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Not everything is so straightforward…

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

Architects and architectural firms do not always have a ‘smooth ride’ with the project on which they are working.

Sometimes, architectural firms get given a job for which they have no survey notes, which means no measurements for building features (such as where a particular window is, and how long a wall is, whereabouts the doors are etc.). There are ways around this, but they may take a fair amount of time to find, and the particular method we used only works if the building has been previously worked on by architects, but it is so much easier to go to the site in question with measuring equipment and getting the correct distances yourself, rather than estimating based on another architectural drawing.

For one of our recent projects, we had to locate and acquire a copy of previous drawings for the building in question. The drawings which we found online lacked measurements of any kind, so we had to use the drawings, combined with the scale they had given us to work out what each wall's length would be, where windows were positioned etc. Doing this by eye with a scale ruler is never 100% accurate, but it will give the basic layout of the building.

So that we could work on the project, we needed a copy of it on our CAD system. So we set to work with drawing this building from scratch. We needed to take the drawings with our estimated distances and correct any which weren’t quite right (this bit was a trial and error task). We then worked out the scale of the drawing until it was correct (another trial and error task) and worked on it as normal from that point forward.

Although the printout from which we drew did not have any measurements, it was still useful as a general guide as to what the finished plans should roughly look like.

Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.

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