Architectural Plan Requirements

An architectural set of drawings must clearly depict the scope of work for the project and must demonstrate compliance with the applicable codes and standards. An architectural set of drawings consists of the following elements as they apply to your project. Your plan reviewer will provide information on more specific requirements.

  • Floor Plan Requirements
  • Building Elevations
  • Cross Sections and Details
  • Door, Window and Finish Schedule

Refer to Electronic Document Submittal Standards and Electronic Review Efficiency for PDF submittal standards.

Commercial Building Permits

  1. Plans must include building data: applicable codes, new/existing building area, number of stories, building height, type of construction, type of occupancy, occupant load, fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems, smoke control systems, fire-rating requirements, means of egress, accessibility and energy efficiency requirements.
  2. Floor Layout must show the arrangement of walls, note the proposed use and dimensions of all areas, show stairs, corridors, elevators, restrooms and ramps.
  3. Windows and Doors: Show the location and dimensions of new, removed or replaced windows, doors and skylights. Indicate the direction of door swing.
  4. Fixture Location: Show the location of exit signs, international access symbol(s), fire extinguishers, fans, vents, smoke detectors, bathroom fixtures, mechanical equipment, etc.
  5. Show the location of all vertical and horizontal fire-resistance rated assemblies.
  6. Show how access by disabled persons will be provided. Include dimensions and notes regarding maximum doorsill heights, ramp slopes, hardware type and heights of all accessory features (water fountains, telephones, directional signs, etc.).
  7. Show compliance with the Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) Commercial Provisions.
  8. Provide a reflected ceiling plan, separate from the floor plan, for each installation of a new ceiling or alteration of an existing ceiling. The plan must specify the type of ceiling system, the material used and the vertical and lateral support system.
  9. For tenant improvement only: The full floor plan must show all existing tenants, the location of the tenant improvement and all exits, including corridors leading to exits. The floor plan of the tenant improvement may be included in the full floor plan. If the tenant improvement is an extension of an existing space, show which is new and which is existing and the square footage of each. Show the total square footage of the tenant space.

Residential Building Permits

  1. Provide the building area per each floor, including decks and garages.
  2. Floor Layout: Show the arrangement of walls. Note the proposed use and the dimensions of all areas.
  3. Windows and Doors: Show the location and dimensions of new, removed or replaced windows, doors and skylights. Indicate the opening direction and size.
  4. Fixture Location: Show the location of fans, vents, smoke detectors, bathroom fixtures, mechanical equipment, etc.
  5. When structural changes are made, the building plans examiner may require that plans be stamped by a licensed Washington State architect or engineer.
  6. Show compliance with residential sections of the Washington State Energy Code (WSEC-R).

Land Use approvals

  1. If this is commercial project, show all permanent corridors, exits, elevators, lobbies, and mechanical and restroom areas. Indicate the proposed use of each space.
  2. If this is a multifamily project, show the typical floor layout for each unit and building type.

Design Reviews

Show the layout for all rooms, permanent corridors, exits, elevators, lobbies, and mechanical and restroom areas. If this is a commercial project, indicate the proposed use of each space. If this is a multifamily project, show the typical floor layout for each unit and building type.

Building Elevations

Provide the following building elevation information on your plans. You are responsible for verifying and accurately depicting all locations and dimensions of property lines, setback distances, and the location and width of streets, rights-of-way and easements.

  1. Provide full elevation drawings for each side of the structure. Provide finished floor level for each floor. Show maximum site slope. Refer to Building Height Requirements for calculation information.
  2. Total Height: Indicate the total height based on average existing grade or average finished grade, as required by the Land Use Code.
  3. Show the proposed visual screening for roof mounted mechanical equipment, elevator override, vents, etc. Design screening to address views of equipment from below and above from other existing and future buildings.
  4. Show the roof overhang and chimney clearances from the roof. Dimension the heights of parapets and fences. Indicate the pitch of the roof or the minimum slope to drain. Indicate the roof covering material.
  5. Show cornices, eave overhangs, exterior balconies, decks, and similar architectural features extending beyond the floor area.
  6. Decks: Indicate the height of guardrails and spacing of intermediate railing.
  7. Show exterior siding material.
  8. Indicate doors, windows, skylights or other types of openable vents.
  9. Show foundations and footings for the structure below grade. Indicate retained soil heights.
  10. Show average existing grade elevations and average finished grade elevations.
  11. Note all ramps, signs, etc., that will provide barrier-free access for the disabled when required.

Commercial Building Permits

  1. Show typical wall and floor sections with all materials labeled. Indicate size, spacing and structural grading of all members. Include all dimensions. Show insulation, air barrier, sheathing, connections, interior and exterior finishes. Show wall/floor/roof required fire resistance ratings. Call out the approval agency and listing number for all fire-rated assemblies.
  2. Show a typical roof section with all materials labeled. Indicate size, spacing and grading of all members. Include all dimensions, venting, insulation, connections, sheathing, type of roofing and slope of roof. Show scupper, overflow and downspout locations and details.
  3. Show a typical foundation section with all materials labeled. Indicate size and spacing of all members and all dimensions. Include foundation wall thickness, reinforcing bar size and spacing, reinforcing bar clearance, footing depth below grade, slab thickness, slab or floor insulation, and drainage for foundation retaining wall.
  4. Show all vertical and horizontal fire barriers and/or fire-rated assemblies.
  5. Provide cross sections and details as necessary to show how access by disabled persons will be provided (refer to the International Building Code, Chapter 11, including state amendments).
  6. Show a section of the stairs. Include rise, run, handrail height and grasp dimensions; distance between any intermediate rails; fire blocking; minimum headroom; and landing size. 
  7. Provide seismic bracing details for suspended ceilings, lighting fixtures and mechanical equipment per ASTM 635 and 636.

Single Family Building Permits

  1. Show a typical wall section with all materials labeled. Indicate size, spacing, and structural grading of all members. Include all dimensions. Show insulation, sheathing, connections, siding, weather resistive and vapor barriers, interior wall coverings, etc.
  2. Show a typical roof section with all materials labeled. Indicate size, spacing and grading of all members. Include all dimensions, venting, insulation, connections, sheathing, type of roofing and slope of roof. Show scupper, overflow and downspout locations and details.
  3. Show a section of the fireplace, including hearth and hearth extension. Include dimensions, materials, clearance from combustibles, height above roof, reinforcing, seismic anchorage and foundation details.
  4. Show all connection details, including post-beam, post-footing, wall-footing, wall-ceiling, wall-roof, collar ties, strong backs, etc.
  5. Show a section of the stairs. Include rise, run, and handrail height and grasp dimensions; distance between any intermediate rails; fire blocking; minimum headroom; and landing size. Specify a minimum  ½-inch gypsum board protection for enclosed, usable space under the stairs.

Door, Window and Finish Schedule

Commercial Building Permits:

  1. Provide window/storefront/curtain wall schedule, including size, type, U-factors and SHGCs.
  2. Provide door schedule, including door size, type, fire rating and hardware. Provide door hardware that meets code requirements for access by the disabled. Provide smoke and draft control (when required).
  3. Provide wall, ceiling and floor finish schedule to show compliance with Chapter 8 of the International Building Code.

Single Family Building Permits:

  1. Provide exterior door size, direction of swing and U-valve.
  2. Provide window schedule, including location, size, opening direction and size, and U-valve.