AIA CAD Standards

"Information About AIA Documents and Standards."

The AIA CAD standards are developed and maintained by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The most recent guidelines are the AIA CAD Layer Guidelines, 4th Edition.

AIA Documents - Layer Guidelines

For those looking to develop and implement CAD standards and minimise the amount of work required to create layers, utilising these popular CAD Standards is recommended.

Some firms prefer to use their own standards that specifically meet their needs, and that works great for them.Developing and maintaining office standards, is a time consuming process and many firms opt to utilize the American Institute of Architects CAD Standards.

Some CAD AIA software vendors, such as AutodeskĀ®, are utilizing the AIA layers along with  other standards, within the latter of the Architectural Desktop series.

If you are interested in purchasing these AIA documents directly, visit the American Institute of Architects at aia.org for more information.

For a basic overview of the AIA layers, have a look at the AIA CAD Standards that Harvard has adopted.

National CAD Standards

Another option is to purchase the AIA layer guidelines within the broader content of the National CAD Standards (NCS), otherwise know as U.S.

National CAD Standard Version 4.0.

Although a more expensive option through the NCS, there are additional CAD publications included.

In addition to the AIA layering guidelines included, you also have access to the Uniform Drawing System (from the Construction Specification Institute, or, CSI) and the Plotting Guidelines.

There are also other important CAD standards documentation included.

There are three price categories for purchasing the National CAD Standards.


1. Single location up to 2 computers for $410

2. Single location up to 10 computers for $1,050

3. Company wide intranet on 10 or more computers for $2,800

Visit nationalcadstandard.org for more information.

Bentley Systems, the makers of the Microstation CAD software program, is developing a plug-in utility to be used in conjunction with their software which integrates the National CAD Standards.


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