Architectural plan

In the field of architecture an architectural plan is a design and planning for a building, and can contain architectural drawings, specifications of the design, calculations, time planning of the building process, and other documentation.

Abbot Academy proposed sketch 1829 buildings and grounds Andover Massachusetts
Sketch of proposed buildings and grounds of the Abbot Academy in Andover Massachusetts, 1829
Draper Hall Abbot Academy Andover MA
Buildings of the Abbot Academy nowadays.

The term "Architectural plan"

The term "Architectural plan" can have multiple related meanings:

  • Plan for an architectural project
  • Documentation of written and graphic descriptions of the architectural elements of a building project including sketches, drawings and details. This effort could also include both the design of new buildings and other structures, as well as the planning for reconstruction of early historic structures.
  • Architectural design
  • Floor plan
  • Scale drawing of a structure, for example "the architectural plans for City Hall were on file"

This article will focus on the general meaning of architectural plan as a plan and documentation for a building project.

Architectural plan aspects


A building is a man-made structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place. Buildings come in a variety of shapes, sizes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures. The gallery below gives an overview of different types of building.

Berlin Markthalle XIV Hoffassade Reinickendorfer Strasse

Market hall

Santo Domingo de Silos(cat)

Religious building

Architectural measured drawings showing the floor plans of the Toronto Normal and Model Schools, 1857

School building


University building

Társasház alaprajza (részlet)

Plan of a condominium (detail, Andrássy avenue)

The practice of designing, constructing, and operating buildings is most usually a collective effort of different groups of professionals and trades. Depending on the size, complexity, and purpose of a particular building project.

Design process

A design process may include a series of steps followed by designers. Depending on the product or service, some of these stages may be irrelevant, ignored in real-world situations in order to save time, reduce cost, or because they may be redundant in the situation. Typical stages of the design process include:

  • Pre-production design
  • Design during production
  • Post-production design feedback for future designs
  • Redesign - any or all stages in the design process repeated (with corrections made) at any time before, during, or after production.

Architectural drawing

Architectural drawings are used by architects and others for a number of purposes: to develop a design idea into a coherent proposal, to communicate ideas and concepts, to convince clients of the merits of a design, to enable a building contractor to construct it, as a record of the completed work, and to make a record of a building that already exists.

Architectural drawings are made according to a set of conventions, which include particular views (floor plan, section etc.), sheet sizes, units of measurement and scales, annotation and cross referencing. Conventionally, drawings were made in ink on paper or a similar material, and any copies required had to be laboriously made by hand. The twentieth century saw a shift to drawing on tracing paper, so that mechanical copies could be run off efficiently.

Architectural design values

Architectural design values make up an important part of what influences architects and designers when they make their design decisions. However, architects and designers are not always influenced by the same values and intentions. Value and intentions differ between different architectural movements. It also differs between different schools of architecture and schools of design as well as among individual architects and designers.[1]

Floor plan

Sample Floorplan
Floor plan for a single-family home

One of the major tools in architectural design is the floor plan. This diagram shows the relationships between rooms, spaces and other physical features at one level of a structure. Dimensions are usually drawn between the walls to specify room sizes and wall lengths. Floor plans will also include details of fixtures like sinks, water heaters, furnaces, etc. Floor plans will include notes to specify finishes, construction methods, or symbols for electrical items.

Similar to a map in a floor plan the orientation of the view is downward from above, but unlike a conventional map, a plan is understood to be drawn at a particular vertical position (commonly at about 4 feet above the floor). Objects below this level are seen, objects at this level are shown 'cut' in plan-section, and objects above this vertical position within the structure are omitted or shown dashed. Plan view or "planform" is defined as a vertical orthographic projection of an object on a horizontal plane, like a map.


A plan is typically any procedure used to achieve an objective. It is a set of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal. Plans can be formal or informal:

A lack of planning in any discipline may lead to a misallocation of resources, misunderstandings, or irrelevant sections added to Wikipedia articles such as this one.

