How to Learn to Read Architectural Designs: 7 Steps

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How to Learn to Read Architectural Designs: 7 Steps
How to Learn to Read Architectural Designs: 7 Steps
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Architectural projects are 2-dimensional drawings that indicate the size of a planned building, the materials to be used in it, and the placement of everything. Architects use these designs and the specifications described in them to communicate to workers how construction will be done. Learning to read these documents is essential not only for the workers, but also for the people who will hire architects to design for them so that they can make better decisions about building and renovating projects.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Fundamentals of Reading Architectural Designs

Learn to Read Blueprints Step 1

Step 1. Learn the 3 main types of plants

They can be divided into 3 main types: flat, elevation and cut. Each provides a specific 2-dimensional view of the construction project.

  • The plan view shows the construction project horizontally from above. It usually sits on a plane 75cm above the ground.
  • The elevation view vertically shows 1 of the sides of the project, either north, south, east or west.
  • The cut view shows, inside the building, how something will be built.
Learn to Read Blueprints Step 2

Step 2. Know at what scale the plan was made

They can be created using one of two scales: architectural or engineering.

  • The architectural scale uses measurements from the American system of measurements, that is, feet and inches. Such plants are drawn in a given length equaling 1 foot. The scales range from 1/8 inches to 3 inches equal to 1 foot.
  • The engineering scale uses a ratio that is a multiple of 10. It can use either the metric system, or the American system of measurements, in feet and tenths of feet.
  • Some plants use the American scale unit with metric conversions; this process is called double sizing. Other plants use only metric units.
Learn to Read Blueprints Step 3

Step 3. Understand the symbols used to represent the components of a construction project

Architects created symbols to represent the individual parts of a building and the terrain around it, so that the architectural plan can convey a lot of information. Most of them include legends that explain the symbols used.

Method 2 of 2: Ways to Learn to Read Architectural Designs

Learn to Read Blueprints Step 4

Step 1. Read books on architectural plans

There are several books on the subject, some of them produced by companies that are experts in the production of construction tools and others written by institutions. These books are available in physical format and e-books.

Learn to Read Blueprints Step 5

Step 2. Watch instructional videos

Videos are available on DVD and online.

Learn to Read Blueprints Step 6

Step 3. Take classes on the subject

There are architectural design reading classes available at vocational schools as well as online.

Learn to Read Blueprints Step 7

Step 4. Learn online how to read architectural plans

In addition to providing access to classes and videos, the Internet also offers several websites with information on the subject.

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