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October 26, 2010

Ontario general contractors, architects issue best practices for project drawings

The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) and the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) have issued jointly produced documents recommending best practices in reference to as-built and record drawings, as well as shop drawing schedules.

OGCA president Clive Thurston said dealing with and preparing such drawings, as well as drafting a schedule of dates for submission and return of shop drawings, have been ongoing issues in the industry.

“We think it is very important that all of our members as well as owners understand how these things work,” said Thurston, whose association represents some 200 firms. “These items can have a dramatic impact on a project.”

The best practice statements convey standard industry practices. The associations said the terms record drawings, as-built drawings and sometimes “measured” drawings are often confused and/or misused.

Record drawings should not be mistaken for the other two types.

As-built drawings are those prepared by the contractor as it constructs a project and upon which it documents the actual locations of the building components and changes to the original contract documents.These drawings typically are turned over to the architect or client at the completion of the project.

Record drawings are prepared by the architect when contracted to do so. These are usually a compendium of the original drawings, site changes known to the architect, and information taken from the contractor’s as-built drawings.

Measured drawings are those prepared from on-site measurements of an existing building or space.

The OGCA/OAA statement outlines recommended procedures for preparation of both as-built and record drawings.

The shop drawings document states that the contractor and consultant should prepare at the commencement of the work a schedule of dates for submission and return of such drawings and other submittals.

As well, the schedule should provide for the submission of such data in an orderly sequence and sufficiently in advance to allow for proper review by the consultants and to cause no delay to the work.

Recommendations are also made with regard to dealing with situations in which the contractor submits an unusually large number of drawings and submittals not contemplated by the schedule.

“It is in everyone’s best interests if we are all working from the same songbook,” said Kristi Doyle, the OAA’s policy director.

The association’s members include 2,500 licensed architects.

Kristi Doyle

OAA policy director

Doyle said the issue of shop drawings was flagged when the two associations collaborated on a recommended set of supplementary conditions to be used in conjunction with CCDC 2-2008.

Earlier this year, the two associations issued a joint bulletin on implementation of the harmonized sales tax.

“I think it is important that we as general contractors have good communications with the people who are designing the buildings that we construct,” Thurston said. “That eliminates a lot of problems.”

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