Building construction

Building construction is the process of preparing for and forming buildings[2] and building systems.[3] Construction starts with planning, design, and financing and continues until the structure is ready for occupancy. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking. Normally, the job is managed by a project manager, and supervised by a construction manager, design engineer, construction engineer or project architect. For the successful execution of a project, effective planning is essential.

Related types of design

Garden design

Garden design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Garden design may be done by the garden owner themselves, or by professionals of varying levels of experience and expertise. Most professional garden designers are trained in principles of design and in horticulture, and have an expert knowledge and experience of using plants. Some professional garden designers are also landscape architects, a more formal level of training that usually requires an advanced degree and often a state license. Many amateur gardeners also attain a high level of experience from extensive hours working in their own gardens, through casual study or Master Gardener Programs offered by the American Horticultural Society.

Landscape design

Landscape planning is a branch of landscape architecture. Urban park systems and greenways of the type planned by Frederick Law Olmsted are key examples of urban landscape planning. Landscape designers tend to work for clients who wish to commission construction work. Landscape planners can look beyond the 'closely drawn technical limits' and 'narrowly drawn territorial boundaries' which constrain design projects.

Landscape planners tend to work on projects which:

  • are of broad geographical scope
  • concern many land uses or many clients
  • are implemented over a long period of time

In rural areas, the damage caused by unplanned mineral extraction was one of the early reasons for a public demand for landscape planning.

Site planning

Scottish Parliament site plan
Example of a site plan

A site plan is an architectural plan, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed improvements to a given lot. A site plan usually shows a building footprint, travelways, parking, drainage facilities, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, trails, lighting, and landscaping.

Such a plan of a site is a graphic representation of the arrangement of buildings, parking, drives, landscaping and any other structure that is part of a development project.

A site plan is a set of construction drawings that a builder or contractor uses to make improvements to a property. Counties can use the site plan to verify that development codes are being met and as a historical resource. Site plans are often prepared by a design consultant who must be either a licensed engineer, architect, landscape architect or land survey. The architect Map is part of a plan in Chandler, AZ.

Transportation planning

Transportation planning is the field involved with the siting of transportation facilities (generally streets, highways, sidewalks, bike lanes and public transport lines).

Transportation planning historically has followed the rational planning model of defining goals and objectives, identifying problems, generating alternatives, evaluating alternatives, and developing the plan. Other models for planning include rational actor, satisficing, incremental planning, organizational process, and political bargaining. However, planners are increasingly expected to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, especially due to the rising importance of environmentalism. For example, the use of behavioral psychology to persuade drivers to abandon their automobiles and use public transport instead. The role of the transport planner is shifting from technical analysis to promoting sustainability through integrated transport policies.[4]

Urban planning

Hongkong central kowloon-full
Urban planning designs settlements, from the smallest towns to the largest cities.

Urban, city, and town planning is the integration of the disciplines of land use planning and transport planning, to explore a very wide range of aspects of the built and social environments of urbanized municipalities and communities. Regional planning deals with a still larger environment, at a less detailed level.

Another key role of urban planning is urban renewal, and re-generation of inner cities by adapting urban planning methods to existing cities suffering from long-term infrastructural decay. The picture below is an architecture map of a part of south Chandler, AZ.[5]


  1. ^ Holm, Ivar (2006). Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial design: How attitudes, orientations, and underlying assumptions shape the built environment. Oslo School of Architecture and Design. ISBN 82-547-0174-1."Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2010-05-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Sturgis, Russell. "Construction def. B. and "Building" def. A. Sturgis' illustrated dictionary of architecture and building: an unabridged reprint of the 1901-2 edition. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 1989. Print.
  3. ^ Davies, Nikolas, and Erkki Jokiniemi. "Construction" def. 1-5. Dictionary of architecture and building construction. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Architectural Press, 2008. 93. Print.
  4. ^ Southern, A. (2006), Modern-day transport planners need to be both technically proficient and politically astute, Local Transport Today, no. 448, 27 July 2006.
  5. ^ Grogan, Paul, Proscio, Tony, Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival, 2000. ISBN 0-8133-3952-9

