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Architectural Plans


The Value of Good Building Plans for Your Church: Developing a Master Plan

By Jeffrey L Thomas

A complete and carefully prepared set of building plans is the real "foundation" of any building. It's difficult to place a value on the architectural design because it not only conveys most of the intangible artistic elements that will give the building its unique "personality", but it includes the technical information required by the craftsmen who will work on the project.

A good set of architectural plans will include enough information for any qualified builder to get complete and comparable bids from all of the major trades who will be required for the project. The goal of the owner should be to provide the contractors, the lender, and the congregation with enough details and specifications that all major questions regarding construction are answered in the architectural plans. A good set of architectural plans will reduce misunderstandings and errors and should foster a well-organized and efficient building project. All of which translates into time and money saved. Incomplete plans invite change orders, conflict, poor scheduling, and extra cost. Assumptions can kill a building project. Good plans reduce assumptions.

The plans and specifications also give the owner and the architect a means of judging the performance of the craftsmen on the job. If the plans call for 4000 lb. concrete and 95% compaction of the subgrade, these are verifiable standards of performance which must be met by the contractor. Simply put, an investment in good architectural plans can save a church more than just money.

Master Plans

Your church also needs to think about Master Plans. A well-conceived building design anticipates the need of the church to expand its facilities and redefine the usage of space as the church grows. A "Master Plan" can be developed with the help of an architect to plan for the various phases of facility development that the church can foresee at their location. The benefits to the church of such planning are significant. A Master Plan will help the church use its land in the most efficient manner and should result in reduced costs when the time comes for the next addition or renovation project.

The church should consider how the utilities are being brought into the building and insure that those utilities (sewer, water, electrical and gas services) are adequate to meet the planned needs for the future. Another important consideration is the location of the utilities. Avoid installing underground utilities and parking areas in locations suitable for future building additions.

The church should also locate the facilities on the site with a long-range view of future development. If the initial structure will be used as a sanctuary and will later be converted into classrooms or fellowship space, perhaps this facility should be located on the site in an area behind the proposed sanctuary to be built in Phase Two of the Master Plan. Plumbing for future kitchens, baptistery, or restrooms can be roughed-in to save costs and headaches later.

Since it is God's plan for the church body to grow, we need to plan our facilities accordingly. A Master Plan of present and anticipated future development will save the church money in the future and will result in efficient utilization of land and facilities.

Floor Plan Drawings & Compliance With Building Code Requirements

By Richard M Bothom

Floor plans are an excellent tool to demonstrate a property, to visualize the room layout and plan your new building, home or commercial space. The process of rendering professional floor plans is very simple. First you produce a complete sketch of the room layout containing all room dimensions, doors & windows, fixtures like wardrobes, fitted work tops in kitchens, bathroom amenities, etc. This sketch or a scanned image of it needs to be sent to the team of expert architectural drafters who will accurately convert your drawings into a set of effective floor plans, using popular CAD techniques such as AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, etc.

The team can deliver the finished floor plans in any desired format and according to your specifications. You can upload these drawings to your web site or include them in marketing collaterals to show it to your clients. We suggest you to use the following checklist to make sure that floor plan drawings are complete and give enough information to comply Building Code requirements in your region or city.

Your architectural plans should at least include:
- Site location
- Drawing scales
- Cross-section symbol
- Structural components (bars, joists), including sizes, lengths and materials
- Interior partitions
- Interior dimensions
- Exterior walls
- Exterior dimensions
- Room names & sizes
- Door locations & sizes
- Window locations & sizes
- Home/Office appliances
- Bathroom & plumbing fixtures
- Smoke detectors & alarm
- Trusses drawings if applicable.

Today an increasing number of clients demand more detailed information and compliance with regional building codes. A set of these drawings will demonstrate how exactly the property is laid out and can provide clear idea of rooms, individual floors or the entire property.

Do You Want to Draw Your Own House Plan?

By Tim J. Davis

Great idea, it sure saves money. Also eliminates the middle man. Those architects and designers can get expensive. I've heard that some designers can charge up to ten dollars per square foot for simple drawings containing a floor plan and exterior elevations. Now that is a chunk of change. If you are going to do it for yourself, you're going to need to know how. Below are just some of the things needed to know to draw a simple ranch style home.

So what do you need to know to draw your own house plan?

1. You need to know how to lay out your Floor Plan. The floor plan is the template for your entire set of drawings. From the floor plan show where we want our electrical, tell how big our rooms are, note our window and door sizes, etc., so this is where we have to begin. Sure you could start with the exterior views but that would limit our interior of the home to what the outside looks like. Not a good idea! The house needs to be functional first and look pretty second out of necessity.

