As-Built Drawings vs Construction Drawings

Thu, Sep 05, 2019

Up-to-date, detailed and accurate building plans are not only critical for efficient operations and maintenance of a structure but also for many other purposes such as: remodeling, leasing space and, renting for events, to name a few. Unfortunately, owners and managers often do not have the most current plans of their buildings. Or the plans they have lack the detail they need to most efficiently manage or take full advantage of their facility's potential.

Contractors use construction drawings to build a facility. Often changes are made during construction, the owner requests a wall be added, piping needs to be relocated because of an unforeseen obstacle or a window is removed to save money.

Whatever the reason, it is common for a finished building to differ from the original construction drawings. That's where "as-built drawings" come in. Unlike construction drawings, as-built drawings include all of the changes made during construction.

As-built drawings are not limited to construction projects. Most buildings will undergo changes during their life: new rooms are added, walls are torn down, interiors are remodeled by new tenants, ramps installed so a building is accessible to people in wheelchairs, etc. Over time these changes add up making the original building plans obsolete.

As important as they are, as-built drawings have major limitations. The drawings are a simplified representation of the building in the real world. Usually, they show only the details necessary to accomplish a specific purpose. When more details are added, the as-built drawings become harder to read. At a certain point there can be so much detail that even engineers and architects have trouble reading it. So, by necessity or practicality items are left out. But that limits the as-built plan's usefulness for other purposes such as facility management, event planning or wayfinding. They tend also to be available as flat image files or PDFs.

Interactive Maps overcome that drawback. Not only do they provide critical information on the layout of a structure in a simple, interactive way using layers, they also provide massive amounts of detail using embedded 360-degree photographs and clickable icons, significantly enhancing their value for uses beyond construction.

Another critical benefit of interactive maps is accuracy. Even the best surveyors make mistakes, measurement errors, miscalculations, a typo by a draftsperson, there are countless ways in which inaccuracies crop up in a drawing. With interactive maps, changes can be made at any time and the embedded 360-degree photos provide an important crosscheck, giving you way to verify accuracy.

Having an accurate and detailed set of interactive maps is an invaluable resource for any building owner or manager for the operations and maintenance of a structure. 2D drawings can only show a limited amount of information and may contain difficult to see errors. The addition of 360-degree photos in interactive maps exponentially increases the level of detail and value while providing a means to check the information contained in a drawing.