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Pablo Ferral

Do you review drawings? what does a good set of drawings look like to you?

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Pablo Ferral

This goes out to Architects, Engineers and designers who review drawings from other companies - eg. Contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers and the like.

 

What fills you full of joy when you open a set of drawings? What fills you full of dread!

 

Id really love to get your feedback on what you look for in a set of submittal drawings.

 

Thanks in advance for your time.

 

Paul

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Organic

When reviewing we don't often get drawing files and it is normally printed plans or pdfs.

 

The scale. If the scale is too large to read anything on the plan then it is useless.

 

I was sent a drawing the other day that was a single A2 sheet of paper (which is an unusual sheet size for what this was of) and had a scale of 1:5000 or something ridiculous like that and they'd obviously done all their annotation in modelspace (no annotative scaling) so then in their 'final' plan the text was about half a mm high and totally unreadable. The drawing should have been split over several sheets at smaller scales so that is is actually readable although their drafting department is either really crap or just plain dodgy trying to cut corners and time. We sent it back to them.

 

Another thing that annoys me is when someone does something really well, then in other aspects of the design it is substantially lacking. Yes, it is great that you done component A really detailed and the design does look good. So why the heck didn't you list any design data at all (no levels, grades, sizes, anything etc) for component B which is just as important on your construction documents?

 

If you specify that X is required to be satisfied in your design then clearly show elsewhere on the plans that X is not satisfied, well... (which only came across my desk after it was already approved and had been constructed and no one had picked up on it yet).

 

I like plans that have good legends, scales and follows common industry practices somewhat.

 

Don't use comic sans as a font.

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SLW210

Needed Information/Diminsions/Details etc., Proper Scale, Neatness/Readability and good use of Layers.

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jmerch

Flipping the roles here, as a contractor the main thing I like to see from engineers/architects is a design that works :) I'm not one of these "engineers don't know what they're doing" type of guys b/c I used to work at a consulting engineering firm. I understand where they come from. But WOW, I can only defend them so many times. Engineers out there, please check your design with structural, we're getting tired of having to move plumbing drops to a fixture b/c it's placed right above a beam. I realize the architect places these most of the time, but the engineer should still catch it.

 

And now that we're in the age of 3D and clash detection, don't give me a Revit model, tell me you coordinated it, and that we don't need to coordinate it. Really? See comment above about plumbing running in structural. :D

 

Details, I understand probably 90% of typical details are just that, TYPICAL. But if you want to deviate from that in a certain location, please note that. And, make sure your typical details are even applicable to the job and that there is only one. I've seen jobs with 3 different details for the exact same application that occurs once on a job. This causes confusion, questions, and possibly added cost depending on who the contractor is.

 

I don't want to banter on, that's just what I dread. As far as text, notes, etc. I agree that it should be clean and readable, that's common sense stuff.

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pqphillips

Let's see, when I review drawings, I look for the usual: Proper scale, text size, font, layers, blocks when they are supposed to be blocks, constructability, continuity from one drawing to the next, neatness, etc.

 

There's something else I look for as well. Artistry.

 

A good set of drawings should be considered a work of art. Your design, lineweights, text sizes, fonts, etc should all come together in such a way as to be aesthetically pleasing, which in turn makes the drawings easy to read.

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Pablo Ferral

This is great stuff guys - thanks for taking the time to post :)

 

'Don't use Comic sans as a font'

 

There's one we can all agree on ;)

 

So, to round it up so far:

1. Hand in the complete set of drawings.

2. Don't cut corners when it comes to laying up sheets.

3. Consider the presentation of your drawings, as well as the information they contain.

 

In the interests of keeping the conversation rolling, how do you like the drawings to be presented to you?

 

Do you like to receive the drawings well ahead of any meeting with the contractor?

Do you like to have the drawings presented by the contractor, and then have time to take them away and review them?

Would you rather just have the drawings emailed to you?

 

I will be compiling your advice into a blog post, which you can see here:

http://cadsetterout.com/personal-posts/do-you-review-drawings/

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Organic
Details, I understand probably 90% of typical details are just that, TYPICAL. But if you want to deviate from that in a certain location, please note that. And, make sure your typical details are even applicable to the job and that there is only one. I've seen jobs with 3 different details for the exact same application that occurs once on a job. This causes confusion, questions, and possibly added cost depending on who the contractor is.

 

This is a good one.

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pqphillips

In addition to Comic Sans, do not use txt.shx font.

 

It's ugly and blocky.

 

Mankind is naturally drawn to curved shapes. Blocky text goes against this.

 

Instead, use RomanS or Arial for text within the drawing and smaller text within the titleblock, and RomanT or Arial Bold for the prominent text in a title block.

 

Really any sans-serif font will work for small text and any serif or bold text for large text, but the ones listed either come with CAD, or with a computer's basic font package.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is not to use any off-the-wall fonts in the drawing so that anyone can read them.

 

 

As to the presentation question: I want enough time to at least get a general idea of what is going on before a meeting.

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pqphillips

Oh, another issue: Block size.

