Finding the Centre of a Building:- using the old-fashioned plumb-bob technique

Finding the Centre of a Building:- using the old-fashioned plumb-bob technique

Often my students ask how to find the centre of a building, especially when it’s a weird, uneven shape. To do this you can emply an old-fashioned low-tech technique using gravity, that really works very well. You don’t need to ‘fill-in’ the ‘missing corners’…
You will need:

– a print out of the plans
– a pin-board or piece of foam
– a sturdy pin
– a length of cotton or thin string
– a plumb-bob or something heavy to weigh the cotton down
– ruler
– pencil or pen (with ink that flows out easily)

Method:
1. Cut the floor plans all around the edges.
2. Insert the pin through one corner of the plans and let them hang freely.
3. Pin the plans onto the pin-board/foam.
4. Attach the plumb-bob or heavy object (such as a nut) onto the cotton and make a loop at the other end (I used an old fashioned metal baby pin).
5. Hang the cotton/string on the pin:

  or 


6. The line will hang down exactly vertical across the plans, now use a ruler and pen to mark the line:

  or 

7. Continue to do this all around each corner of the plans:

The green pen marks the plumb lines, the red pen was my guess for the centre, it turned out they were the same:

8. Voila! Now you have the centre!

There are other techniques you can use as well, but this is the simplest and you can really see it’s a hands-on technique 🙂

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