Architectural Drawings for Commercial Buildings

Want to get architectural drawings for commercial buildings ? Seek one of the best commercial architecture firm Washington DC to design your construction drawings with the right finesse.

What are Architectural Drawings?

Architectural Drawings are a type of construction drawings, containing location details, site plan, and other sectional details. They constitute to be the backbone of the construction industry. The design and analysis of the architectural detail drawings keep the designers, architects and other construction project stakeholders come upon the same line. 

What are Commercial Architectural Designs?

Commercial architects focus on planning, design, and building construction for commercial purposes. Several facilities including retail stores, warehouses, hospitals, and offices benefit from commercial design.

Unlike residential design, commercial architecture takes into considerations traffic flow, accessibility, building system and brand identity.  

  1. Traffic flow: Through this, architectural designers optimize the movement of clients, employees, and other goods within the space.
  2. Accessibility: This ensures that everyone can access building features safely and comfortably.
  3. Building systems: Commercial architects integrate MEP systems efficiently to meet specific occupant requirements.
  4. Brand identity: Commercial architectural design helps to reflect the brand image of the company and create a desired client experience through spatial design.

Top 6 Architectural Drawings for Commercial Construction

Floor Plan Commercial Construction Drawings

Floor Plan Commercial Construction Drawings

A floor plan constitutes to be a vital architectural diagram with a view from above, presenting the arrangement of spaces in the building just like a map at a specific level.

To be precise, it is a horizontal section cut through a building at 4 feet over the floor level, showing walls, windows, door openings as well as other features.

The architectural plan view comprises everything that could be seen beneath that level such as the floor, stairs, fittings, and furniture. Objects above the plan level like over the beams are often specified as dashed lines. Geometrically, the plan view is demarcated as a projection of an object vertically with the horizontal plane penetrating the construction. 

Site Plan Drawing for Construction

Site Plan Drawing for Construction

The site plan is the specific drawing and design of commercial buildings, presenting the entire set-up of construction or group of buildings. An architectural building site plan for commercial space reveals property boundaries and means of access to the construction site and adjacent structures related to the design.

To develop an urban site, a commercial architecture firm shows adjacent streets for demonstrating exactly how the design fits into the urban fabric. Using the site plan for architecture commercial building design, supporting commercial building architecture, you can get an overview of the scope of working drawings in architecture.

Both the existing and the proposed construction are revealed as building footprints, parking lots, roads, landscaping, and planting. Further, the site plans show all connections of the services, sewer lines, drainage, water supply, exterior lighting and electrical & communication cables.

You can also use a site plan for verifying a proposal complying with local development codes, comprising of restrictions on historic sites. At this juncture, the site plan forms a part of the legal agreement required by a licensed architect, engineer, landscape architect or surveyor. 

Elevation Drawings for Construction

Elevation Drawings for Construction

An elevation of architecture drawing building plan provides an interpretation of a building from one side with a depiction of one façade for describing the exterior presence of a building. Every elevation is taken into consideration about the direction it faces. Architects use elevation for the façade, so the “north elevation” constitutes to be the north-facing wall of the building. 

Cross Section Architectural Drawings

A cross-section of commercial architectural plan, also called a section, signifies a vertical plane cut through the object, similarly as a floor plan is a horizontal section beheld from the top. Sections are used for describing the association among the various levels of a building. A sectional elevation is a blend of a cross-section, with elevations of other facets of the building perceived beyond the section plane. 

Detail Drawings for Commercial Construction

Detail Drawings for Commercial Construction

Detail architectural detail drawings for commercial construction reveal a small portion of the construction at a larger scale, exhibiting how the building component fit together.

They also show small surface details, spacing decorative elements. Section drawings of a commercial construction typically show complex junctions like floor to wall junction, window opening, and roof apex that cannot be shown on a drawing including the full height of the building. A complex set of construction details show architectural plan details and vertical section details. 

Reflected Ceiling Plan

Reflected Ceiling Plan

It is a blueprint that provides crucial information like dimensions, materials, and other details about the ceilings of each room depicted in architectural plans. Its name comes from the concept of envisioning ceiling’s layout like viewing a reflection in a mirror placed on the floor, offering a comprehensive view from above. 

