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Why shop drawings are important for construction?

All projects might not require a shop drawing; however there are some projects where there are lot of complexities and challenges. Additionally, there are also lot of risks and liabilities involved in the construction process. In such cases, it is very important, that detailed construction and fabrication drawings are prepared.

Shop Drawings for Construction

A design professional should be aware of the involved liabilities and should be able to meticulously review and approve shop drawings before they reach the on-site and are used for construction process. Shop drawings for construction provide an insight into how particular elements are built, erected and installed.

Construction Shop drawings are done with a purpose of providing the contractor with all the required details that enable him to carry out the construction tasks, in a safe, secure and efficient manner, without causing any damage to property and people on site.

Now what are the issues that a design professional needs to consider and address while preparing shop drawings? These are as follows:

Scope of shop drawing for construction - i.e. identification of items that require shop drawings.
Once the items are identified, it is important to allot preparation of shop drawings to experts. This personnel who is allotted work will be responsible for preparing the drawings in detail and with great accuracy.
The personnel who prepares detailed construction and fabrication drawings, does not approve them. The design professional should set deadlines and make sure that the work is obtained on time, so that the design professional and further review, and approve the drawings.
Additionally, if there are any other parties and stakeholders who are involved in the process of review and approval it lies under the duty of a design professional to get these approvals on time, communicate and coordinate the changes if any with these involved parties and the personnel who prepares shop drawings.

It often happens so, that the construction work starts without getting proper construction and fabrication drawings made. This can be futile. It is very important to get approved shop drawings. This reduces the risk of liability due to erroneous design of an item. There are also situations when either the fabrication drawing is not up to the mark and is full of errors or the contractor, manufacturer or any such involved personnel, interprets the shop drawing in a wrong manner.

In such cases, the onus of verifying each and every detail and making sure that the drawings are done as per standards and the interpretation is also in line lies on the design professional. Only when all these factors are taken care of and it is verified that the shop drawing is made and interpreted perfectly, should the design professional allow the construction process to proceed.