Shop Drawings: Everything You Need To Know
Everything you need to know about Shop Drawings
The clear exchange of information amongst professionals involved in structural engineering is a critical aspect in the safe and successful construction of projects. Shop drawings are an imperative component in the design process of a structure that help make this possible. In this article, we will explain what these particular drawings are and why they are so important. Following this, we will clarify the difference between shop drawings and design drawings. Finally, we will provide a checklist to reference for a successful drawing.
What are Shop Drawings?
Shop drawings are a critical component in the planning, creating, and design process for structural engineers. These are created and generally prepared by Engineers, Suppliers, Subcontractors, and Contractors. Shop drawings are also known as “fabrication drawings“. They act as an informational guide that lays out the design for a structure that are more detailed than construction documents. Moreover, “A shop drawing is basically a scale drawing that includes comprehensive information about prefabricated components of designed structures along with detailed information about associated components, assembly of different parts, fabrication, material types, component shape & size, color, installation procedure of various units and other details.” A fabrication drawing offers a visual layout so that engineers, architects, and clients all have a clearer understanding of how different components will come together.
Why are Shop Drawings Important?
Shop drawings help clarify the fabrication process and ensure clear communication between the architect or designer, the client, and the fabricator. A thorough CAD fabrication drawing will include complete dimensions of all parts of a component, manufacturing conventions; as well as fabrication standards and codes. Additionally, they provide detailed notes regarding any changes or differences that may be performed safely when it comes to the real-life construction of a structure. These changes may be necessary when it comes to the physical construction of a building and needing to alter original design drawings.
Fabric drawings also helps ensure the entire team of project managers, contractors, manufacturers, and designers will be on the same page for a project. Furthermore, it acts as a visual guide for reference for all previously stated parties, as well as the client. These 2D drawings need to be approved from the authorized parties before starting either the fabrication, or construction process. In addition, they will include varied electrical, mechanical, and plumbing drawings.
Characteristics of Shop Drawing
Fabrication drawings provide the specifications, measurements, and instructions necessary to ensure that all design components fit as intended.
Drawings may include:
The Difference Between Design Drawings and Shop Drawings
Shop drawings are used by fabricators to see and understand how different components will be manufactured and installed during the construction process, and help translate “design intent“. Furthermore, these drawings provide details necessary for a fabricator such as specified materials, connections, and weld types. A fabricator will use these details throughout the fabrication, assembly, installation, and construction processes. These fabrication drawings are created by engineers, steel detailers, steel modelers and fabricators.
Alternatively, Design drawings come into play during the early stages of the design process, as a means to propose and communicate design ideas. Additionally, they involve aesthetic concepts and proposals that relay a client’s ideas and/or a designer’s intent. Design drawings include information on: interior and exterior elevations and 3D renderings, floor plans, site plans, connection design, design layout, and aesthetic elements.
Shop Drawing Item Checklist
Fabrication drawings must include:
- Information required for fabrication, such as dimensions and special instructions, including connection details
- Applicable fabrication standards
- Installation and erection information
- Dimensions that require on-site verification
- Comparisons to construction documents to enable approval by the architect or engineer
- Notes on changes from the construction documents to enable approval by the architect or engineer
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