By: Margarita Verde
This is the first of a four part series on construction drawings.
In the next few weeks, we will be discussing the immediate issues on the site of construction, the external and internal forces which cause the issues pertaining to construction drawings, and lastly, some solutions– how to implement them and the next steps. The digitization of the construction industry has led to a lot of changes and trends, especially in regards to construction drawings.
Before we discuss this, let’s look at the reasons why a set of construction drawings are created:
- What are they: Construction drawings provide the information as to what the project will look like, what is the size or area, where is it going, what is the function, what it will be made of.
- Fixity: How it comes together. The drawings should include an accurate depiction of materials, equipment, systems, members and furniture that is sized, located, and secured.
- Waterproofing: Designing to prevent water intrusion is of paramount importance and should always be included in the drawings
- Governing Agencies: Often, permits are needed and the construction drawings are required to obtain them (and sometimes they can be numerous!)
- Legal: Drawings should also include details that help with limitation of liability, and to have a picture that enables parties to understand their responsibilities and codes.
These five reasons above are also why the quality of construction documents needs to remain high. The quality of the entire project relies on them.
Although there is no official definition of what quality construction documents are– nothing is 100% error free– there is a general standard.
- A good set of construction plans contain clearly worded notes, concise details, minimal contradictions, and no circular information trails.
- A quality set of drawings are organized and formatted well.
- It contains readable graphics for symbols, lines, objects and words; the dimensions add up, details and sections are properly referenced.
To be clear, we are talking about construction documents, not the initial programming exhibits, concept plans, preliminary designs, or schematics that architects and designers produce at the beginning of a project.
As the industry expands, incorporates more trends and grows, it is important to remember the purpose and use of construction drawings and their importance within a given project. In the next part, we will dive into the issues seen today by project managers, engineers and contractors alike when it comes to construction documents, and the possible reasons why they arise.