The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek: βασιλική στοά, Royal Stoa, the tribunal chamber of a king) has three distinct applications in modern English. Originally, the word was used to refer to an ancient Roman public building, where courts were held, as well as serving other official and public functions. It usually had the door at one end and a slightly raised platform and an apse at the other, where the magistrate or other officials were seated. The basilica was centrally located in every Roman town, usually adjacent to the main forum. Subsequently, the basilica was not built near a forum but adjacent to a palace and was known as a "palace basilica".

Secondly, as the Roman Empire adopted Christianity, the major church buildings were typically constructed with this basic architectural plan and thus it became popular throughout Europe. It continues to be used in an architectural sense to describe rectangular buildings with a central nave and aisles, and usually a raised platform at the opposite end from the door. In Europe and the Americas the basilica remained the most common architectural style for churches of all Christian denominations, though this building plan has become less dominant in new buildings since the latter 20th century.

Thirdly, the term refers specifically to an official designation: a large and important Catholic church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope, whatever its architectural plan. These are divided into four major basilicas, all of which are ancient churches located within Rome, and, as of 2017, 1,757 minor basilicas around the world.Some Catholic basilicas are Catholic pilgrimage sites, receiving tens of millions of visitors per year. In December 2009 the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe set a new record with 6.1 million pilgrims during Friday and Saturday for the anniversary of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Butterfly plan

A Butterfly plan, also known as a Double Suntrap plan, is a type of architectural plan in which two or more wings of a house are constructed at an angle to the core, usually at approximately 45 degrees to the wall of the core building. It was used primarily in late Victorian architecture and during the early Arts and Crafts movement.

California Hall

California Hall is one of the original "classical core" Beaux-Arts-style Classical Revival buildings on the UC Berkeley campus. Construction began in 1903 under the lead of University Architect John Galen Howard after the university's adoption of the Phoebe Hearst master architectural plan for the Berkeley campus. The building opened in August, 1905. In 1982, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places, and is designated as an architectural feature of California Historic Landmark no. 946. In 1991, the Landmarks Preservation Committee of the City of Berkeley designated it Berkeley City Landmark no. 147.

It currently houses the University of California Berkeley Chancellor's Office and the Graduate Division.

Charles Beirne

Charles J. Beirne, S.J. (September 23, 1938 – July 14, 2010) was an American Jesuit and academic administrator. Beirne served as the 11th President of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, from 2000 until 2007. During his seven-year tenure, Beirne oversaw the drafting of a new mission statement, launched in the largest capital campaign in Le Moyne's history, grossing $91 million by June 2010 when the campaign ended, and adopted a twenty-year architectural plan for the campus.

Christ the King Church, Riga

Christ the King Church (Latvian: Kristus Karaļa Romas katoļu baznīca) is a catholic church in Riga, the capital of Latvia. The church is situated at the address 86 Meža Prospect. Originally built between 1935 and 1942, construction of the church was interrupted by World War II. The building was consecrated by Metropolitan Archbishop Antonijs Springovičs on 26 April 1943. Although part of the original architectural plan, the church tower was not completed until after 2002.

The pastor from 1958 to 1959 and then again from 1989 to 1991 was Jānis Pujats, who was then appointed metropolitan archbishop of Riga by Pope John Paul II. The pastor from 1984 to 1989 was Jānis Bulis, who was appointed bishop of Liepāja two years later. The pastor from 1999 to 2011 was Edvards Pavlovskis, who was then appointed bishop of Jelgava by Pope Benedict XVI.


