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Architectural CAD Drafting

The Use of Architectural CAD Drafting & Detailing


Imagine constructing your ideal home without accurate blueprint - estimating measurements and crossing your fingers that everything will go well. How confident will you feel? A survey by American Institute of Architects (AIA) indicated that 68% of architects believe that detailed CAD drawings significantly reduce project timelines by streamlining construction process. This highlights important role of architectural CAD design and detailing. They translate concepts into exact & comprehensive plans, ensuring that each structural component is placed just as it should be. We will define Architectural CAD Drawings and Detailing, discuss their significance & review fundamental ideas vital in this article. Let us begin by understanding the meaning of architectural CAD drafting.

What is Architectural CAD Drafting?

CAD (Computer-aided Design) software allows you to create drawings in digital panel known as blueprints or plans. Creating these plans and blueprints using software is called CAD Drafting. Using software to make designs helps save cost and time, makes it easier to work, allows collaboration among team members & is accurate with details. Architectural CAD Drafting is to create detailed 2D and 3D plans and models of a building or structure using CAD software, whether residential, commercial or industrial. Different software that can be used to create these CAD drafts are AutoCAD, AutoDesk, Sketchup, Tekla & others. Let us now move to another part of blog, Architectural CAD Detailing.

What is Architectural CAD Detailing?

CAD Detailing, similar to CAD Drafting, is making detailed technical drawings of structure or buildings. It includes every detail of structure, including every corner from interior to exterior of building. Architectural CAD detailings are made with two categories in mind, one technical details and other design details. Technical Details focus on performance and assembly of components, while Design details focus on design elements of building.

Working on these two categories and making CAD Detailings help in planning projects easily by working as a set of instructions for builders. These architectural CAD detailings include plan details, section details, size and width of windows, doors, walls & every other minute detail of building. Also, these drawings give you a detailed view of a particular part of structure for a clearer vision.

Importance of CAD Drafting & Detailing in Architecture

1. Accurate & Precise

CAD Drafting and Detailing allows architects and designers to get precise and accurate site plans, elevations, sections, floor plans & details of the structure. They also ensure the correct fixtures during construction.

2. Cost & Time effective

Modern CAD software allows you to save time & cost spent on hand-drawn sketches. It also decreases chances of mistakes, which, if made, can be easily corrected. This reduces cost of creating design from scratch, which saves time as well. Construction Industry Institute (CII) found that detailed design can reduce total project costs by up to 10% due to fewer design changes & less rework.

3. Better Visualization

These detailed CAD sketches give a clearer look at design of building, helping in better visualization for contractors and architects. This in turn leads to better design outcomes and reduces time to make decisions.

4. Better Communication

These sketches allow clear communication between contractors, architects & other stakeholders, reducing chances of miscommunication and errors.

5. Compliance with Codes & Regulations

These CAD sketches ensure that all building codes & regulations are met to make structure legal and safe.

6. Collaboration & Documentation

CAD software allows other team members to work on same file as yours increasing team collaboration and efficiency. It also allows us to keep the documents safe for future reference.

Design Principles for Architectural CAD Drafting

1. Maintain balance & proportion

Creating a visual balance in design becomes a task for designers. The distribution of visual weight in design makes it more pleasing and harmonious. The proportion of different elements in design plays same role. Maintaining size and scale of these elements is most important.

2. Don’t be too rational

Making a structure requires rationality, but do not limit broadness of your creativity. Making innovative and out-of-the-box designs can lead to great architectural structures.

3. Try innovations

Now, being creative goes hand-in-hand with innovations and trying new technologies. Try being innovative and adaptive with trends, to create great structures.

4. Do not undervalue technology

Technology in today’s world can help increase efficiency and streamline the workflow. Using latest CAD software allows architects to convert their imagination into 3D models and then, real structures. Thus, technology could not be undervalued in today’s world.

Steps for Architectural Drafting & Detailing

To complete Architectural CAD Drafting and Detailing, we typically adhere to a series of procedures. At Gsource, we receive different combinations to begin a project based on details customer provides and their particular needs.

You may find a detailed description of our fundamental procedure for general architecture CAD drafting and detailing here.

We don't always have to start from scratch when a client brings us a new project. Clients occasionally provide us with DD sets and ask for CD sets and As-builts. They may frequently merely require PDF files to be translated to CAD. Among other special needs, certain clients could need phase 1 DD sets changed to phase 2 DD sets, while others might need comprehensive CD sets. In these situations, we pick up where client left off and provide finished product following their specifications. As a result, phases and procedures change based on what customer needs.

Uses of Architectural CAD Drafting & Detailing

1. Conceptual Phase

CAD Drafting is used to make initial phase sketches of building. This helps architects and engineers to brush up design ideas in 2D and 3D models.

2. Design Development Phase

In this phase, CAD software is used to make more detailed designs like site plans, elevations, floor plans, details & other details. These are then used to obtain necessary permits and legal documents.

3. Construction Documentation Phase

In Construction Documentation phase, these documents help construction workers know where to build a particular structure. These are made in detail with help of CAD software.

4. Interior Designing Phase

The placement of furniture, fixtures, tables, glass & other interior details is created in CAD Drafting of the interior designing phase.

5 Finalization Phase

The finalization phase involves completing the CAD designs according to changes required, if any, and submitting them as final drawings for construction.

6. Renovation & Maintenance Phase

As construction continues, changes are made during this phase, and final As-builts are made through CAD drafting for client and other stakeholders.

Role of CAD Drafting & Detailing in Renovation

CAD Drafting and Detailing in renovations, whether residential, commercial, hospitals, restaurants, large or small, play a vital role. The main role is to have a plan and know what is to be renovated, and a detailed CAD draft helps with it. Now, if renovation requires adding up new elements, knowing about the old ones and their fixtures is very important. This will help in adding up new elements to the old structure, without much hassle.

Also, renovating old structure will require new structure to comply with and adhere to local laws and regulations. This can be also solved with help of detailed CAD drafts. Thus, CAD drafting and detailing help to renovate, keeping in mind all the requirements and making it cost and time-efficient.


Precise CAD drafting and detailing are essential to realizing architectural concepts, much as a solid foundation is to a building's solidity. As we come to end of our discussion of these important tools, it is evident that their use in contemporary architecture extends well beyond production of drawings; rather, they maintain correctness, enhance communication & expedite the whole design process. Building not just buildings but also enduring architectural legacies requires an understanding of and adherence to these principles.

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