A construction document is an architectural drawing or construction plan that shows the elements of a building that is to be built. Everything that goes into the structure from the concrete foundations to the electrical wiring and paint colors shows on the architectural floor plans.
But are construction plans and documents a must for building? Keep reading for more information on what is the purpose of construction documents when building.
So, what is the purpose of construction documents? Local authorities need to see construction designs before they can approve new constructions. Drawings give details about a proposed building such as safety features and construction materials. This information allows city planners to see whether a building meets all legal requirements and whether they should approve or deny new construction.
Once town officials approve a building plan, the contractor goes through the phases of building construction. At this stage, construction documents give contractors direction on how to construct and finish a proposed building. Without building plans, contractors will find it impossible to complete an architect’s envisioned building.
Architectural drawings also help builders and project managers estimate the cost of the building. So the drawings can be used to borrow building funds from investors or lending institutions.
Construction plans are usually issued in two sets. The first is a permit set that has information that city planners need to approve the construction of a building. There is also the construction set which has the information that building contractors need to complete their building.
Construction documents follow the same patterns regardless of the type or design of the building they are for. Below are the types of drawings you should expect to see in each set of construction documents.
The first set of documents include a cover sheet, accessibility notes and details sheet, site plans, landscape plans, and life safety plans.
The demolition plan will show how the contractors should remove or alter existing structures to make way for the new building.
Floor plans are the main part of construction drawing sets. They show where every room in the building should be. They also show where to install the doors, windows, wall types, and other important building features.
The next type of drawings you will find are A3 sheets called elevations and sections. Elevations are drawings of all the outside phases of the building. They show the height of the building as well as the materials that should construct the exterior walls and roofing.
Sections are hypothetical drawings of the center of the building. They show how to build the walls and foundations, the heights from the floor to the room, and the height differences between the inside and outside ground plane.
Construction drawings also include finish plans that show the types of materials that should complete the walls, floors, and ceilings. The materials are added to a finish schedule which is a spreadsheet that details the manufacturers and product names of the finishing materials.
The finish plans also include a reflected ceiling plan which shows how to build the ceiling and where lighting fixtures should be. There is also a power plan which shows where cables should run and the location of power and light switches.
The next set of drawings contained in a construction set are A5 Interior Elevations. These show the vertical cross-sections of interior walls and the type of material that should finish them. Interior elevations also show where the light and power switches as well as any inbuilt furniture should be.
The final type of drawings is schedules or spreadsheets giving detailed information about the types of materials to be used in the construction. For example, there will be door schedules that will list the number and location of all doors in the building. There are also schedules for windows, walls and other equipment and materials to be used.
Other A6 sheets contained in construction drawing sets are AD Detail sheets that show the building standards to be maintained throughout the building. Additionally, you will find structural drawings, mechanical drawings, electrical drawings, plumbing drawings, and other consultant drawings.
Builders and contractors need construction documents for two main reasons. The first reason is to apply for and get permits from local authorities and the second reason is to accurately construct the building.