Architectural Graphic Standards Q&A

  1. Why should I choose Architectural Graphic Standards (AGS)?

Graphic standards are essential to building design. They cover everything from door frames and roof designs to air ducts and outdoor sports facilities. As a go-to guide for over eight decades, AGS is the authority for architects, designers, and building contractors. Providing objective graphic standards, it concentrates on the core knowledge of architectural design and the creation of the built environment. AGS provides architects with the knowledge to understand the elements of a building as well as the implications of technology and construction as part of the design process.

Furthermore, in the newest iteration, we’ve further incorporated UniFormat™ organization, which promises to make AGS more user-friendly. By categorizing by functional building elements, the visually delineated components are better accommodated and integrated throughout the content. Additionally, because UniFormat™ generically defines a total facility by functional components, users can find information for developing a specific building element in one location.

AGS content is endorsed by the American Institute of Architects, so you can use any of the thousands of illustration, charts, and design knowledge with confidence.

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2.  Why are generic standards important?

As design work products have evolved into design intent documentation and become more generic, explaining the actual building construction has become highly dependent upon contractor coordination of drawings and manufacturers’ information.

As building codes have recognized these changes in construction documentation, they have codified some manufacturers’ installation instructions for building products as requirements to provide the minimum information necessary to construct buildings and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Accessing the generic details found in AGS online allows modern design professionals to complete tasks more efficiently without having to spend precious hours altering details found on manufacturers’ sites to fit the needs of their projects.


3.  How can AGS help architects assimilate to changes within the industry?

Change in the AEC industry has never been more apparent or intense than in the last two decades, as the widespread adoption of computation has prompted significant technological transformation. This has had a far-reaching impact not only for the medium in which buildings are designed and constructed, but also on processes, standards, analytics, and ways of working.

AGS content has been updated and retooled to reflect current design and construction project workflows and reflects current codes and standards so users can design with confidence.


4. What is new in AGS?

AGS content has been fully updated for the new printed 12th edition, and, for the first time, it is also available as Architectural Graphic Standards Online: a fully searchable online tool with downloadable, ready-to-edit CAD drawings for immediate use in design and presentation software.

Featuring twenty-five percent new content—including over 300 new drawings, tables, and designs—AGS content has been updated to employ shorter, more accessible text.  New coverage includes building resiliency and the building envelope, expert discussion on the fundamentals of design and construction documentation, and a new examination of environmental factors and material properties and performance. Sustainable design is no longer separated, but fully integrated throughout, and extensive appendices keep the most useful data right at your fingertips.
5. Why is AGS Online so necessary?

Times have changed, and architects now spend a majority of their day on screen with only seconds available to search for the essential information required for design. With that in mind, AGS has liberated its content from the confines of a binding and the limits of its previous electronic formats to become a highly searchable online tool. Though it still remains available in print to provide users with information in the medium of their choice, the online version fully acknowledges that as an indispensable source for design and technical information, AGS needs to reflect the practices of architects today and give them the resources they need to get a job done quickly and efficiently.

6. Why is AGS the professional authority in building design and construction?

This comprehensive resource provides an extensive collection of planning standards, optimum dimensions, and normative construction details. The book is organized into three core sections covering design and documentation, materials, and building elements.

AGS content covers everything architects and designers need to know:

  • Key architectural design and production processes—functional planning, environmental assessment, building resiliency, and architectural construction documentation
  • Thorough coverage of building materials including concrete, masonry, metals, wood, plastics, composites, and glass
  • An exhaustive survey of building elements including substructures, shells, services, equipment, furnishings, special structures, and siteworks
  • Comprehensive appendices provide quick access to need-to-know data such as mathematical data, structural calculations, and classic architectural elements

Approved by the American Institute of Architects, this definitive edition continues the unsurpassed reputation for accuracy and quality. Providing practitioners with confident answers, in a user-friendly format, Architectural Graphic Standards remains the professional authority in building design and construction.