Home  5  Books  5  GBEzine  5  News  5  HelpDesk  5  Register  5  GreenBuilding.co.uk
Not signed in (Sign In)


Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

Buy individually or both books together. Delivery is free!

widget @ surfing-waves.com

Vanilla 1.0.3 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

Welcome to new Forum Visitors
Join the forum now and benefit from discussions with thousands of other green building fans and discounts on Green Building Press publications: Apply now.

    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    How do we all produce detail drawings? By hand? Software? Which software?

    Would you say details are indispensable to the construction process - as a communicate aid? Compliance?
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    From my point of view, as a 'customer' attempting to educate oneself, I feel detail drawings are pretty important because much of the industry follows "their way of doing things" and a lot of this low energy stuff has particular requirements which need to be communicated...

    If I was trying to design a house (or in my case a retrofit myself) I would probably try drawing the details in software (something 2D rather than Sketchup or whatever) then post them here and elsewhere to get feedback, then record these for communication with trades.
    • CommentAuthorDarylP
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    In 10 plus years working in this 'industry', I would suggest nearly all the problems I encounter are down to communication problems. Be they incorrect drwgs, changes not picked up, lack of detail, or plain lack of information.
    As many details as possible, disseminated to all parties..... :wink:
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    Interesting - so the underlying problems are myriad, they are oftentimes caused by communication, and drawings are a way of fixing (or helping) with that?

    And also, there are problems with the drawings themselves:

    - Incorrect (in what way - someone not following instruction?)
    - Change control
    - Lack of detail/info (how so, labels? what other info?)

    Is it important details are to scale?
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTime6 days ago edited
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: gravelld</cite>Is it important details are to scale</blockquote>

    No, as long as the detail contains enough... DETAIL :devil:
    (not to mention a REVISION index...)

    On the contrary, drawing NTS ("not to scale") is a way of drawing attention to that two-micron-thick membrane that might (= would...) get overlooked etc.

    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    Yes, good point on the thin layers.

    So that's two replies highlighting detail... can we break down what detail means?
    • CommentTime6 days ago
    Details are essential for both communication and for compliance and also for reference both during the build and afterwards. In my case my architect produced the drawings and I don't know what software he used. Revision control and distribution management are vital.

    Basically, there should be a detail showing every detail - every nail and screw and piece of tape. Not necessarily each one drawn out but perhaps noted on the drawing (nails at 300 centres etc). Certainly there shouldn't be any part of the build that isn't shown on a drawing somewhere, so there is at least a place to add a note about nail separation or similar if it turns out to be important.

    There are approved details of junctions online and passivhaus details in the passivhaus details book (!) as a starter for some drawings. Drawings are mostly to scale but dimension lines take precedence.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    Thanks djh. Didn't realise every detail should be displayed... I probably have a narrow understanding of what details mean - I tend to think of just the cross sections. Would you also have drawings showing a face then, e.g. for taping?

    When you say "every detail should be displayed" do you mean:

    - as best practice, just 'what should be done'
    - if you want full control over what is built

    Is "every detail" strictly required for compliance? I figured a lot of builders would fill in the blanks, e.g. for nail centres.
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
    Posted By: gravelldWhen you say "every detail should be displayed"

    I didn't say that.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
    Sorry, I shouldn't have used double quotes, but in my defence you did say:

    Posted By: djhBasically, there should be a detail showing every detail - every nail and screw and piece of tape. Not necessarily each one drawn out but perhaps noted on the drawing (nails at 300 centres etc). Certainly there shouldn't be any part of the build that isn't shown on a drawing somewhere, so there is at least a place to add a note about nail separation or similar if it turns out to be important.

    ... but granted the unemboldened text is also more lenient.
    • CommentAuthorGreenfish
    • CommentTime4 days ago
    Drawings are a great way of communicating what you want to the people doing the work to do, but you need to ensure that the details are understood verbally too. Many builders are used to lack of detail from owners and architects, so do what they think best and don't look at drawings for things the already think they know how to do. I discussed all the details with the craftsmen, they had great practical knowledge that improved my ideas. Then I drew up what we had come up with, that ensured all the team knew what was happening.

    As for what to draw with, well it is more about creating something that can survive the wet and muddy building condidtions. My main contractors wife had a great idea - she laminated the detail sheets I produced. So rather than being off in the site hut, the details sheet coud be to hand with the man doing the task. But it did make it hard to annotate/modify a drawing, had to do a new version and ensure the out of date one was removed from site.

    And don't expect people to do what you want unless you tell them what that is. The only boo-boos we had (all reworked) were where I failed to commnicate clearly and what was "obvious" to the builder was not what we wanted.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    Rather as Greenfish says, detail drawing have their place - particularly for communicating with BCOs and management - but don't underestimate the willingness of the people doing the work to do it their own way, especially if their way is quicker easier or cheaper. Make sure you tell them (or better still show them) what you expect and why you need it to be done differently.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    About survivability... nice idea with laminating... but builders seem to love their iPhones these days, is it worth sharing the drawing that way?

    I guess it's still not as immediate or as tactile as having a laminated sheet in front of you.
    • CommentAuthorGreenfish
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    They love their phones yes, but only one of my young 4 man team, the youngest and also the goffer, had his phone in his pocket. The rest kept phones in the dryness and saftey of the van or the shed, along with their lunch and the paper. Building sites are hostile environments.

    Anyway the screen is far too small, and big is beautiful. Once we had walls some instructions got painted on the wall with a spray can! That was their idea, not mine. I also did lots with permanent markers, killing the nibs on the concrete. They were a great team, and genuinely wanted to do what I wanted first time, they hated redoing things as much as I hated the cost. But craftsmen are used to having to build things and problem solve, making quick decisions, as they go along. They don't ask or look for instructions, they act. Blink and you have a completely different thing to what you wanted.

    This autonomy can work: we wanted a garage and I just said build one here please 5m x 5m. The end result was great, lots of detail that I was too exhausted from the house design to even consider. But it did not need eco features or new tech, just good standard building practice and was something they had themselves.

    But if you have details for achieving better than average air tightness, reducing thermal bypass etc. or new materials, then draw/document it, show/tell them and explain why. My guys were interested to learn, (even if the boss had also seen it all over the years too), and I'm sure ideas from my build will appear in future work. But also listen, they may have a better way to get what you want or know it won't work, they know stuff that you don't. If what you want is going to take more time, that is cost, then pay up.
Add your comments

    Username Password
  • Format comments as
The Ecobuilding Buzz
Site Map    |   Home    |   View Cart    |   Pressroom   |   Business   |   Links   

© Green Building Press