drawing numbering system


I know should know this, but I dont...

Is there a standard drawing sheet numbering system???

I am finally putting together some 'office standards' and want to be somewhat correct in my numbering system.



Oct 5, 05 12:34 pm

I think the AIA has some guidelines but when I went to look for them I couldn't find anything I liked.

I'm partial to this:

A0.0 Cover
A1.0 Floor plans


I'm curious to see what others like to use.

Oct 5, 05 1:03 pm  · 

I like that one, too. Designate the '1.x', '2.x', etc to follow a logical sequence that most everyone who reads drawings can follow. That nomenclature keeps it simple & allows for additions & subtractions of pages.

Oct 5, 05 1:12 pm  · 

I was thinking along those lines..

Should the RCP's be in their own section, or follow the floor that they are on???

Oct 5, 05 1:27 pm  · 

similar but different:

001 cover
002, 003, etc. standard details

101 plans
102, 103, etc. roof plans, reflected ceiling plans, enlarged plans, plan details, etc.

201 elevations
202, 203, etc. enlarged elevs, partial elevs, elev dtls, etc.

301 building sections
302, 303, etc. sectional stuff

401> interior elevations, interior stuff

501>wall sections, sectional details

also generally number each drawing on the page from bottom right, moving toward the left/staples, and then progress up the page right to left.

Oct 5, 05 1:29 pm  · 
1  · 
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

ours typically go something like this:

A000 - Code Data Sheet
A001 - Site
A00x's - Schedules, Partition Types, Door types [with head/jamb/sill dets] and Finish Sched
A100's - Plans and Enlarged Plans
A200's - Elevations and Interior Elevations, and Building Sections
A300's - Toilet Plans and Elevations
A400's - RCP's
A500's - Elevators and Stairs with dets
A600's - Wall Sections
A700's - Plan details, Roof dets, Misc dets, Window types and details
A800's - Interiors Dwgs

Oct 5, 05 1:29 pm  · 

typically how i've seen it (of course there're always variations):

0 series_cover sheet; code data; general notes
1 series_siteplan; roof plan; floor plans; rcp's
2 series_elevations
3 series_sections
4 series_enlarged plans, elevations, sections; interior elevations
5 series_wall sections; details
6 series_schedules

occasionally on larger jobs, i've seen rcp's and interior elevations pulled out and put into 7 and 8 series, respectively.

Oct 5, 05 1:39 pm  · 

shit. sorry. no one had posted when i began

Oct 5, 05 1:40 pm  · 

This is good, it seems like we have variations on a fairly successful theme. st., it seems like yours would work well in larger sets too.

mdler, I like to put RCPs in their own section. I think thats where my method veers from 2 series is usually RCPs, shift everything down one, and there you go. Although the 2 series is usually then a little anemic, but oh well.

Oct 5, 05 1:47 pm  · 


Civil C0.0
Architectural A0.0

Oct 5, 05 1:51 pm  · 

you guys are reinventing the wheel ...

check out the national cad standard ... NCS

check out chapter 13.4 of The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice

check out this manifestation of the Uniform Drawing System (a precursor to the NCS) ... UDS

you DON'T want to be inventing your own system ...

Oct 5, 05 1:53 pm  · 
1  · 

everyone invents their own system because the cad standards are guidelines--many jobs do not fit precisely into any standard. as you can see most suggestions here seem to follow them roughly (with the possible exception of beta).

besides, i've never seen a stair tower collapse due to the fact that stair details were in the 1 series as opposed to the 4.

Oct 5, 05 2:07 pm  · 
1  · 

at our firm we do
1-A02 the 1 meaning first floor a01, 02 being, plan, demo, elec... etc


Oct 5, 05 2:09 pm  · 

and, as i'm in THAT kind of a mood and because i abhor the phrase "reinventing the wheel", i'll also retort that no one is reinventing anything--we're merely customizing to suit our needs. no one rides around on barney rubble 20's anymore (to borrow from aes. rock).

