The Value of an As-Built as Told Through a CAD Expert

In the world of building measurements and area calculations, as-built floor plans become increasingly important in everyday business practice in design firms. Many Architecture & Engineering (A&E) firms utilize as-built drawings and rely on them to produce accurate contract documents. As-builts refer to 2D floor plans showing a limited amount of detail such as walls, doors, windows, millwork and plumbing fixtures. As-builts are important because they reflect possible deviations that were made post construction. Often designers will integrate these drawings into their final designs.

There are several reasons why as-builts are needed. Often, there are complications that ascend throughout construction which force the contractor to make variations from the original construction documents. Or, over time the building might have experienced numerous renovations and/or tenant improvements, which were never correctly recognized and recorded in the building plans. Whatever the case, an As-Built drawing is intended to document the present dimensions and layout of the building, and show the existing conditions “as-is”.

In all instances, having as-builts are an extremely valuable asset to have for any type of property. It allows for a seamless conversion when planning remodel and construction projects, which increase coordination between designer and field technicians. Also, it assists architects with exact dimensions representing the current layout to use as a baseline for successful renovation and an accurate representation for square footage, prior to starting a project. Furthermore, it minimizes change orders on the field, which saves time with Optimum Cost.

As a CAD instructor and Revit Designer, I would deem as-builts invaluable drawings for a designer to maintain accuracy. Such as, data collected provides clear definition of what’s existing, shows proper placement of components, addresses uncertainties that were unknown in the beginning of the project which gives me the ability to decide what is to be included and what is excluded in the final record. In all phases of phases of design: floor, electrical, rcp, and furniture, as-builts provides for better accurateness.

A property owner wanted us to produce an as-built for a 197,107 square feet warehouse suite located in Kennesaw, GA. The suite consisted of 14 bays in the warehouse and had ~8% of its space dedicated to office. We spent 4 hours on-site collecting the complete set of as-built information. After designing the as-built using the data collected on-site, we discovered the space differed in total square footage. The suite was actually 153,911 square feet (~10% dedicated to office) and only 11 bays. After going back to the owner, we discovered that at some point in the past, the suite had been reduced in size to enlarge the neighboring suite.

This example shows how valuable an as-built is. If the suites are being leased on size tenants are not being charged fairly. In addition, if modifications are being designed for this space, it’s critical that designer have an accurate representation of the space to ensure a successful build out.

As you can see, as-built drawings are the most important process of any architectural design project. As-Builts are the final set of drawings produced at the completion of an architectural project and include all changes that have made to the original architectural drawings. They minimize changes, save time, increase value Engineering, and optimize cost. As-built drafting is an important process for those who use the finished product, as they provide a legacy of what was actually built.

Can you relate to the above example? If you are in need of as-built creation or validation Let Us Know, we would love to help you!

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