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North Direction in Drawing

ARC Student

why a plan and section drawngs must have a north arrow sign???

 
Dec 23, 08 11:13 pm
binary

<---->

Dec 23, 08 11:50 pm  · 
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Dr. Architecture

I will defer to others, but a section typically does not have a north arrow, but a plan should. It provides the viewer insight to the plan relative to its context, i.e., the orientation relative to the sun and other site conditions.

Have you discussed this with your professor?

Dec 24, 08 7:07 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

this is one question that you should sit and consider on your own, thoughtfully consider.

Dec 24, 08 7:27 am  · 
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fays.panda

did you consider?

Dec 24, 08 7:31 am  · 
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b3tadine[sutures]

moi?

Dec 24, 08 7:35 am  · 
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a section doesn't typically have a north arrow - but it doesn't hurt to indicate orientation in the section. helps make clerestories or other sun/wind/view/etc goals make sense.

ARC, we're in the information business. any information you can provide on drawings which gives insight into the goals of the project are helpful.

Dec 24, 08 7:52 am  · 
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chatter of clouds

why north? this northcentricism is so racist!

Dec 24, 08 7:53 am  · 
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wait, race and sun orientation are related?! crazy, man.


whatever, just give information. if it's south, so be it.

Dec 24, 08 8:03 am  · 
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As the World Turns OR as the wind blows
Dec 24, 08 9:39 am  · 
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farwest1

I've worked with offices that use the convention of having a "plan north" arrow and a "true north" arrow, either side by side, or as two lines on top of each other.

The plan north arrow is the same as "up" on the page. It's used so that everyone on the team can talk about the plans, over the phone or whatever, and not get confused about direction, etc.

But this convention seems confusing to me. I'd prefer to just have a true north arrow, and refer to top of page, left of page, etc.

Any thoughts?

Dec 24, 08 9:57 am  · 
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With all respect, adding north arrow in floor plans is not helping anyone in any way. Site plan should show the orientation (True and Project north) and that's it. the rest floor plan with the north direction is not adding anything to your project. the same for sections and elevations.

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This is my 20 years' experience in 3 different continents.

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SpontaneousCombustion

In your 20 years' experience on 3 continents you've never worked on a project where the floor plans, or partial floor plans, are oriented on some sheets differently than they are on the site plan? You must work on a lot of very rectilinear plans with no angles. If the plans have any significant areas or wings that are not at right angles to each other, the usual convention is to rotate them in partial floor plans so that the plan shares the orientation of the sheet - which results in North being in different directions on different sheets.

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I have them all rotated floor ( different orientation with true north). but again, once the site plan is showing the project vs true, who is reading data in the floor plan with the north arrow. construction? big NO, City? Big NO, who else? to be honest, floor plan and partial floor plans ( enlarged) all are for showing something else. I have not ever seen anyone read the north orientation by looking at floor plans. Floor plans are not for building orientation even if the floor is rotated ( project north), one time in the site plan, and done. the rest is repeated information. for instance, you call the north in floor plan and elevation naming goes to South, North and East-west elevation ( I have seen this a lot) and 9 out 10 those views are south or west or .... it's up to you but to me, it is quite the same to show the door tag in floor plans and elevations. we don't have to repeat the information in each and every view we have. If you go to a job site and talk with construction people and ask them about the north, you will find how important it is to provide duplicated( confusing) information. believe me, it is a very old fashion standard that architects usually scare to revise it. again, I underestand if you don't want to.

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EdgewoodAnimal

'Project north' is useful to have when your talking about the building without drawings in front of you.

Dec 24, 08 10:24 am  · 
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wurdan freo

Hey ARC Student. Why is there a question mark at the end of this sentence?


Plan north is confusing because it is inconsistent. There should only be true north.

