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Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings

The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings

by Osamu A. Wakita, Richard M. Linde


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The detailed, highly illustrated, comprehensive guide to architectural working drawings

The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings is a complete guide to the skills you need to create a set of drawings that clearly and effectively communicate your design. Covering everything from site, floor, framing, and foundation plans to building sections and elevations, this book presents crucial concepts and real-world techniques architects rely on every day. You'll learn the standards, customs, regulations, and symbols, alongside computer-generated drawings, 3D modeling, Building Information Modeling, and other architectural technology. This new fifth edition includes updated information on sustainability concepts, layering systems in line with AIA standards, deeper explorations of dimensioning, more sample ADA drawings, and a new selection of case studies that offer a real-world glimpse into how these topics relate to the architect's everyday work. Hundreds of drawings demonstrate important skills and concepts, and online ancillary materials offer a robust set of resources to students and instructors.

Architectural drawings must be precise, accurate, and complete; they must follow certain standards that make them universally understood in the proper context. This book teaches you how to produce professional-level drawings that leave no room for questions or confusion.

  • Create architectural drawings that effectively communicate your design
  • Learn techniques used in both residential and light commercial projects
  • Investigate BIM, 3D modeling, and other architectural technologies
  • Understand dimensioning, sustainability, ADA standards, and more

Architects use drawings as a second language, to effectively communicate ideas to clients, contractors, builders, and other design professionals throughout all stages of the project. The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings teaches you how to become fluent in the visual language of architecture, to communicate more effectively with all project stakeholders.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780471056362
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/28/1984
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 562
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

OSAMU A. WAKITA, HON. AIA, is a retired professor of architecture and former department chair at Los Angeles Harbor College. An award-winning educator of over 50 years, Osamu is recognized by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects as a leading authority on perspective drawing.

NAGY R. BAKHOUM is a licensed architect and principal of Obelisk Architects in Torrance, California, and a Professor of Architecture in the Los Angeles Community College system. Nagy has worked on high-end residential and commercial projects around the world, and has over 20 years of experience as an educator.

RICHARD M. LINDE, AIA, was a licensed architect and past president of the American Institute of Architects.

Read an Excerpt

The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings

By Osamu A. Wakita Richard M. Linde

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-39540-4

Chapter One


The physical plant of the architectural office has begun to take on a new look. Rows and rows of drafting tables and cubicles are being replaced with mobile stations, giving an entirely new appearance to the work environment. Mobile stations can be reconfigured to the specific needs of a project. The stations can be positioned and repositioned by teams of CAD drafters and designers as the size of a project ebbs and flows. The center for this type of production room may be a conversation area similar to the living room area found in a residence. Here designers and drafters can discuss projects in a relaxed atmosphere. Rather than isolating drafters into small cubicles, as was the case from the 1960s through the 1980s, offices are now beginning to have an open look and feel. The use of low partitions enables the designers and CAD drafters to have eye contact while communicating across the room via computer. Computers are also being networked so that office managers can stay in touch and watch the progress on various projects. For example, if three or more drafters are working on a single project, the information on their individual computers can constantly be upgraded with the latest information as it becomes available. A change in the position of a window on a floor plan will be seen immediately on the different computerswhere the exterior elevation is being drawn.

Architecture is a small crafts industry in which most offices employ three to eight people. A home office may also be part of the office structure. A single drafter may be hired by two or more firms, and the office then becomes a docking station for the electronic information, such as for construction documents. Because digital images can be rapidly moved electronically, one does not need to live in a city or country to send documents across the world. A suggested office layout is illustrated in Figure 1.1.


How an architectural firm is structured and the office practices it employs depends on the magnitude and type of its projects, the number of personnel, and the philosophies the architects use in their approach to office practice procedures. Normally, the architect or architects are the owners and/or principals of the practice.

In general, an architectural office can be separated into three main departments: the administration department, the design department, and the production department.

The administration department handles all communications between the architectural firm and its clients on items such as contracts, fee schedules billing for services, and the like. This department includes all secretarial duties, such as all written correspondence, payment of operating costs, accounting procedures, paying salaries, and maintaining records for all the projects relative to their individual costs and procedures. The principal or principals oversee this department in addition to their other duties.