Colross, (also historically known as Belle Air and Grasshopper Hall), is a Georgian mansion in Princeton, New Jersey; it was built as the center of an estate in the Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. Colross is currently the administration building of Princeton Day School. The Colross property originally occupied the entire 1100 block of Oronoco Street; Alexandria merchant John Potts developed it as a plantation and began building the mansion in 1799–1800. In 1803, Jonathan Swift—also an Alexandria merchant and a city councilman—purchased the property and during his ownership continued constructing the mansion. After Swift's death in 1824, Colross was purchased by Thomson Francis Mason (1785–1838), son of Thomson Mason (1759–1820) and grandson of Founding Father George Mason (1725–1792) of Gunston Hall. Mason served as a judge of the Criminal Court of the District of Columbia and as mayor of Alexandria. During his ownership, Mason made Colross his chief homestead; he substantially modified and added to the mansion. After successive ownerships, the area around Colross became heavily industrialized. The mansion was bought by John Munn in 1929; between that year and 1932 it was transported brick-by-brick to Princeton, where in 1958 it was sold to Princeton Day School, which uses it as a school administration building housing its admission and advancement offices.

The Colross mansion is a two-story, brick, Georgian-style structure that features an architectural plan similar to those of Mount Vernon and Woodlawn, and was originally flanked by two wings. The front entrance is covered by a spacious Neoclassical portico supported by wooden doric columns. The roof is topped by a balustraded deck and is further embellished by three Dormer windows.

Following the 2005 purchase of the original Colross site by a real estate development company, an archaeological excavation was undertaken between March and June that year at the behest of the city of Alexandria. Archaeologists uncovered an underground domed brick cistern and evidence of slave outbuildings, in addition to the foundations of the estate's peripheral walls and several ancillary structures. The excavation of the Colross site resulted in 79 condominium buyers abandoning their purchase agreements because of the delay in construction of a luxury Monarch Condominium project.

Colross served as the venue for several significant Mason family events, including the wedding ceremonies of Thomson Francis Mason's daughters Sarah Elizabeth Mason (1819–1907) and Virginia Mason (1830–1919). According to local tradition, two children in the Mason family died on the property and were interred in the estate's burial vault. Successive owners of the Colross estate claimed it was haunted by the deceased Mason children.


Cruciform means having the shape of a cross or Christian cross.

Daniel School

The Daniel School was built in Daniel, Wyoming by contractor A.F. Atwood in 1920. The rural school served Daniel and its surrounding area, replacing improvised school facilities. In 1939 the Daniel district was consolidated and students were bused to Pinedale for classes. Following consolidation the Daniel School stood empty until the Daniel Homemaker Club acquired and renovated the building. It is a representative of a typical one-room school house from the early 20th century, and has been the object of field trips by classes seeking to experience the historical learning environment.The school was built to a design from an architectural plan book with a single main room that could be divided by a movable partition. The one story building features a hipped roof and is entered from a closed porch that is topped by a bell tower. The original bell remains in place. The school housed about twenty students. The original privies remain, one each for boys and girls, about 15 feet (4.6 m) from the main building.The Daniel School was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Hallingskeid Station

Hallingskeid Station (Norwegian: Hallingskeid stasjon) is a train station on the Bergen Line in the municipality of Ulvik in Hordaland county, Norway. Located at an elevation of 1,110 meters (3,640 ft) above mean sea level, the station is situated inside a snow tunnel. It opened along with the central section of the line on 10 June 1908 and remained as a staffed station until 1982. It is located on the Hardangervidda plateau in an area without population or road access. The station therefore serves trekkers and mountaineers. Only some of the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) trains stop at the station.

The original station building was designed by Paul Due, who used the same architectural plan for four other mountain stations on the line. The snow tunnel has caught fire five times. The fires in 1948, 1953 and 2008 only caused minor damage to the tunnel itself. The 1960 fire burned-down the tunnel, the station building and most of the station area. The last fire, in 2011, had a Class 73 train caught in the tunnel; both it and the tunnel were damaged beyond repair.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Woolloongabba

Holy Trinity Anglican Church is a heritage-listed church at 68 Hawthorne Street, Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Since 1869, three church buildings have stood on this hill top site. The current church was completed in 1930. It was designed by the architect, Eric Ford featuring Romanesque and Spanish mission revival style architecture. Its preserved original architectural features make the church a traditional wedding venue of inner Brisbane. The church was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 9 May 2008.

