(4-min read)

For the unfamiliar, a commercial construction blueprint may feel quite alien and even disorienting. Fairly basic knowledge of the various aspects of a blueprint can help a business owner or investor understand precisely what they’re seeing. In this piece, we’re going to provide a quick overview of the main components of a commercial construction or manufacturing blueprint. 

Blueprint Standards

The only way blueprints can remain understood between architects, engineers, construction professionals, and machinists are with a set standard. Like an agreed-upon language, most blueprints share industry-specific layout styles with very few variances.

Most blueprints will include a

  • Grid system
  • Title block
  • Revision block
  • Notes list
  • Drawing field
  • Parts list

Grid Systems

Most blueprints are laid out in an alpha-numeric grid. If you’ve ever played a game of “Battleship,” you’re very familiar with this layout.

Title Block

Aside from the field of the blueprint drawing itself, most of the information about the project can be found on the blueprint’s title block. This section is regularly in the lower right corner of the blueprint drawing. Though title block formatting can vary from company or industry, the essentials are typically always present. They include, but are not limited to: 

  • Information about the company
  • The name the project or items depicted
  • The drawing number
  • The sheet number (for multiple-sheet plans)
  • The drawing size
  • The scale of the drawing
  • Required signatures of relevant specialists
  • Tolerance levels
  • Materials or other relevant information

Revisions Block

The revisions block is a list of changes that have accompanied the original drawing. They are usually listed with a description number, a date, position location, and a signature of approval by a relevant specialist. The sequence for necessary revisions are noted with letters beginning with “A” and moving through the alphabet. This block is usually in the upper right corner of the blueprint, though varying protocols may include this information in the title block. 

Notes List

The notes list exists to provide additional information not contained in the original drawing. Notes lists may be located around the outside edges of the field of the blueprint. Many are found in the upper or bottow left corners, so as to avoid the title block and revisions block sections. Notes may call out varying information such as materials, color specifications, tolerances, weight limits, or other crucial data. Special “flag” notes may appear in the field of the drawing. These are designed to bring special attention to sections of the area of the drawing in reference to engineer or designer notes. 

Parts List

Also known as the “Bill of Materials,” the parts list provides a structured list of necessary parts in the plan or raw materials required to construct the project. Parts lists are only used on the blueprints where assembling various components is essential. For the sake of space and convenience, the parts list may be included as its own document separate from the rest of the blueprint. The parts list should specify the quantity of a particular part needed, the specific part number, and a description of the part. Some parts lists also include the material of the parts mentioned. 

Still Have Questions? 

Any commercial construction client will receive the fullest, most relevant consultation over the blueprints of the commercial construction project. To learn more about this process, you’re invited to connect with the commercial construction professionals from Cowen Construction serving the Greater Tulsa, OK area.