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What are As-Built Drawings and Why are they Important?

What are As-Built Drawings and Why are they Important?


An as-built drawing is defined as a drawing created and submitted by a contractor after completing the project. Due to some specific inevitable issues arising during the construction process, the contractor brings necessary changes to the original drawings.

As-built drawings are drawings that show all the minor and major modifications made by the contractor to the original drawing to provide an exact rendering of the project. The preparation and use of as-built drawings come into play after the initial phase of the project. 

As-Built Drawings Showing Alterations from Original Drawing Using Red Ink
Figure-1: As-Built Drawings Showing Alterations from Original Drawing Using Red Ink

An as-built drawing shows all the variations in shape, dimensions, locations, materials, and specifications from the original drawing. These drawings can be saved as a future reference to study the changes that emerge throughout the construction process. 

This article reviews the features of as-built drawings and their importance in ensuring a successful project lifecycle after the initial phase of construction.

Features of As-Built Drawings

As-built drawings are developed efficiently, if the contractor studies and tracks every detail of the project development from start to finish. The changes made to the original plan are those necessary to successfully complete the project. Some of the important features of as-built drawings are:

  1. As-built drawings are prepared either during the construction process or after the completion of construction. It gives an idea about the actual project built.
  2. The changes during the construction process are marked in the original drawing in red ink that can finally assist in preparing as-built drawings.
  3. The changes from original drawings are explained in writing with the date, along with all deviations in design, location, materials, etc. Photos and maps showing before and after of an activity can assist as-built drawings and help in avoiding future confusions.
  4. Before preparing as-built drawings, fix the color code, drawing scale, and formats to develop accurate drawings. For example, red is used to express deleted items, green is used to represent added items, and for special instructions and details, blue color can be used. Inconsistency in defining changes and alterations can provide unclear as-built drawings.
  5. The as-built drawings for small projects are completed using pen and paper. For large projects, typed documents, drawing plans, and software are used to track and record the changes at the site.
  6. Abbreviations are not used in as-built drawings to ensure that everyone looking at the plan understands the construction activity.
  7. The scale of as-built drawing is similar to that of the original drawing to compare and understand it without errors.

Importance of As-Built Drawings

As-built drawings are essential in construction projects for the following reasons:

  1. As-built drawings provide precise details about the changes performed at any interim stage of the project. It facilitates easy visualization of the upcoming steps, notice complications, and early solving of issues.
  2. As-built drawings provide details of installations to the owners and clients to help them with any future modifications of the structure. 
  3. As-built drawings are valuable documents that provide future buyers with a clear idea of what is sold and purchased. It also forms a foundation to conduct future modifications.

Who Creates As-Built Drawings?

Engineers and designers prepare the original drawing plan which serves as a base for an as-built drawing. However, final changes are made by the contractors as they are better aware of all the alterations made during the construction process.

A contractor must record all the changes made on the original drawing and is fully accountable for the actual construction. A systematic record of changes in the form of as-built drawings can help to avoid future disputes.

FAQs

What are as-built drawings?

As-built drawings are drawings that show all the minor and major modifications made by the contractor to the rendering of the project. The preparation and use of as-built drawings come into play after initial phase of the project.

What is the importance of as-built drawings?

The importance of as-built drawings are:
1. As-built drawings provide precise details about the changes performed at any interim stage of the project.
2. It gives the details of all installation to the owners and clients to help them with any future modifications of the structure.
3. It is an essential document to help the users or buyers to conduct future modifications.

Read More

Types of Drawings used in Building Construction

Understanding the lines Used in Architectural Drawings

Types of Drawings Prepared by Structural Engineers



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