Oct 5, 05 2:27 pm  · 

at our office we arrange our sheets based on the drawings then the numbering comes afterwards, we avoid ax.x.x...for example we follow this sequence.

site plan & general info (A-1, with the "A" if we have structural sheets, otherwise it's just "1")

foundation plan (A-2)

floor plans (depending on how many sheets we need, we just number them accordingly...A-3, A-4, and so on)

my boss likes ease of referencing at the construction site so the whole cd package is arranged following that idea...the numbering is incidental

our projects are house remodels so i hope this gives you an insight on the difference/similarities of systems between large and small projects...i've noticed that the sophistication of the numbering system is correlates to the complexity of the project

Oct 5, 05 2:49 pm  · 

Good point, renovations & new construction often lend themselves
to different drawing arrangements, mainly w/ regard to CAD layering. However, I think most of the numbering systems mentioned here provide
a good layout. Just don't get too bogged down in it, remember, it's the content & showing a rational sequence of construction dwgs that counts.

I'm curious, have an of you Revit & ADT-heads done more CDs that are oriented to 3D, or axonometrics? I'd like to see how ya'll have crossed that bridge.

Oct 5, 05 3:58 pm  · 

My firm (mostly residential) does:

A0.XX Cover Sheet/Standards/Code Review
A1.XX Site Plan/Details
A2.XX Floor Plans
A3.XX Schedules
A4.XX Elevations
A5.XX Sections
A6.XX Interior Elevations
A7.XX Common Area blow-up plans and elevations
A8.XX Exterior Details
A9.XX Interior Details

Oct 6, 05 5:58 pm  · 

as tommy chong said in "up in smoke":

if we have to wear uniforms, man, let's all wear somethin different

Oct 6, 05 6:38 pm  · 

ochona... those lines should be in the "best advice thread" truly words to live by.

Oct 6, 05 7:40 pm  · 

"if we have to wear uniforms, man, let's all wear somethin different"

in this forum, there is constant carping about the difficulty of making enough money ... economic performance is a result primarily of efficiency ... efficiency comes, in part, from having a standard way of performing simple, repetitive tasks ...

you may not like the phrase "reinventing the wheel" but you may want to consider the possibility that our profession spends way too much time tailoring the inconsequential (because we're bored ?) and not enough time seeking innovation in things that really matter ... like project design and service delivery methodologies (because we don't know how ?)

over the years i've witnessed -- time and time again -- huge numbers of hours being wasted on silly arguments over what's the best north hour to use ... seems to me we all went into architecture for a somewhat more serious purpose

Oct 7, 05 6:19 am  · 
1  · 

the art/business divide ariseth anew

"efficiency" should not be the main goal of ANY profession (law, medicine, architecture) -- and if a professional feels that s/he is creating a better product (not just more efficiently producing a product) for his/her client by inventing his/her own CAD standards then more power to them

but there's not much point in spending hours and hours talking about it/refining it, that's true

Oct 7, 05 6:56 am  · 
Per Corell


I will let it talk for itself ;

Oct 7, 05 7:16 am  · 

"if a professional ... is creating a better product (not just
more efficiently producing a product) ... by inventing his/her
own CAD standards then more power to them"

this discussion's getting a little 'out there' for my tastes !

drawing numbering systems are simply a way of organizing information so the contractor and the other people who use our drawings can easily find and use the information they need to do their job. i fail to see what that has to do with "creating a better product" in more than a cursory manner.

i worked with a guy once who felt like he had to invent a new font so his drawings would be distinctive. there's already a zillion fonts available and he needed his own. i thought his time would have been much better spent innovating for his client. his employer thought so too and fired him. the employer thought simple, efficient communication might just be a meaningful part of being an architect.

efficiency only matters if you feel like you want to earn a good living. if you don't care how much you earn, by all means, keep on spending endless hours solving problems that have been effectively solved numerous times already

for myself, i want to focus on meaningful, innovative work that actually helps my clients achieve their goals.

then again, i am getting a little bored. maybe i'll go out and invent a new operating system so i won't be dependent on either microsoft or apple

Oct 7, 05 5:28 pm  · 
1  · 

there's a difference between putting the RCPs in a different part of the set b/c it helps communicate your project better and inventing a font...that's a bit of a false comparison. that being said, yeah, why spend all that time debating/refining these things? i personally couldn't care less what my drawings look like, i only care what information they convey and how they convey it. it's not architecture until it's built. i've always admired structural engineers in this regard--they just don't waste time on making drawings pretty.

but then somehow i missed the anal-retentive injection that 95% of my peers got sometime during their 1st year of architecture school.

(see the criteria for passive-aggressive disorder...)

