Building Elevations

In technical terms, an elevation is an orthographic projection of a 3D structure from the position of a horizontal plane beside an object. This view is a common method of depicting the external configuration and detailing of a 3D object in two dimensions. A practical way of thinking of elevations is that an elevation is a side-view as viewed from the north, east, south, or west. Structural elevations are commonly shown in building plans to allow for the coordination of items, such as structural braces with window openings which are in the building façades of architectural elevations. A example elevation is shown in Figure 4.


Figure 4


Elevations are the most common orthographic projection for conveying the geometry of a structure from the exterior. A structural elevation is typically labeled in relation to the compass direction it faces: the direction from which a person views it. For example, the North Elevation of a structure shows the side that most closely faces true north on the compass. Additionally, in structural plans, interior elevations are used to show detailing such as kickersand braced frames.