Tuesday , 24 April 2018

Architects Resources

Welcome to my resources page. Hopefully you will find everything you need right here! I am always adding to this page when I discover something new, so keep checking back. Below you will find resources for all aspects of the architectural field, from drawing to detailing, software to survey, laptops to model making. I hope you find something helpful to you.


Architectural Drawing and sketching



Which pens you use is quite a personal thing, but below are some of my favourites. Sharpies are particularly popular, and the sign pens are brilliant for using colour to mark up drawings and sketch things out.


 With pens 0.25, 0.35 and 0.5


Francis DK Ching – Form, Space and Order

Also check out my Pinterest board for architectural sketching and drawing.

Model making



ARCKIT is a freeform model making system that allows you to physically explore designs and bring your architectural projects to life. The system uses interconnecting components that are completely modular and based on modern panelled building techniques, making it possible to create a diverse range of scaled structures that can be quickly assembled and endlessly modified.


This book is great for giving you ideas on styles and materials that you can use for your model making. It is a good introduction and starting point. I would suggest having this book to hand when you start to consider the 3D representation of your design studio models.

Folding Techniques for Designers – Although this isn’t really a model making book, it is an interesting look at shape and form, and structures created through folding. It can encourage us to think outside the model making box….


For some inspiration check out some of these websites
Also check out my Pinterest board for architectural model inspiration!

Architectural Detailing and Construction

The following books should be useful to you for learning more about architectural detailing and construction.

The book Full package

First, check out the Understanding Architectural Details series from First in Architecture – a series of ebooks to help you get to grips with different forms of construction and how to detail. They are full of 2D and 3D details, all of which can be downloaded with the books as dwg and Sketchup files.

Other books I recommend include:

Building Construction Handbook

Architecture In Detail II

Timber Frame Construction

What construction books have been useful to you? Let me know by sending me a quick email emma@firstinarchitecture.co.uk



I regularly update my post all about the best laptops for architecture students and professionals. You can check out the latest edition here:

Laptops for Architects


Cad Help

New to AutoCAD? Or, have you been using it for a while and still struggle? Don’t worry, there are loads of places online you can get free help, tips, resources and guidance to make you a better cad monkey!

AutoCAD YouTube Channel

AutoCAD Facebook Page

Always has news, video tips on this Facebook page.


Some tutorials on here, but its best use as mentioned in Autocad blocks post is the block library.

Lynn Blogs.com

Current AutoCad news tips and more, including a great tip to change the F1 key to Escape key for those of you that keep on hitting the wrong key.

Cad Tutor.net

A good starting point for tutorials on AutoCAD and also 3Ds Max.

Cad Notes.com

Cad Notes is clearly laid out and has some good tips and guides.

Cad blocks

Firstly, we have our own CAD block library so head over to our cad block pages to check it out. I will continue to build it, and if there is anything missing you want to see just let me know and I’ll get it on here. My aim is to provide best quality blocks, to correct scales, correct layers, that make it easy for you to drop directly into your drawing with no problems.


This site is a great starting point. It has everything from people and animals to fixtures, fittings, structural, vehicles and landscaping.


A good range and selection of CAD blocks.


There are a few good quality trees, people and cars that you can download for free on this website, or subscribe  to a paid account to access all the blocks.

Cad Architect


Cad Architect – A reasonable selection with good preview images.

Cad Corner http://www.cadcorner.ca

Cad Corner has a huge selection of blocks and details but sadly no preview images.

Autodesk Seek http://seek.autodesk.com

Good site – American and European dimensions and generally from manufacturers and producers. A huge range of 3D, 2D, Revit, Cad and Sketchup blocks.

Bibliocad http://www.bibliocad.com

Bibliocad requires sign up but has a good mix of stuff – with preview images Some Free and some VIP ones.



Good selection of blocks with preview images. Recommend.


If you still haven’t found what you are looking for there is a fairly comprehensive list of sites here at Xmarks.


Revit Help

Although I don’t use Revit myself, I have had lots of people contact me asking for help with the software. So I thought I’d put together a few places you can go to get some useful information to help you out with your Revit endeavours!

CAD Tutor – Revit

 Autodesk Ed on YouTube

Autodesk Ed

Revit Zone

Revit Zone

Blog run by Ian, an architect living and woking in the UK who loves Autodesk Revit. He writes a series of articles that help you get used to the way Revit works and ease the transition from 2D CAD to BIM.

The Revit Blog

The Revit Blog

Blog run by James, who lives and works in Idaho. Packed full of really useful Revit articles and troubleshooting – be sure to check it out.

Revit Detail

Revit Detail

Revit Detail is run by Peter, an Architectural Technician from Washington DC who works in Revit. His blog focuses on producing detailed 3D models and the different challenges faced. Great blog – take a look.

Do You Revit

Do you Revit


Do You Revit is run by Dave, and again is packed full of tips and tutorials, and general help with all things Revit. Great site.


