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Measured Drawings Course

Biltmore Hotel Country Club Courtyard

The Study of Precedents – Measured Drawing

5 credits towards the Certificate in Classical Architecture (Core Curriculum – Measured Drawing) | 5 AIA CES Learning Units|Elective


The course is structured to give the participants an opportunity to learn how to document an existing building using the HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey) standards for recording historic structures, as a team. To do so the building subject will be understood as a cohesive collection of architectural details within larger comprehensive building drawings. Building subjects are selected for their architectural beauty and richness, with an emphasis on composition, material, and method of construction.

Each participant will select an architectural subject at the Biltmore Hotel, in which they will produce a “field note,” a large proportional sketch, composed on a 17×22 sheet of graph paper. They will be encouraged to carefully consider the field information they would need if they were to proceed with drafting the subject back at their studio. While the content of each drawing may vary, they will be encouraged to develop a sheet layout where they can combine drawing views and scales so as to capture a comprehensive understanding of their subjects. They will also consider what dimensions are practically attainable while on site, lay out their dimension strings, and help each other to record the field dimensions.

Virtual Introductory Session: Friday, September, 15, 2023 – 5:30pm – 6:30pm EDT, via Zoom
Class: Saturday, September 16, 2023 – 1:00pm – 6:00pm EDT, in situ at the Biltmore Hotel


  • Large Clip Board, 23” x 26”
  • 17” x 22” vellum graph paper (Clearprint No. 1000HP-8) – will be provided
  • Drawing pencils (HB, H or F weight) and sharpener
  • Red and/or green colored pencils, preferably Col-erase
  • 12″ straightedge, recommended
  • White Plastic Eraser – Staedtler Mars or similar
  • Kneaded Eraser – Eberhard
  • 30 foot tape measure, or similar
  • Folding stool – optional
  • Water, Snack, Sun Protection – recommended

Recommended Reading

What you will learn

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Knowing by Drawing – Understanding the architectural composition of a building through visual and drawn analysis, at varying scales, from that of the site to the architectural detail.
  2. Learning the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for field documentation, including proportional sketching, sheet composition, producing attainable and comprehensive dimension strings, and annotation of materials and existing conditions.
  3. Working as a team to produce a set of coordinated drawings, essentially reverse engineering a building based on what is readily accessible.
  4. Understanding how digital technologies can complement the traditional methods for producing measured drawings.
  5. Understanding the ways in which buildings age and/or fail by comprehending building assemblies, particularly at the envelope.
  6. Increasing the awareness of the value of historic buildings to existing communities, as well as the viability of renovating buildings for continued use.



A native of Miami, Ricardo Lopez earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of Miami’s School of Architecture. Since 2004, he has served as a member of the faculty teaching drawing, design, and historic preservation courses both locally and abroad in Japan, Italy and Greece. Lopez has developed the school’s Documentation of Historic Architecture course by integrating new technology to traditional methodologies leading to multiple Peterson Prize winning documentations, which are archived in the HABS Collection at the Library of Congress. Prior to his recent appointment as Principal at RJ Heisenbottle Architects, he and his wife, Xuan Florez, maintained a professional practice in downtown Miami with an emphasis on traditional architecture and urbanism in diverse and evolving contexts. He has also served as the Assistant Director at the Center for Urban and Community Design with a concentration in Preservation and Engagement Projects in the Caribbean. He is a founding member of the new Master of Science in Historic Preservation at the UM SoA and is the current chair of the City of Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board.
Ricardo Lopez

ICAA Certificate in Classical Architecture
Earn credits to complete 3 Core Curriculum subject requirements this fall:

Sept 16 – The Study of Precedents – Measured Drawing
5 credits (Measured Drawing)

Oct 21 – Workshop in Classical Architecture: University of Miami
7 credits (Tuscan Order)

Nov 18 – The Study of Precedents – Analytical Drawing
5 credits (Analytical Drawing)


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Special thanks to Caoba Doors,
our ICAA FL Education Sponsor for Core Curriculum
credits towards the Certificate of Classical Architectures

Caoba Doors




With appreciation and gratitude to our


Patron’s Circle Sponsors

Alonso & Associates, Inc.
Cove Construction Group
Flower Construction

Event Lead Sponsor on Interiors

Sciame Homes

Lead Lecture Series Sponsor

Tischler und Sohn (USA) Ltd.

Henry Flagler Donors

Fairfax & Sammon
Gil Walsh Interiors
Shoreline Building Group

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September 16, 2023
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Free – $80.00
Event Category:


ICAA Florida Chapter
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Biltmore Hotel
1200 Anastasia Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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