Last edited 28 Aug 2020

General arrangement drawing


General arrangement drawings (GA’s) present the overall composition of an object such as a building. Depending on the complexity of the building, this is likely to require a number of different projections, such as plans, sections and elevations, and may be spread across several different drawings.

They may be referred to as 'location drawings' as they show the location of various components and assemblies within the overall design, but this can be confused with location drawings indicating the geographical location of the building.

General arrangement drawings are likely to be prepared at each stage of development of a building design, showing the overall relationship between the main elements and key dimensions. The level of detail will increase as the project progresses and they may need to be supplemented by more detailed drawings, showing specific elements and assemblies. On very simple projects these may be included on the general arrangement drawings themselves, but generally, separate drawings will be required.

General arrangement drawings may include references to additional information, such as specifications and detail drawings, however they should not duplicate information included elsewhere as this can become contradictory and may cause confusion.

They may also include notation and symbols. It is important that these are consistent with industry standards so that their precise meaning is clear and can be understood.

The scale at which drawings are prepared should reflect the level of detail of the information they are required to convey. Different line thicknesses can be used to provide greater clarity for certain elements. They may be drawn to scale by hand, or prepared using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. However, increasingly, building information modelling (BIM) is being used to create 3 dimensional representations of buildings and their components.

BS EN ISO 7519:1997 Technical drawings. Construction drawings. General principles of presentation for general arrangement and assembly drawings establishes the general principles of presentation to be applied to construction drawings for general arrangement and assembly. This standard compliments the ISO 128 series on technical drawings.

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