Dec 24, 08 10:28 am  · 
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I prefer to show the North orientation just in the site plan and not repeat information in all floor plans. we should ask ourselves, what is the reason for that sign, if it is not helping anyone, then it should be removed. north arrow in floor plans are not giving anything more than the site plan.

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SpontaneousCombustion

12 year old thread dude! Omitting your north arrow only makes sense only if your floor plans are all oriented the same way on all sheets, and in the same way that the building is oriented on the site plan. On a project in which different wings of a building are at different angles to each other, it's typical to rotate partial floor plans of each wing on the sheets so that they are oriented vertically/horizontally on the page - which results in north being in different directions on different sheets.

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I prefer to keep the wings in the same orientation as project north and if project north is rotated, one time in site plan and it is more than enough. I will never repeat the orientation in all floor plans. it is based on my experience with GC and ... if your partial floor plans are at the same scale ( not enlarged) never rotate it unless you are forced to. believe me or not this subject is still a big deal in our new projects (in 2020).

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eeayeeayo

This isn't a debatable thing for our firm, because the city where we do the largest number of projects (one of the larger US cities) requires a north arrow on every plan sheet and rejects the whole set if submitted for permits without that. Exact style of north arrow is one of those things that entry-level staff seem to want to re-design every year.

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snook_dude

IF YOUR DESIGNING FOR OUTER SPACE YOU CAN KISS THE NORTH ARROW GOOD BYE.

Dec 24, 08 10:45 am  · 
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marmkid

this is a weird thing to question

Dec 24, 08 11:03 am  · 
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aspect

because the south lost the civil war, North rules!

Dec 24, 08 11:04 am  · 
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xacto

how can you have a north arrow in a section. the arrow could point only one of two ways and would be encompassing 180 degrees.

Dec 24, 08 11:07 am  · 
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cln1

because santa claus developed the first set of CAD standards.

Dec 24, 08 11:10 am  · 
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marmkid

i suppose if a section is cut North-South, you could have a north arrow pointing one way and a south arrow pointing the other, and you could also note which direction, East or West that you are looking in

not sure if sections need that though, it might cause confusion

i tend to leave North Arrows to plans

Dec 24, 08 11:16 am  · 
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over_under

all kinds of things about your design make more sense when you indicate the orientation of your project along one of the cardinal directions... north just happens to be the standard... north light is the most unbiased light, wall thicknesses, glazing percentages etc... i mean if environmental stuff is your cup of tea, which it really isnt mine, the north arrow can be used to justify all kinds of decisions.

Dec 24, 08 11:18 am  · 
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brooklynboy

Some people say north should always be up on plans. But sometimes it makes more sense to have north point down. Two buildings I'm working on now are on the south side of the street. It makes a lot more sense to have the sidewalk and building entry on the bottom of the drawing even though west is right and east is left. Also, the sides of a rectangular building should always be at right angles to the sheet. Keep plan orientation consistent throughout the project and no one will be confused.

Dec 24, 08 11:38 am  · 
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wurdan freo

Then, of course, it may be part of Western Civilization's attempt at Global Domination.





Dec 24, 08 11:40 am  · 
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ReflexiveSpace

Project North is a helpful convention when true North does not correspond to an obvious elevation. It helps clear up the confusion that might arise with true north pointing in towards a corner or if the building is not rectilinear it can be unclear. When true north corresponds closely with an obvious elevation i never use project north.

Dec 24, 08 12:54 pm  · 
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It was like a week after New Years 1987, and we just finished dinner in a restaurant on one of the more secluded beaches of Manly, Australia. There were five of us, my cousin who moved to Australia from post-war Germany, a sister and brother born in Australia, a young Tasmanian woman and me, the only northern hemisphere resident. There was a crescent moon overhead a little over the ocean. It struck me as odd, and I said so.

"what do you mean?!?"

"well, it's like up-side down or something. I've never seen it like that before."

"how do you usually see it then?"

"wait. let me try something."

I turned around and looked up bent over backwards.

