Architects refer to the orthographic projection of a building or the façade as the elevation.
Since a building is rarely perfectly rectangular or in alignment with
the cardinal directions, the choice of elevation style determines which parts
of the building will be visible from a particular direction.
Thus, the south elevation refers to the south-facing wall of the
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Kenneth Zegar scholarship.
What should each side of the building elevation show?
An elevation drawing
of a building should contain –
- The height and
length of each wall
- The width and
height of the roof
- Decks, stairs,
and porch (any other external features)
- The visible
part of the foundation
- The door trim
shingles and wood siding (all roof and exterior wall finishing)
- The finished
How to choose the right perspective?
Elevations can be from the outside-in or the inside-out. When choosing it, remember to consider the effects it will have on the views of the exterior of the building and the design quality of the interior as well.
According to expert architects, to determine which design suits your needs the best, you need to assess the quality of the building interior.
If you are going to choose an inside-out, you need to consider the views you should create from within the house. In case of an outside-in elevation, consider the view from the main entrance.
Remember to pay
attention to the room sizes, internal designs, and dimensions of your interior
While designing an
elevation, you need to be careful while setting up the correct program and
How is the building mass going to work?
begin with the concept of massing. They determine which shapes, forms, and
spaces around the solid forms are going to work.
material and structure of the building is critical at this point. It is the
first step among the many calls for significant attention to detail. Choosing
the right color and texture can help in distinguishing one building material
from another and offer a new perspective to the building elements.
You can complete this
step using ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, or other similar software. While using the
software, you can choose which colors correspond to which material in the
building. It is one of the most critical tasks that will determine the final
How to accentuate architectural features while maintaining the proportion?
Repeat an element throughout the elevation design in the form of a pattern. It will impart a harmony to the entire design.
Another method many
architects use is to continue a line visually so that it forms a grid or
visible pattern. It is a smart but subtle way to draw attention.
All structures of a building are in proportion to one another. You should remember to preserve the balance while rendering to it. Proportions are indispensable in architecture as well as elevation, and you cannot discredit them during design.
What are the different elevations you need to include?
You will have to consider the side elevations, front, rear, and split elevation when designing the architectural elevation of a house.
The front elevation of
entry elevation is how the house looks from a particular spot on the front
garden or yard.
The side elevations
are the (left and right) side views of the house.
Rear elevation refers
to the back façade of the house, as one can see from a spot in the backyard.
Split elevation refers
to the cutaway view that exhibits the internal height, wall thickness, floor
thickness, and height of the stairs. It also includes the fireplaces, cabinet
placements, and interior doors.
How to choose the right elevation style?
Elevation styles can
be a little confusing. You can find contemporary, modern, traditional, and a
combination of multiple elevation types depending on the style of your
building. Depending on the location and age of the building, you might need to
consider European, craftsman, prairie, cottage, Tudor, farmhouse, and colonial
design inspired elevations as well.
The choice of style will depend upon the aesthetics of your building as well as the inclusion of technology. Modern elevation does not refer to the design style of the house. It refers to a technology-driven home.
The elevation is similar to any other design. There are quite a few
guidelines, but there are no hard-and-fast rules you can follow. That makes the
task even more challenging and confusing to the architecture and design
You can draw inspiration from the work of some of the most renowned
architects. Make a note of the traits you can find in almost all the most
well-known works. Try to incorporate the same characteristics in your elevation design, as well.