Blueprint Reading: Construction Drawings for the Building Trade

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Blueprint Reading : Construction Drawings for the Building Trade

Blueprint reading is therefore basically finding and interpreting the information placed on prints. The information is displayed in the form of lines, notes, symbols, and schedules. At first glance, there is a welter of information that can appear intimidating. This innovative textbook clearly explains how blueprints and construction drawings are used to implement the construction process. It offers a comprehensive overview of construction drawing basics and covers standard construction sequence, including site work, foundations, structural systems, and interior work and finishes.

A typical set of blueprints for a building project usually includes a number of drawing types in order to see the project to completion. Users of blueprints must be able to interpret the information on the drawings and must also be able to communicate that information to others. This manual covers and explains the use of lines, dimensions, schedules, specifications, symbols, code requirements, construction drawing types, and methods of drawing organization, including CADD.

Comprehensive in its coverage, this book provides updated information to reflect the most recent developments in the construction industry, enabling readers to further improve their communication skills when dealing with the technical information found in blueprint documents. This book introduces concepts essential to a basic, introductory understanding of residential and light construction, while providing hands-on experience in reading architectural working drawings. Updated to the latest ANSI, ISO, and ASME standards, this handbook helps individuals develop skills in reading and interpreting architectural and industrial drawings and in preparing simple field sketches.

Nothing is more essential in the construction industry than the ability to read blueprints, and this reference handbook teaches you just that. Covering a multitude of trade industries, this book provides plumbers, carpenters, roofers, electricians, and others access to all the necessary information. Readers will learn how to read and understand blueprints, sections, elevations, schedules, site plans, architectural plans, structural plans, plumbing plans, HVAC and mechanical plans, electrical plans, and more. A comprehensive glossary of terms and abbreviations is also included.

The handbook is written in an easy-to-understand informal writing style with no prerequisites presumed. It is designed to appeal as a basal text to the hundreds of architectural- and construction-related programs across the nation and is structured to become the definitive text on the subject. Blueprint Reading is a unique handbook dealing with virtually all of the topics needed to understand construction drawings and enter the building profession. The author is a licensed architect and general contractor with more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of design and construction.

The owner should review the guarantees of performance and workmanship for future reference, in the event that the structure or equipment fails or does not prove satisfactory. The specifications provide the contractor and subcontractors with detailed information so that they know exactly what they are bidding on and can estimate the costs of labor and materials that are both competitive and realistic. They must use the drawings in measuring the materials needed in the actual phases of construction.

By planning ahead, they can achieve many economies in the use of materials. The plans must indicate the precise location of building features, such as windows, doors, mechanical equipment, fixtures, and electrical circuits. The workers must study the prints to solve any problems that require the cooperation of the various trades. Material suppliers can study the specifications to accurately determine the quantity, quality and types of materials to be used. The suppliers of fixtures and appliances can find detailed descriptions with catalog numbers and names for the items they will need. Building officials from city and county building departments use the specifications and working drawings to determine their compliance with zoning and building codes and fire and health standards.

Banks and loan agencies use the information in the specifications to help appraise the value of the building. Lenders, which might provide part of the financing, require a copy of the specifications for their approval. To properly interpret plans or blueprints, the inspector must have a thorough understanding of how to read plans in general. This skill can only really be developed by reading many sets of plans from different types of construction projects. The sections and details are sometimes the most difficult to master, but they are the more important parts of the plans.

The details must be matched carefully with the main sections of the plans, and also with the plan views and elevations. As the inspector studies the plans, he must visualize how each section and detail will fit in the completed building. Just as a traveler must rely on a key to understand how to read a map, a schedule is shown in a box on the plans for the inspector to see. The schedule contains a complete list of symbols and abbreviations that are used throughout the set of plans. A door schedule will show the length, width and thickness of each door, the type of each door, and the material of which it is made.

A window schedule lists all the windows by number or letter. It gives the type, quantity, material, size, model number and rough-out opening for each window. A room finish schedule lists each room and the materials to be used on the walls, ceilings, floors and trim. The schedules may have notes containing important information. General notes are found on the plans and must be read carefully; they will not appear anywhere else on the plans or specs. Most general notes appear on the first page of the plans. Symbols, abbreviations and notes are used on plans to save time and space in making up the plans and to improve their clarity.

They are used extensively on all types of plans. They usually are not difficult to interpret, except that sometimes an architect may use a different meaning for a particular abbreviation or symbol. That is why it is important that each architect furnish a schedule of all the symbols and abbreviations used throughout the set of plans. The working plans and specifications should contain all the necessary information to build the structure.

