Material Symbols

Material symbols are used to represent materials or contents on floor plans, elevations, and detail drawings. Different symbols may be used to represent the same item on these drawings. The outline of the drawing may be filled in with a material symbol to show what the object is made of. Many materials are represented by one symbol in elevation and another symbol in section. Examples of this are concrete block and brick. Other materials look pretty much the same when viewed from any direction, so their symbols are drawn the same in sections and elevations as seen in Figure 8.5.

Building Material Symbols
Figure 8.5 Examples of graphic symbols of materials used by architects and engineers when preparing blueprints.
Figure 8.6 Drawing of a part elevation of a townhouse showing the use of notes for the brick on the facade and asphalt roof shingles rather than partial drawing of the symbols.

When a large area is made up of one material, it is common to only draw the symbol in a part of the area. Some drafters simplify this even further by using a note to indicate what material is used and omitting the symbol altogether (Figure 8.6).

Throughout the remainder of this text, material symbols are presented as they appear in plan and elevation views. Many symbols are designed to approximate the actual appearance of material. This is especially true on elevation drawings, as shown in Figure 8.6. Because of the complexity and space required, many symbols do not have any graphic relationship to the items they represent. These must be memorized if drawings are to be consistently interpreted. When material symbols are similar, always look for a notation, different view, detail, or specification for information about the material.

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