Plumbing drainage systems within architectural drawings and visuals
The following article is about the role played and the purpose behind, an architectural drawing and visual, with particular attention being paid to the inclusion of building services, such as plumbing drainage systems.
Architectural drawings and visuals are an exceptional way of representing an Architects design, of what could be either a residential home, a commercial property, or even a town. There are numerous ways to illustrate the Architects design, and the following is a comprehensive list of the various types of these amazing 2 and 3-dimensional drawings and visuals.
They are an excellent way in which the layout and design of your property and building services can be viewed, and they allow for a method by which ingenious solutions can be reached. So much so, that it can become an exciting, enjoyable and fun way to achieve a satisfying and successful result for you and your home. In simple terms, architecture is the art and science of building. Broadly speaking though, it is “everything around us”. The architect’s drawings and visuals graphically communicate the designs to the client, the planning officer, and the entire design team, including the Main Contractor (Building Contractor).
Architects need to think in 3 dimensions in order to create an absolute quality architectural design, presentation, and finished building. The design team, depending on the size of the project, consists of an architect, a project manager, a structural engineer, a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, a quantity surveyor, together with a variety of sub-contractors (who specialise in certain aspects of the building).
Mention of these specialist sub-contractors is quite pertinent, due to the fact that in this article, particular reference has been made to the inclusion of services, such as drainage, which would be performed by a fully licensed plumber.
The sub-contractor, sometimes, produces their own drawing going off the architect’s design. For example, a specialist roofing contractor may be employed to elaborate on the architect’s design of the roof. Just to recap, this numbered list covers a vast range of wonderful visuals to choose from and provides some typical examples of what you may find within each of the different views listed.
Regardless of whether your property is residential or commercial, the same principles apply to each of the drawings and visuals.
1) Site Plan
The Site Plan outlines the boundary to the site or plot of land on which the building sits on. By and large, it outlines the perimeter of your building and its location on site. The building itself would usually be hatched by a series of 45 degree lines.
The building line across the front of your property may also be shown, (this building line indicating the parameters within which one can build. You are, therefore, unable to build beyond this point). The Site Plan also includes surrounding areas to the building, such as back and front yards, and side passages. In addition to this, it will indicate other surrounding areas such as the footpath, nature strip, the street or road in which you live, as well as your driveway & front entrance to your home. Landscaping and the location of trees are also shown (tree roots, of course, being one of the most common causes of blocked drains).
Other services which may be found on a Site Plan are stormwater and sewer drain layouts, as well as the positioning of your hot water system if it is an outdoor tank. Important to the installation of a new water heater, a Site Plan will indicate the number of steps (if any) to get to the tank. This type of drawing could even outline the location of your water meter or for example, the stormwater pit.
The steps on a Site Plan would also be shown on Floor Plans, Elevations and Sections (listed below). If you have a sloping site, then the Site Plan may also incorporate the ground contour lines which could be further illustrated and explained by taking a section through the gradient of the ground line.
2) Floor Plans
The Floor Plan, as the name suggests, is a plan view indicating a footprint of the rooms, which are defined by the walls. This type of drawing can best be described as – “a horizontal cut through the walls, windows, and doorways of the building, as though you are looking down on the floor space “. In fact, all plan views should be viewed in a similar way.
A Floor Plan will also indicate any steps or stairs, which may either be as a result of a split level to the floor in question or a flight of stairs leading to the floor above or below. The fall of wet areas, such as laundry and bathroom floors, whereby the architect will pinpoint the location of the floor-waste, would also be shown on a Floor Plan. Other service-related items which may be found on a Floor Plan are the positioning of the basin, kitchen sink, laundry tub and bathtub drainage points, as well as, location of toilets (cistern and pan), shower floor-wastes, shower cubicles etc. Additionally, some Floor Plans may show the layout of furniture within the floor space, as well as, the location of your hot water system, especially if it is an indoor tank. The cross-section vertical cut through the building would be shown on all Floor Plans, so as to indicate the exact point from which the section is taken. This will also indicate the direction from which the viewer is looking.
It is a standard indicator, by which Floor Plans and Sections are cross-referenced. Other examples of elements which would be included on a Floor Plan are windows, door swings, the switchboard, and lift cores and escalators if indeed, it’s a commercial property.
Elevations are typically two-dimensional external views of each side of the building. They would therefore usually be separately titled North Elevation, East Elevation, South Elevation etc. depending on the orientation of each Elevation. Of course, in this instance, windows, doors, the external walls and roofing are the sorts of things you will find on an Elevation drawing. With regard to rainwater, both gutters and downpipes would be drawn on Elevations, as well as on Sections.
These all-important additions to the building are to be strategically positioned around the building, so as to run off the rainwater as efficiently as possible.
Similarly to a Floor Plan, a Section or Cross Section, as they are sometimes referred to, cuts through a section of the building vertically. Due to a cut being taken through the building, like the Floor Plan, in a Section drawing, the structure being cut through is drawn in a firmer line. This is in contrast to an Elevation, which doesn’t involve any cut through the structure, apart from the ground-line. In ascending order, Sections would indicate the foundations (including any agricultural drains and surrounding rubble fill), footings, floors and floor levels, walls and roof. These Sections and Construction Detail drawings (talked about in point 9 below) will also illustrate the make-up of the ground supporting your sewer drain-pipes.
In addition to this, air conditioning ducts/air vents etc. may also be shown on a Cross Section.
5) Roof Plan
A Roof Plan is simply a 2D external aerial view of your roof. Skylights and location of solar panels and the hot water system (if the water heater is on the roof rather than the ground), could be shown.
