The last article I concentrated on keeping good notes on a building construction project that youre responsible for. Another key to a successful outcome to a building construction project is keeping good as built drawings. These are drawings that changes are documented on in new construction it may be soils that cannot bare the building weight or in the case of a renovation project something showed up when demolition started that was not on the construction documents, so changes have to be made or some redesign has to take place.
During the project it is usually the General Contractor that is responsible for the as built drawings, but the Owner Project Manager or Clerk of the Works should also make sure this work is done and they should also keep tract of the changes, so they can legitimize the costs that would be incurred by the owner on a change order.
Why do I say cost incurred by the Owner? Well in my 40 something years in the Construction industry I have only seen a few no cost change orders, but never any deducts on a project once that contract is signed by all involved. Most projects if the owner asks for a change or something is not as the drawings states it usually costs 3 times as much to do the change as it would if the work was in the contract in the first place. That is why the Clerk of the Works or Owner Project Manager needs to keep his own set of as built drawings so he can do a estimate to see how much that change should actually cost, by pricing it out.
After the project is complete the as built drawings should be given to the owner as part of the start-up package before the retainage is given to Contractor. The Clerk of the Works or Owner Project Manager should look over the as build drawings to make sure they are complete before they are given to the owner.
The As Built Drawings should be archived by the owner and put in a safe place. This is something that is imperative because when the building is renovated it will cost the owner a significantly less money for design professionals to design a project that has drawings of the existing conditions already done. It is easy to just throw the drawings in a closet not thinking that the as built drawings would be needed, because the project was just complete and there probably will not be any more work in the building for 10 or 20 years, but you will be surprised how fast the time goes and with always changing codes and materials some of the crafts people will not know or remember how the project was put together at the time of the construction project many years before.
In closing I hope this sheds light on the subject of why as built drawings should be archived in a safe place and documented where the as built drawings are stored.