Sketchup help

I have written a post introducing sketchup and where to find initial help in getting started. You can read that here.

Sketchup websites


Matt Donley creates great tutorials, along with a really useful book “SketchUp to LayOut” everything you need to know to present your SketchUp models in a professional manner. Highly recommend.


This is an incredible resource and a first stop for any sketchup user. Tutorials, guides, textures, components, plugins – the lot!
Another great site, tutorials, downloads etc. Worth a visit.

Architectural Graphics

For some rendering and graphics tutorials and inspiration, head to the following websites:
Amazing site run by Alex, who is really skilled at creating scenes, styles and amazing graphics using predominantly sketchup and photoshop. Check it out.
Screenshot 2016-02-18 16.27.33
Great site dedicated to all things architectural visualisation. Well worth a visit, for tutorials, resources and inspiration.
Screenshot 2016-02-18 16.28.16
I have developed a few free and paid downloads of graphics to use in your architectural visuals. Click here to check them out. 

Photoshop Resources

I have written a few posts for various resources for Photoshop which you can find below. If you can think of some good resources to add to this, please let me know!
Creative market has a huge resource of design items for download. A really useful site – I would recommend you check it out.
Screenshot 2016-02-18 16.33.10
Another great resource site that I have used often. They put together great deals for designers – take a moment to see what they have.

Download premium graphics for FREE

Check out my Pinterest Board for some architectural graphics inspiration


Survey materials and kit

Measured surveys with OrthoGraph – providing the means to carry out a building survey using your mobile device – providing you with a faster way to measure and document a building. You can then export the drawing straight into AutoCAD as a DXF file, or export it as an IFC compatible with most BIM softwares. An amazing time saver, but also allowing for better accuracy, and detailed information.
If you decide to go old school pen and paper with your surveying, you will need a clipboard. I tend to use A3, as you can fit more on the page and have room for notes around the edge!

Laser measure
There are many different laser measure devices on the market – some more efficient than others.
I use the Bosch DLE 40 Professional Laser Rangefinder, which is a good price on amazon. It is accurate, and suitable for my needs, but doesn’t cost too much.


Finding Employment

I have written numerous posts to help you find employment. These include help with your CV, help with portfolios, interviews and more. To check out this section of the site click here.
You could also take a look at my ebook, now in its 3rd edition which guides you through the entire process of finding a job.
I have put together a Pinterest Board which consists of inspiration and ideas for your CVs, portfolio and resumes.
I hope you find all these resources useful. If there is something missing that you think our readers would benefit from knowing about – please comment below, or drop me an email (emma@firstinarchitecture.co.uk) and I can add it to the list.




  1. Wow. Amazing blog you’ve got here. Great job. Great job.

  2. Perfect job madam ! you did a great service for the architects and more

  3. Hi Emma,

    I’m having a hard time getting back into the creative swing of things. Recently returned to study after a long break from architecture and I’m struggling to initiate my creative imagination and the art of re-imaging and interpretation.

    I looked at your tips creative block but would you happen to have any other tips (metaphor dictionaries ect), books, reference guides or tools for this new speculative design world for return to architecture student.

    • Hi there,
      It can be really hard when you have had a long break from something to get back into the swing of things. I am not aware of any books that will necessarily help you beyond the usual recommendations. However, I would suggest immersing yourself back into architecture to find your inspiration again. What I mean by this is, visit buildings, get out and about, get in your library, look at books you haven’t looked at before, check out all the architecture blogs, read, experience, look and listen. Watch TED talks, listen to podcasts, fill your boots!! Something will click, and you will gain momentum and find your niche again. Good luck!

  4. Hello ma’am,

    Your site is awesome! You are doing a great job.

    I wish that I had discovered your site earlier. It would have been of great help during my studies. 🙁

    You have shared wonderful posts that are helpful.

    I’ve completed my graduation in Architecture this year and I’m looking forward to new beginnings. I hope I find some inspiration here to move forward and face the real world. 🙂

  5. Hi, Emma

    Thank you so much for all the tips you send to me.. Its being very helpful to me..

    Just one thing I wana ask from you if you can assist me with.

    Well Im finding a little blank in how to do a LIFTING PLAN for a Truck Crane to lift Fuel Tank in its excavated pit..


    Thanks for you Time .. 🙂

  6. Wow!! This is so cool.
    Great job.

  7. Great work Emma this is so helpful thank you and keep up the amazing work.

  8. This is the best information that i got from here. Thank you for sharing the best posts they very useful to us. I am satisfied with your site

  9. Hi Emma, I’ve just had time to look a bit more at your site. So useful and full of amazing content. i would definately come and visit it a lot more during my 5 week break before my final year starts. thanks so much. really well done.

  10. Thank you so so so so much. I honestly can’t tell you how useful this site is! Thank you for taking the time to bring this together!! Your effort is deeply appreciated <3

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