February 6, 2023


February 6, 2023

The executive project is one of the main documents of a project. Any error in its development implies a series of problems that range from delays to huge losses!

It is up to the professional responsible for the project to define all the information and details that must be included in the executive project. A high responsibility task.

But what is an executive project? What information and drawings are part of the project? If you still have questions, rest assured this publication was made for you! Check it out!



The executive project is the most important document you will need. It has a direct impact on the success or failure of a project.

An executive project is the set of elements necessary and sufficient for the complete execution of the work, in accordance with the technical standards of application in each country.

We have to keep in mind that the executive project is not a new project, but a breakdown of all the steps identified in the basic project.

So in case you have any doubts about this matter, let's look at the differences between a basic project and an executive project.



Every project goes through a series of development stages, where various elements such as installations and components are detailed in order to make the execution of the work possible.

Even before reaching the final design stage, with all the technical information in detail, it is necessary to estimate deadlines, costs and other relevant information for the execution of the work.

It is at this point that the basic project and the executive project come into the field, but what is the difference between the two of them?



From the basic design stage, it is already possible to identify which services are part of the work, allowing the estimation of the costs involved and the probable execution period.

According to the SEAP (Secretary of State for Heritage Administration), a Brazilian public body, we understand as a basic project:

"A set of necessary and sufficient technical information to characterize the services and works object of the bidding, prepared based on the Preliminary Study, which presents the necessary details for the perfect definition and quantification of the materials, equipment and services related to the enterprise."

It is very important to make it clear that the basic project is not limited to a single drawing, but to all the technical information necessary to allow the execution of the work.

All drawings developed and other information raised in the basic project must be properly detailed, allowing them to be executed accurately. It is at this stage that we move on to the executive project.



It is important to clear up that an executive project is not a new project, but a new stage of development. 

In the case of Brazil,  NBR 13.351/95 defines the Executive Project as:

"Step destined to the conception and final representation of the technical information of the building and its elements, installations and components, complete, definitive, necessary for its bidding (contracting) and for the execution of the corresponding work services."

The executive project is developed based on the basic project that was approved, but it contains all the necessary construction details for the execution of the work, in addition to other relevant information.

But which drawings and documents are part of an executive project? Let's go through this next.



Each work has different characteristics and project needs, which directly impact the types of drawings that need to be developed.

In addition to detailing all the drawings developed in the basic design stage, other documents are incorporated into the project, which in many cases involve different professionals to develop them.

Each work has different details and characteristics, which imply different types of projects for its execution, but let's get to know the most common ones.



In the executive project stage, the architectural project must include all the drawings necessary for its correct execution, which, regardless of the complexity of the work, usually include:

  • Floor plan: main design of the architectural project, requiring a plan for each floor of the building;
  • Cuts: as many as necessary. There is at least one transversal and one longitudinal.
  • Elevations: all the building's facades must be represented, showing the elements from the outside of the building;
  • Cover plan: representation of the top view of the building, with its roof and rainwater catchment system;
  • Implementation: top view of the building, showing how the building is occupied in relation to the plot of land;
  • Situation plan: represents the location of the land in relation to its surroundings, showing the street name and surrounding lots;
  • Details: enlarged representation of all project details that need a better understanding for its execution.

We still have in the architectural project several other drawings such as layout plans, renovation, floor paging, ceiling paging and whatever else is necessary for the perfect execution of the proposed project.



Popularly known as topographic survey, it consists of mapping all the features of the terrain surface.

With this information, it is possible to determine how the land will be worked, involving cutting, filling, earth moving, excavating and even removing rocks or even trees.

Thus, we have a topographic drawing that represents the natural characteristics of the land and also an earthwork drawing, containing all the steps of earth movement, thus leaving the land ready for the beginning of the project's execution.



The structural project is responsible for supporting the building. It is composed of beams, pillars, slabs, foundations and other elements responsible for supporting all the loads that the building presents.

Through a series of technical criteria and calculations, all following current technical standards, the most suitable structure for the project is defined.

The structural project must present in detail the quantity of elements, dimensions, spacing, types of foundation, hardware and several other essential details for the correct execution of the structure.



The electrical installation project is responsible for dimensioning and quantifying all the points of the building's electrical installation.

Within this project, all outlet points, switches, lighting outlets, conduit paths, division of circuits and other elements will be allocated, sized according to the needs of the work and current regulations.

The design of electrical installations has its own standardization and must be developed by a qualified professional who can issue a technical responsibility term.



The hydro sanitary project is a set of drawings of the entire hydraulic system (cold and hot water), sanitary (sewage) and rainwater (rain) of the building.

This package of drawings maps the entire building's plumbing network, determining how hot and cold water will enter, rainwater collection and proper sewage disposal.

The hydro sanitary project also has its own standardization, which must be developed by a qualified professional who can issue a technical responsibility term.



Several other designs can be part of an executive project, depending on the needs or complexities of the building, which we call complementary projects.

In this way, let's get to know other types of designs that fall into this category:

  • Renovation plan;
  • Lining plant;
  • Floor paging plan;
  • Decoration project;
  • Landscaping project;
  • HVAC project;
  • Lighting engineering project;
  • Construction site project;
  • Survey;
  • Foundations;



Not only is an executive project composed of drawings, several other documents can be added to the project, aiming at its perfect execution.

As with drawings, documentation usually varies from one project to another, but in general an executive project includes:

  • Structural calculations;
  • Budget worksheets;
  • Descriptive memorial;
  • Schedule;
  • Technical specifications;
  • Quantitative;

Any information that is relevant to the execution of the project must be documented and shared with everyone involved in the execution, after all the object of an executive project is to provide total clarity of what must be built.


The executive project is the guiding document for the execution of any project, so all the information documented on it must be prepared with great care.

It is essential that every professional understands which drawings and documents are part of an executive project, thus allowing all the necessary information to be understood for the perfect execution of the building.

Another resource that can make a difference in your project 's success is to use quality families, so get ahead by using Blocks Revit's family library, which has a huge catalog with weekly updates!

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The author of the article

Luis André
Master of architecture, product designer and professor. Sharing professional content from leading architectural software for 10 years.
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