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Unit: Work documents

Supporting: LMFGN3001B: Read and interpret work documents

Section 1: Working drawings

Building plans

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Building plans are called the working drawings for a building because they're what the various tradespeople use to carry out the work.

Often the term 'building plans' is simply shortened to 'plans'.

The main drawings that make up a set of plans are as follows. Below each description is a link to a typical example.

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Site plan

The site plan shows the whole block of land, or if it is a large acreage, the area of land where the proposed building will go.

It also shows the location of the proposed building, together with any other existing buildings or structures.

In some instances, it may also show landscaping, driveways, ground levels, mains water, and other information relevant to the work being carried out.

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Floor plan

The floor plan gives you a 'bird's eye view' of the floor area. If there is more than one floor, there will be a separate floor plan for each level.

Floor plans show the overall dimensions of the building as well as rooms, openings, wall thicknesses and other important features.

They also show certain details of internal features, such as door swings, floor finishes, and the location of fixtures and fittings.

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An elevation is a side-on view of the building.

There are normally several elevations shown in the building plans, because different sides generally have different design features.

Each elevation is identified according to the direction that the side is facing, such as 'North Elevation' or 'East Elevation'.

Elevations show height dimensions - in particular the Finished Floor Level (FFL) and Finished Ceiling Level (FCL).

Note that the FFL shown in the sample elevation below is marked as 100.070. This means it is 70 mm (.070 m) above the surveyor's datum point, which is shown in the site plan above as 100.000.

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A section drawing looks a bit like an elevation, but it actually shows a cross section through the building.

Sections are used to indicate the basic structural characteristics of the roof, walls, subfloor and footings.

They also show the floor levels clearly, including any split levels or sunken rooms.

You'll see that the drawing below is called 'Section AA'. This means it represents the section view through the invisible line on the floor plan between the two points marked 'A'.

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Detail drawings are used to provide a close up view of particular construction details. They are generally drawn as a section through the area or feature.

Some detail drawings show the design and specifications of important structural components.

Others might show internal elevations, and provide information on skirting heights, splashbacks, plumbing fixtures, door kickplates and other installation details.

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Learning activity

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Below is the South Elevation for the house we've been looking at in the plans shown above.

The numbers along the roof indicate the different rooms across the back of the house.

Go back to the sample floor plan linked above and find out which rooms correspond to these numbers.

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