As Built Drawings: Comprehensive Explanation You Should Know

In construction and architecture, being very exact and careful is super important. One very important tool for being exact is called an As Built Drawings. This article will explain what As Built Drawings are, show some examples, talk about why they're important, say who makes them, why builders really care about them, how to make them even better, and how technology affects them.

What are As Built Drawings?


An as-built drawing is a picture made by a contractor when they finish a project. Sometimes, problems pop up during construction, and the contractor has to make changes to the original drawing. These new drawings show all the changes, big and small, that the contractor made to the first drawing. 

As-built drawings are used after the project starts. An as-built drawing displays all the differences in how things look, their size, where they are, what they're made of, and their details when compared to the first drawing. These drawings can be kept for later to see how things changed during construction.




Now, I will give you 2 examples to make it clear:

Example 1: A House Construction Project

Imagine you're building a house. Initially, you have a blueprint that shows where the rooms will be, the dimensions of the rooms, and the materials to be used. However, during construction, you realize that one of the rooms needs to be a bit smaller to fit a piece of furniture, or perhaps you decide to use a different type of wood for the flooring.

An as-built drawing in this case would be a new drawing that reflects these changes. For instance, it would show the room's new size and the different flooring material. You keep this as-built drawing for future reference, so you can always see how the house was actually built compared to the original plan.

Example 2: A Road Construction Project

Let's say a construction company is working on building a new road. The initial plan specifies the width of the road, the type of pavement, and the locations of traffic signs. As the construction progresses, they might discover that they need to widen a section of the road to accommodate more traffic or move a traffic light to improve safety.

An as-built drawing in this scenario would depict these changes. It would show the updated road width and the new location of the traffic light. Keeping these as-built drawings is important because they document the modifications made during construction and provide an accurate record of how the road differs from the original plan.



The Importances of As Built Drawings in Construction

As-built models matter for a few good reasons. Firstly, during construction, they help subcontractors quickly understand where the project is at. This means they can figure out what needs doing faster and spot any problems right away when changes are made. The as-built model serves as a crucial reference point, ensuring that the final construction aligns accurately with the intended design and minimizes discrepancies in the project's execution.

These drawings also act like a detailed record for both the main contractor and subcontractors. They show exactly what got built versus what was planned. 

And lastly, for the building owners, these final drawings are like a snapshot of the finished project. If they ever want to change or fix something in the future, they'll have the exact details from these drawings. For instance, if they need to know where a valve is located for repairs, they can find that information in the drawings.



What is Included in As Built Drawings?

Here's what's included in them:

Actual Layout: They tell you exactly where everything is placed in the building - like walls, doors, and windows.

Sizes and Dimensions: You can see how big things are and how far apart they are from each other.

Materials Used: These drawings list the materials used to build the structure, like wood, steel, or concrete.

Utilities: You'll know where pipes, wires, and other utilities are running through the building.

Changes and Adjustments: Any changes made during construction are recorded here. This helps in case you need to fix something later.

Notes: Sometimes, there are special instructions or notes for maintenance or repairs. These are included too.

Dates: As-built drawings have dates to show when different parts of the building were completed.

Signatures: The drawings often have the signatures of engineers or architects who made sure the work was done correctly.

Key Information: Important details like room numbers, names of materials, and symbols are also part of these drawings.



Who is Behind the Creation of As Built Drawings?

As-built drawings are made by important people in the construction world. Here's who's behind creating them:

Architects: These are the big thinkers who design the building. They make sure it looks good and works well.

Engineers: They're like the brainy folks who figure out how to make everything work, like the plumbing, electricity, and structure.

Contractors: These are the builders who bring the plans to life. They're the ones who actually build the building.

Surveyors: They measure and map everything on the construction site. This helps make sure things are in the right place.

Inspectors: They check the work to make sure it's safe and follows the rules.

Owners: The people who want the building made, like a business owner or a homeowner, may also be involved in making these drawings.

All of these people work together to create as-built drawings to show how the building turned out and to keep a record of what's inside it.



Why Should Contractors Care about As Built Drawings?

If you work as a general contractor, you might wonder, "Why should I give as-built drawings extra attention at the end of a project?" Well, the truth is, you shouldn't only think about making as-builts; you should also aim to enhance the quality of the materials you provide.

High-quality as-built drawings can greatly improve how people see your company and can help your business grow in the long run. For subcontractors, especially, as-built drawings become crucial because you might get hired to maintain and renovate systems later on. At that time, the information in the packages won't just benefit the building owners, it will also improve your ability to finish a job successfully.

5 Fundamental Strategies to Improve Your As Built Drawings

Prepare for As-Builts Before Building Starts

Teams often struggle with as-built drawings because they lack a good system. Waiting until the end of construction is a mistake. Instead, set up a data system before building begins. The solution is using the cloud for project plans and updates. With digital access, teams can record changes on-site using phones or tablets, making as-builts more accurate.

Integrate Top-Quality As-Builts into the Project Culture

For as-builts to get better, the management team needs to be fully supportive. This means building a culture where everyone values collecting data. This way, you not only keep making as-builts as you work but also make sure they are really good. It's not as easy as it sounds, and it starts with teaching teams why as-builts are important, showing them how to create them, and expecting them to meet certain standards.

Dive Deep into Data

High-quality data is crucial for as-built drawings, and three key tools can improve them: laser scanning for precise measurements and data collection, Building Information Modeling (BIM) for construction insights and updates, and software like Autodesk Construction Cloud™ to efficiently manage and access project data for maintenance and renovations, reducing costs.

Develop "Dynamic" As-Builts

To enhance as-built drawings, we must recognize that buildings change over time, just like living organisms, through renovations and adjustments. Therefore, project as-built drawings should be dynamic, accessible to all, stored in the cloud, and allow updates and document linking, ensuring the building's long-term quality and integrity.

Consider the Importance of How Things Look

Remember, looks matter. Just like we dress well for interviews and garnish our food, construction teams should present their as-built drawings nicely. Messy drawings reflect poorly on contractors. Use construction software like Autodesk Build to create organized, accessible as-built, making maintenance easier and adding value to projects, while also boosting future business opportunities for contractors.



The Influence of Technology on Creating As-Built Drawings

Keeping track of changes during construction is hard and takes a lot of time, especially because it happens many times. Putting records and drawings on a computer can make this easier and help finish the project faster.

Using the right construction technology lets contractors record changes as they happen in real time. This makes it easier to make accurate As-Built drawings later. The technology used should give everyone involved in the project access to the most up-to-date information online. This way, everyone, especially the facility management and maintenance teams, can easily see the latest information in a digital form.


Welcome to Harmony Advanced Technologies, your trusted partner in As-Built drawings services. With over 20 years of expertise in BIM/CAD construction software design, our team excels in providing top-notch 2D drafting services. If you're seeking accurate and efficient As-Built drawings, you've come to the right place. Contact us here to explore how we can cater to your specific needs. Let's start building together. 

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