Construction projects, no matter how small, go through multiple modifications, adjustments and changes on site before they are completed. Regardless of its size, these alterations need to be documented. It is why, as-built drawings are created after completing a project. These drawings take into account all the changes that have been made to the original construction drawings during the on-site building. On top of reflecting these changes they also show the exact dimensions, geometry and location of all the building elements.
Today, a lot of companies prefer to use BIM Services in order to create as-built BIM models. These 3D models are accurate representations of all the physical and functional as-built aspects of the building. Various features of information rich 3D model like enhanced visualization, better coordination, easy collaboration etc. make it easy to maintain or renovate the building.
Who and How Are As-Built Drawings Created?
The engineers, architects and designers create the original drawing plans which serve as a base for as-built drawings. However, the final drawings are made by the contractor as he is more aware of all the alterations that have been made during the construction process.
In order to create as-built drawings it is necessary to keep a detailed track of all the notes and documents that are generated during the building process. Without detailed notes it would be difficult to know which items have been changed and few key elements can be missed.
Today, the construction technology and software has made it possible to easily note and keep track of the changes taking place on site. AutoCAD is widely used to create accurate 2D and 3D drawings while Revit is used for creating BIM models. A lot of big construction projects also use Point Cloud to BIM Services in order to laser scan the final constructed building and update their BIM model accordingly.
There are certain things that must be kept in consideration while creating as-built drawings like:
1. Color: As-Built drawings have a standard colour legend where red is used for deleted items, green for added items, and blue for special information.
2. Dates: Any modifications noted on the building plans should be done so with correct dates.
3. Obstacles: During the construction if there were any obstacles faced due to reasons like environmental factors, governmental agencies etc. they should be well noted.
4. Location and Scale: It is vital that any modifications made on drawings appropriate scale and proportions. It must also state the exact locations of visible and non-visible utilities that are installed during construction.
What is the importance of As-Built Drawings?
1. Facility Management: During the building’s lifecycle there are various points where the building systems need to be maintained or updated. Due to as-built drawings the facility manager will be able to know where each component is located and thus carry out each maintenance. As-built BIM models take it a step further by providing all the relevant information about the manufacturers details, asset codes, serial number etc. as well as allowing to schedule timely maintenance.
2. Renovation: Before moving ahead with any renovation or fit out works it is important to know about how about the as-built building status. This designers, engineers and architects can then go ahead and make changes to it. Without knowing the intricacies that they might encounter, it is difficult to not just make changes but can also lead to errors. As-built drawings ensure a safe and efficient renovation.
3. New Construction: As-built drawings for new construction can have two fold advantages. Firstly, when any building needs to be extended like adding another floor or another wing here additions can be made to the as-built drawings. Also they can provide as a guide on whatever the elements which worked and dint work in the original design, making it possible to keep that in mind for new constructions.
Along with the above advantages as-built drawings are also useful for the contractor to provide proof of all the changes made during the onsite construction. Finally, they also are instrumental in creating demolition once the building has reached the end of its lifecycle.
It is inevitable that during the construction process there will be changes made to the original building plans and it is thus, necessary to document the as-built conditions of the building effectively. As-Built Drawings lead to proper maintenance and easy renovation of the building. Moreover, careful use of as-built drawings will lead to satisfied stakeholders.