As-Built Drawings

There is rarely ever a situation where the blueprint drawings on paper match the real-world structure exactly the way it was designed. As-Built drawings reflect the actual structure or space that gets built.

As-Built drawings are drawing records that reflect the changes made during the entire construction process of a project. They say a picture speaks a thousand words – And in any construction project, there is no better way of keeping updated track of the multiple parallel steps than As-Built drawings.

According to Business Dictionary, As-Builts are a “revised set of drawings that reflect all changes made in the specifications and working drawings during the construction process. It shows the exact dimensions, geometry and location of all elements of the work completed under the contract.”

These drawings are usually addressed by the contractor at the end of the project. As-Built drawings are an essential component in the lifecycle of the project but they tend to get overlooked until the very end because way too many steps and changes need to be recorded. This might lead to lapses in the final project looking exactly like how it was initially planned to be.

In this article we get into the details of why As-Built drawings are important, who designs them, who can manage and access the data, how should they be utilized, and what are effective strategies to make the best use of As-Built drawings in the construction industry.

For more knowledge and professional guidance on how to set up and manage your As-Built plans for your construction project, reach out to us at Monarch Innovation.

Who are As-Built drawings created by?

The architects and designers who are responsible for the framework and detailing of the entire project are best equipped to create As-Built drawings. Once created and maintained by architects/designers, it is then managed by the contractor on site. It makes sure that the construction drawings and resources do not merely exist in the original blueprints drafted, but beyond the lifespan of the project too.

Even if ownership of the project changes or the set of employees are replaced in the duration of the project, the As-Built drawings help in getting familiar and keeping track of the progress in the plans. Any future modifications or new construction can be continued on top of the work already accomplished.

What do As-Built drawings need to include?

There is no standard on what should be the expected output of an As-Built plan. It varies in the eyes of various contractors depending on the expectations they have from the data in the As-Built construction. To make the progress on the project clear and useful, As-Builts can include certain details such as:

  • Record the scale measurements used in original drawing constructions, and further changes made to it, if any.
  • Include changes made to length, dimensions, orientations, fabrications or location of any component of the construction process
  • Making note of the date when changes are made
  • Making note of any obstacles in the execution of original blueprints, and what was the solution made in place of it
  • Include original shop drawings and record any changes made to them
  • Any additional work done on the project that is extra to the originally planned drawing construction

Why are As-Built Drawings important in the Construction Industry?

As-Built construction plans are important at each step of the way and to each of the shareholder in the process from start to end. Here’s how:

  • Contractors require As-Built drawings to record the transition from one phase of the construction to the next. They can then visualize the steps needed to take further, and issue actions to the workers accordingly.
  • If obstacles or issues occur during the construction process, As-Builts can be referred to identify the last step and resolve it
  • If constantly being updated, As-Built drawings help identify a foreseeable complication and can be resolved before they happen.
  • Owners or clients of the property can refer to the As-Built documentation to check for the installations or designs being included, and ask to modify them if they face any issue with it.
  • Property buyers need As-Built drawings to understand what exactly they are buying or selling. They can also use it as the basis of any future renovations and installations.
  • The renovation process is made easy when the detail of what is already done is available. It saves expense incurred in learning about the existing setup before making additional changes.

Traditional vs. BIM As-Built Construction

The traditional method of maintaining As-Built drawings lacked coordination and precision updates from the different segments working on the project at the same time. This lead to delays in communication as well as fragmented management.

The major problem faced in the traditional method was the rework that needed to be done each time to update the data. This delay led to disruption in the flow of communication between different phases of the work which further led to an increase in overhead costs and time. This was also one of the reasons why As-Built drawings were usually overlooked until after the project had already taken the final shape.

In comes BIM (Building Information Modelling) and construction management software. They effectively overcome most of these problems while providing additional features and advantages to As-Built construction.

  • Workflows can now be automated and pre-scheduled, and multiple workflows visualized at a time
  • Collaborations are made easier between different professionals overlooking different aspects of the project.
  • Better and richer quality As-Built data can be uploaded, stored and accessed simultaneously through cloud-based systems.
  • BIM visualization can identify the clash in spatial orientations beforehand, which saves the waste of traditional documentation
  • Clients can get a visual tour of the entire project even while it is getting built, identifying issues and pointing out changes they need in real-time.
  • Different teams can work together and make qualitative decisions based on the date easily accessed to everyone simultaneously, saving time and overhead cost
  • Good construction management software help the project reach completion faster and in a more sustainable manner

How to improve your As-Built Construction Strategy?

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind for the most effective use and construction of As-Built drawings:

  • Set up As-Built systems before construction begins, not at the end

This will allow an integrated space for simultaneous data capture, storage, editing and distribution right from the time the project starts.

It also allows teams to upload and digitally access different sets of data in real-time from various devices and at different times, without having to wait to get back to the office to make field documentation.

  • Make the team understand the importance of As-Builts

A work culture of understanding why data capture and storage is significant needs to be created before the project starts. How to create As-Builts, the steps followed along the way, contractor expectations and end-goals should also be discussed and implemented.

  • Go deep with the data

Technology like Laser scanning, BIM visualization, O&M software should be exploited to the full extent for making As-Builts. The more capture of data, the better. This helps the team get deeper insights into data, resolve issues before they occur, and reach the goals faster and in a more cohesive manner.

Monarch Innovation has been serving clients for 11+ years in the construction and building design service sector. Trust us to serve you best when it comes to BIM or construction-based guidance and management required for your current project. Consult our professionals to know the best strategy and tools that fit your goals and budget.

FAQs

Who prepares as built drawings?

The architects and designers who are responsible for the framework and detailing of the entire project are best equipped to create As-Built drawings. Once created and maintained by architects/designers, it is then managed by the contractor on site.

What is as built drawings in construction?

As-Built drawings are drawing records that reflect the changes made during the entire construction process of a project. They say a picture speaks a thousand words – And in any construction project, there is no better way of keeping updated track of the multiple parallel steps than As-Built drawings.

How to make as built drawings?

BIM (Building Information Modelling) and construction management software. They effectively overcome most of these problems while providing additional features and advantages to As-Built construction. There is no standard on what should be the expected output of an As-Built plan.

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