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

As-built drawings are a key document explained in drawings that record any and every alterations and variation to the original blueprints and contractual specifications during the construction process. It is not always possible to construct exactly as the initial plan. Changes during the construction that are desirable must be performed, but the contractor must keep a record of these variations.

Fig.1.As-Built Drawing
Image Courtesy: IPVM

Features of As-built Drawings

As-built drawings are a revised set of construction drawings that are submitted by the contractor after completing the project. The document will show the exact dimension and actual locations of all the structural elements that are shown in the original contract agreement, related drawings and the documents in the contract.

Fig.2. As-Built Drawings, Drawing with correction and Drawing after Correction or Final Constructed Drawing
Fig.2. As-Built Drawings, Drawing with correction and Drawing after Correction or Final
Constructed Drawing
Image Courtesy: 

The important features of As-built drawings are enlisted one by one:
  1. The as-built drawings are prepared mainly by the General Contractor.
  2. The completed as-built drawings are then handover to the engineer or the architect.
  3. The as-built drawings will include modifications, change orders, additional work along with their timely approval status, design changes.
  4. As-built drawings must be kept up-to-date so that it is available as a reference at any particular point of time.
  5. As-built drawing is a time-consuming process. If it is needed, they must be mentioned in the tender document.

Procedure for Preparing As-Built Drawings

The general procedure for the preparation of as-built drawings are:
  1. The general contractor initially collects the field data during the course of the project. All those data that are collected from the field site while constructing the project is called as field data. This data cannot be obtained from the contract documents or change orders or site instruction or addenda.
  2. Contractors must employ the guidance of contract documents to obtain great accuracy of as-built drawing. These may sometime require extra monies that must be stated in the contract at the tender price.
  3. Contractors who are efficient in using AutoCAD can convert the as-built drawing to the format of all other drawings.
  4. Changes and alterations do affect the cost of working that must be included in the bid as additional costs.

Tips for Recording As-Built Drawings

To ensure accuracy throughout the making of as-built drawings, follow the guidelines:
  1. Use the same scale when a new detail is added to the drawings
  2. Old details and values must not be erased or removed. It must be either struck through or 'X' through them. Hence the changes made is identified. If there is no space, mark, and indication and provide the details on the margin.
  3. Exact details of changes have to be specified.
  4. All elevations, information on pipe utilities, earthwork, grade modifications must be mentioned.
  5. All unexpected obstruction faced at the jobsite must be mentioned.
  6. All changes and analysis are recorded by date.
  7. Major colors used in as-built drawings are RED deleted Items, GREEN added items and BLUE special information or details.
  8. Changes can be mentioned in fully written explanation.
  9. Additional Pages and drawings must be mentioned
  10. Once Finished, the sheet is titled as RECORD DRAWING AS-BUILT. A drawing sheet prepared by undergoing the changes and corrections are titled REVISED AS-BUILT.
  11. Last but not the least a good handwriting must be used to mention the changes.
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