Creating HVAC and Plumbing Runs

Reference Number: KB-00934
Last Modified: July 14, 2021

The information in this article applies to:



I need to show the location and routing of my Plumbing and HVAC lines in my plan.

Floor plan view of CAD lines representing HVAC and plumbing runs


You can use the special line styles and custom layers in Chief Architect to draw your HVAC and Plumbing plans.

In this example, we have HVAC, Plumbing and Gas lines in the plan, so we will create 3 new layers--"MEP, Plumbing", "MEP, GAS" and "MEP, HVAC".

To create new layers

  1. Select Tools> Layer Settings> Display Options to open the Layer Display Options dialog.

    • Click the New button at the bottom left corner of the dialog.

    • In the New Layer dialog, type the name for your new layer.

    • When you click OK, you are returned to the Layer Display Options dialog and the new layer's name is highlighted.

  2. Under Properties for Selected Layer, click on the Color box and select the color you want for these lines. Then click on the drop down arrow for the Line Style and select the line style you want to use.

  3. Repeat this for each of the new layers you create and click OK to return to your plan.

    Layer Display Options dialog showing three new layers MEP Gas MEP HVAC and MEP Plumbing

To draw gas, HVAC, and plumbing lines

When you are ready to place lines for your HVAC, gas, or plumbing routing, you can place these lines on your custom layers. There are several ways to do this:

  • In Chief Architect X12 and newer, the most efficient way for users who routinely need HVAC, plumbing or other mechanical schematics is to create a custom Default Set for each type of drawing and specify the appropriate Current CAD Layer for each.

    In X11 and prior Default Sets were called Annotation Sets.

    To learn more about setting up a custom Default Sets, refer to the Related Articles section at the bottom of this page.

  • Specify one of your new custom layers as the Current CAD Layer, and then use the CAD drawing tools to create lines, arcs, etc. in your plan. These CAD drawing tools will use your custom layer settings and inherit its attributes.

    • Select CAD> Current CAD Layer from the menu.

  • Use the CAD Drawing tools to create CAD lines, arcs, polylines and/or splines as needed. Once they are drawn, place them on the desired layer.

    • Specify a selected object's layer on the Line Style panel of its specification dialog.

    • Use the Layer Painter tool, select a layer and then click on items to assign them to that layer.

To draw using multiple line styles

Some drawing tasks require multiple line styles. For example, plumbing layouts typically distinguish between Cold Water, Hot Water and Waste Water lines.

There are a number of ways to achieve this:

  • Create custom layers for each of the line styles that you will need, then either place CAD objects on the appropriate layers after they are drawn or change the Current CAD Layer as you work.

  • Use the CAD Drawing tools to create CAD lines, arcs, polylines and/or splines as needed. Once they are drawn, change their line style on the Line Style panel of their specification dialog.

  • Open the Library Browser and expand the Line Styles folder so you can see its contents in the tree list. When you need a particular line style, select it in the Library Browser, move your pointer into the drawing area, then click and drag to draw a CAD line using the selected line style.