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2021-22 programs

2021-22 programming, including program delivery, may change as part of our ongoing response to COVID-19. Check for regular updates.

Drafting - Architectural

Prepare drawings for sustainable residential and commercial buildings and influence the future of green development.

A man sits at a desk and looks at technical architecture drawings on two side-by-side computer monitors.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years

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In this program, you develop skills to prepare technical drawings for both residential and commercial buildings using the latest computer-aided drafting (CAD) techniques.

In first year, you're introduced to drafting concepts through the study and application of manual drawing, sketching and drafting . You explore wood frame construction principles, as applied to residential-scale projects and develop your CAD skills using AutoCAD, SketchUp and Revit.

In second year, you develop advanced 2D and 3D CAD skills using AutoCAD, SketchUp and Revit, with a focus on producing residential and commercial building drawings.

Throughout the program, you also expand your knowledge of construction principles, environmental considerations in sustainable building design and construction, and the use of the National Building Code.

Work experience

  • Field experience (work placement) is a mandatory credit course completed at the end of your program. It provides you with the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.
  • Opportunities are typically unpaid and last approximately 5 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other costs related to work placements are your responsibility.
  • This program is eligible for an optional cooperative education (co-op) credit course between year one and two.
  • Co-op provides an opportunity for paid, full-time work placements that last 12 to 16 weeks.
  • Our co-op program follows Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) guidelines.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities

Choose NSCC

  • You get a strong foundation for entering the world of building design and construction as a draftsperson.
  • You learn from faculty who are industry professionals with engineering, contracting, architectural design and drafting experience.

Other info

  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.
  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.

2021-22 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2021

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus Dartmouth Full time In-class Waitlist

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.


Tuition is valid for the 2021-22 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

Tuition for part-time study is calculated on a per-course basis and is paid at the beginning of each term.

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Graduates of this program have been successful in securing employment with architectural firms, engineering consultants, government agencies, contractors, home designers and contract drafting services. You may also find self-employment as a contract drafting service provider. Most graduates enter the industry as CAD drafters.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

AETE 3014 - Architecture II
This course deals with the initial stages of planning and designing a small commercial building using standard presentation methods for the production of the working drawings. The learner will cover material related to the use of part 3 of the National Building Code, in the preparation of working drawings for a small commercial building design.

AETE 3017 - Architecture III
This course deals with the continuation of a commercial design project. Topics covered will include detailed drawing requirements for a typical set of commercial construction documents. Drawing standards and Information enabling the completion of the drawings for the commercial design project started in the previous semester. These requirements may include assessment of existing structures with respect to renovation challenges. Work will include a combination of individual and group work.

BIMT 1010 - Building Modelling Software I
The course is an introduction to building information modelling software from basic design through construction documentation. Students are introduced to the concepts of Building Information Modelling and the tools for parametric building design and Documentation.

BIMT 3010 - Building Modelling Software II
This course continues the basics of using Revit. Students continue with the concepts of Building Information Modelling and the tools for parametric building design and documentation.

BIMT 3020 - Building Modelling Software III
This course continues the exploration of building information modelling as it relates to structure and site. Advanced topics include massing studies, space planning and analysis, visualization concepts such as rendering, solar studies and walkthroughs.

CADD 1010 - Computer Aided Drafting I
In this introduction to computer-aided drafting, students gain knowledge in the use of principles of computer-aided drafting software. The primary emphasis is industry-standard computer-aided drafting software. Hardware used in the computer-aided drafting environment is introduced and utilized.

CADD 1020 - Computer Aided Drafting II
This course continues the introduction to architectural drafting using industry standard software with an emphasis on applied project work. The learner takes the concepts covered in design courses and applies them to a set of residential working drawings.

CADD 3015 - Computer Aided Drafting III
This course deals with the production of architectural working drawings using computer drafting software. It is an introduction to advanced concepts. Learners will expand their knowledge of the functions of AutoCAD and Revit while applying the techniques to a term-long project.

CADD 3025 - Computer Aided Drafting IV
Learners will advance their knowledge in the latest version of CAD, improve productivity, prepare commercial drawings, develop 3D drawing skills and techniques and be introduced to related drawing and product software.

COMM 1227 - Communications I
This course provides the student with an overview of the communication skills required by business and industry. Students will learn to apply these communication skills to be successful in their selected workplace setting.

COMM 1228 - Communications II
This course further develops essential communications skills with a focus on basic writing. This course provides the student with the opportunity to develop written work typical of the industry related to their program of study.

DRAA 1001 - Architectural Drafting I
During this course learners will demonstrate sketching, and fundamental drafting techniques. They will recognize and imitate the expected quality required to produce contract drawings. This course covers drawing equipment and materials, drawing layout, drawing conventions, graphic symbols and lettering.