Jama Masjid, Delhi

The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (lit. the 'World-reflecting Mosque'), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India.It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees, and was inaugurated by an Imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 metres high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 people. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshippers. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb at Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid.

Kuwait National Museum

The Kuwait National Museum is the national museum of Kuwait, located in Kuwait City. It was established in 1983 and designed by architect Michel Ecochard.The museum comprises five buildings set around a central garden, their organization is parallel to the architectural plan of the vernacular Arab mud house with its central courtyard. The main buildings are connected to each other with elevated walkways. Ecochard explains that the grouping of those buildings corresponds to knowledge of the Arabian peninsula, its

geography, its history and its civilization.As of 2014, the museum was described as "underused and overlooked."

Nobar bath

The Nobar bath is one of the historical baths of Tabriz, Iran. It was constructed in the centre of the city near the Nobar gate, one of the old gates of Tabriz. Nobar bath, which covers an area about 700 sq. metres, was used as a public bath until 1994. Its ruins have been restored by Cultural Heritage Organization of East Azarbaijan Province and registered as part of Iran's National Heritage.

Octagonal churches in Norway

An octagonal church has an octagonal (eight-sided polygon) architectural plan. The exterior and the interior (the nave) may be shaped as eight-sided polygon with approximately equal sides or only the nave is eight-sided supplemented by choir and porch (or narthex) attached to the octagon. This architectural plan is found in some 70 churches in Norway. Among these Hospitalskirken in Trondheim is the oldest. This type of church plan spread from the Diocese of Nidaros to other parts of Norway. Virtually all octagonal churches in Norway are constructed as log buildings mostly covered by clapboards. Some of the largest churches in Norway are octagonal and the list includes important cultural heritage monuments such as Trinity Church (Oslo), Sør-Fron Church and Røros Church.

This is the bright and solemn church room of classicism, whether it is such a large building [as Røros Church] or the modest rural log churches, the interior is covered and interconnected by cheerful colors of the Roccoco in marbling and ceiling. This was our last independent contribution to ecclesiastical architecture.

Roman temple

Ancient Roman temples were among the most important buildings in Roman culture, and some of the richest buildings in Roman architecture, though only a few survive in any sort of complete state. Today they remain "the most obvious symbol of Roman architecture". Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion, and all towns of any importance had at least one main temple, as well as smaller shrines. The main room (cella) housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated, and often a small altar for incense or libations. Behind the cella was a room or rooms used by temple attendants for storage of equipment and offerings. The ordinary worshipper rarely entered the cella, and most public ceremonies were performed outside, on the portico, with a crowd gathered in the temple precinct.

The most common architectural plan had a rectangular temple raised on a high podium, with a clear front with a portico at the top of steps, and a triangular pediment above columns. The sides and rear of the building had much less architectural emphasis, and typically no entrances. There were also circular plans, generally with columns all round, and outside Italy there were many compromises with traditional local styles. The Roman form of temple developed initially from Etruscan temples, themselves influenced by the Greeks, with subsequent heavy direct influence from Greece.

Public religious ceremonies of the official Roman religion took place outdoors, and not within the temple building. Some ceremonies were processions that started at, visited, or ended with a temple or shrine, where a ritual object might be stored and brought out for use, or where an offering would be deposited. Sacrifices, chiefly of animals, would take place at an open-air altar within the templum; often on one of the narrow extensions of the podium to the side of the steps. Especially under the Empire, exotic foreign cults gained followers in Rome, and were the local religions in large parts of the expanded Empire. These often had very different practices, some preferring underground places of worship, while others, like Early Christians, worshipped in houses.Some remains of many Roman temples survive, above all in Rome itself, but the relatively few near-complete examples were nearly all converted to Christian churches (and sometimes subsequently to mosques), usually a considerable time after the initial triumph of Christianity under Constantine. The decline of Roman religion was relatively slow, and the temples themselves were not appropriated by the government until a decree of the Emperor Honorius in 415. Santi Cosma e Damiano, in the Roman Forum, originally the Temple of Romulus, was not dedicated as a church until 527. The best known is the Pantheon, Rome, which is however highly untypical, being a very large circular temple with a magnificent concrete roof, behind a conventional portico front.

