Best CAD Practices for Designing and Building a New Commercial Building


The days of engineers, architects, construction managers, and other industries drafting designs on paper are a thing of the past. Now, these industries rely heavily on CAD technology to create 2D and 3D designs for their projects. CAD modeling allows for easier creating, modifying, and optimizing designs that offer more accurate representations than their traditional counterparts. These programs offer many benefits, especially for designing and building new commercial buildings, but they are only as useful as the user makes them. Here are some of the best practices to keep in mind and ensure you get the most out of a CAD program.

Avoid Including Too Many Details

Designing a new commercial building can be a complex process, with a lot to consider. Be that as it may, your CAD designs should not have the same level of complexity. Instead, keep the designs simple to avoid creating a confusing, overcrowded design plan. Only include the essential details that are critical to the building planning. One detail to consider, including the overall design, is the details for a pre-sloped trench drain, which is vital to the building's integrity.

Make Sure Drawings Complement Each Other

Best CAD Practices for Designing and Building a New Commercial Building

A building design requires multiple drawings to show different aspects of the project. Each design is meant to focus on a specific part of the project, and it is crucial to keep track of what details go where. Avoid repeating information in multiple drawings; once you've included a pre-sloped trench drain in one design, do not continue to include it in all of them. Doing so can make the designs confusing and make updating or modifying designs more complicated.

Other detailed drawings can specify the use of acoustic ceiling baffles, dampers and include a clear design for the building's fire suppression requirements. Once these details are specified in one drawing, don't repeat them elsewhere in the designs.

Create Good CAD Standards

Building designs have many details, and if your CAD design isn't set-up properly, it can slow things down as you go back to edit or modify things. To avoid these issues, you want to work in layers, separating the various aspects of the design, equipment, and layouts accordingly. One layer of the design should focus on the fire suppression requirements, noting apparatuses like fire alarms, extinguishers, egresses, and other similar details. Another layer should focus on the HVAC layout, detailing how it will go through the building and including dampers' location in various areas.

It is also essential to use the right line weights and text sizes and use a standardized font for a uniform design plan. 

Use Standard CAD Details and Templates

Best CAD Practices for Designing and Building a New Commercial Building

Nobody has time to draw out every detail of a design each time. To cut down on wasted time, have standard CAD details and templates prepared. That way, there is no need to redraw the same things over and over again. Standard CAD templates work well for details like acoustic ceiling baffles and dampers. All you have to do is select the standard and put it in the right place.

Check and Review All Your Work

Best CAD Practices for Designing and Building a New Commercial Building

It is critical that, once you finish a design, you go back and check every detail. You want to check the spelling of words, the text sizes and fonts you used, layer settings, lime weights, and any other detail within the design. Checking to ensure the dimensions, design clarity, notes, and that the measurements are scaled appropriately is especially important. Errors in these areas can set the whole project off and lead to disaster.

Make the Most of CAD

CAD modeling has changed the way people work on designs. Rather than relying on pencil and paper, now people have programs to create more accurate plans, making designing and building easier. These programs are only as useful as you make them, however. By applying these CAD practices, engineers and designers can get the most out of the programs at their disposal and create high-quality building plans.

Skylar Ross is a contributor to the Innovative Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Skylar is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.

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