What is an Architectural Drawing?

What is an Architectural Drawing? Header Image

Jul 05, 2022

Architectural drawings are used by architects to communicate ideas, concepts and technical elements of building design.

Architectural technical drawings may be used to:

  • Develop and communicate design ideas to clients
  • To ensure building contractors construct the building in line with the design intent
  • To keep a record of the design and planned development, or to make a record of a building that already exists.


Different Types of Architectural Drawings

Architects create drawings to illustrate what the final construction will look like. Plans communicate the design intentions and provide the client with an overview of the building or a detailed plan focusing on specific parts. The following are examples of architectural drawings that provide detailed information regarding a project:

Site Plan

Site plans show the existing conditions, property lines, and heights of a construction site from above. The scale of a site plan that shows the current and proposed developments on a piece of land will be accurate.

Floor Plan

A floor plan provides a detailed picture of a room layout. It provides an overview of existing, proposed, and custom plans. In addition, it gives a better understanding of the dimensions and instalments that would enable effective use of the room space.


Architects use elevation drawings to understand the building’s façade. Elevation drawings present the sizes and proportions of a building’s features in an orthographic view, such as doors and windows. They also consider the direction of the sun and wind.

Section Drawings

A section drawing shows the structure in a vertical slice. Section drawings provide information on the materials used in construction by identifying primary structures within a building and how they relate to surrounding structures.


What is the difference between ‘planning’ and ‘detailed’ drawings?

There is a difference between planning drawings and detailed architectural drawings.

A planning drawing is the result of briefing, sketching, designing, and developing. Planning drawings do not deal with construction’s technical aspects, but they contain enough information to establish the scope of work.

With D2 Architects, our planning drawings include floor plans, elevations, and even external and internal images. It shows the connection between spaces and other building elements, such as walls, windows, and doors.

The detailed design stage includes architectural drawings that show how something is built. Detail drawings demonstrate compliance with regulations and other requirements. At this stage, the architect provides information about assembly and the junctions between components, including mechanical and electrical aspects.


Are architectural drawings a legal requirement?

It is not a legal requirement to have an architectural drawing completed by a professional architect as part of the planning application and permission process. However, while anyone can legally draw floor plans, larger domestic and commercial projects benefit from the expertise of a qualified architect.


What are the benefits of architectural drawings?

Besides helping you to visualise commercial and domestic building designs, there are many benefits to using architectural drawings during the planning and construction process.

  1. Better communication

Architectural drawings are an effective communication tool and help to explain needs and requirements to contractors and interior designers.

  1. Improved quality

Drawing plans help the construction team to understand the overall project and desired outcome. This enhances the quality of the result.

  1. Provide solutions

Architectural drawings uncover potential challenges that may arise during the construction process. These can be remedied before work begins.

  1. Choosing materials

A design and plan give you more time to consider which materials are more cost-effective and deliver the desired effect.

  1. Helps with planning permission

While professional architectural drawings are not a legal requirement, they can help gain planning permission.


Contact Us

For more information on architectural drawings, contact D2 Architects today. We can help you visualise your project and provide guidance through the planning and construction process.