Construction documents show how the building is to be constructed. Their contents are the main communication between the clients, architects, engineers, code inspectors, and contractors. These drawings will allow for the building to appear identical to the rendering that was presented in the schematic design phase.
After meticulous planning in previous phases, architects and engineers collaborate and produce a set of drawings and details that allow a safe and long-lasting structure to be built. Only when these professionals confirm the documents’ validity with utmost care will they sign and seal the documents under their professional credentials.
A complete set of construction documents is sufficient for general contractors to accurately estimate construction costs. This same set of construction documents must also be submitted for review by the local authority. An approved set of drawings will come with a permit to build: the official green light for construction activity.
Project scope, requested services, and client preferences influence the content of construction documents. Some of the following series may appear in a complete set.
General Information [G]
This series of documents contains information about the project scope, applicable codes, general dimensions, occupancy diagrams, and egress diagrams.
Civil drawings depict the project’s topographic conditions that are based on professional surveyors’ field reports. Any site engineering, including sidewalk and curb details, stormwater management, and retaining walls, could apply to these drawings.
Landscape [L / LS]
Landscape plans show proposed features to the project’s site. Design elements including soil composition, plant species, pavement material, drainage location, and outdoor furniture are specified.
If existing building elements are to be modified in any way, drawings in this series provide instructions for the portions that are to be demolished.
Architects document all aspects of the new construction in this collection of drawings. The level of detail increases with the progression of the pages in this series. It is helpful to read these drawings in relation to their scale, from large to small: Site plans; Floor plans, elevations, sections ; Unit plans, ceiling plans, interior elevations; Wall sections; Architectural details; Schedules