One of the most important elements of architectural design is creating sheets. They are commonly the basic means of communicating design and construction ideas with contractors, engineers, and other architects. Virtually all professional Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) software come with features for creating sheets. These are usually add-ons that allow 3D models to be flattened into 2D layouts. Tables, views, and special units can be added to the sheets before they are printed or saved in various formats.
Autodesk software packages are designed to make 3D to 2D model transition intuitive. These are often used for construction documents. Sheets can also be created for 3D and rendered views, if they are needed. Creating sheets in Revit takes a few moments and learning how to do so is just as easy. There are several Revit online tutorial videos that can help novice and veteran architectures alike with this topic. Some of the important features that beginning architects need to learn when they are introduced to sheets are highlighted in the following paragraphs.
Views constitute the main part of architectural and other design project sheets. In architecture, it is customary to include several views of a model, in order to display the structure from different angles. Multiple detailed views help the people who will use the sheets to get a full idea of what the project looks like in 3D and in real-life. Some of the common view types include front and back, floor and ceiling plans, elevations, and sections. As a general rule, one view is presented on each sheet. This reduces confusions with dimensions and scales. Programs like Revit allow one view per sheet, by default.
Scales, dimensions, and units
Architects are expected to include scales, dimensions and a note about the units used on their sheets. This is true even for real-life projects, unless a client specifically mentions that they should be left out. The drawing should take at least half of the area of the sheet. This applies for most sheet sizes. It helps spread the dimensions of the design across the sheet and create manageable scales.
The architect should always pay special attention to the units on the sheets. Different projects and customers can ask for different units. Fortunately, changing units on sheets is very easy with most BIM software. For convenience and neatness, the units are usually not shown on the dimensions in the model. However, the units used in the dimensions should always be clearly stated in the notes that accompany the drawing.
Tables, titles, and special notes
Standard sheets include reference tables, project titles, and notes that could help the people using the sheets. The architect’s name and/or their company’s name and logo can also be added to the top or bottom of the sheets. Tables are an efficient way of listing or describing a similar group of items. They are also handy for writing special notes for plumbing, electrical, or other construction work. For instance, if there are special features in a front wall, instead of putting the names on the drawing, alphabetic letters can be used. Then the names/details of these features can be written in the table. This saves space on the sheet and at the same time, it makes the presentation neat.
By the time architects do a handful of projects, working with these features would have become second nature. The great thing about modern CAD software packages is that they are designed to dynamically help the designers. This is done through notifications, warnings, and the programs’ default settings.