Elevations are an important component of the construction-drawing set and the design and drafting process. Elevations are essentially views that show the exterior (or interior) of a building. They represent orthographic views of an interior or exterior wall. They are basically flat, two-dimensional views with only the height and width obvious. Exterior elevations provide a pictorial view of the exterior walls of a structure and indicate the material used (stone, stucco, brick, vinyl, etc.), the location of windows and doors, the roof slopes, and other elements visible from the exterior. Elevations are usually identified based on their location with respect to the headings of a compass (north, south, east, and west elevations). Alternatively, they may be labeled front, rear, right, and left elevations (Figure 6.12A). Four elevations are normally required to show the features of a building unless the building is of irregular shape, in which case additional elevations may be required.
The main function of exterior elevations is to provide a clear depiction of the façade treatment of the building and any changes in the surface materials within the plane of the elevation. They also show the location of exterior doors and windows (often using numbers or letters in circles to show types that correspond to information provided in the door and window schedule).
Elevations are typically drawn to the same scale as the floor plan. The scale of the elevation is noted either under or to the side of the title of the elevation or in the title block (Figure 6.12B). A common scale is one-quarter inch = one foot (scale: 1/4 inch = 1 foot, 0 inch), although a scale of one-eighth inch = one foot (scale: 1/8 inch = 1 foot, 0 inches) is used for larger buildings.
While floor plans show horizontal measurements of elements, elevations mainly provide vertical measurements with respect to a horizontal plane. These dimensions provide a vertical location of floor-to-floor heights, windowsill or head heights, floor-to-plate heights, roof heights, or a variety of dimensions from a fixed horizontal surface. These measurements can be used to calculate quantities of materials
required. Sometimes the elevation dimensions are given as decimals (7.5 feet as opposed to 7 feet, 6 inches). Along with the dimensions on the elevations, notes are included to supplement and clarify information in a floor plan. In general, dimensions are usually kept to a minimum on elevations. Most consultants use elevations to depict sizes of major components, with the majority of dimensions placed on the sections, which provide greater clarity regarding construction materials and methods.
Interior elevations show the inside walls of a space. Figure 6.12C shows a kitchen elevation. Notice that the annotations take the form of specifications and are written at their appropriate location and not as notes to the side.
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