Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why do we use silly scales when documenting buildings?

I prepared a file that shows the basic principles of A3 based ‘picture book documenting’. (will post soon); Before I describe the approach, I need to cover another tool in the building documenter’s kit: the scale;
Historically building documenters used scales to draw objects in exact proportion to their true size, Common metric scales were 1:100, 1:50, 1:20, 1:10 and 1:5; 1:25 was less favoured though with the advent of the A1/A3 output partnership it gained some traction (1:25 reduced turned into 1:50).
While studying architecture a quarter of a century ago I was encouraged not to use a scale ruler;
We were told to measure with a normal ruler and work dimensions out in our heads and were assured, that in time we will be able to ‘see sizes’; Look at a door, you’ll be able to tell what scale the drawing was drawn at and estimate sizes of spaces; The imperative was that the entire drawing was true-to-scale and where a dimension was critical, it was noted as such;
Roll in Flatcad and da-da: we now have scales ranging from 1:150 through 1:400 to 1:725; Combine these with the ‘do not scale’ instruction, the reduced-size outputs and suddenly your job becomes even more difficult;
Are there not enough challenges anyway with documenting buildings to be disadvantaging ourselves with using silly scales as well?

(am sick today – so blog a bit off-beat too)

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