Comparative Analysis of Architectural Drawings for Commercial Construction

Feature  Floor Plan  Site Plan  Elevation  Cross Section  Detail  Reflected Ceiling Plan 
Level of Detail  Moderate. Shows walls, doors, windows, furniture, and major fixtures.  Low. Shows buildings, roads, parking, landscaping, and property lines.  Moderate. Shows overall building form, openings, materials, and proportions.  High. Shows specific dimensions, materials, construction methods, and connections.  High. Shows precise dimensions, materials, fasteners, and assembly details.  Moderate. Shows ceiling elements, fixtures, and lighting locations. 
Scale  1:50, 1:100  1:200, 1:400  1:50, 1:100  1:50, 1:100  Varies depending on detail level 

1:50, 1:100 


Information Conveyed  Room sizes, relationships, circulation paths, furniture placement.  Site boundaries, access points, surrounding features, landscaping.  Exterior appearance, facade details, materials, proportions.  Interior construction details, materials, dimensions, relationships between elements.  Specific construction methods, materials, fasteners, connections.  Ceiling layout, fixture types, lighting locations. 

How to design architectural drawings for Commercial Buildings?

Designing architectural drawings for commercial buildings requires meticulous planning. Here’s a quick look into the process: 

Stage  Description  Latest Statistics 
1. Pre-design Phase     
Understand project scope  Define purpose, size, budget, and client requirements.  Global construction market anticipated to reach $15.46 trillion by 2028 (Upmetrics, 2024). 
Site analysis  Analyze physical site (topography, existing structures, access).  62% of contractors experienced skilled worker shortages in 2021 (Learn G2, 2024). 
Program development  Determine building needs (spaces, sizes, relationships).  53.7% of construction companies use latest technologies in 2021 (As per BigRentz, 2024). 
2. Design Development     
Conceptual design  Develop initial sketches and layout options.  * 37% of construction companies experimented with drones in 2021 (BigRentz, 2024). 
Refine the design  Collaborate with client, incorporate feedback, address constraints.  * Open floor plans remain popular for commercial buildings due to improved collaboration and space utilization (Learn G2, 2024). 
Produce preliminary drawings  Create basic floor plans, elevations, sections.  Sustainable design is increasingly sought after, incorporating features like energy-efficient systems and recycled materials (Learn G2, 2024). 
3. Construction Documentation     
Develop detailed drawings  Create comprehensive 2D and potentially 3D drawings.  BIM software use is growing for collaboration and competence (Autodesk, 2024). 
Coordinate with other disciplines  Collaborate with structural and MEP engineers.  3D printing is gaining traction for creating complex building components (Gartner, 2024). 
Prepare construction documents  Finalize drawings, details, specifications, schedules.  Clear and concise drawings are vital for avoiding errors and delays during construction (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2024). 
4. Approval and Construction     
Obtain permits  Submit drawings for review and approval.  Permitting processes can vary, so early planning and communication are essential (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2024). 
Construction  Drawings guide construction crews for accurate building.  Advanced construction technologies like robotics and prefabrication are being adopted for improved safety and efficiency (McKinsey & Company, 2024). 

Top Software Applications Supporting Architectural Drawing Creation

Let’s take a look at the popular software options for architectural drawing creation, highlighting their functionalities: 

  1. AutoCAD: This software is the industry standard for making 2D construction drawings just like floor plans, elevations, and sections. Using this software, you can obtain accurate drawings, manage layers, and annotations.
  2. Revit: The software helps to create 2D and 3D building models. This supports architectural design creation and construction documentation. Moreover, you can create intelligent 3D models that generate various 2D drawings like floor plans, elevations, sections, and schedules.
  3. SketchUp: You can get a large library of pre-made objects and make quick design exploration with this software. It is specifically used for conceptual 3D models to visualize design ideas. You can also use this tool to extract basic 2D drawings for early design stages.
  4. ArchiCAD: This is used for both 2D and 3D modeling, and is popular for its object-oriented technique. You can get parametric objects with ArchiCAD, that automatically update related drawings when modified. Architects create comprehensive 2D drawings and 3D models with intelligent objects for automatically generating construction documents and schedules.
  5. Vectorworks Architect: The software provides robust 2D and 3D modeling capabilities, specially customized to architectural design needs. This also has tools for making building components, site plans, and landscape features. You can create detailed 2D construction drawings, 3D models, and visualizations, catering specifically to architectural projects.

Final Thought:

The creation of commercial architectural plan or construction drawings from the 3D BIM Model can help to digitize drawings and resolve the problem of removing data silos. Make a strategic decision for advancing your business with architectural drawings for commercial buildings from the best commercial architecture firms and discuss your projects at the pre-construction stage.  

Use BIM Automation to Automate Modeling and Design Activities