AS-BUILT DRAWINGS | What are they?

May 1, 2022 |

Produced in the latter stages of the project by the construction project team, as-built drawings provide the final design and installation information of a project and are one of the most critical elements of a projects handover process, providing a critical knowledge-sharing conduit between the construction team and the operation/facility teams, for a new/refurbished project.

When completed correctly they will generally convey the following information:

  • Updated title block with all relevant information included.
  • A clear description of what the drawing represents.
  • Drawn at the correct scale.
  • Provide final information on a particular piece of equipment.
  • Architectural layout as the background.
  • Overlay of a system or service or multiple systems or services.
  • Dimensions [imperial or metric] within the required specified tolerances.
  • Design information such as flow rates, pressures, cable types etc.
  • Sizing information of pipework, equipment, ductwork, ceilings, floor voids, and ceiling voids.
  • Asset numbers such as valves, distribution boards, sump pumps, chillers, cables etc.
  • Any sectional drawings or elevations.
  • Clear notes on the system or service the drawing is representing.
  • Information on materials

When are they created & issued

As-built and record drawings are finally created and issued after the installations are completed within the construction process.

They would be the next step from the ‘red line drawings’ that are marked up when completing the site reviews and final measurements, see our article ‘…….’

Who is responsible for them

It will ultimately be the responsibility of the general/main contractor to ensure that the drawings are completed and issued.

The general/main contractor will usually be supported by their construction team [Engineers, Sub Contractors, Vendors etc].

Why are accurate As-built drawings important?

As-built/record drawings are very important for the following reasons:

  • They provide the building operation teams with accurate information on the building installations, systems, and services.
  • If there are any emergencies, the building operations can understand quickly the location of the plant and equipment if needed to isolate etc.
  • They will provide supporting information to any SOP [standard operating procedure], MOP [method of procedure] & EOP [emergency operating procedures].
  • If there are any future failures, they provide an easy way to complete any investigations.
  • Can be used for onboarding new engineers so that they understand the building and systems.
  • They allow for the accurate planning of any modifications works

Types of as-built drawings

There are many types different types of as-built drawings provided within the ‘as-built’ package, these can be:

  • Landscape/external drawings
  • Utility drawings
  • Architectural layouts
  • Structure
  • Steelwork
  • Assembly drawing
  • Component drawing
  • Critical detailing
  • Glazing
  • Lifts and transportation
  • Fire rating showing separation/zoning
  • Interior design
  • Building services layouts
  • Control logic
  • Plantroom layouts
  • Maintenance routes
  • Security and access control layouts
  • A multitude of differing schematics
  • Asset registers
  • Design data

How are they created?

The drawings are usually an ongoing edition of the project construction/shop drawings with a few ways in which they can be produced:

  • By hand – they can be created by the drafting team [CAD/BIM] after being provided with handmark ups
  • Automatically – laser scanning technologies can be used to accurately model the installations and feed that to the BIM/3d model automatically.

What format should they be in?

There are 2 common formats that can be used:

  • in Autocad format [.dwg]
  • in PDF [.pdf]

The AutoCAD drawings format will be used for any future modifications to the drawings/model – it should be controlled to ensure that only authorized persons can use it.

A PDF will be created from the Autocad format for the general use of the engineers and staff overseeing the operation of the building, these will be stored in hard copy or within an electronic file retrieval platform.

How are they numbered?

The numbering will usually follow the current project numbering format – the revision/status will be updated to ‘AB or RD’ for ‘As-built or Record Drawing’.

Sometimes it is worth checking with the client/specifications to understand if there are any specific numbering that should be adhered to. 

What scales are they drawn in

Depending on the type of drawing being produced, its scale would usually follow the below as a standard:

TypeScale
Location Plan / Key Plans1:1250
1:1000
1:500
Overall Site Plans1:200
1:100
Floor Plans, large elevations and sections1:100
1:50
Room Plans, internal elevations and sections1:20
Components1:10
1:5
Details1:10
1:50

What information should be contained in them

As noted at the beginning of this article, a record drawing, depending upon its type, should include the following information: 

  • Updated title block with all relevant information included.
  • A clear description of what the drawing represents.
  • Drawn at the correct scale.
  • Provide final information on a particular piece of equipment.
  • Architectural layout as the background.
  • Overlay of a system or service or multiple systems or services.
  • Dimensions [imperial or metric] within the required specified tolerances.
  • Design information such as flow rates, pressures, cable types etc.
  • Sizing information of pipework, equipment, ductwork, ceilings, floor voids, and ceiling voids.
  • Asset numbers such as valves, distribution boards, sump pumps, chillers, cables etc.
  • Any sectional drawings or elevations.
  • Clear notes on the system or service the drawing is representing.
  • Information on materials

Who are they issued to

Once completed and available for issue the drawings are provided to the client team/facilities manager for review and approval.

It may be that a particular drawing or set of drawings will be issued and commented upon, where this happens they should be updated in line with the comments, if agree, and reissued.

What is the approval process?

The approval process is pretty easy, would usually go from the general/main contractor to the client/facilities manager for comments.

Once satisfied, the client/facilities manager will accept the drawings and ‘approve them’.

 As-Builts vs Record Drawings

‘As-built drawings’ are the same as ‘Record drawings’, just a different terminology is being used depending on the place in the world are discussing them.


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