Best Practices: AutoCAD Drawing Templates

Efficiency if key for a small firm and drawing is what we do, so we should be good at it.  Because of that, it’s important to have functional drawing templates to maintain office standards.  It shouldn’t matter if the project manager is drawing it or the summer intern; the output should meet the quality and graphic standards.

As part of our office organization we have an Administration Folder which houses our Office Standards, Marketing information, Code Requirements and Forms by city, CSI Library information and most importantly our DRAWING STANDARDS.

In our Drawing Standards folder we have sub- folders for each program that we use in-house. We are in the process of transitioning to mostly REVIT, but AutoCad is currently our main program. We also, on occasion, use SketchUP (see Mon-o-coque).  Our Drawing Standards Manual is an ever-evolving document and as we find new Graphic Standard References we like, we file the information and add it to the Manual.  (For some great digital references check out the Life of An Architect’s Graphic Standards series)

The AutoCAD folder is broken down further into our standard Pens, Hatches, Symbols, etc.  A project requires multiple drawing types including Site Plans, Floor Plans, Elevations, Building Sections, etc.  Each drawing type has its own template.

When you open up one of our drawing templates, like Hayne-A-FP01-template.dwt, you will see a variety of information already loaded.  The red border identifies the drawing area, there are symbols at various scales (1/16″, 1/8″, and 1/4″), and the layers are identified.

The base information provided in the template ensures that any Hayne team member can produce drawings that meet the Hayne Graphics quality.  Check out all of those colors in a snapshot of a current As-Built plan:

The Floor Plan template in action! Check out those Colors!

Need more information about the layers?  We also have a Layer List and a Line Types diagram for reference (What do all of those colors mean?).

We organize our layer list by drawing type.


What do those colors actually mean??

So what does that floor plan drawn using the template look like when printed?

Now if only our REVIT template folder was this organized!

There is always room for improvement… Any suggestions?