5 Types of Construction Drawings Used in Commercial Construction

A construction drawing or plan illustrates what you will build and what the finished product will look like when you complete it, but there are different types of construction drawings used. The types of drawings, such as blueprints, plans, working drawings, and are quite confusing. As with any complex document, the different types of commercial construction drawings require specialty skills to decipher.

In this article, I cover the range of construction drawings used in commercial construction, including examples and why your specialty contracting firm, if it hasn’t already, move to connect its design department with the construction operations team (office and field) for improved document management and project delivery. This meeting of the minds (e.g., departments) within your construction firm using easily integrated best of in-class technologies will substantially hit its key business drivers – increasing productivity, profit margins and lowering operational costs and risks of lawsuits.

Below are the different types of construction drawings.

types of construction drawings

1 Architectural Drawings:

This is one of the types of construction drawings. It provides a complete view of a building. There several design programs out there but nothing like 3-D and 2-D Modeling can give architects and designers a more accurate example to articulate the end-product needed for the subcontractors to build.

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An architectural drawing is a technical rendition of a building (or building project) that falls within the classification of architecture. Historically, architectural drawings were made in ink on paper or similar material, and copies require an expensive printer that needs to be expensively hand delivered. If you’re still operating with a tremendous amount of paper, imagine the construction savings by shifting to a digital ecosystem.

types of construction drawings

2. Structural Drawings:

This type of construction drawing provides a complete view of the structure or structures involved in the building project. Structural drawings are typically prepared by licensed structural engineers relying on input from architectural drawings. Structural drawings emphasize load-carrying members (e.g., steel beams, joists, framing materials, and so forth) of the structure.

Structural construction drawings are unique to other drawings because they do not address partition walls, plumbing, and mechanical systems, or other details like surface finishes.

types of construction drawings

3. Electrical Drawings:

This type of technical drawing illustrates information about lighting, wiring, power, and circuits for communication within the commercial construction project. Electrical construction drawings are meant to illustrate the physical layout of the wires and components they connect inside the building as well as the outside power grid. Standard schema symbols in electrical drawings represent circuit breakers, transformers, capacitors, bus bars, conductors, and many other details on drawings.

Electrical contractors spend years mastering their craft and deserve software to make their jobs easier.

types of construction drawings

4. Plumbing and Sanitary Drawings:

This type of technical drawing illustrates the system for pumping water in and out of the building. Equipment, pipes, pumps, and drains, the nature and size of sinks to the location of gas are carefully illustrated in a drawing. Plumbing construction drawings also indicate the position of sanitary, piping for water supply system, fixtures, and the process to connect every accessory. Read this article on how to save thousands of dollars a year with digital blueprints.

types of construction drawings

5. Finishing Drawing:

This drawing illustrates the finishing details and appearance of the building. Construction Finishing drawings include every type of components of the building, such as painting colors, flooring pattern, plastering texture, elevation design, and false ceiling shapes.


There is no standard rule of construction drawings required for a commercial construction project, but these are the most common. Depending upon the type of building and business need, construction drawings are developed on a fit the need basis. However, contractors depend on a steady stream of data to adapt their project plans, mobile resources, and target budget and timeline goals. A commercial construction project becomes a highly fluid effort – labor, time, materials, and costs, once the project begins and beyond the finish line. The best solution for achieving profitability is leveraging best in class software programs and automated workflows that tie “the office” to “the field” and vice-a-versa.

The massive production of documented paper (construction drawings included) and a lack of communication and labor productivity have been an infinite drag on the commercial construction industry contributing to high costs and deterring progress on the environmental improvement.  The move also helps digitize drawings and solves the problem of removing data silos.  You need to make a strategic business decision for making business progress happen.

If your teams are struggling with sharing construction project data, unable to get people in sync or spending too much time on unproductive work, eSUB might be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

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