Last edited 02 Nov 2016

As-built drawings and record drawings

On building projects it is common for changes to be made during construction because of circumstances that emerge on site. These changes can be relatively minor or can be very significant.

As a result, it is common for the client to require that as-built drawings are prepared, either during the construction process or when construction is complete, to reflect what has actually been built. The contractor will generally mark up changes to the ‘final construction issue’ drawings on-site using red ink, and these can then be used by the consultant team to create record drawings showing the completed project. This information may be supplemented by as-built surveys.

These record drawings (sometimes referred to as 'as constructed' drawings) may be required for the Health and Safety File or the operation and maintenance manual issued to the client on completion of construction.

Apart from registering on site changes to the engineers' and architect's drawings it is essential that specialist trade contractors record what has been installed on site. Records of installations such as under-floor cabling in city offices is a particular problem because successive tenants cut off, but leave in, their predecessors cables then instal their own systems. Without cabling records this can prove very problematic for subsequent companies that occupy the premises.

The client’s facilities management team must keep record drawings up to date, incorporating details of future modification to the building. If they do not do this, ultimately, surveys may become necessary to re-create accurate measured drawings.

The requirement to produce as-built drawings and record drawings must be set out in tender documentation, and should not be assumed to be part of ‘standard’ services. It can be a time-consuming exercise, and as the project team will be keen to move on to other jobs, it is important that adequate retention remains to ensure completion of as-built and record drawings.

If a building information model has been produced, this must be updated to reflect any changes to the design, and then issued to the client in a form that the facilities management team can continue to develop.

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Apart from registering on site changes to the engineers' and architect's drawings it is essential that the specialist trade contractors reflect what has been installed on site.

Records of underfloor cabling in city offices is a particular problem because successive tenants cut off but leave in their predecessors cables and providing space is available install their own systems. Without cabling records this can prove a nightmare for say the fourth company to occupy the premises.