Design Department

The design department is normally headed by either a principal architect and/or an associate architect. This person or persons meets with the client to determine the requirements of a project, the economics of the project, and the anticipated time frame for completing the construction documents. These initial concerns determine the program for the project. The head or heads of this department delegate various work phases of a project to other staff members. The number of staff members depends on the size of the practice and the magnitude of the projects. Staff members may be designated to teams or groups relative to their expertise for specific projects. A team takes a project from the initial design concept stage, through all the revisions and other stages, to the completed working drawings and specifications. These stages may include model building, renderings, coordination between all consulting engineers to meet their individual job requirements, job billing, and reproduction responsibilities. The leader of a project and of the design team staff is designated as the project architect. His or her responsibilities are to develop a game plan for a specific project that will include the following:

1. Design studies and philosophy

2. Initial structural considerations

3. Exterior and interior materials

4. Municipality and building code requirements

5. If applicable, architectural committee reviews

6. Building equipment requirements

7. Manufacturing resources

8. Selection of required engineering consultants such as; soils/geology, structural, mechanical, etc. 9. Planned man-hours, time sheets and billing dates

10. Office standards relative to the representation of items on the working drawings such as; symbols, wall delineations, and other graphic depictions

Production Department

The production department, while supervised by a project architect, prepares all the phases for a set of completed working drawings. Working drawings may be produced by senior draftpersons, intermediate draftpersons, or junior draftpersons. These staff members and the project architect or job captain work as a team to make the transition from the approved preliminary drawings to the implementation and completion of the working drawings. The transition from the approved preliminary drawings to the development of the working drawings is elaborated in Chapter 6 of this book. Other chapters provide step-by-step procedures on how different sections of the working drawings are developed: the site and grading plan, foundation plan, floor plan, building sections, exterior elevations, roof and framing plans, interior elevations, architectural details and schedules. During the process and completion of the various sections, the project architect and/or job captain constantly review the drawings for clarity, accuracy, craftsmanship of detailing, and to see that the drawings reflect all current revisions. These drawings are either created with the use of a computer-aided drafting (CAD) system or are drawn manually using conventional instruments. A suggested organizational chart for the practice of architecture is depicted in Figure 1.2.


To accommodate all the equipment that is required for a structure, such as plumbing, hardware, finishes, and so forth, it is necessary to have access to the various manufacturing resources for specific products. The most widely used product information source is the Sweet's Catalog File. This file is provided in a set of volumes that allow architects and engineers to select the equipment necessary for the function of a building. Such equipment may be available from various manufacturers of conveying systems, window and doors, and the like. Information on the various products is now contained on CD-ROMs, which are easier to manipulate than the larger volumes. There are a number of electronic files that can be obtained. The CDs are based on the Uniform Construction Index, used widely in the construction industry. These particular systems use the following sixteen major divisions:

1. General data

2. Site work

3. Concrete

4. Masonry

5. Metals

6. Wood and plastics

7. Thermal and moisture protection

8. Doors and windows

9. Finishes

10. Specialties

11. Equipment

12. Furnishing

13. Special construction

14. Conveying systems

15. Mechanical

16. Electrical

Research via the Computer

Almost every large manufacturer has a web site that you can visit via the Internet. One can now research anything from hardware to framing anchors, engineered lumber products to composite building products. Research for building products is done in the same fashion as research for a term paper. The scope of such research can be worldwide. You are limited only by your ability to navigate through the sea of information and your ability to retrieve the necessary information that will satisfy and enhance the completion of the working drawings.

Most manufacturers also provide the architect with a video explaining a product, its specifications, and installation. Digital drawings can also be obtained, making it unnecessary to draw configurations for products such as window sections, stairs, and the like.

