Concrete construction blueprints consist of graphic descriptions and written specifications for construction projects. Specifications describe the performance standard and quality of materials; there are also several sections about concrete form, place, and finish. Reading concrete construction plans takes practice and requires familiarity with graphic symbols and line weights for drafting. Read written specifications carefully as well; if there is conflict between drawings and specifications, the specifications override the drawings.
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Understanding Concrete Construction Blueprints
Review drafting manual for symbol identification, especially symbols for concrete, gravel, soil and reinforced steel bars and welded wire mesh. Become familiar with line conventions, including line weight, dashed and hidden lines and lines showing dimensions.
Examine the general conditions section of the concrete construction blueprints written specifications first and note areas of responsibility and special concerns related to construction. Highlight points of potential conflict or confusion.
Find plans outlining concrete structures and related work, such as sitework and foundation plans. Organize plan, elevation and section and detail drawings for ease of cross-reference. Keep the written specifications close at hand.
Examine the concrete construction plans and views for horizontal information, such as layout and dimensions. Note reference and finish elevations, interior and exterior drainage details and locations where concrete work intersects with other trades. Study door and window openings for locations and dimensions. Look for notes about reinforcing steel.
Cross-reference your concrete construction blueprints with elevation, section, and detail drawings for vertical information. Distinguish between typical details — practices repeated throughout construction — and specific details that occur only once.
Check written specifications for concrete mix design, subgrade material description, standard for quality of work and how to perform the work. Study any shop drawings for fabrication and connection details for special work.
Compare ground conditions with concrete construction plans and note any discrepancies. List questions and observations and consult with the project manager for clarification.
Different Types of Concrete:
Concrete blueprints will specify different types of concrete that are produced based on the constituent material, mix design, the method of construction, area of application, form of hydration reaction. Details of these various types of concrete, their properties and applications are reviewed in our blog article different type of concrete.
Scales are useful for understanding a blueprint or drawing but they should not be used for obtaining dimensions during construction. Dimensions are usually located on top or at the right-hand side of the object. Simple projects may contain more information on fewer plans.