Common Metric Structural Scales and Applications

Written by Allan – February 2005

Selecting the correct scale is important because it permits easy and clear interpretation of the information shown. With uniform scales, elements appear in proportion. Seasoned plan readers are familiar with standard scales and can visualize the size quickly. Details can be standardized because of uniform text heights and be used from one project to the next.

Methods of indicating scales

Scales can be indicated by one of the follow:

Scale Common Uses
1:100 General plans scale, structural steel stick plans and elevations, concrete outlines.
1:50 Overall structural sections (not heavy on details), masonry wall elevations.
1:20 Concrete details and sections, retaining wall details, concrete block details, clay brick details.
1:10 Structural steel details and sections, precast details, timber details.