■ Architectural design brief

The architectural design brief is the beginning of the design process. It is prepared by an architect* and includes the characteristics of the project, the kind of work involved and the choice of building materials, described according to the budget of the client.

■ Architectural drawings

Architectural drawings provide a guideline for how a structure should be built. Today all the architectural drawings are prepared using computer design software such as AutoCAD, BIM and rendering programmes.

Sometimes architectural models* can be used.

Site plan: this shows the site of a house on the property in its context and outlines the location of utility services, easements, roads and walkways, and even topographical data that specify the slope of the terrain.

Floor plan: this specifies room sizes and wall lengths, all the doors and windows and any built-in elements, such as plumbing fixtures and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system. Floor plans usually include notes to specify finishes, construction methods or symbols for electrical items.

Elevation plan: this includes front, rear and both right and left side elevations, which specify ridge heights, exterior finishes, roof pitches and other details that are necessary to give the home its exterior architectural styling.

Section plan** : it is a vertical plan drawing showing the internal features of the building, such as the staircase. 

Architectural drawings usually contain additional information such as:

foundation plan, including dimensions and locations;

electrical and telecom drawings that show information about power, lighting and communication systems;

plumbing drawings that include the network of water and gas supply pipes, and the DWV (Drain-Waste- Vent) system;

home automation plans for the remote control of lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and security.

■ Building permit

Before the opening of the construction yard, a “Building Permit” must be obtained by the appropriate authorities according to a “building code” that establishes regulations for the construction, remodelling and maintenance of a structure.

1 Complete the table.

1. site plan

2. floor plan

3. elevation plan

4. section plan

5. foundation plan

6. electrical and telecom

7. plumbing drawings

8. home automation plan

2 Answer the following questions.
1. Who prepares the architectural brief for a building construction?
2. What information does an architectural brief include?
3. What kind of software may be used to prepare architectural drawings?
4. What document is necessary before the opening of a construction yard?
5. What does a ‘building code’ establish?

3 Match the following words to the right definition.
1. budget   ☐   a. process of creating an attractive appearance for something
2. location   ☐   b. measures taken to protect a place or a person
3. slope   ☐   c. rate, per unit time, at which electrical energy is transferred by an electric circuit
4. styling   ☐   d. exact position
5. lighting   ☐   e. the process of becoming warmer
6. security   ☐   f. of money you have available to spend
7. power   ☐   g. illumination
8. heating   ☐   h. inclined surface

4 PAIR WORK Draw the floor plan of the flat or house where you live (or invent one).
Indicate all the necessary information. Then ask a classmate to describe it. Exchange roles.

In Italy, all the drawings constitute what is called progetto di massima’, but there is also the ‘progetto esecutivo’, that is to say, the drawings given to the specialized workers on the construction site.
They include all the building details and technical information necessary to reach the best result according to the architect’s intention.

Libro digitale in formato "liquido"