Oct 7, 05 5:46 pm  · 

I always do

C1.00, C1.01 etc...Cover sheet, project forms, etc...
A.1.00 Site plan, A1.01 first floor plan, etc...all the way through schedules and details.
E1.00, P1.00, M1.00- electrical, plumbing, mechanical.
S- structural is what ever by eng.

Contractors like this better- at least on residential and medium commercial. They like the sequence rather than having to snark through a bunch of differnt sheet types. The less they have to search for info the better- plan checkers like this too.

The AIA has never been good at actually streamlining the building process so I am always skeptical of their standards- especially when it comes to forms and standards- though that is an entirely different thread.

Oct 7, 05 6:43 pm  · 
CAD Standards
Oct 11, 05 1:22 pm  · 
Per Corell

Im'e a strong beliver in CAD standards, that's why I use this exellent set of my own.

Oct 11, 05 2:24 pm  · 

See if any of you can figure the twisted logic of this one out. I swear I'm not making this up. Starting at the top:



Oct 11, 05 7:27 pm  · 

you're being very un-dude...

May 18, 07 12:31 pm  · 
Chili Davis

Our sheets here are numbered as follows...

0.01 - Details, Notes, and Symbols
1.01 - Plans
2.01 - Elevations
3.01 - Enlarged Plans
4.01 - Sections
5.01 - Details
6.01 - Schedules and Notes

May 18, 07 12:31 pm  · 

Who needs drawing numbers....we are way past numbers. We keep it exciting with discover while you build documents. I find most contractors don't have time for reading documents. They do look good hanging in their pickup gun racks, while their pistol is in the glove box. You know just be sure you get the Cover Sheet in place with all the code data, cause that is about as far as any plan inspector gets today, they want to see the built project before they start finding things wrong. Then Toss in the Site drawings, no no particular order cause what is a few pages to ruffle thru. Then toss in the foundation information with their associated details. Just remember to visit the site before they start pouring mud, cause most likely you will find something completely out of place. Who knows you might even find your project built on the wrong site. You should follow also be sure the Plumbing contractor was able to locate all of his below grade piping and the same goes for the electrical know the engineers drawings are usually lacking in detail and direction. Oh and I'm sure your dirt contractor is going to find truck loads of unsuitable material he will have to haul off the site cause he needs it down the street and return with some of the fill from that site for the same reason. Oh yas want to be sure you ask him to fill out tickets for all of the material they are moving and unit cost because these guys like to vacation in Italy and the West Indies.They also have to pay for the "Big Boy Toys." When the concrete guy shows up to pour footings, be sure he has all of the water out of the trench and do one last check for rebar, you know the stuff which is flopping back and forth inbetween those wooden panels which he has forgotten to place release agent on and now he wants to coat down the rebar along with eveyone with in 50 feet. Once the concrete is in place the building inspector always shows up because he was to busy the day before chatting up the dunkin doughtnut teeny bopper and dropped his daily schedule into an extra-extra large cup of java. The electrical inspector couldn't make it their before to besure all the underground electrical conduit was inplace because of a personal conflict (he had to meet with his parol officer). The dirt contractor is bitting you butt cause he is ready to move his equipment to his next job and he wants to backfill the day after foundation walls are poured, and he is requesting additional pay for de-mobilization and re-mobilization, cause no one told him he had to wait seven days before he could back fill. Oh well, lumber load shows up, lumber yard slides it off the back of the truck as you watch it smashing to the ground, with nothing to keep it up off the ground, he says it is alright cause the immigrates are going to be nailing it together in a few days. He leaves you with the statement,
"Wood don't go bad in a week." Up until this point of the project no one seems to have looked at your project, cause you notice in the job shack, the super...has another project laid out on his reference table and when you ask to see the project drawings he pulls out something from still another job.

So people I could go on and on....but life is life and Contractors are contractors and they always make things difficult no matter what order the drawings are in. It is quality information they are looking for and someone to hold their hand in the field. I was once told the most important part of of job is to be sure it comes out of the ground right, from there it should be smooth sailing. If you can ask all the right questions at that phase of the project you will gain a great deal of respect and someone might spend sometime with your drawings cause they feel you have an idea as to what the heck your doing in the field so you sure know what your putting on your drawings. They will take the time to figure out where things are at and they will be telling you what you missed. That is if he is a contrator worth his salt.