DRAA 1002 - Applied Mathematics I
Building on present mathematics competencies, this course will expand the learners’ abilities to use mathematical theory to solve practical problems related to the drafting field.

DRAA 1006 - Applied Mathematics II
This course is designed to provide the learner with the scientific principles necessary to solve drafting, construction and architectural related problems.

DRAA 1009 - Architectural Drafting II
This course introduces the learners to the preparation of construction documents used in a variety of job situations with emphasis on communicating technical information in graphic form. The learner will be introduced to housing styles, graphic presentation methods, drafting standards as used in industry. An introduction to the use of part 9 of the National Building Code and residential construction practices will be covered in the preparation of a set of residential plans.

DRAA 1011 - Construction Practices I
During this course, the learner will develop an understanding of building science principles, materials of construction, and methods of construction resulting in energy efficient residential design.

DRAA 1012 - Design Project I
This course will require the learner to research and prepare a set of working drawings for a single-family residence. This course will expand the learners' skills in the architectural disciplines of design, presentation, and drafting standards.

DRAA 1013 - Computer Aided Drafting – Applied
Upon completion of this course, learners will apply their knowledge in the preparation of a variety of assignments and projects in CAD using techniques established in Computer Aided Drafting I.

DRAA 1015 - Drafting Industry Relations
During this course, learners will liaise with industry members to learn about their new discipline. This is an independent study course, and the outcomes may be met in many different ways. Learners may attend class field trips, attend industry-related meetings and workshops, volunteer for industry-related organizations, etc. Learners will document and reflect on their experiences throughout the semester as evidence of learning.

DRAA 3002 - Architectural Computer Applications
The learner will use standard office suite of application software, specifically word processing, slideshow presentation, spreadsheet, Microsoft Project and photo editing software that will permit the learner to perform expected office duties that complement his/her drafting skills.

DRAA 3006 - Construction Practices II
The course will examine a variety of building materials, methods and systems used in the construction of commercial structures. The focus of this semester is on light wood frame construction techniques, the exterior and interior finishes for wood light frame construction, masonry, and steel frame construction.

DRAA 3010 - Technical Communications
The learner will continue to develop skills using standard office communication tools, with the assistance of computer software such as MS Office, specifically word processing, slideshow presentation, and excel, which will permit the learner to establish and enhance their ability to communicate in the workplace in both oral and written form. Review of common office practices in the construction industry will prepare the learners for work in this industry. An introduction to contract specifications and the preparation of a specification section for the commercial design project will be required.

DRAA 3014 - Construction Practices III
The learner is introduced to building materials, methods and systems used in commercial structures. This is a continuation of skill acquisition necessary to prepare a commercial design project. The focus of this course is on concrete construction, including site cast and precast concrete framing systems, roofing, glass and glazing, cladding, and selection of interior finishes including walls, partitions, ceilings and floors.

DRAA 3015 - Work Experience
The work experience component provides the learner with an opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for entry-level positions within the occupation. Learners will assess their own performance and be evaluated by an industry partner. Learners will identify personal outcomes they wish to attain during the work experience and will keep a journal.

DRAA 3016 - Building Services - Electrical
This course introduces the learner to the electrical service sector as it relates to drafting and the overall construction industry. This course is designed to give broad and current coverage of basic systems for lighting, electrical power distribution and circuits, and other electrical systems currently used in buildings being constructed. All lab time is self directed learning. (30 more lab hours)

DRAA 3017 - Building Services - Mechanical
This course introduces learners to the mechanical service sector as it relates to drafting and the overall construction industry. The course is designed to give a broad and current coverage of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and fire protection. Learners who successfully complete this course will be able to perform basic calculations; size pipes and ducts; interpret and draft mechanical drawings; and identify materials, equipment and systems used in buildings.

DRAA 3101 - Estimating Fundamentals
This course is intended to provide the fundamental estimating principles for general construction related primarily to residential construction. An emphasis on component identification, proper use of mathematical units and computer spreadsheets to organize an estimate for a project.

DRAA 3102 - Estimating Project
This course deals with the preparation of a formal estimate of a residential design. The course format will include regular classes with guidance and milestones provided on a regular basis to ensure the learner remains on track.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1024 - Introduction to Respiratory Protection
The learner is introduced to the potential of atmospheric hazards in the workplace and the available personal protection and control methods to maintain a safe work environment. Discussion includes identification and testing for atmospheric hazards and workplace respiratory programs. The learner will be given the opportunity to select, use and maintain respiratory equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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