Manufacturers' Literature

A wealth of product information is available directly from manufacturers in the form of brochures, pamphlets, catalogs, manuals, and hardbound books. Actual samples of their products may also be obtained. The information available can include the following:

1. Advantages of a particular product over others

2. How the system works or is assembled

3. Necessary engineering

4. Detailed drawings

5. Special design features

6. Colors, textures, and patterns

7. Safety tests

8. Dimensioning

9. Installation procedures

Other Reference Sources

Retail sources such as major book publishers produce architectural reference books. Many art supply and drafting supply stores also carry reference materials. Public libraries contain a variety of professional reference materials -books, journals, and magazines. Colleges and universities offering architecture courses have architectural resource materials. These may include a broad general coverage of such areas as architectural drafting, graphics, engineering, and design principles. An example of a highly technical resource is the AIA Architectural Graphics Standards published by John Wiley & Sons. This book includes the maximum, minimum, and average sizes for a variety of items and contains such diverse information as the size of a baseball diamond or a bowling alley, the dimensions of most musical instruments, and the standard sizes for most major kitchen utensils and appliances. This book is found in almost all architectural offices.

Guides and Indexes

Two invaluable general book indexes are the Subject Guide to Books in Print (author and title volumes) and the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. All major bookstores carry these annual reference books. The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature is excellent for locating magazine articles on specific building types, new building techniques, and works of specific architects. Four additional sources of architectural information are the Art Index, Applied Science and Technology, The Humanities Index, and the Social Science Index. These are available in most college and university libraries and in major public libraries.


Professional organizations can be an asset to the business performance and office functions of an architectural firm. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is an example of a professional organization that will provide members with recommended documents, including client and architect contractual agreements, client and contractor agreements, and many others. The institution also provides recommended guidelines relative to fee schedules and disbursements, construction document facets, building specifications, and construction observation procedures and documentation.

Ethical procedures and office practice methods are recommended and defined as part of the many documents that are available from the American Institute of Architects.

It is recommended that associate architects and employees at the various technical levels become involved with a professional organization for a number of reasons, including being made aware of current technical information and activities within the profession of architect. The AIA also offers programs and directions for those in an internship phase of their careers. Student associate member programs are available through the AIA which provide an overall view of the architectural profession.

Other professional organizations for students of architecture can be found in their respective colleges and universities.


The relationship between the architect and the client, and the procedures for building a project, will vary among architectural offices as different architectural philosophies may be practiced.

In general, the architect/client relationship for a specific building project and the necessary responsibilities and procedures to accomplish the goals of the project will be initiated with the selection of the architect. After the architect is selected, the architect and the client enter into a contract, which defines the services to be performed and the responsibilities of the architect and the client. In many states it is a requirement that the architect use a written contract when providing professional services.

After the contractual agreement is signed and a retainer fee is given, the architect reviews the building site and confers with the client to determine the goals of the building project. Upon establishing the project's goals, there will be meetings with the governing agencies, such as the planning department, the building department, and architectural committees. The primary goal of the architectural team will be to initiate the preliminary planning and design phases.

In most architectural contract agreements, there are provisions for the architect and the consulting engineers to observe construction of the project during the building stage.

Construction Observation

When the construction firm has been selected and construction has commenced, the architect and consulting engineers, according to their agreement in the contract, observe the various phases of construction. These periodic observations generally correspond to the construction phases, such as during construction of the foundation, framing, and so forth. Following their observations, the architect and consulting engineers provide written reports to the client and contractor describing their observations, along with any recommendations or alterations they deem necessary for success of the project.

Preliminary Designs and Reviews

The next step in the architect/client relationship is the architect's presentation of the preliminary planning and design for the project. After the client's initial review of the project's planning and design, there may be some revisions and alterations to the design. In this case, the preliminary drawings are revised and presented again to the client for his or her approval.


Excerpted from The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings by Osamu A. Wakita Richard M. Linde Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii


Chapter 1 Professional Foundations 3

The Physical Office 4

Office Structure 4

Resource Library 6

Architect/Client Relationship 7

Building 13

Building Information Modeling on Building Design 15

Chapter 2 Standards and Techniques, Hand Drafting, Computer-Aided Drafting, and Metrification 17

