Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project
Implemented by the Organization of American States
Unit of Sustainable Development and Environment
for the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and the Caribbean Regional Program


Drawings to Accompany the Building Guidelines

The chain of islands which comprise the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is historically subject to frequent invasions of destructive hurricanes, and islands are subject to earthquakes as well. Volcanic eruptions are also hazards in at least two of the islands of the group. Many houses, generally owned or occupied by the poor, are also sited in gullies or in flood plains and are especially vulnerable to floods caused by high rainfall resulting from the frequent tropical depressions and hurricanes.

The Governments of the OECS member states have recognized that the damage caused by these extreme natural events affect all sections of society, and have placed emphasis on the development of building standards which would prevent or mitigate the damage so caused. The Governments are also revising existing planning and building regulations to be more responsive to the current needs, and to ensure as far as possible that all buildings are constructed in a "safe" manner and are resistant to the natural hazards.

To address these issues, the OECS Secretariat developed, with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme and through the UNCHS/UNDP Project for Programme Support to the Human Settlements Sector in the OECS, standard building codes and guidelines appropriate to the conditions found in the OECS states.  UNCHS and the USAID/OAS Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) have assisted Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia with the development of national building codes and guidelines based on the OECS models. The Building Guidelines make use of the building traditions that lead to "safe" construction and introduce construction methods required for the proper use of contemporary materials.

The Building Guidelines are to be used for the design and construction of simple residential buildings of less than 3,000 square feet in gross area. Designers and constructors of buildings outside the scope of the Guidelines must consult the Building Code for the relevant design and construction requirements.

Within the Building Guidelines are many diagrams that were prepared to reinforce the message of the Guidelines that "safe" construction is possible at acceptable costs, if care is taken to implement the recommendations given. This document is a compilation of the diagrams in the Building Guidelines. The diagrams have been revised and prepared in electronic format, using AutoCAD release 14, with additional explanatory notes and comments. The primary use of this document is to accompany the Building Guidelines. It is expected that the document will be used specifically for:

  1. Use by small builders and artisans during construction of the building types covered by the Guidelines
  2. Monitoring of construction activities in the informal building sector by officials of building and development control departments of the OECS member states
  3. A teaching tool to demonstrate safe building practices and procedures at workshops and seminars for small builders and artisans.

Financial and technical assistance for the preparation of this volume of diagrams and text has been obtained from the Caribbean Mitigation Disaster Project, which is financed by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and executed by the Organisation of American States.

These drawings are divided into sections, which correspond to the divisions in the existing Building Guidelines documents:


The Building Guideline drawings noted below are available for download in both graphic (GIF) and AutoCAD (DWG) formats.  The graphic files are much larger in size than the standard screen, to preserve details.  These drawings are scaled to fit the standard page in the text sections A-F above.  The AutoCAD drawings can be downloaded individually or as compressed files (Zip format), by document section: Section A | Section B | Section C | Sections D-G

Figure Description Links
A-1 Plan Shapes of Buildings Graphic | AutoCAD
A-2 Size and Location of Wall Openings Graphic | AutoCAD
A-3 Typical Wall Graphic | AutoCAD
A-4 Typical Wall Junction Detail Graphic | AutoCAD
A-5 Reinforced Masonry Gable Arrangement Graphic | AutoCAD
A-6 Recommended Method for Construction on Sloping Sites Graphic | AutoCAD
A-7 Hip Roof Construction Graphic | AutoCAD
A-8 Gable Roof Construction Graphic | AutoCAD
A-9 Rafter/Ring Beam Connection Graphic | AutoCAD
A-10 Wall Plate Connections and Hurricane Straps’ Details Graphic | AutoCAD
A-11 In-fill Panel Between Timber Building Supports Graphic | AutoCAD
A-12 Timber Framing for Walls Graphic | AutoCAD
A-13 Timber Framing Showing Bracing

Graphic | AutoCAD

A-14 Construction Site Layout Graphic | AutoCAD
A-15 Roofing Detail At Parapet Wall Graphic | AutoCAD
A-16(a) Damp-Proofing for Retaining Walls to Buildings Graphic | AutoCAD
A-16(b) Damp-Proofing for Retaining Walls to Buildings Graphic | AutoCAD
B-1 Permissible Arrangement of Strip Footing Graphic | AutoCAD
B-2 Typical Spread Footing Detail Graphic | AutoCAD
B-3 Reinforcement of Strip Footings Graphic | AutoCAD
B-4 Concrete Floor in Timber Construction Graphic | AutoCAD
B-5 Concrete Strip Footing and Concrete Base with Timber Construction Graphic | AutoCAD
B-6 Typical Block Masonry Details Graphic | AutoCAD
B-7 Concrete Column Detail Graphic | AutoCAD
B-8 Alternative Footing Arrangements for Block Masonry Graphic | AutoCAD
B-9 Floor Slab Detail Graphic | AutoCAD
B-10 Alternative Floor Slab Detail Graphic | AutoCAD
B-11 Fixing Detail For Verandah Rail to Column Graphic | AutoCAD
B-12 Reinforcement Arrangement for Suspended Slabs Graphic | AutoCAD
B-13 Reinforcement Arrangement for Suspended Beams Graphic | AutoCAD
B-14 Reinforcement Arrangement for Suspended Cantilever Beams Graphic | AutoCAD
B-15 Reinforcement Arrangement for Suspended Stairs Graphic | AutoCAD
C-1 Alternative Foundation for a Small Timber Building Graphic | AutoCAD
C-2 Fixing Detail for Timber Joist Bearing on a Concrete Beam Graphic | AutoCAD
C-3 Fixing Detail for Timber Rafter to a Timber Header Graphic | AutoCAD
C-4 Alternative Fixing Arrangements for Pillar Supports at Floors to Resist Uplift Graphic | AutoCAD
D-1 Steel Column Pedestal and Footing Graphic | AutoCAD
E-1(a) Cover Details for Reinforced Concrete Members Graphic | AutoCAD
E-1(b) Cover Details for Reinforced Concrete Members Graphic | AutoCAD
F-1 Schematic Drawing Showing Connection of Fixtures for a Single Storey Dwelling Graphic | AutoCAD
F-2 Detail of Manhole Construction Graphic | AutoCAD
F-3 Conventional Privy Graphic | AutoCAD
F-4 Details of Construction of Water Cistern Graphic | AutoCAD
F-5 Standard Septic Tank Details Graphic | AutoCAD
F-6 Alternative Arrangement of Sanitary Fixtures in a Bathroom Graphic | AutoCAD
F-7 Typical Plumbing Layout for A Small House Graphic | AutoCAD
F-8(a) Soakaways in Areas with a High Water Table Graphic | AutoCAD
F-8(b) Soakaways in Areas with a Low Water Table Graphic | AutoCAD
G-1 Typical Electrical Plan for a Small House Graphic | AutoCAD
G-2 Typical Sections of Wall Showing Locations of Fixtures Graphic | AutoCAD
CDMP home page: Project Contacts Page Last Updated: 20 April 2001