Construction Print & Specification Reading

James Small , Instructor

Prerequisite: None

Text: Koel, Leonard, Construction Print Reading, Delmar Publishing

This course covers reading and understanding construction documents (drawings and specifications) used for bidding and construction of both residential and commercial buildings.


Course Outline:

1. Anatomy of a Set Of Construction Drawings

2. Title Page

a. Title Block and Strip
b. Order of Drawings

3. Language of Blueprints

a. Alphabet of Lines
b. Symbols and Conventions
c. Scales and Dimensions
d. Abbreviations
e. Terms and Synonyms

4. Visualization

Architectural Drawings
1. Floor Plans
2. Elevation Drawings
3. Foundation Plans

Special Drawings
1. Sections and Details
2. Framing Drawings

Land-Related Drawings
1. Site Plans
2. Survey Maps and Legal Descriptions
3. Landscape Drawings

Mechanical and Electrical Drawings
1. Heating and Air Conditioning Plans
2. Plumbing Plans
3. Electrical Plans

Related Documents

1. Specifications




COT 107
Construction Print & Specification Reading

3 Semester Hours
Lecture: 2 hours Laboratory: 2 hours

Course Description

This course covers reading and understanding construction documents (drawings and specifications) used for bidding and construction of both residential and commercial buildings.

Course Objectives

It is presumed students will spend a minimum of 2 hours outside study for each hour in class in order to meet the following objectives. The student will be able to:

Given a set of construction drawings of a light framed building that includes the following drawings: a site plan, foundation plan, elevations drawings, sections and details, framing plan (first and second floors and roof), floor plan. The students will be able to: Demonstrate proficiency in describing the type of information that can be located on each of the drawings. Demonstrate proficiency in reading related symbols. Demonstrate proficiency in ascertaining working dimensions for specific areas and locations. Demonstrate proficiency in determining the required quantities of materials and components needed. Demonstrate proficiency in determining the type of material prescribed for various components of the structure. Demonstrate proficiency in cross-referencing on drawing to another to acquire the full information. Demonstrate proficiency in relating schedules (door, window, and room finishing) to their related drawings.

Given a typical set of specifications for a light framed structure, the student will be able to: Demonstrate proficiency in identifying each specification statement as a proprietary, descriptive, performance or reference statement. Demonstrate proficiency in interpreting each statement by paraphrasing the statement for meaning. Demonstrate proficiency in cross referencing a reference type specification to its related standard, document or specification.

The student will be able to list (in order) the sixteen elements that make up the major divisions of all types of construction specification formats.

Given a written description of a structural component, layout or detail that incorporates horizontal and vertical lines, angles, arches and circles into its design, the student will be able to develop a neat freehand sketch of the object using proper sketching techniques.


Required: Koel, Leonard, Construction Print Reading, Delmar Publishing – available at Triton College Bookstore

Also required: 1 architect’s scale

Class Times and Location

Mondays, 1:00 – 4:40 PM in RC-226D; August 30th – December 20th

Attendance Policy

Students are expected to attend all class sessions and to arrive on time. If you are unable to attend a class you are responsible for all material covered in that class. Missed quizzes and exams may NOT be “made up” at a later date. Attendance is taken at each class. The third unexcused absence will result in a one-letter grade reduction to the student’s grade. The fourth absence (excused or not) will result in the automatic withdrawal of that student.


Letter Grades: Breakdown:
A: 90-100 Participation 10%
B: 80-89 Class Assignments/Quizzes 40%
C: 70-79 Midterm 20%
D: 60-69 Comprehensive Final Exam 30%
F: 59 or below

Grading will NOT be done “on a curve.” All quizzes, mid-term and final examinations will be closed book, closed note tests of knowledge. All material either in the textbook or discussed in class may be appear on any quiz or examination. Daily quizzes may be given prior to the lecture. Therefore, it is essential that students review the assigned material before coming to class.
Academic Integrity: Students are responsible for the integrity of their academic work. With that principle as a firm starting point, this course will also encourage students to learn from each other. Personal experiences and insights of the members of the class constitute an important resource for each other, which we will utilize as fully as possible.

In their written work, students should use an appropriate footnote or reference system for citing others’ work. Plagiarism is forbidden at Triton College. If a student uses another’s work without giving credit, and this is proven, the student could receive an automatic “F” in the course.

Course Schedule

August 30th
Introductions, Triton College policies and procedures, Student Services, and course overview will be discussed.
Lecture: Units 1 – 5
Homework: Read Units 6 & 7

September 6th
Labor Day – College Closed

September 13th
Lecture: Units 6 & 7
Homework: Read Units 8 – 10

September 20th
Lecture: Units 8 – 10
Homework: Read Units 11 & 12

September 27th
Lecture: Units 11 & 12
Homework: Read Units 13 & 14

October 4th
Lecture: Units 13 & 14
Homework: Read Units 15 – 17

October 11th*
Lecture: Units 15 – 17
Homework: Read Units 18 – 21
* Yes, October 11th is Columbus Day, but classes do meet today. However, there are no classes at Triton College on Tuesday, October 12th.

October 18th
Lecture: Units 18 – 21
Homework: Prepare for Midterm
October 25th
Midterm Examination
Homework: Read Units 22 – 25

November 1st
Lecture: Units 22 – 25
Homework: Read Units 26 – 31

November 8th
Lecture: Units 26 – 31
Homework: Read Unit 32 – 35

November 15th
Lecture: Units 32 – 35
Homework: Read Unit 36

November 22nd
Lecture: Unit 36
Homework: Read Unit 37

November 29th
Lecture: Unit 37
Homework: Read Unit 38

December 6th
Lecture: Unit 38

December 13th
Lecture: Class wrap-up and Final Exam review

December 20th Comprehensive Final Exam