In Digital School’s Architectural Design Technology program, you will work on various ways to communicate project plans using digital drawings. Cross sections, or sections, as they’re commonly called, are architectural drawings that are orthographic projections of structures with a cut transecting them. This type of projection shows a three-dimensional drawing in a two-dimensional view. The cut is usually vertical and shows details that a horizontal cut in a plan section drawing cannot.

The two-dimensional quality of a cross section enables more information to be included than with a three-dimensional concept. Generally, designs will require multiple cross sections, with the number increasing depending on the complexity of the project. With BIM, you can create cross sections of all kinds by choosing section planes on a 3D model. Read to learn more about why cross sections are important for your education and career.

Technical Design Programs Show How Cross Sections Provide Useful Information

Cross sections help make plans easier to construct by supplying more detail about both the structure and enclosure. As designs become more complicated and have more parts, more cross sections with various views become necessary. These enable you to slice through buildings, walls, stair framing or other details and give an accurate depiction of materials and structure that are not easily seen otherwise.

Cross sections can cut through ceilings, floors and are even used for molding and trim work. Technical design programs that give you BIM training let you see how much information is visible when you create a cross section from a model. Combined with elevations—which show sides of a structure without slicing through them—a team is able to understand both the concept of the design and the logic that will go into making it a reality.

A team is able to understand the logic behind a design with cross sections
A team is able to understand the logic behind a design with cross sections

Enclosures Become Clearer with Cross Sections

Enclosures on buildings are the parts that divide interior from exterior space. These include walls, roofs, windows and doors, as well as the foundation. Sometimes this is referred to as the “building envelope”. These components guard the interior from physical elements in the exterior space like weather, temperature and sunlight. If you’re in architectural design technology training, you already know how important these structures are for a space to function successfully. The clearer these elements can be presented to builders, the more effectively a plan can be constructed. Dimensions and layers are easily revealed with cross section, so the intricacies of how enclosures need to be built are more obvious.

Measurements Are Easier to Label on Cross Sections

Clearly labeled measurements are inarguably important in architecture technology. When measurements are not precise, time, money and energy are wasted. Without cross sections, it is difficult to label many measurements that are on the interior of the structure or in the enclosures. If you’re already a technical design college student, then you will likely already know the value of accuracy and attention to detail when planning buildings.

During your career, you’ll be able to count on the capabilities of BIM to include vast amounts of data to help projects run smoothly. With BIM, you are able to manipulate and change digital drawings and cross sections easily and those changes can immediately be seen by various teams working on the same project. This is partly why BIM has been so transformative in the design and construction of buildings and why learning about BIM will give you highly valued skills for your career.

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