Standards and Techniques Introduction 18

Office Standards 31

The Dimensional Reference System 35

Freehand and Hand Drafting 36

Office Standards 44

National CAD Standards 65

Metrics 66

Conclusion 73

Chapter 3 Human Concerns and Building Information Modeling (BIM) 75

Introduction 76

Human Considerations 76

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 76

Building Information Modeling (BIM) 85

Chapter 4 Sustainable/Green Architecture 93

Environmental and Human Considerations 94

Sustainable Architecture 95

Natural Impact 95

Impact of Man 104

Mold 114

Energy Sources 115

Green Architecture 119

Future of Energy Sources 119

Chapter 5 Construction Materials and Methods 123

Building Materials 124

Wood as a Material 124

Wood Floor Systems 129

Wood Wall Systems 133

Wood Roof Systems 137

Concrete 142

Steel System 151

Steel Stud Wall Framing System 155

Steel Decking Roof System 155

Light Steel Roof Framing System 155

Masonry System 156

Composite Systems and Combinations of Materials 160

Chapter 6 Initial Preparation Phase for Construction Documents 169

Guidelines for Construction Documents 170

Transitioning from Schematic Drawings to Construction Documents 171

Building Code Requirements 172

Selecting the Primary Structural System 173

Requirements of Consultants 173

Regional Considerations 174

Energy Conservation 175

Project Programming 176

Interrelationship of Drawings 176

Project Book 183


Chapter 7 Site Analysis and Site Documents 209

Introduction 210

Site Analysis Defined 210

Site Analysis Applied 212

Soils and Geology Map 216

Site Plan 217

Grading Plan 223

Site and Grading Plan 230

Drainage Plan 234

Erosion and Sediment Control Plans 235

The Utility Plan 236

Circulation Plan 236

Landscape, Irrigation, and Drainage Plans 237

Conclusion 237

Chapter 8 Floor Plan 245

Floor Plans 246

Types of Floor Plans 249

Symbols 260

Other Floor-Plan Considerations 265

Drawing a Floor Plan with a Computer 269

Case Studies: Working Drawing Development 277

Chapter 9 Foundation and Roof Plans, Floor, and Roof Framing Systems 301

Introduction 302

Types of Foundations 302

Examples 311

Summary of Typical Conventions for Foundation Plan 317

Exterior and Interior Walls 318

A Steel Structure 319

Case Studies: Working Drawing Development 322

Roof Plans and Framing Systems 333

Floor Framing 355

Case Studies: Working Drawing Development 359

Chapter 10 Building Sections 379

Building Sections Defined 380

Drafting a Building Section 383

Types of Building Sections 385

Chapter 11 Exterior and Interior Elevations 401

Exterior Elevations 402

Material Designations 412

Drafting an Exterior Elevation 419

Weatherproofing 421

Drawing an Elevation with and without a Model 423

Case Studies: Working Drawing Development 425

Interior Elevations 431

Dimensions and Intersections 440

Drafting an Interior Elevation: Examples 441

Computers and Interior Elevations 443

Evolution of a Set of Interior Elevations 443

Case Studies: Working Drawing Development 450

Chapter 12 Schedules: Door, Windows, and Finish 453

Schedules Defined 454

Pictorial Schedules: Doors and Windows 455

Interior Finish Schedules 456

Additional Schedules 459

Structural Schedules 460

CAD-Generated and Computer-Drafted Schedules 461

Schedules Using BIM 463

Chapter 13 Architectural Details and Vertical Links (Stairs/Elevators) 469

Architectural Details 470

Freehand Detail Sketches 470


Chapter 14 Additions/Alterations, Historical Preservation (Restoration), and Tenant Improvements 507

Additions/Alterations 508

Tenant Improvement Introduction 512

Existing Buildings 512

Existing Floor Level—Madison-B Building 512

Development of Working Drawings—Keim Building 514

Working Drawings 525

Chapter 15 BIM via Revit 537

Building Information Modeling (BIM) 538

Architectural Working Drawings 539

Floor Plan 540

Pre-Revit 544

Revit 545

Revit—Working Drawings 549


Chapter 16 One-Story Conventional Wood-Framed Structures 561

Introduction 562

Design and Schematic Drawings 563

Evolution of the Working Drawings 563

Chapter 17 Construction Documents for a Two-Story, Wood-Framed Residence with BIM 585

Introduction 586

BIM-Drawn Two-Story Wood-Framed Residence 619

Chapter 18 Clay Theater—Steel/Masonry Structure; Margaux—Masonry Structure 643

Introduction 644

Conceptual Design: Site and Client Requirements for Clay Theater 644

Design Development Punch List 644

Initial Schematic Studies 644

Margaux—Masonry Building 648

Index 665

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