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Saturday, July 9, 2016


Construction Detailing 101

One of the drawing disciplines many young architects and aspiring architects consistently struggle with is that of construction detailing. This was (and still is to a certain extent) a challenge for me, because the only way to truly understand how a building goes together, is to see how a building goes together. Fortunately, my academic and professional career has provided me opportunities to spend more time on construction sites than most by way of co-op site visits, volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, and a construction management stint with Cincinnati Housing Partners prior to my current position with SHP Leading Design. That said, it wasn't until observing and documenting the construction of the Starter Home 2.0 Pleasant Ridge project on a daily basis, that I started to really feel like I gained a solid grasp on how homes are constructed, which has made the construction detailing on the SH2.0 Oakley house a much more intuitive and effective process than the first time around. Below are a few examples of construction details I am currently working through on the Oakley project in hopes of giving those unfamiliar with this aspect of the architectural profession, some insight into this process.

Foundation Details: The foundation details describe how the footings, foundation walls, and slabs interact with one another as well as the surrounding soils and fill materials. These details also show how concrete elements are reinforced, waterproofed and insulated. The detail below shows a typical basement footing condition.

Mid-Wall Details: The mid-wall details provide the contractor with the specifics for how to arrange the the framing of the walls and floors at key intersections, and how to sheath, clad, insulate and finish these elements on the exterior and interior. The following mid-wall detail shows the way in which the ends of the second floor framing interact with the wall framing above and below the joists and rim board.

Roof Details: The roof details illustrate the various conditions where walls meet the roof line and break down the roof assembly into their specific components. In the case of the SH2.0 Oakely house, the roof assembly consists of a pre-manufactured roof truss infilled with blown-in fiberglass insulation, OSB roof sheathing, synthetic roof underlayment material, and dimensional asphalt shingles.