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Numbered CAD Layering System

From Draftsperson.net

April 2005 Written with the use of AutoCAD in mind, however principles apply to other CAD packages.

Core concepts

All layer names are prefix with a predefined set of numbers is the core of the concept behind this system. The first digit represents the discipline and the following digits refer to the object type (doors, columns etc.).


Multiple drafters can work together on the same projects because the layer list is ordered and structured.

In theory elements from different disciplines can be drawn in a single file - In practice XREF-ing to individual files may be easier to manage.

The preset numbering of the layers allows for CAD programs to filter and manipulate the drawing easier. A program can search for those set parameters.


The layer naming can be just the numbers or with the following extensions:

  • X = eXisting: the objects drawn are existing conditions
  • D = Demolition: the objects drawn have to be demolished
  • N = Non-structural: both Architectural and Structural may require the use of this, for example, defining the structural and non-structural walls.
  • P = Proposed: Generally drawings are for proposed works anyway, however there may occur cases where it may be necessary to make the distinction.
  • -description = the dash and description can be used on all layers; example 105-room names, 105X-room names.

Combinded Disciplines - sample list

Layer No. Description Layer No. Description
000 Hatch boundary 410 Hardware
001 All general linework 420 Paving
021 Title sheet 439 Access Floors
030 Dimensions 440 Base layer for Xrefs
032 Room names 444 Partitions
033 Room numbers 450 Roofing
034 Floor finishes 459 Suspended ceilings
035 Detail reference no. 460 Curtain walls
036 Section reference no. 461 Windows
037 General Arch Text 465 Doors
038 General Struct Text 510 Cladding
039 Amendments/Revisions 552 Tiling
040 Grids 553 Resilient Finishes
050 Levels 560 Plastering
051 Contours 570 Painting
060 Symbols 580 Graphics, Artwork
062 Hatch Patterns 591 Carpets
072 Site Features (kerbs, manholes etc.) 610 Loose Furniture
140 Vegetation (Trees etc. 611 Furniture
210 Groundworks 615 Furniture Text
215 Piling 722 Stormwater
220 Concrete 730 Sanitary Services
230 Masonry Walls 737 Plumbing Fixtures
235 Stonework 740 Water Services
250 Structural Steel 783 Fire Protection-Sprinklers
260 Metalwork 884 Fans (ceiling and exhaust etc.)
270 Woodwork 922 Roadworks
280 Glazing 700 Hydraulics
709 General Hydraulic Text 725 Toxic Wastes
720 Drainage 727 Sewer Treatment
728 Special Services 740 Water Services
741 External services - mains 742 Cold Water Supply
743 Hot Water Supply 745 Chilled Water
747 Irrigation 880 Air Handling Ductwork
749 Condensaed Water System 887 Exhaust Systems
780 Fire Protection 828 Lights
787 Fire and Smoke Detection 892 Lifts
791 Voice and Data 892 Lifts
800 General Electrical 846 Security Systems

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