Version 4.0 of the United States National CAD Standard (NCS)—the first update since 2005—has been released by The American Institute of Architects (AIA), The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). The new edition offers several improvements over Version 3.1, its maker says, including:

  • Expanded and reorganized CAD Layer Guidelines that make locating layer names easier. The "telecommunications discipline" layer name includes new items, many of which were moved from the "electrical discipline" layer.

  • An updated Uniform Drawing System with new and revised symbols for geotech, security, fire suppression, masonry, and plaster. Also updates and clarifies common drawing practices.

  • Plotting Guidelines no longer require line widths to be mapped to color numbers.

  • Easier integration into CAD, BIM, costing, and other software using PDF, Excel, and .dwg file formats. According to CSI's executive director, Walter Marlowe, the new version will help further streamline design, construction, and facility operations communication. It incorporates AIA's CAD Layer Guidelines, modules 1 through 8 of CSI's Uniform Drawing System, and the Introduction, Appendices, and Plotting Guidelines from NIBS, all of which combine to prescribe CAD layer names, drawing set organization, drafting, notation, and plotting conventions, as well as adding an extensive symbols library and thousands of terms and abbreviations.

    To order NCS Version 4.0, visit