Site plan

For Archaeological site plan, see Archaeological plan

A site plan is an architectural plan, landscape architecture document, and a detailed engineering drawing of proposed improvements to a given lot. A site plan usually shows a building footprint, travelways, parking, drainage facilities, sanitary sewer lines, water lines, trails, lighting, and landscaping and garden elements.Such a plan of a site is a "graphic representation of the arrangement of buildings, parking, drives, landscaping and any other structure that is part of a development project".A site plan is a "set of construction drawings that a builder or contractor uses to make improvements to a property. Counties can use the site plan to verify that development codes are being met and as a historical resource. Site plans are often prepared by a design consultant who must be either a licensed engineer, architect, landscape architect or land surveyor".

South Ferry Plaza

The South Ferry Plaza, also called A Lighthouse At The Tip Of The Island, was a supertall skyscraper proposed in 1987 to rise right next to the East River on Manhattan Island in New York City. The building would have sat on top of the South Ferry terminal and tower 1,084 ft (330 m) above street level, with 60 stories of office space. It was designed by architect Fox & Fowle Architects and Leslie E. Robertson Associates. The architects designed the building for office use and the skyscraper incorporated recycled marble and steel with glass in its structure. The architectural plan had a glass dome that was supposed to be lit at night, which also contained an observation deck and three restaurants located inside the dome. In addition, the project called for the renovation of the South Ferry Terminal, including the train station so it can accommodate 100,000 people. The project would have doubled the size of Battery Park if it had proceeded, since the building included a plaza that was planned to tie in with Battery Park via a new promenade at the tip of Manhattan. However, the project was cancelled due to financial reasons.

Tredington, Gloucestershire

Tredington is a small village in the parish of Stoke Orchard near Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire, England. The village has a church and a school but no pubs or shops.The little church of St John the Baptist in Tredington is known for its wooden tower, a twelfth-century architectural plan, medieval stone benches, and the fossil of an ichthyosaurus displayed upon the floor of its porch. The steps, base and shaft of the churchyard cross are fourteenth century; the cross is modern.

Valley View (Romney, West Virginia)

Valley View is a mid-19th-century Greek Revival residence and farm overlooking the South Branch Potomac River northwest of Romney, West Virginia. Valley View is atop a promontory where Depot Valley joins the South Branch Potomac River valley.

The Valley View property was part of the South Branch Survey of the Northern Neck Proprietary, a large tract that was inherited by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, in 1719. It was settled by John Collins and his family in 1749, and acquired by the Parsons family before 1772. The Valley View house was built by James Parsons Jr. in 1855. After the Civil War, Parsons' widow sold the farm to Charles Harmison. His wife, Elizabeth Harmison, inspired by her childhood Virginia home, Western View, and the scenic South Branch Potomac River views, named the farm Valley View. The most recent of a series of owners, the Mayhew family, bought the property in 1979. Valley View's current proprietors, Robert and Kim Mayhew, have restored the historic residence and grounds.

The house at Valley View is a two-story brick structure with a rectangular architectural plan. The front entrance is covered by a small portico, topped with a pediment supported by wooden Doric columns. The rear of the house, with a two-story wood porch stretching across it, faces the South Branch Potomac River valley and Mill Creek Mountain. Each of the original eight large rooms of the 1855 structure contains a fireplace framed by a wooden trabeated mantelpiece with classical elements. The original windows, wooden trim, and materials in the main section of the house are intact. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012 as a locally significant example of Greek Revival architecture.

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