"there. this is how I usually see it."

then the rest of them did the same thing, bobbing their heads around taking it all in.

I watched them and then cracked up laughing.

"you guys now look as drunk as you actually are!"

and we all just stated laughing. and then it hit me.

"wait, where's the Southern Cross?"

the brother, "I'll find it. there it is!"

"Ah."

Dec 24, 08 1:06 pm  · 
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SDR

Lovely short-short story.

Reminds me a bit of lying on my back in a field in New Hampshire with friends, finding the North Star and getting, suddenly, the axis of the Earth in space. Spacy !



I'm surprised no one has mentioned the usefulness of cardinal directions on exterior and interior elevations and sections (West Elevation, etc) and the consequent necessity of a compass indication on the plan. . .

Dec 24, 08 5:59 pm  · 
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Stasis

Does anyone have a cool-looking north arrow? if you do, i'd love to borrow it for my portfolio.. :)
well, north arrow is very crucial to determine whether you're from northern or southern hemisphere. When Glenn Murcutt lectured in my school, he drew flipped solar path...

Dec 25, 08 1:58 am  · 
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binary

circle with a line from center going up 90...and extending about 1" past the circle


Dec 25, 08 2:12 am  · 
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SDR

I found this. . .I like the quadrant, but not the N. Maybe a larger and lighter font ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzKCzlN1aSk&feature=channel_page

Dec 25, 08 2:35 am  · 
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binary

all that drama just to make a symbol in revit....

Dec 25, 08 2:45 am  · 
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Stasis

SDR, thatks for good revit lesson.
well, after going through that drama, i will use and abuse it for years til that north arrow goes out of the style...

Dec 25, 08 3:14 am  · 
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fays.panda

i blame marco polo

Dec 25, 08 6:42 am  · 
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fays.panda

and then Calvino came along, and things started to brighten up

Dec 25, 08 6:42 am  · 
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fays.panda

im bored and tired of attempting to make sense, theres no point anymore

Dec 25, 08 6:43 am  · 
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SDR

Dear dear -- North-arrow angst, mid-winter nihilism.

We furniture designers are blissfully free of solar orientation issues. . .!

Dec 25, 08 11:25 am  · 
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tzaar

this is an interesting convention... i wonder if in austrailia they put south arrows on all their drawings?

http://fakebuildings.blogspot.com

Dec 25, 08 3:50 pm  · 
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Carl Douglas (agfa8x)

no

Dec 25, 08 4:02 pm  · 
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ARC Student

Why north???? why not south, east or west?????

Dec 25, 08 10:36 pm  · 
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it's a convention. it's got meaning and history. if you want to do it differently, fine, but you've got to know why you're way and you should know some of the background before you start messing with the conventions.

you could start here and see where it takes you. then maybe some books on navigation, mapping, surveying...

Dec 26, 08 7:01 am  · 
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SDR

You'd want to ask why and when the (European ?) convention of drawing maps with North at top, began ?

Dec 26, 08 11:55 am  · 
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Synergy

haha what a pointless debate. If it bugs you so much, why not indicate all four cardinal directions? otherwise just realize it is a standard convention and get over it.

Dec 29, 08 9:20 am  · 
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knock

hmm ...

http://www.zorno.de/tagebuch/images/20070108_weltkarte_xl.gif

Dec 29, 08 12:06 pm  · 
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Jaetten

If you want to complicate things, ideally the main entrance should be to the bottom of the page! 

What if the main entrance is on the north side? 

Jul 10, 20 3:59 pm  · 
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gibbost

Ideally, perhaps. North should always go up the page--entry doors be damned. In my experience, it also comes down to how it fits on the sheet

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Jaetten

I get that. We've had projects before that have been big enough to put plans on A0 when everything else fits on A1. I do prefer entrance to bottom, though. Plans are sometimes easier for clients to read. Think it comes down to the orientation when you physically access and its location in relation to you.

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