Common Abbreviations Used in Construction Blueprints

a construction blueprint
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Construction blueprints, also called construction plans or drawings, are full of abbreviations and acronyms to save space and neaten the overall appearance of the presentation. Remembering all of this shorthand can be tricky, especially when this is added to the challenge of reading all the symbols and deciphering the conventions that might be used by a particular draftsperson or designer.

Fortunately, many blueprint abbreviations have widely accepted meanings and are used in all sorts of blueprints, from framing plans to engineering drawings.

  • A/C: Air Conditioner
  • ACI: American Concrete Institute
  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992
  • A.F.F.: Above Finished Floor
  • A.F.G.: Above Finished Grade
  • AIA: American Institute of Architects or American Insurance Association
  • AIEE: American Institute of Electrical Engineers
  • AISC: American Institute of Steel Construction
  • AISI: American and Steel Institute
  • ANSI: American National Standards Insitute
  • ASCE: American Society of Civil Engineers
  • ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
  • AWG: American Wire Gauge
  • B.O.F.: Bottom of Footing
  • B.O.M: Bill of Material
  • BOT: Bottom
  • B.O.W.: Bottom of Wall
  • BP: Blue Print (or B/P)
  • Brz.: Bronze
  • BV: Butterfly Valve
  • CAD: Cadmium or Computer-Aided Drafting
  • CBORE: Counterbore
  • C.C.: Center to Center
  • C.D.: Construction Document
  • C.F.M.: Cubic Feet per Minute
  • CFS: Cubic Feet per Second
  • C.I.: Cast Iron
  • CL.: Closet
  • CL: Center LIne
  • CLG.: Ceiling
  • CMU: Concrete Masonry Unit
  • C.O.: Cleanout
  • Cont.: Continuous
  • CRES: Corrosion-Resistant Steel
  • CSINK: Countersink
  • CU. FT.: Cubic Feet
  • CU. YD.: Cubic Yard
  • D.S.: Downspout
  • Dia.: Diameter
  • Dim.: Dimension
  • DN.: Down
  • DP: Damp-Proofing, Dew Point, or Distribution Panel
  • DWG: Drawing
  • Ea.: Each
  • ED: Edge Distance
  • E.F.: Exhaust Fan
  • EQ: Equal, or Equally
  • Exc: Excavate
  • E.W.: Each Way
  • Ext.: Exterior
  • FACP: Fire Alarm Control Panel
  • FAO: Finish All Over
  • F.C.O.: Floor cleanout
  • F.D.: Floor Drain
  • Fin.: Finish
  • F.F.L.: Finished Floor Level
  • FL: Floor Level
  • FRPF: Fireproof
  • FS: Far Side
  • FTG: Fitting
  • Galv.: Galvanized
  • G.C.: General Contractor
  • G.F.C.I. or G.F.I.: Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter
  • GPM: Gallons Per Minute
  • G.T.: Glazed Tile
  • Gyp.: Gypsum
  • H.B.: Hose Bib
  • HDCP: Handicapped (better if referred to as "Accessible")
  • HDPE: High-Density Polyethylene
  • HRS: Hot Rolled Steel
  • HV: High Voltage
  • H.V.A.C.: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • H.W.: Hot Water
  • IAW: In Accordance With
  • ID: Inner Diameter
  • IE: Invert Elevation
  • In.: Inch
  • Insul.: Insulation
  • ISO: International Organization for Standards
  • Int.: Interior
  • Inv.: Invert
  • J-Box: Junction Box
  • Jct.: Junction
  • Jst.: Joist
  • kW: Kilowatt
  • LDD: LImited Dimension Drawing
  • LFT.: Linear Feet
  • LH: Left Hand
  • LL: Live Load
  • LM: List of Materials
  • Lt.: Light
  • Ltg.: Lighting
  • L.V.L.: Laminated Veneer Lumber
  • MH: Manhole
  • Mas.: Masonry
  • MAX: Maxiumum
  • MBW: Measurement Between Wires
  • Mtl.: Material
  • MFG.: Manufacturing
  • Min.: Minimum
  • MOW: Measurement Over Wires
  • NEC: National Electrical Code
  • N.I.C.: Not In Contract
  • NOM: Nominal
  • N.T.S.: Not to scale
  • OAL: Overall Length
  • O.C.: On Center
  • O.D.: Outside Diameter
  • OPNG.: Opening or Rough Opening
  • PCC: Portland Cement Concrete
  • PCS: Pieces
  • PL.: Plaster
  • P.L.: Property Line (or Parts List)
  • Plywd.: Plywood
  • P.S.F.: Pounds per Square Foot
  • P.S.I.: Pounds per Square Inch
  • Ptd.: Painted
  • PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride
  • QTY: Quantity
  • R: Radius
  • RC: Reinforced Concrete
  • RD: Roof Drain, Round, or Receptacle Distribution Panel
  • R.D.L.: Roof Drain Leader
  • REBAR: Reinforcing Bar
  • REQD: Required
  • RH: Right Hande
  • R.O.: Rough Opening
  • R.O.W.: Right of Way
  • Reinf.: Reinforced
  • San.: Sanitary
  • SC: Sharp Corners
  • S.D.: Smoke Detector
  • Sect.: Section
  • Sht.: Sheet
  • Sht'g.: Sheathing
  • Specs.: Specifications
  • SQ. FT.: Square Feet
  • SQ. IN.: Square Inches
  • SS: Stainless Steel, Setscrew, Soil Stack, Service Sink, or Slop Sink
  • Std.: Standard
  • Stl: Steel
  • S.Y.: Square Yard
  • T&B: Top and Bottom
  • T&G: Tongue and Groove
  • T.O.: Top of
  • T.O.B.: Top of Beam
  • T.O.C.: Top of Curb or Top of Concrete
  • T.O.F.: Top of Footing
  • T.O.J.: Top of Joist
  • T.O.M.: Top of Masonry
  • T.O.W.: Top of Wall
  • TTC: Telephone Terminal Closet
  • UON: Unless Otherwise Noted
  • VA.: Voltage
  • V.B.: Vapor Barrier
  • V.I.F.: Verify in Field
  • W.C.: Water Closet (Toilet)
  • Wd.: Wood
  • Wdw.: Window
  • W.I.: Wrought Iron
  • W.I.C.: Walk-In Closet
  • WL: Water Level
  • W/O: Without
  • Wp.: Weatherproof
  • WS: Weatherstripping or Water Stop
  • Wt.: Weight
  • Wtr. Htr. : Water Heater