Everyone concerned with and involved in the construction of a building should read and interpret them to learn the exact requirements of the job. There should be no need for guessing.

Residential and Light Commercial Blueprint Reading Course

All answers must be substantiated from information gleaned from the plans and specifications. Each person on the job must be able to read the parts that pertain to his or her work or trade, as well as have an overall sense of how the other trades will contribute to the construction. When all trades work together in harmony, a building is completed in a most efficient manner. Before tackling blueprints, the inspector should be aware that there are other different types of documents relating specifically to the construction of a building, and they have various purposes.

On large construction jobs, especially commercial projects, an architect and his staff plan and prepare what are known as the architectural working drawings.

How to read Commercial Construction Plans!! *for beginners* - Jesse Lane

Structural drawings are prepared by a structural engineer; they show the details of the steel or reinforced concrete skeleton. Another set of drawings is called the electrical set, which illustrates the details regarding electrical equipment and circuits. Another set of working drawings shows the mechanical work, which includes the plumbing, heating, air-conditioning, sheet metal, and fire sprinkler systems.

The architect has transferred these ideas to the drawings in terms of the sizes and shapes needed to produce the desired result. Structural drawings are the floor plans, elevations, sections and details that represent the construction needed to give the building its strength to support the dead load of the building, plus the live load of its contents. All buildings must be designed to conform to their state and local building codes. The sizes, shapes and dimensions on structural drawings must coincide with those on the architectural drawings.

Shop drawings include all plans and details prepared by the subcontractors for work to be done away from the construction site. Shop drawings are completely detailed and drawn to scale. They must be large enough to clearly indicate the methods of construction, installation and fastening. The drawings must be submitted to the architect for his approval before any work can be fabricated. Individual items may be fabricated in the shop while general construction is in full progress. This allows the job to proceed according to schedule.

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Carpenters provide openings in the walls and floors to accommodate the ducts and pipes. The fabrication plans and details prepared by the subcontractors who do the structural steelwork, miscellaneous ironwork, and millwork are a few examples of what are included in shop drawings.

On large construction jobs, another set of working drawings is called the electrical set. These drawings, prepared by an electrical engineer, present the details regarding the electrical equipment and circuits. Electric heating systems are installed by electricians, who also install wiring for furnaces or boilers in other systems. An electrical layout should show the number and location of outlets, switches, incoming lines, distribution panels, and fuses. The sizes of wire and other pertinent information may be given in the accompanying specifications, or listed on the drawings. All electrical devices and materials used should have the approval of the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Construction Blueprint Reading

The electrician must proceed with the work of providing an efficient and safe electrical installation. A fundamental knowledge of electrical theory, and a thorough knowledge of the many kinds of conductors, wiring devices, and electrical appliances, is required. The electrician must be familiar with the National Electrical Code , which sets the standards covering the design and manufacture of electrical devices and materials, and the manner of their installation. The fire insurance policy generally is written on the assumption that the building is constructed in accordance with this electrical code.

The electrician also must know the state and local codes and ordinances. The specifications dealing with electricity must be followed. When planning the layout, the electrician uses basic knowledge of installation practices, plus the information supplied by the wiring diagrams or blueprints. Another set of working drawings illustrates the mechanical work; this includes plumbing, HVAC and sheet metal work. Subcontractors make shop drawings for work that will not be done at the job site; however, the architect must approve these shop drawings before the work can be started.

Gas lines are provided by the plumbers. Hot-water and steam systems are installed by pipefitters who are usually plumbers. Additionally, the building ordinances in some cities require that the architect prepare a drawing to show the plumber how to connect the drainage system.

The specifications should include:. The plumber also must study the blueprints of a building to note the layout of the plumbing system. The plumbing system is the least understood installation in a building, yet it is perhaps the most important convenience. The plumbing provides a steady supply of clean, clear water and carries away the waste water. The plumber is the one who is responsible for this system.

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If the piping and sewers were not designed correctly, a health hazard could be created. Most cities and states require plumbers to be certified or licensed before they can work at their trade. The plumber must abide by the National Plumbing Code and city and state ordinances pertaining to the trade. The installation and operation of the water supply system, the drainage system, vents, sewer disposal system, storm drains, drain tiles, leach fields and gas piping are the responsibilities of the plumber. The ducts for forced-air heating and air-conditioning systems are installed by sheet metal workers.