Floor plans and elevations
Floor plans and elevations are drawing methods commonly associated with the environmental design field. They are used to convey visual information (interior and exterior) about a building such as a house, restaurant, or cubby. Floor plans are the equivalent of a top-down orthographic drawing, while elevations are similar to that of the front and side views. This handout provides VCE students with a basic overview of the standards and conventions associated with floor-plans; however, you are recommended to download and refer to the ‘Technical Drawing Specifications Resource’ handbook (that is freely available on the VCAA website) which drills down much deeper into these technical drawing methods.
The anatomy of a floor plan
Floor plans are a 2D representation of a building from the top-view containing specific line and symbol conventions. The example below is a typical floor plan consisting of multiple rooms, windows, doors and furniture within a one-story building.
There are two main kinds of walls that students need to consider when drawing a floor plan; the exterior and interior. Their exact thickness of these walls is dependent on the scale. At a scale of 1:100, the exterior walls are represented by two continuous lines 3mm apart. They are then filled with black or hatched to represent a particular material. Refer to the following table to identify the appropriate line weight and style for your walls.
Conventional doors are indicated in a floor plan with a line perpendicular to the wall and with a quarter circle which shows the direction in which the door swings. The perpendicular line is the side in which the door is hinged on, for example:
In addition to the conventional door (as described above), there is a range of other doors such as bi-fold doors, pocket doors and surface sliding doors – all with their own unique symbol to identify them.
Windows are drawn within the walls and are indicated by three parallel lines. Various types of windows can be represented in your floor plans such as double sliding windows and bifold windows. The direction of the opening is shown with a diagonal ‘V’.
Similar to orthographic drawings, students will need to dimension their floor plans using specific standards and conventions. As stated in VCAA’s Technical Drawing Specifications Resource (2018); dimensions are constructed by referencing features in the following order:
The dimensions that make contact with the projection line will end with a short 45 degree line (rather than an arrow head used in orthographic drawings). A 45 degree line and a short vertical line will be used in-between the projection lines to measure the rest of the features.
Many devices can be used to connect separate levels inside a building, such as stairs, ramps, escalators and lifts – all of which need to be indicated in the floor plan. In a typical home, stairs are commonly used and are depicted in a floor plan by a series of rectangles to show each step as it ascends (or descends) to the next level. An arrow is drawn through the middle to indicate the rise of the stairs. For example;
A Guide to Floor Plans
This handout, which is free to download, will offer teachers and students information about floor-plans. The handout has been optimised to print on an A3 paper.
This handout, which is free to download, will offer teachers and students information about floor-plans. Floor plans are 2D visual representations of a building/structure that is viewed from the top. Much like orthograophic drawings, floor-plans have their own unique standards and conventions that students need to adhere to, most of which are detailed in the Technical Drawing Specifications Resource published by VCAA. Some of these have been illustrated in the downloadable .PDF handout and can be used for students who study Visual Communication and Design in VCE.
The handout has been optimised to print on an A3 paper.