A plan is actually a part of the architectural drawing that represents a view of the project from above. The floor plan is the most common type of plan view. A floor plan is a two-dimensional view of a space, such as a room or building. It is a view of the space from above, as if the space were cut through horizontally at the windowsill level with the upper half removed. You are looking down at the floor. In general, a floor plan’s main function is to identify and delineate the use of space. It identifies the locations and sizes of components such as rooms, bathrooms, doors, windows, stairs, elevators, means of egress, and room access (Figure 6.11). The floor plan will also show the locations of walls, partitions, doors, washrooms, and built-in furniture as well as dimensions and other pertinent information. When too much information is shown on a single plan, it becomes confusing, which is why very often, especially for complex projects, several different plans are required. These additional drawings may include demolition, partition, fixture, and floor-finish plans.
Architectural plans, when part of a working-drawing set, should be dimensioned to show actual length and width, thereby allowing the reader to calculate areas. Dimensions should be accurate, clear, and complete, showing both exterior and interior measurements of the space. For minor projects, a separate set of specifications is not always issued, depending on the financial constraints and on the assumption that the notes will suffice.
Plans are typically drawn to scale. The most common scales for floor plans (depending on size of project) are one-eighth inch = one foot (scale: 1/8 inch = 1 foot, 0 inches) and one-quarter inch = one foot (scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot, 0 inches). The plan scale should always be noted on the drawing.
Elevations are an important component of the construction-drawing set and the design and drafting process. Elevations are essentially views that show the exterior (or interior) of a building. They represent orthographic views of an interior or exterior wall. They are basically flat, two-dimensional views with only the height and width obvious. Exterior elevations provide a pictorial view of the exterior walls of a structure and indicate the material used (stone, stucco, brick, vinyl, etc.), the location of windows and doors, the roof slopes, and other elements visible from the exterior. Elevations are usually identified based on their location with respect to the headings of a compass (north, south, east, and west elevations). Alternatively, they may be labeled front, rear, right, and left elevations (Figure 6.12A). Four elevations are normally required to show the features of a building unless the building is of irregular shape, in which case additional elevations may be required.
The main function of exterior elevations is to provide a clear depiction of the façade treatment of the building and any changes in the surface materials within the plane of the elevation. They also show the location of exterior doors and windows (often using numbers or letters in circles to show types that correspond to information provided in the door and window schedule).
Elevations are typically drawn to the same scale as the floor plan. The scale of the elevation is noted either under or to the side of the title of the elevation or in the title block (Figure 6.12B). A common scale is one-quarter inch = one foot (scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot, 0 inch), although a scale of one-eighth inch = one foot (scale: 1/8 inch = 1 foot, 0 inches) is used for larger buildings.
While floor plans show horizontal measurements of elements, elevations mainly provide vertical measurements with respect to a horizontal plane. These dimensions provide a vertical location of floor-to-floor heights, windowsill or head heights, floor-to-plate heights, roof heights, or a variety of dimensions from a fixed horizontal surface. These measurements can be used to calculate quantities of materials