May 18, 07 8:11 pm  · 
1  · 
☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭ ☭

what should happen is anyone that has an issue should talk to their typical gen con and ask how they use the sets, what are the sheets they are removing from the set for other purposes.

May 18, 07 8:21 pm  · 
1  · 

The way it was described to me, and I have found to always work (be careful of absolutes, I know) but think about your drawings as being in the order of things getting built - Outside to Inside, Bottom (foundation) to Top (roof), Rough to Fine. I have never been at a loss as where to put a drawing. But right now I am working on an inherited set which has interior elevations on both in the Plans section, and in the Details sections. Because "they fit there" and nobody ever checks their work or is concerned about actually building the damn thing.


So I am here on Sundays. Nice...


I have always gone

M - Mech
E - Electrical
P - Plumbing

but I don't know why.

May 20, 07 6:40 pm  · 

T-000 Title Sheets and General Notes
A-000 Demolition
A-100 Construction Plans
A-110 RCP
A-120 Electrical Plans
A-130 Finish Plans
A-200 Exterior Elevations
A-300 Sections
A-400 Interior Elevations Small Scale
A-410 Interior Elevations Large Scale
A-500 Exterior / Envelope Details
A-510 Interior Details
A-600 Schedules

Feb 27, 13 9:50 am  · 

We do multi-family and this is are starndard numbering


A0.CS Cover Sheet/Standards/Code Review

A1.01-A1.09 General codes, life safety, TAS sheets, STC sheets, door and window schedules, wall types
A1.10 Phasing and addressing plans
A2.01 site plan
A3.xx Unit plans that include interior elevations notes and dimensioning
A4.XX building plans
A5.XX Sections
A6.XX stair/ elevator/ trash chute sections

A7.xx  Details
A8.XX Common Area blow-up plans and elevations
A9.XX accessory structures


However our commercials group like to use 3 digits after the decimal, and tend to order drawings a little different. It all depends on the project type and size.

Jan 27, 15 3:10 pm  · 
x intern

I like to break the set down a little further so you can add sheets without headaches

A1.00 overall plans

A1.10 area plans

A1.20 large scale plans

A1.30 plan details

A1.40 finish plans

A1.50 dimension plans

As long as the project isn't huge this will hold up. You get over 9 areas this would break down,  never worked on a project that big though.  With the A101, A102 linear system you have to add a sheet its a nightmare.  I'm sure Revit fixes all this though..........

Jan 28, 15 3:03 pm  · 


I need a CAD file or an image that includes the international frame of executive documentaries & numbering system, If that's possible.


Mar 20, 18 7:31 pm  · 

how do you number drawings on a sheet? top to bottom, left to right, bottom up, right to left? spiral from the center?

Mar 20, 18 10:34 pm  · 

Standard sheet numbering does exist.

A A # # #

A A =  Discipline designators, single or double letters. Very large or complex projects will want to make use of the double letter designations to help subdivide each discipline even further.

The first digit = shee type designator.

  • 0 = General
  • 1 = Plans
  • 2 = Elevations
  • 3 = Sections
  • 4 = Large scale drawings (not details)
  • 5 = Details
  • 6 = Schedules
  • etc.

The two following digits are the sheet sequence numbers (01-99)


  • A-204 = Architectural Elevations, 4th sheet.
  • I-316 = Interior section, 16th sheet.
  • AD107 = Architectural demolition floor plan, 7th sheet
  • P-102 = Plumbing floor plan, 2nd sheet.

I did not come up with this (obviously). You can find the lists of designators and more details at the following link:

Arch Toolbox

I hope it helps!

Sep 26, 19 7:05 am  · 

Another existing standard


Jun 23, 21 4:51 pm  · 

Thank god you answered this, and just in time, too!

Jun 23, 21 5:43 pm  · 
1  · 

To address some of these question, we employ a system based on 5-digit numerical characters, in accordance with the old PAS1192-2 standard. The first two digits designate drawing categories; for example, '43' indicates Floor Finishes, '44' represents Stairs, and '90' corresponds to External Works. The last three digits follow to complete the numbering. These initial two-digit codes contribute to the establishment of a predefined system aimed at standardization. Additionally, this system proves advantageous within the context of the Common Data Environment, especially when operating within a BIM Level 2 environment.

I hope this helps.

Dec 6, 23 6:16 am  · 

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