As-Built Drawings: Definition and When To Use Them in Construction

In Linwood Township, ACD recently oversaw a project that enhanced the advantages to water quality provided by two stormwater ponds next to Martin Lake. Within the constrained spaces available, the project increased the size and depth of the ponds to the greatest practicable extent. Water Quality Improvements Constructed for Coon and Martin Lakes, a recent outreach article, highlighted the projects as being a great success. They should be emphasized once more in order to draw attention to the as-built survey, a vital component of effective construction management that most people overlook.

As-built surveys confirm that the project was constructed in accordance with the original plan’s specifications. This gives the project engineer the assurance necessary to certify that the project was installed in accordance with the plan. The as-built survey will show any modifications made to the original plan that were authorized during construction and give the chance to formally document those modifications. Additionally, final payment to the contractor is typically deferred until the engineer has approved the as-built survey.

The as-built survey offers a formal record that can be used to establish guidelines for project maintenance over time. To ensure that these stormwater ponds continue to operate as effectively as possible, accumulated sediment and debris should be periodically removed in order to reach the original design depths.

Several as-built surveys may be conducted throughout the construction process, depending on the type and size of a project, to ensure that crucial elevations and layouts are being met before approving advancement to the next construction stage. To enable a direct comparison and simple identification of any significant deviations from the original plan, they are typically displayed as an overlay on the original plan sheet.

As Built Drawings | How to make As Built Drawings | Shop Drawings

When are as-built drawings important?

After the project is completed by the construction crew, as-built drawings are crucial. All teams can refer to the as-built drawing when they need to make adjustments, repairs, or renovations because it contains information on every change and update made to the project.

The facilities team can consult the as-built drawing to review the various specifications and materials that make up the project if the finished structure needs to be fixed later. This aids in the efficient identification of various structural components that may be damaged, ultimately saving time and money.

Construction managers can review the project’s as-built drawings if they need to make adjustments or renovations. The as-built drawing offers a thorough record of all the alterations workers made to the project. Contractors can see what former employees built, the materials they used, and when it was built thanks to this.

By doing this, the contractor can test the structure more quickly to determine its current conditions. Instead, the as-built drawing makes them immediately aware of the conditions so they can start incorporating their renovations or improvements.

What is an as-built drawing?

When a construction project is successfully completed, the designer, engineer, or contractor will produce an as-built drawing. The as-built drawing will typically be compared to the original drawings and specifications made by the construction team at the beginning of the project. Typically, project managers examine as-built drawings to examine all the modifications made to the specifications during the project’s construction phase. Additionally, it shows the geometry, locations, and measurements of the finished work. As-built drawings enable you to keep track of and document project changes at every stage.

The main elements included in an as-built drawing include:

Who uses as-built drawings?

Depending on the project, contractors, architects, and designers frequently produce and use as-built drawings. Usually, the project designer is responsible for producing the final as-built drawing. They usually design the as-built since they produced the original drawing and design for the project and are best acquainted with the requirements. They typically oversee and document changes as they take place because they are also involved in the construction process.

The as-built drawing will be submitted to the project manager for review once the construction workers have completed the project and the contractor, architect, or designer has created it. The project manager ensures that the final drawing satisfies all client requirements and will note any differences between the final as-built drawing and the original specifications to make sure the changes aren’t too significant. The project manager reviews the as-built drawing before sending it to the clients for final approval.

You can keep your as-built drawings and present them in interviews as a contractor. As-built drawings can help you appear more qualified and show how successful and well-made your prior work was. It’s a great way to distinguish yourself from other contractors and win over project managers.

How to use an as-built drawing

If used properly, as-built drawings can typically be advantageous to several workers involved in the construction phase of a project. Use an at-built drawing correctly on your subsequent construction project by following these steps:

1. Reference the original specifications

You must first go over the specifications listed in the original project drawing in order to properly document your changes. Consequently, it is simpler to compare the original drawing to the finished as-built drawing. To properly record changes made during the construction process, it can be useful to take a physical copy of the specifications. If you can’t bring the physical copy with you, you can also take a picture of the specifications with your phone and use it as a guide when creating the as-built drawing.

2. Document any changes made during the construction process

Regularly document any changes that you direct construction personnel and subcontractors to make throughout the construction process. To avoid taking too long noting the changes, you can quickly write these updates down using shorthand. Include the date next to each change you note. Make sure you’re making notes that you can clearly understand because you’ll use them later as a reference and a guide when creating your as-built drawing.

3. Create a clean and labeled drawing

When the project is finished, you can start making your as-built drawing. Make sure to create a clear, labeled drawing that is simple to understand for both you and the other readers. Your drawing will be seen by a variety of project participants, so it should be well-made and simple to read. By using elements like a format of changes logged, a color scale, and a drawing scale, you can maintain consistency. This gives you a tidy and expert appearance that you can show the project manager with pride and highlight in your portfolio for potential construction jobs.

4. Use software tools to build it

As-built drawings are now created using software instead of the pen and paper that contractors, designers, and architects once used. You can save time by using these computer systems instead of drawing it by hand, and it is simpler to email and submit it to project managers.

Project managers can efficiently forward the as-built drawing to clients for their review and approval once they receive it from you, which increases efficiency for all project participants. Your as-built drawing will be available in digital form, so you can easily include it in your digital portfolio for hiring managers to see.

5. Save and review the drawing for updates and renovations

You can store the drawing in a file for future use once the construction project and the as-built drawing are both finished. Later, contractors can access this as-built drawing to review additional information about the construction process and to better understand the materials you used for the structure. They can review the drawings if they need to add updates, improvements, or renovations to the project in the future.

This makes it simpler for them to comprehend what supplies, tools, and materials they will need to successfully build the structure, ultimately saving them time, money, and effort by not having to look up the solutions that are already provided in the as-built drawing.


What is meaning of as-built?

describing or representing a building project’s or design fabrication’s actual appearance, condition, structure, or function (not comparable).

Is it as build or as-built?

These drawings, which are also known as “as builts,” are a crucial component of new construction, renovation, and maintenance. The correct term is “as built,” even though some people use the term “as builds,” as they refer to the project as it was actually built.

What does as-built mean in it?

Definition. a set of blueprints that have been annotated by the construction company making an equipment or facility to show how it was built as opposed to how it was originally intended The as-built drawings at the end of a project show what was actually constructed.

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