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Construction details

Construction detail types and technical guidelines

Construction details are technical drawings that provide a complete graphical representation of a project specific section. Browse through examples and learn how to create them

Construction details are fundamental in the design and execution of any AEC (Architectural, Engineering, Construction) project.

They serve as an essential guide for designers, contractors and professionals in the construction industry. They ensure that every element of the construction project is executed according to the desired specifications.

Below, I provide a series of examples of construction details to browse through. And instructions on how to create them easily using a 3D building design software that you can immediately use for free for 30 days.

Edificius construction details

Edificius construction details

What are construction details

In the realm of design, construction details (or construction drawings) are detailed graphical representations that, with a high level of detail, illustrate the technical characteristics of various structure components.

They, are an integral part of the executive project documentation. And provide precise information about construction techniques and methodologies. Particularly those needed for specific parts of the building project realization. Examples would be: nodes, joints, connections, beam anchorages, masonry weaves and window frame profiles, etc.

Contractors, builders and construction workers usually use these details on-site. They ensure that every assemble or install element is correctly built. Therefore adhering to design requirements while addressing safety, functionality and aesthetic needs.

Appropriate references to construction details must be included in technical project drawings. You’ll find these references in plans, elevations, sections, 3D views and axonometric sections.

The level of detail provided by these graphic representations must ensure a comprehensive technical depiction of construction elements. Therefore to adopt construction methodologies and techniques in particular reference to geometry, dimensions, materials as well as installation is usually a key indication of a good level of construction detail.

The recommended minimum representation scale for construction details is 1:20. Although larger scale ratios can be used to graphically convey a greater amount of technical information about the element.

What comprises a construction drawing detail

Construction details aim to provide a descriptive representation of the technical solutions adopted in constructing a building, architectural work, or infrastructure.

They are specifically used to graphically illustrate the functionalities and characteristics of various building components.

They can be classified into the following types:

  • Structural details: provide accurate information about the structural components of a building, including foundations, beams, columns, load-bearing walls. As well as the necessary connections between these elements to ensure structural stability and strength. (such as metal joints, welded or bolted connections, precast connections and cast-in-place elements, etc.);
  • Foundation details: focus on the construction characteristics of foundation elements (such as slabs, piles, footings, or inverted beams), specifying for each the type, dimensions, depth, materials, reinforcements, etc.;
  • Wall details: illustrate how to construct internal and external building walls, providing useful information about material layering, thermal insulation as well as openings for doors, windows and structural connections;
  • Roof details: provide detailed instructions on the installation of roofing elements, including support structures, drainage, waterproofing, thermal insulation, finishes, etc.;
  • Systems details: illustrate how all building systems’ elements (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC) should be installed, positioned and connected;
  • Finishing details: illustrate how internal and external finishes will be applied, describing technical specifications of wall coverings, floors, ceilings and paints;
  • Landscaping details: if the project includes landscaping elements, construction details can illustrate how to construct: retaining walls, paths, gardens, water features, plantings, etc.

Below are some examples of construction details produced with Edificius building design software.

What should construction details include

To ensure a building project’s correct execution, construction detailing must contain a series of information essentials.

Their objective is to fully define the various structure elements’ construction characteristics.

Therefore, these detailed representations should include useful information about the following aspects:

  • Geometry and dimensions: construction details should report the geometric characteristics and actual construction components dimensions, such as lengths, widths, heights, thicknesses, angles, inclinations, and curves;
  • Materials: construction details should specify construction project materials’ quality and types. Providing information on layering, finishing grades and any special requirements;
  • Structural connections: detailed drawings should show how different parts connect and interact with each other through an accurate description of structure critical points, including joints, connections and various anchorages;
  • Installation guidelines: construction details should graphically describe the procedures and techniques for installing or placing each component, as well as provide adequate instructions on how to assemble various building elements. Such as walls, roofs, floors, doors, windows, and mechanical systems;
  • Safety: construction details can include safety information by describing technical specifications related to elements such as emergency stairs, parapets, handrails, fire safety systems, emergency exits and other components aimed at ensuring occupant safety;
  • Regulatory compliance: construction details suggest technological solutions to ensure compliance with requirements outlined by existing technical regulations;
  • Energy efficiency and sustainability: technical graphical representations provide accurate information about the construction elements performance and energy quality. Therefore describing characteristics and position of thermal-acoustic insulation, ventilation systems, waterproofing elements and so on.
The information provided by the construction details

The information provided by the construction details

Creating effective construction details

Creating a complex construction detail requires precision. That’s why 3D building design software represents a crucial step in this process.

Through these software platforms, it’s possible to create detailed graphical representations based on drawings extracted from your building 3D digital model, by defining parameters such as dimensions, materials, and technical specifications. The maximum precision offered by these software tools when setting construction details results in several undeniable advantages:

  • Clear communication: effective construction details allow architects, engineers, builders and other industry professionals to communicate precisely how to construct each building component. This clarity minimizes misunderstandings as well as the possibility of errors during the construction phase;
  • Dimensional precision: construction detail drawings provide accurate measurements for each project section. This precision is essential, ensuring that all components are correctly manufacture and install. Thereby avoiding structural or operational issues;
  • Quality control: construction details define quality standards for each project element. During the production and installation phases you can use these standards to inspect and verify building components quality levels;
  • Time and cost savings: a well-documented project, with accurate drawings, tends to incur fewer delays and additional costs due to errors or communication issues. Detail technical drawings help avoid last-minute changes, optimizing construction process;
  • Effective maintenance: Upon project completion, construction detail drawings serve as valuable references for potential repairs and maintenance. By analyzing these detailed representations, industry operators can easily identify parts to be replace or repair;
  • Legal protection: construction details are an important part of the legal documentation associated with a construction project. These documents can help obtaining necessary permits or resolving contractual disputes.

You can immediately test the benefits listed above through a 30 days building design software free trial version. Below is a tutorial providing technical guidelines on creating construction details.