A building that does not exist in reality is first conjured up in the mind of the architects, designers and civil engineers. Accordingly, they draw the plan or design on the paper so that it can be converted into reality. Sketching a project on paper is far different from real construction work. What can be easily done with paper and pencil cannot be done equally easily on the site. While executing the project, a number of unpredictable factors may arise, making it necessary to make changes in the original drawings. The changes can be minor or sometimes major. Changes are made in the drawings with red ink while the project is ongoing. These changed versions portray the completed projects. They are referred to as As Built Drawings because they form the final record. Builders and contractors insist that as built-drawings should be maintained so that one can quickly compare the record drawings with them and understand what changes are made in the original plan.

record drawings

Significance of As built drawings

  • As Built drawings serve as the foundation, for future changes and additions.
  • As built drawings include all critical information related to pipe and duct routing, terminal unit locations, duct sizing, control systems, sensor locations etc.
  • They are extremely valuable to the Operations and Management staff as they depict exact locations of various systems.

Significance of Record Drawings

After the project is completed, it is necessary to prepare a copy of Record Drawings. The changes made in the project during the process of construction are marked up with red ink in the Record Drawings.

  • Record drawings reflect precisely in what ways a construction differs from the original plan.
  • It helps contractors and engineers and architects to review the changes, analyse the reasons why they had to be made, examine the kinds of problems that might crop up during construction and take precautionary measures in future projects.
  • Years later, when some other team members may get involved in repair, reconstruction or renovations, the as built and record drawings prove to be of vital importance.
  • Record drawings can be referred to in case of emergencies and severe disasters like fire, earthquake, water logging etc.

Nowadays, the original design drawings are converted into CAD drawings. These are based on the designer’s original drawings. All the red lines must be picked up and recorded in the CAD drawings.

It is necessary to check certain aspects of as built and record drawings at the time of finalizing contracts.

  • As built drawings must be submitted within a prescribed period of time after completion of the project.
  • It is necessary to check whether the drawings are accurate.
  • They must be useful for O&M purposes.
  • They must be precise with respect to location and sizes of all components.

The Record drawings must be verified and reviewed at important junctures as the construction of the projects proceeds. They must be reviewed before the non-accessible elements are concealed. One cannot scrape walls and ceilings just for reviewing the drawings. A final check-up must be carried out after the project is completed 100%. The drawings must be reviewed at regular periodic intervals during the process of construction and after completion as well.