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as-built documentation
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as-built documentation

As-built documentation has the most fascinating things you do not know that can help you solve or eliminate construction site problems. If you are a construction worker, you will agree that the construction industry is a haven of disputes and disagreements due to misunderstandings. I have been involved in a few of such.

This blog post describes As-built documentation, and the process of creating as-built documents.

If you are wondering if as-built documentation is a critical part of any construction project, then, you can find answers in this post. So, stick around.

As-built documents definition

definition of as built document

As-built documents are a final set of architectural drawings or a set of 3D drawings that show how the building was actually built, with any changes made during the construction process, not how it was supposed to be built. These records/changes would include all changes made to the building element such as: dimensions change, pipes or electrical changes, doors, tiles, cabinets etc. This must be in the As-built records.

As-built documentation can take many forms, including photographs, videos, and written records and it should be created throughout the construction process.

As-built documents: Are they necessary?

builders' mistakes in house construction

The construction team involving the Architect, Builder, M&E Engineer, etc always knows that when a building or construction project is finally completed, it doesn’t always produce an exact 100% of the intended outcome, there would always be a 1 or 2 percent change or difference to what was designed. This is because, during the project life cycle, a variety of practical difficulties or challenges such as budget change(s), constrained schedules, and unforeseen or unplanned obstacles will call for redesigns and rework.

Even the most efficient construction process—as well as the most modern and sophisticated methodology, will most times result in a structure that deviates from the original plan either partially or totally. So, As-built documentation helps preserve the “intended” and the “actual”.

The Process of As-Built Documentation and requirements

as built documentation

This procedure’s goal is to make sure that any deviations or changes from the dimensions, designs, or materials depicted in the drawings, specifications, or other documentation are properly documented in order to provide as-built records that are correct.

Personnel responsible for As-Built documentation and the procedure

as built documentation

The responsibility of As-Built documentation falls on a number of professionals as listed below:

The As-Built workflow in details

as built documentation

Usually, the Contractor or builder is meant to deliver the As-Built Drawings to the Project Representative/ Manager prior to or at Substantial Completion. The Project Representative/Manager, will then compile and work on the As-Built Drawing Transmittal of the changes made, He then sends the original set of drawings together with the transmittal to the Records Manager.

The Records Manager takes note of all changes in the construction and then sends them to the Facility Information Services Manager (FISM) for review. He will review and verify everything is filled out correctly and ensure that all details are included before he (FISM) also sending it to the Lead Designer/Chief Architect who also sends it back to the Facility Information Services Manager after certifying it and then to the in-house CAD drafter who uses as-built drafting software to create the document to be created before sending to the consultant or storing it in the project files.

As-Built drawing Main contents

contents in a bottle

When creating an as-built document or drawing, the following information is recorded, but is not limited to:

  • All valves, isolators, and other components must have distinct names and placements.
  • Levels of different foundations and components.
  • Significant changes in the field to measurements and details of objects that might be important to the end-user and/or that might not be obvious once a project is finished.
  • The horizontal and vertical locations of the subterranean facilities or utilities, as well as any appurtenances, indicated or referred to in relation to the gridlines or permanent surface features.
  • Any relevant framed or laminated As-built drawings specifying the M&E drawings must be delivered and mounted to the M&E plant room walls where required by the project specification and/or statutory requirements.
  • The location of internal M&E services, facilities, utilities, and appurtenances, as well as any construction-related works buried therein. The location shall be referenced to visible and accessible features of the work.
  • All M&E equipment must be numbered, labeled, and included in appropriate equipment schedule listings, technical datasheets, etc. with project specifications.
  • All maintenance entry points, test locations, plant, and equipment maintenance withdrawal areas, safety interlocks, etc.

Some As-built drawing services

As-built drawing services for documentation commonly requested are listed below:

  • Site plan
  • Floor Plans
  • Elevations
  • Building sections
  • MEP (Mech. Elect. Plumb.)
  • RCP (Reflected ceiling plan)
  • Finish schedules
  • Structural drawings
  • Roof framing plans
  • Roof plans
  • Photos with keymaps
  • Furniture plan/schedule
  • Fire sprinkler plans
  • Egress plans
  • Interior elevations
  • Project video
  • Equipment plans
  • BOMA plans

What are the Advantages of As-Built Documentation?

As-built documentation can be a valuable asset for any construction project.

There are many benefits to As-built documentation, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • It can help to settle disputes between contractors and owners.
  • As-built documentation improves future projects and provides a record of the construction process.
  • It can simply provide a record of a project for posterity.
  • You can verify whether a project has been constructed according to the original plans or not.
  • It is used to identify any changes that have been made to the original plans during the construction process.
  • As-built drawings provide a reference for future maintenance or renovation work

Who is the As-Built Documentation For?

builders' mistakes in house construction

As-built documentation is primarily used by construction professionals, but it can also be useful for the following groups or categories for a variety of purposes as stated below:

Construction Companies

Construction companies may adopt efficient defect control, keep a close eye on the building processes from anywhere, and ensure improved project and risk management across numerous construction sites with the help of AS-Built documentation.

Building investors and/or owners

Owners and investors in the construction industry place a high value on documentation and openness. They wish to make a comparison between the planned state and the actual state. Problems can then be found and fixed.

Insurance companies

This documentation provides banks and insurance providers with an approximate idea of the project’s cost and the insurance required to cover everything as best as possible in case of fire or collapse or as the case may be.

Contractors or Builders

There is no doubt that an As-Built drawing is the most significant source for making modifications or alterations in the construction industry because it makes it simpler for the contractor to prepare potential actions as the building project moves from one phase to the next. This makes it simpler to spot issues and stop them before they occur. That is why Laser scanning makes it possible to digitize and expedite routine tasks like manually measuring distances and dimensions.

Potential buyers

As-built documents are necessary to finalize the final purchase. These provide crucial details on the property that is being sold. Future upgrades can be built on the documentation.

Did I miss anything?

Now, i would like to hear from you.

Do you think As-built documentation has been given enough importance in the construction world?

Please, leave your comment in the section below.

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