Department of Civil Engineering,
The University of the West Indies,
CIVIL ENGINEERING DRAWING
Prepared by Dr. T.M. Lewis
Civil engineering drawing and structural detailing are concerned with translating
the work of a
civil engineer into drawings which can be used by a builder to
guide the construction of the desired structure.
It sounds quite simple.
that it is not is shown by the many mess-ups that occur during the construction
process - many of which are attributable to poor drawings.
The reasons why problems occur are many.
For one thing, not all designers
have enough technical appreciation of how things are done on site, and for
another, contractors often do not understand the logic behind the design.
overriding task of the draftsperson is to anticipate and avoid these shortcomings.
Working drawings must be produced that explain the intentions of the designer
and are easy for the contractor to follow.
The draftsperson should, ideally, have a good understanding of both theory and
practice, and, hence be experienced in both the fields of design and construction.
However, this is not always the case.
Firstly, engineering drawing is a 'game' played according to a set of rules.
materials that are used structurally are as standardised as possible.
of the material used is specified in detail according to accepted standards, and
also the sizes of the sections that are normally used are standardised.
obviously simplifies the process.
Non-standard materials can be used, but they
are not readily available, usually cost
more, and complicate the design process
Standardised Materials -
1- quality of material
2- size of elements
In addition to this, the way in which the drawings themselves are presented
follows its own set of rules.
There are, for example, standard views and
projections, standard scales, and standard symbols and notation.
standards are used and accepted by all parties to the process, because they are
understood by all, and this common understanding greatly reduces the risk of
error due to break downs in communication.
Standardised drawings -