Complete Guide to Blueprint, Construction & House Plan Paper Sizes
Although building sizes and shapes can vary widely, the blueprint paper size upon which each plan is drawn must comply with Australian standards. The uniform size requirements must conform to the Building Code of Australia (BCA). As a member of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), Australia adheres to the ISO standard that uses the A series for paper sizes.
This guide discusses the drawings needed for constructing a home and the blueprint paper size requirements for the various drawings.
What Types of Drawings Are Required?
Architectural drawings include more than a floor plan. They include site, landscape, as-built, cross-section, and elevation plans. Each drawing provides essential detail for approval and construction. Construction plans often accompany architectural drawings. These detailed plans show electrical, HVAC, and plumbing details for home construction.
Architectural drawings use a standard measurement for floor plans of a building based on the aspect ratio. Most house plans use a metric scale of 1:150 or 1:100 instead of the eighth- or quarter-inch US scale. Standard construction plans print on A1, A2, and A3 paper sizes.
Floor plans illustrate the basic layout of a home's interior. The plan is a top-down view, much like a map, that shows the flow from room to room. The house plans show where doors, windows, and stairs will be located. The floor plan measurements must follow the metric scale and indicate the aspect ratio on the building plan.
When creating floor plans, standard door sizes vary depending on the manufacturing country. Standard Australian interior doors are slightly larger than those in the US or UK. Australian interior doors vary from 530 mm to 920 mm wide, with a standard door height of 2040 mm to 2340 mm. Window dimensions vary on the type of window.
Site plans are much like floor plans. They provide a top-down view of the construction site. A plan will show where the new construction will be placed. It identifies roads, existing buildings, and other structures that impact the size or location of the building.
Site and floor plans provide an overall perspective of the interior and exterior of a home and should be printed on blueprint paper sizes A1 through A3.
Imagine a building cut in half vertically, exposing the interior layout. This cross-section lets people see the size of windows and doors in relation to the size of the building. It includes the building's elevation and width. The view lets individuals see what rooms correspond to exterior structures such as fireplaces, sliding doors, and windows. It's helpful when looking at custom home construction.
Landscape drawings show the home's exterior, including paint colours, light fixtures, pathways, and other aesthetic elements. It may show plantings at the edge of the property to serve as windbreaks or privacy screens. When the house is in a residential area, street lights and sidewalks may be shown to help clients visualise the space. The landscape drawings may not comply with blueprint paper size requirements, as colour is used.
A building's elevation can change its natural lighting and the exterior's appearance. It can highlight areas where the placement of windows or doors changes the home's appearance when the elevation changes. Homes that were planned for a 3.5-metre elevation may need a reassessment if they must be built at ground level. Natural lighting may be restricted at ground level, requiring larger windows for brighter interiors.
Every building begins with a sound foundation. Excavation drawings help identify the size of the foundation and how to approach its construction. The drawings can also show trenches for waterproofing. This helps the construction company know what equipment should be available onsite.
For slab foundations, the concrete slabs must meet Australian Standards 2870 and 3600. Slab thickness ranges between 85 mm and 100 mm, depending on the structure. These drawings should also use exact house plan paper sizes.
Depending on the building, construction and engineering drawings may be needed to guide the different construction trades in where to install electrical outlets and lighting. They can show where the ductwork should go to support a new HVAC system. Among the different types of construction drawings are the following:
- Structural drawings
- Engineering drawings
- Shop drawings
- Technical drawings
- HVAC drawings
- Electrical and plumbing drawings
Standard construction plan size prints on blueprint paper size options ranging from A0 to A3. Larger-format printing may be required to show the necessary detail.
Architects may create an as-built drawing at the end of construction. These drawings show the finished appearance as compared to the original blueprint. It can help future construction crews understand how the final building evolved from the original design.
What Are the Standard Blueprint Paper Sizes?
Australia follows the ISO standard for paper sizes. These blueprint paper sizes are designated as the A series, beginning with A0 through A10.
Architectural Paper Sizes
Architects use the following paper sizes:
- A3 = 29.7 cm x 42 cm
- A2 = 42 cm x 59.4 cm
- Α1 = 59.4 cm x 84.1 cm
- Α0 = 84.1 cm x 118.9 cm
A0 is considered a large format blueprint paper size. These are in contrast to the US architectural paper sizes of:
- ARCH A = 22.86 cm x 30.48 cm (9 x 12 inches)
- ARCH B = 30.48 cm x 45.72 cm (12 x 18 inches)
- ARCH C = 45.72 cm x 60.96 cm (18 x 24 inches)
- ARCH D = 60.96 cm x 91.44 cm (24 x 36 inches)
- ARCH E = 91.44 cm x 121.92 cm (36 x 48 inches)
ARCH B, C, and D are the most common blueprint paper sizes, with ARCH E corresponding to A0 large format.
Engineering Paper Sizes
The US uses an ANSI standard for engineering paper sizes. Although Australia does not comply with the ANSI standard, some engineers may still use it. The standard establishes the following sizes:
- ANSI A = 21.59 cm x 27.94 cm (8.5 x 11 inches)
- ANSI B = 27.94 cm x 43.18 cm (11 x 17 inches)
- ANSI C = 43.18 cm x 55.88 cm (17 x 22 inches)
- ANSI D = 55.88 cm x 86.36 cm (22 x 34 inches)
- ANSI E = 86.36 cm x 111.76 cm (34 x 44 inches)
CAD-generated plans can adjust to a standard construction or house plan paper size.
Printing Architectural, Engineering, and Construction Plans
At a minimum, three sets of drawings with the right blueprint paper size should be created: one each for the owner, the architect, and the approval board. Once approved, additional sets will be needed for contractors and subcontractors. Whether you need multiple copies or just one, contact us to discuss your printing needs. We have the resources to help you print large format paper sizes.
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