Just like human anatomy, engineering plans each have a part that makes up the whole. Each part is important and necessary when starting a construction project. Although there are many details that go into each plan, below are some of the important ones that you are likely to find on each drawing.

Cover Page

The face of the plans, the first thing the client sees. This page usually contains a site plan of the project. It also can include the title block, revision block, notes, drawing scale and the legend. It provides all the general information out front on one page for quick recognition.

Title Block

This is the name tag of the drawings. Each plan contains a “title block.” The title block often appears on the side or edges of each page of engineering plans.  This area of the sheet contains important information about the project as well as the engineering firm that created it. Here are things like project address, revision dates, project numbers, drawing dates, and sheet numbers. Approval dates and signatures are also located here.

Revision Block

Think of it like a haircut, some require more revisions than others. Any time there is change to a structure, system, or component, the drawing must be revised. Those changes are listed in the Revision Block – usually with a date as well. If there are multiple revisions, there will be multiple dates listed along with a numbering system so you know which revision you are on.

Drawing Scale

While the heart skews perspective, so does the drawing scale. Engineering plans are scaled down representations of the final project at a ratio of the actual size. For example, 1/8″ = 1′ (one eighth inch equals one foot). When construction plans are scaled, it helps to put the part into a print size drawing that is easily read by the crew. However, not all drawings are scaled, and as such you must keep a lookout for the “Not to Scale” note.

Key Notes

Think of this like the mouth, it passes along critical information specific to this plan. The notes will reveal any specifications, details, or information the engineer thinks may help you understand the drawing. Some notes may even include more precise information and are often a requirement of the municipality in which the work is taking place.

General Notes

It is common to find these in larger numbers, like fingers and toes. Also like fingers, notes get down to the specifics the same way dexterous fingers are attuned to finite details. General notes eliminate the use of lengthy written explanations. It is a note that provides technical information that will apply to the entire drawing.


The brain of the plans is found in the legend. The legend is used to define the symbols used in the drawings. They make since of all the patterns and language used throughout the entire set.

While there are many more detailed parts of the plan, this general anatomy gives you a good idea what can be found in every set of drawings. Are you need of some drawings for an upcoming project? Let us know!

More to come soon.

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