Ottawa Construction Association

Interpreting Construction Drawings and Specifications - 2 Day Course

Upcoming Sessions
Nov 25, 2019
Click to Register
Course Duration

The course duration is approximately 2 days


OCA Members: $325.
Non-Members: $400.


This 16 hour interactive course will teach the student how to read various types of drawings used in Construction projects. The importance of reading, understanding and using drawings is pivotal in maintaining effective communication that impacts cost, time and overall management of a successful construction project.  Drawings created by different disciplines including architects, engineers, interior designers, technologists all mean different things and must be read in conjunction with one-another for project success.

This course has been accredited with 2 Gold Seal Credits.    

Delivered over 2 full days, and using an example project, the student can expect the following outcomes:

  • Understand the role and responsibility of contributors to the construction document process: Architect, Engineer, Designer, Draftsperson, Sub-Contractor shop documents, Manufacturers and Suppliers.

  • Decipher between a complete set of drawings and incomplete for scope requirements

  • Read and interpret INTENT versus construction detailing of different drawings and how and where to get further information. 

  •  Understand issuances of drawings and obsolete or amended information

  • Understand all symbols and abbreviations used by design professionals and what they mean relative to each other navigating a set of drawings

  • Introduction to using and navigating a specification and its purpose relative to the responsibility of stakeholders

  • Concepts in Law for the use of drawings and specifications in the project 

  • Basic understanding of Ontario Building Code, NFPA, and other codes that impact drawing content.

  • Basic understanding of requirements of authorities having jurisdiction for planning control and satisfying permit to construct requirements

  • Basic take off for preliminary estimating

  • Basic introduction to current physical changes happening in the electronic creation of construction documents.

Recognizing the diverse roles of the various students in the class, the course will be adjusted to suit each in the room and address where they fit in the process.   This course is valuable for new project managers, owner agent project managers and administrators, buyers of construction services, interns in the architectural or engineering disciplines, junior estimators or sub-contractors required to produce shop drawings.


Celebrating 25 years serving the ICI and residential construction sector in Canada, Derek has supported developers, general contractors, architects, engineers, trade contractors, and design-builders with creative solutions including professional design, facility engineering, land planning and labour relations bargaining.   Personally, he has led design teams in over 1 million square feet of built ICI and residential buildings.   Since 2003, Derek has been a sessional instructor in architectural technology and in 2010 began assisting construction associations in delivering high quality, interactive Gold Seal workshops including Construction 101, Ethics in Construction, and has authored Maximizing Your Consultants Performance, Construction 201 for Project Management, along with a popular 2 day Interpreting and Reading Contract Drawings and Specifications.   In 2016, Toronto Construction Association engaged Derek to develop a modern “pathways” system for professional development in the ICI industry. To date, Derek has delivered workshops to over 1500 construction professionals.   Known to deliver thought provoking and practical workshops, participants are certain to be engaged, challenged and take away deployable solutions to everyday construction challenges.   Derek is a member of ADRIO and is an experienced mediator - construction specialty.



Upcoming Sessions
Nov 25, 2019
Click to Register