Construction Documents

Construction documents (CDs) in Architecture are comprehensive sets of drawings and written specifications that dictate the design, materials, and workmanship of a construction project. These documents serve as a tool for bidding, construction, and permit application. Here are the primary categories, almost always presented in a sequential order as they’d be used in the construction process:


  • Site Plans: Showing the location of the building on the site, including any new structures and landscaping.
  • Architectural Plans: Floor plans, roof plans, and reflected ceiling plans.
  • Elevations: Exterior and interior wall compositions.
  • Sections: Vertical cuts through the structure showing structure, insulation, and building systems.
  • Details: Enlargements of specific building components requiring special attention.
  • Schedules: Lists that itemize windows, doors, fixtures, and finishes.


  • General Conditions: Terms and agreements applicable to the construction contract.
  • Technical Specifications: Details the materials, installation techniques, and quality standards.


  • Structural Plans: Drawings that indicate structural elements, like steel, wood, or concrete systems.
  • Engineering Calculations: Supporting documents for structural design.

4.Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)

  • Mechanical Plans: HVAC system layout and details.
  • Electrical Plans: Locations of fixtures, outlets, and circuitry.
  • Plumbing Plans: Layout of pipes, fixtures, and fittings.

5.Bid Documents

  • Instructions to Bidders: Rules governing the submission of bids.
  • Bid Forms: Standardized forms for contractors to submit their bids.

6.Supportive Documents

  • Addenda: Modifications and clarifications to the original construction document package.
  • AIA Documents: Standardized forms that may include agreements between owner and contractor, general conditions, and other related forms.

7.Regulatory Documents

  • Permit Set: A subset of construction documents required for building permit application.
  • Compliance Documents: Anything related to zoning, codes, and other legal requirements for construction.