Things like eaves gutters, box gutters, and roofing ridge and valley lines, may also be drawn on a Roof Plan.
6) Reflected ceiling plan
A Reflected Ceiling Plan is a plan of the ceiling area. It may illustrate things like the lighting arrangement, any access point into the roof space, as well as any other building services such as smoke alarms etc. Like the Roof Plan, the Reflected Ceiling Plan may have a gravity fed tank shown. The tank would be shown as a dotted line, in the sense that it is concealed in both these views. That said, if it were to be indicated in a Cross Section or an internal 3D of the roof space, the tank would be visible and therefore shown normally (as an uninterrupted break in the line).
7) Location Plan
A Location Plan is a plan view of the perimeter of your site and property, together with the surrounding building sites and roads. It, therefore, locates your building in relation to your neighbours and the surrounding area(s). All Location Plans, Site Plans, Floor Plans, and Roof Plans should include a “North Point”, which of course will indicate the orientation of your building.
8) Foundations Plan
A Foundations Plan indicates the positioning of the footings which support the building. Drain lines etc. that exist below ground level may be included on a Foundations Plan.
9) Construction details
Construction Details are larger scale drawings. They may be drawn at anywhere from a scale of 1:1 (full-size) to 1:20 scale.
A typical example of a Construction Detail would be that of a floor to wall junction (detailing the type of construction and the materials to be used at this point). However, a wide range of things pertaining to the building may be detailed in this way, helping to assist the construction of the build. In fact, Construction Details make up a large portion of the set of Architectural drawings and visuals. Floor Plans and Internal Elevations can also be drawn to a large scale which puts these types of drawings into the category of Construction Details. This is where the positioning of power points (GPO’s) and other service-related items can be detailed. Typically though, Floor Plans and Internal Elevations would be drawn for the detailing of say a kitchen or bathroom design. Door and Window Schedules and their construction detailing form another part of the Construction details package.
Construction details can take on the form of a 3D drawing or a model, however, they are more typically drawn as a 2D cross-section. All Construction details are numbered, encircled, and cross-referenced back to other smaller-scale drawings, like Sections and Floor Plans.
10) Services package
The Services package will incorporate drainage, electrical and mechanical services. An example would be where a Floor Plan is drawn purely for electrical purposes (i.e. location of light switches, up-lighters, down-lighters etc.).
11) Three-dimensional drawings
Internal and external perspectives, by either worms eye or birds-eye views, isometric, oblique, axonometric, and orthographic projections are all types of three-dimensional drawings. The Exploded View (typically 3D) illustrates the way in which certain elements to the build would be assembled (in much the same way as that seen in the instructions sheet to an air-fix model).
12) Model making
There are numerous types of models that can be made either by the architect himself, or a professional model maker may be employed. This will normally depend on the size of the project and whether or not the architect has an in-house model making team. Models can range from rough and ready massing models to pristine beautifully finished presentation models. Incidentally, an architectural model could go so far as to illustrate details in relation to any of your services. This would certainly be the case, if the structure were to be custom-built, as opposed to, something that can be simply bought off the shelf, so to speak. One of the advantages of this type of visual is that, whatever the type of model is made, one is able to literally place it on the floor or on a table, and walk around it. Architects like to refer to these models as “physical models”. This being due to other types of models now being created as part of a computer-generated package. A working model is another very useful tool whereby you can take apart certain elements, in order to make design changes. So, in this case, the working model becomes an enjoyable design tool.
Photography is an exceptionally useful means of recording any site information. For instance, during construction, one may photograph the old existing and the new (before and after shots). The photograph taken can become a powerful computer visual tool, which can be used in a number of ways contributing towards a selling point.
14) Samples Board
The Samples Board visual is based on actual physical samples of materials and finishes to the building envelope and furnishings. For instance, you may require samples of the kitchen bench-top units (which may house, for example, a 50 litre hot water system).
15) Fly through
This extremely interesting computer visual is yet another fun and easy way of experiencing the architect’s design. It is basically a computer-animated simulation of what would be seen by one flying through the space. With a fly through you are taken on a fantastic journey through your home, as you fly through the rooms. Similar to watching a movie, it is a cinematic experience and 3D visualisation tool, taking you through the entirety of your property. So, it is a highly realistic presentation, and an invaluable tool, which can somewhat be compared to that of a 3-dimensional computer generated drawing or model. Conclusion Whereas most drawings are dimensioned, most visuals are not dimensioned. So, there is an interesting divide between drawings and visuals, perse, however, the two go hand in hand, working perfectly together. Drawings range from A4 to A0 in size.
They include title blocks and legends which are basically lists of icons (symbols) that identify different things that appear on the drawing. Typical architectural scales are : 1:1 (full-size), 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:20, 1:50, 1:100, 1:200, 1:500, 1:1,000, and 1:2,000. With regard to the programming of your project, this is where the “building schedule” comes into play, which is of extreme importance. For it ensures that all drainage, electrical and mechanical services are correctly scheduled into the build. It schedules the works, enabling the Project Manager to subsequently arrange for Sub-Contractor’s to get in at the right time.
This in turn, greatly contributes towards the running of a smooth uncomplicated build. Without extraordinary architectural drawings, visuals and computer graphics, the design of your home would never eventuate, and the plumbing and electrical services to your home would not be made possible. Consequently, without the structure of the building, there would be no workable services on site. Both the building structure together with its services, are required to work harmoniously, in order for the building to function well. As the building’s design progresses from feasibility studies right up until the realisation of a finished build, the structure of the building has a huge influence on the services to the building.
The combination of the site and the building, with its fixtures, fittings and services, all need to work in unison with one another and the surrounding area, in order to achieve a successful architectural result.