2. You need to understand the mechanics of a well designed kitchen. A kitchen is a place where the homemaker spends a majority of their time. It needs to be comfortable but functional. This area consists of a Sink area, Cooking area, & Food storage area. The best layout for a kitchen is one in which the least steps are taken to reach each appliance. This is called the working area or working triangle. A good working triangle doesn't exceed 12 to 14 feet all the way around.

3. The builder of the home would sure appreciate knowing where the walls, windows, & doors are located exactly. They would also like knowing door and window sizes, not to mention anything else special that is on the plan. That's where the dimensions and notes come in handy. You need to be able to create a dimensional string and groups of notes that are not confusing.

4. The Electrical Plan is very important to you as it gives you the opportunity to customize the home to your power and comfort needs! On the other hand, it is not always needed. What I mean by this is that any electrician who has taken a test for his or her license knows what is required electrical service by code. Chances are that they have already wired quite a few residences and barring any special needs or preferences can do the job without this plan. Always be aware though! Certain states require that you be a licensed Architect or Electrical Engineer to do Electrical plans. Be sure to check with your local building inspector to see what your limitations are! This will definitely save you some headaches down the road.

5. In standard construction, at least in the South Eastern United States, houses are built on Masonry Foundations or Basements. A foundation is the part of the home that anchors it to or keeps it from settling into the ground. This knowledge is a must in completing your plans.

6. What about how the exterior is going to look? It is no small matter if you are wanting to convey the idea of how the finished product is going to look when construction is complete. What is it going look like when its built? How to determine the best roof pitch, do we use brick, siding or rock?

7. Folks, I definitely don't believe in mind reading! Neither does to typical contractor! If there is anything special you are wanting to build into your house, how is the builder to know unless you show them? You can make all the notes you want to on your plans and elevations but the message of how you want the house constructed may not always come across. That's why you need to understand how to draw details.

8. Then there is the task of finishing your drawings and not letting goofs and slip-ups get out the door. You need to understand the most common mistakes made by people who draw house plans so you can look out for them!

9. Last but not least in drawing your house plans is to know how to print them out and in what format and size.

The Basics of Building Plans

By Lydia Cooper

All the aspects of the construction industry can be divided into two categories: residential work (building homes) and commercial work which includes building schools, shops, offices and other commercial buildings. Both types of building require properly prepared building plans if they are to be constructed successfully. The plans are prepared by architects and engineers and give an overall picture of what the finished product should look like whilst acting as a blueprint to be followed throughout the construction process. Building plans are extremely important from the very first point of construction all the way to the end and if they are not prepared properly there may well be problems in the building process.

So how are these plans created? Well firstly, the process of making building plans starts when a developer or an investor decides that they want to build a new project. Usually they will approach an architect an architect with their ideas and they will work together to understand the type of building that is needed for the project. Once the ideas have been decided the plans will then be sent to the mechanical, electrical and structural engineers who will then look over them. Their role is to work as a team to ensure that the building is safe, functional and that it fulfils the designer's needs and wants. The architect will act as a go-between between the engineers and also as a channel of communication between the owner and all the other various members of the design team. Once the plans have been revised and completed they will then be given to the developer or the owner of the build to look over. They will then undergo a final revision if the developer decides to add any features of change any of the layout. Once they have been approved the build can begin.

Building plans can vary from a single basic sketch to a mass of pages detailing every little part of the build; it all depends on the size and scale of the job. The plans will consist of a section of architectural drawings including door and window positioning, floor plans and partition schedules. There will also be a section that details the mechanical and engineering plan of the build. This will include how and where the plumbing, the lighting and the wiring will operate. The building plans may also include a list of specifications that will cite what materials and methods should be used during the construction process.

Building plans are the single most important element in construction building. They are there to tell all involved in the build exactly what the owner or developer wants and expects out of build when it is finished. If the building plans are accurate and thorough enough then the building process should be pretty much straightforward and plans make it more likely that the client will be satisfied at the end of the project. The advantage of having written plans is that it is easier to avoid miscommunication within the team and between the architect and the developer.

If you are looking for some extra help with your design and build then why not contact the Gregg Street Group. They aim to provide you with the most comprehensive, cost effective and design efficient answer to your property development requirements. They will work with you from the very start to the very end so that you are sure to be satisfied with the finished project.


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''Where do architects and designers get their ideas?'' The answer, of course, is mainly from other architects and designers, so is it mere casuistry to distinguish between tradition and plagiarism?
Stephen Bayley

A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or no it is permanent, it claims permanence, like a dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

A modern, harmonic and lively architecture is the visible sign of an authentic democracy.
Walter Gropius

A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.
Guillaume Apollinaire

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All architects want to live beyond their deaths.
Philip Johnson

All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

All fine architectural values are human vales, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright


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