Last edited 15 Nov 2019

Techniques for drawing buildings

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See also: Manual drafting techniques.


While new technologies such as 3D software, computer aided design (CAD) and building information modelling (BIM) can allow buildings to be drawn virtually on computers, traditional hand-drawing skills are still valuable.

Hand drawing can be a highly technical, measured exercise, involving the use of technical pens, scale rules, T-squares, parallel motion and so on, or it can be an expressive form of communication involving the freehand use of pens or pencils.

In some instances, hand drawing may be faster, or it may be able to convey information in a way that would be more difficult using digital methods. For example, sketches may convey an idea quickly, or historic buildings may have complex characters that are difficult to capture by measurement. Hand drawn drawings can also be more evocative than digital drawings.

Hand drawing can be less expensive, as there is very little equipment needed. However, it can require a lot of skill, space and time, it is more difficult to correct, add text to, create 3D projections or to colour than digital drawing and it cannot be linked to digital information. In addition, a scale has to be selected for manual drawings, whereas digital drawings can be prepared at 1:1, then printed at the required scale. As a result of this, it is becoming something of a lost art.

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