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Reading and Interpreting Construction Blueprints

Construction blueprints serve to communicate the architectural and engineering design of a structural project. There are two types of construction blueprints, pictorial drawings and orthographic projections. Architects and engineers commonly refer to pictorial drawings as “renderings.” They are for presentation purposes, all in lavish designs.

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Reading and Interpreting Construction Blueprints

  1. 1. Reading and Interpreting Construction Blueprints eTakeoff, LLC http://etakeoff.com
  2. 2. Construction blueprints serve to communicate the architectural and engineering design of a structural project. There are two types of construction blueprints, pictorial drawings and orthographic projections. Architects and engineers commonly refer to pictorial drawings as “renderings.” They are for presentation purposes, all in lavish designs. Orthographic designs, on the other hand, show various perspectives of the structure, and are often for construction projects. Every perspective comes from a different reference point, detailing the intricacies of a structure. Plan, Elevation, and Section The basic concept in reading blueprints involves understanding the three views that are based on reference points: 1. Plan – The downward view of the structure. Usually, the horizontal plane cuts at 30” above the floor. 2. Elevation – The sideways view of the structure. This involves looking from the north, west, south, or east. 3. Section – This is a cut-through view of the structure, such as the interior of a building.
  3. 3. Reading construction drawings means gathering information that involves two elements: visualization and interpretation.  Visualization is the skill required in forming a mental image of a building from the blueprints.  Interpretation is the skill to comprehend the way lines, symbols, dimensions, notes, and other information on the working drawings work with one another. The Types of Drawings Oftentimes, construction drawings are in procedural order. This involves the following: civil, structural, architectural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing. Each set of drawings merits specific parts of a building or structure. Structural framing plans may also be included in a set of plans for the framing of a building’s roof, floors, and the different elevation or wall sections. The Architectural Scale An Architect’s Scale expresses dimensions in feet and inches. The gradations; 1/8", 1/4", 1/2", 1", 3/8", 3/4", 1 1/2", 3", 3/32", and 3/16" are equal to 1’, while a regular inch scale has gradations to the 16th of an inch.
  4. 4. The Engineering Scale The Engineer’s Scale serves to express dimensions that are in feet and decimal parts of a foot, or in the event that the scale ratio is a multiple of 10. Its gradations, then, has an inch broken into 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60. Specs and General Conditions It is also just as important to note the project specifications, general conditions, special conditions, and construction contracts as these may include certain provisions. SOURCES: http://etakeoff.com/ http://www.constructionknowledge.net/general_technical_knowledge/general_tech_ba sic_blueprint_reading.php http://www.pdhsite.com/courses/Reading%20and%20Interpreting%20Construction%2 0Drawings.pdf

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