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Define Key Plan?

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The term "key plan" is used in civil engineering projects to describe a feature depicted on the construction plans of large and often complex projects. The overall project is first shown in one or more overall views drawn in large scale showing the region or vicinity in which the project is built. These overall regional plans are then followed by multiple detailed views of the project depicted in larger scales and finer detail. Ofterntimes, however, when you are reviewing the finer points on a detailed drawing, it is easy to loose track of where you are in the overall project. Thus, the designer often includes a small "key plan" located in the corner of the sheet you are viewing that shows the location of that detail sheet to the much larger project. As an example, say we are designing an oil refinery. On the overall title sheet, we often show a vicinity map that shows the refinery in relation to major highways and access roads so you can at least figure out how to get there. The next plan will often be an overll plan view of the refinery at a scale of something like 1" =200'. It would show the property lines of the refinery, access points via road and railway, where the incoming pipelines are, and any zoing setbacks that show the relationship of the plant to neighboring properties. A general, non-detailed outline of the refinery and storage tanks might also be shown....but not in a lot of detail. On the following pages, we would typically draw detailed site maps of the refinery at a much larger scale, such as 1"=50'. It might take 10 or 15 of these sheets showing all the features of the refinery with much more detail and more complete labelling of the features. On the lower right corner of each drawing near the titleblock we would include a small "key plan" that would show a sketch of the overall refinery, and where in the refinery the page we are looking at occurs. For many projects, we would want to show detailed piping and electrical concuit drawings at an even larger scale, such as 3/8"=1'. In every case, we would want to show coordinates on the drawing so each feature can be located within the plant site, and in the corner of each plan view, we would include a "key plan" so the reader can locate the sheet in relationship to the overall refinery. Key plans are not limited to refineries or oil & gas work. Basically, for any civil engineering project that is large and complex, it is a way to protray the overall project on multiple plan drawings at multiple scales, and yet provide the reader with a quick way to orient him or herself within the overal project.
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