, such as initial blueprints, sketches at large, and sketches of individual components which will be integrated into the bigger picture.
Once the design is finalized upon, the next step is to apply for permission from the local authorities for the planning and legal documentation required before the project can be said to be authorized to start. Planning Drawings are more detailed than initial drawings, and also contain relevant information and representation about the location of the site, the area required, the building model and layout, block plan for the site, etc.
Once the plans are approved by the construction and local authority, the construction drawings are made. These are more mechanical and technical in nature; they contain specifications, tools, and techniques that are required for the legal tender and the documentation. These working drawings are the basis on which work on-site is managed and conducted by the contractor.
Are all construction drawings the same?
There is no given set of rules for a designer or architect to make a construction drawing. IN a lot of cases the working drawings include basic construction techniques, materials, tools, layout and standards to be met. But in a lot of cases, the designer may fill up the drawing with specifications and work notes. In case both the specifications and the drawing contain the same type of information, the specifications take preference in real-time applications, especially when the decision is legal.
What do construction drawings include?
Construction drawings usually include a set of working drawings that cover different aspects of the project plan. These drawings usually comprise Elevation drawings, Floor Plans, Sections, and Detail Drawings. These together usually give a complete representation of the building in all aspects.
Apart from these, depending on whether the project is small scale or large, it may include collaboration by other technical or architectural professionals, who cover other aspects of Construction drawings such as Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC (heating and ventilation), fire safety, etc. On small-scale projects, these are sometimes managed and designed by the primary architectural team itself.
Below we go over the set of basic drawings included in Construction drawings:
- Elevation drawings – These drawings offer an overview of the individual components that make up the structure, plus the structure as a whole. These are usually 2D drawings that tackle one side of the structure at a time. For eg: one wall, just the sloped roof, the staircase from the side. These provide an in-depth idea of how each of them looks in itself, and how it will fit in and orient with the other components.
- Floor Plans – The rendering of each of the floors in a building, which lays out the rooms, the doors, the positioning of the stairs, windows, columns, kitchen, slabs, etc all in 1D. It helps one to understand the orientation of the rooms and other physical structures that make up the floor.
- Sections – Sections are slices of the building, to showcase the inner dimensions. It helps understand the measurements of various building components with each other, which comes useful to interior fitting designers or carpenters. It also helps understand the materials used in the construction of those components, the height, depth and hollowness, etc.
- Details – As the name suggests, these are drawings that focus more on individual components of a building, in detail. The scaling used might be larger. Extra details, construction elements and specifications of the specific components may be sketched out and labelled in Detail drawings.
Are construction Drawings drawn to scale?
Yes, nearly all of them. The scale used in these working drawings is usually 1/4” per foot. This means that a line on the drawing that is 1 inch long measures 4 ft in the actual building. Special architectural scale is used to read dimensions and understand construction drawings. However nowadays BIM (Business Information Modelling) and CAD (Computer-aided Design) can be used to visualized scaled up and scaled-down models of the building.
How are construction Drawings made?
Earlier the blueprints used to be made by hand on paper. However, with the advent of technology, it has become more common for construction drawings to be made using CAD software.
Furthermore, Building Information Modelling (BIM) software has also caught up with the construction and architecture industry. This allows for seamless communication, visualization, integration and construction of virtual construction models (VCMs) that make the drawings more comprehensive and easy to visualize.