Single-family home plans, the technical guide-software-BIM-architecture-Edificius

Single-family home plans, the technical guide

Two-storey single-family home plans: construction characteristics and a practical example with DWG drawings and 3D BIM model ready for download

In this insight we’ll be focusing on single-family home plans design while dealing with both theoretical and practical aspects: from the definition of this residential building type to the reproduction of a 3D model.

We’ll start off with theoretical aspects assessment and analysis (reference context, orientation, etc.) and then we’ll continue with the design of a stand-alone single-family home on two levels.

Furthermore, we will provide a complete project to use as case study example together with technical drawings in DWG file format (floor plans, prospects and sections) and the project 3D model produced with Edificius, the architectural BIM design software.


Single-family home project – facade render

Download the project 3D BIM model (.edf file) of a single-family home


Single-family home project-ground-floor-plan-software-BIM-architecture-Edificius

Single-family home project – ground floor plan

Download and try the 30-day free trial version of Edificius, the 3D architectural BIM design software


Single-family home plans: definition and types

A single-family home is generally defined as a residential building maintained and used as a single dwelling unit that is usually free-standing and surrounded by green spaces.


single-family home project-prospect-BIM-software-architecture-Edificius

Single family home – prospect

Generally, it is built on two levels and it can have a basement as well which is used as utility and services space (for garages, cellars and storage purposes).

Let’s now take a look at some single-family home layout types.


Single-family home project – types

Single-family home plans: design guidelines

The design of a single-family house allows architects and engineers to be very creative, whereas any constraints can create new and ingenious solution experimentations.

The design of a stand-alone building requires a rich know-how and a preliminary analysis including the study of:

  • the landscape context (orientation, orography, climatic and microclimatic zone, panoramic views, native vegetation, etc.)
  • existing buildings (construction techniques, traditional materials, etc.)
  • local materials (local stones, wood, etc.)


This type of house allows you to open windows on all its external sides, choosing the optimal orientation and sunshine conditions, the views and characteristics for the residence.


The slope and the conformation of the plot can represent a constraint to the design. The designer’s ability to enhance certain characteristics of the context will define the quality of the final result.


The plot reference latitude is the first criteria to take in account in order to establish the right orientation of the house and functions.

The sun path diagram, together with environmental assessments such as distance from other buildings, trees, etc., can help to define the building’s orientation and arrangement on the ground.


Solar diagram

Solar diagrams allow you to identify the position and height of the sun during the different times of the day and in different seasons. They are an excellent tool for determining the correct orientation of the building and of the rooms.

Generally, it is preferable to arrange living and relax areas so to receive direct sunlight (thus facing south, east, west), while service areas should be north-facing.

In case of an isolated single-family house, the living area could open to the best part of the garden or to panoramic views, while the service areas could be facing streets or towards less interesting views.

Depending on the orientation and the climatic conditions, external devices such as porches, pergolas and verandas could be placed outdoor and result particularly useful.

Below we suggest an ideal arrangement for the various environments.

single-family-home- project


Solar radiation simulation

Architectural design software generally allows to simulate the exact position of the sun and the respective sunshine and shadow generation after defining the location of the building.



In particular, it is possible to view the solar radiation and the relative shading on the house at different times of the day and during different days of the year.

In this way the designer is able to determine the exact amount of light in a certain area of the building and simulate the real conditions of light and shadow.


Shading and sunshine analysis within a room

Possible sun shading systems could be mounted in areas which are too exposed to direct sunlight or, on the contrary, glazed surfaces could be installed in areas which receive less sunlight.

The image below shows the same environment in two different seasons.


Sunshine amount of the same environment in different seasons

The image on the left shows the sunshine amount during summer. The environment results shaded being the sun very high and thanks to an overhang with shielding function.

The image on the right, instead, refers to the amount of sunshine during winter, where the limited projection of the overhang allows solar radiation (much lower than in summer) to penetrate inside the rooms, obtaining the desired effect.

Edificius, ACCA software’s solution for the architectural BIM design, allows you to study both the effect of shading and sunshine on a building. In fact, it is possible to choose a date and start a solar simulation. It is also possible to use the Real Time Rendering to simulate the sun and shadows effect. The designer can, therefore, analyse the behaviour of materials exposed to either sun or shade, increase or decrease the shielding, modify the building’s orientations according to its design requirements.

You can download and try a 30-day free trial version of Edificius.

Single-family home project: a case study

The type of building that we are going to examine is a stand-alone single-family home that is surrounded by green areas.


Single-family home project – a-a section

The building stands on a surface that has no significant differences in terms of altitude and it is built at a certain distance from other dwelling units. These starting conditions favor a remarkable compositional freedom in the design phase.

The building placed at the center of the lot develops on two levels and has a total height of 6.90 m, with an inter-floor height of 2, 90 m and first floor at 3,20 m.

The first floor has a smaller footprint compared to the ground floor, leaving an open area used as a terrace / solarium.


Single-family home project – first floor plan

On the ground floor (140 m²) there is the living area, next to some service areas and a large garage. From the garden you can directly access the living area which, thanks to large windows, keeps a direct continuity with the surrounding landscape.

On the first floor (96 m²), accessible through an internal staircase with a single ramp, there’s the sleeping area consisting of three bedrooms. The main bedroom has a walk-in closet and private bathroom.

Large windows open along the side facing the street, while the short sides and the horizontal sections of the building are painted in dark gray, creating a sharp chromatic contrast.

Single-family home project-interior-render-software-BIM-architecture-Edificius

Single-family home project- interior

Inside spaces are large and bright. The living area is made up of a single large room with a linear layout open to the garden. The kitchen is incorporated within this unique open space. The materials chosen contribute to the creation of a minimal space: parquet, two-color finishes in white and black.

The garden follows the linearity of the house, it is bordered by a low plastered wall that is shielded by vegetation. The paths are geometric and paved in travertine and stoneware.

During the design phase, particular care was also given to the lighting of the external area and the façades of the house, so as to obtain a distinctive scenic view, enhancing the design concept and preferring some perspective views with impacting visual effect.

Download the project drawings in dwg format (floor plans, prospects and sections) and 3D BIM model

In this section you can find floor plans, prospects, sections and project 3D model of the single-family home that we have designed.

Download and try Edificius, the 3D architectural BIM design software

Download the 3D BIM model (file .edf) of the single-family home project

Download the DWGs of the project drawings

single-family-home project-drawing-software-BIM-architecture-Edificius