 

A block, no matter what it is, should not overpower the rest of the drawing. Some blocks will, mainly due to the complexity of them, and I'm not talking about them.

 

I'm talking about someone creating an attributed block where the text is 1/2" tall (proportionately) and bigger. There's no need for that, and it's garish and stupid.

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Organic

Blocks should be to scale. Don't show It half a metre wide if it is 2m wide. Showing to scale allows easier clash detection etc.

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pqphillips
Blocks should be to scale. Don't show It half a metre wide if it is 2m wide. Showing to scale allows easier clash detection etc.

 

Well, my statement was meant more in regards to those drawings that are naturally NTS, such as P&IDs, electrical schematics, and one line diagrams...

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Dadgad

I heartily agree.

A drawing is a manifestation of a company's level of excellence.

If something is worth doing, it should be done well.

Anything worth doing well should be presented aesthetically.

I often wonder when finishing a drawing, if anybody ever notices the extra care that has gone into it, to hopefully make it easy to read and a pleasure to reference.

I use spline leaders, which I think look very nice, and give a drawing a hand drawn look.

I find straight leaders rather jarring, although I understand that in some applications and disciplines they might be the only way to go.

i like spline leaders.JPG

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pqphillips

Straight leaders can be jarring when done poorly. However, I use them all the time, but what I do is make them all as close to identical as possible, with all the text inserts lined up from top to bottom. If I can pull it off, I try to make the leaders themselves have the same angle or as close to it as possible, and always going in the same direction and in the same orientation.

 

Of course, being in the petrochemical industry, spline leaders are pretty much verboten.

 

Here's my basic synopsis of it.

 

leaders.jpg

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SLW210

I use splined leaders as much as possible. Yes, evenly spaced and aligned as possible for dimensions and straight leaders.

 

I prefer StylusBT to give some hand lettered look.

 

I hear you on the P&IDs, schematics and diagrams, some people get carried away.

 

As far as people noticing the extra care taken to make it easy to read and a pleasure to reference, I get commits all the time from fab shop guys and other engineers/contractors all the time on the sharp look, organization, readability and accuracy of my drawings. I don't even consider them anything special, just what is required.

 

The thing is, it really takes less time to do it right, especially if you have started doing them the correct way from the beginning.

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tzframpton

All points I agree with. The main addition to this thread I can contribute is the overall consistency from drawing to drawing. Most of you all know what I'm referring to, but in case you don't I'm talking about everything. From the civil sheets all the way to the archs, strcuturals, MEPs, fire protection, and all other misc. sheet sets, I want to see the same fonts, same arrowheads, same lineweights, same floorplan positions on the sheets, same gen/keyed notes position on the sheets, etc.

 

If it were hand drafted, I want it to seem as if all designers and engineers were using the same hand and pen. 8)

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jmerch
All points I agree with. The main addition to this thread I can contribute is the overall consistency from drawing to drawing. Most of you all know what I'm referring to, but in case you don't I'm talking about everything. From the civil sheets all the way to the archs, strcuturals, MEPs, fire protection, and all other misc. sheet sets, I want to see the same fonts, same arrowheads, same lineweights, same floorplan positions on the sheets, same gen/keyed notes position on the sheets, etc.

 

If it were hand drafted, I want it to seem as if all designers and engineers were using the same hand and pen. 8)

 

IMO, I think that's stretching it a bit 8). At the consulting firm, sure we'd request the fonts and stuff if they came up missing but we never matched their leaders or lineweights. I can see if all disciplines are in house, but when you work with multiple architects and have your own company standards, it doesn't make sense to match some stuff.

 

I totally agree on stuff like floorplan positions. We currently had a job where even the plumbing sheets and HVAC sheets had the background in different positions! It's not that hard to match.

 

One more thing I'd like to add, grid bubbles. Can't stand it when they're not shown or are inconsistent throughout the set.

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tzframpton

You make a good point Jmerch. :)

 

When all disciplines are in house, there's no excuse but consistency still falls through the cracks. My company is like this. That's why Revit has been a blessing because it's corrected virtually all consistency issues on all our Revit only projects.

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jmerch

I concur :)

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Pablo Ferral
The thing is, it really takes less time to do it right, especially if you have started doing them the correct way from the beginning.

 

Excellent advice - this goes hand in hand with 'never time to do it right, but always time to do it twice'

 

In the long term view, we need to create the drawings we need to manufacture from. However first, we need to get them passed by you - the Architect. We need to remember that our drawings may be referred to by all sorts of people on site, maybe even people who don't usually read drawings (like the client for example!).

 

I totally agree that you can't make drawings to clear...

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Organic
All points I agree with. The main addition to this thread I can contribute is the overall consistency from drawing to drawing. Most of you all know what I'm referring to, but in case you don't I'm talking about everything. From the civil sheets all the way to the archs, strcuturals, MEPs, fire protection, and all other misc. sheet sets, I want to see the same fonts, same arrowheads, same lineweights, same floorplan positions on the sheets, same gen/keyed notes position on the sheets, etc.

 

I can't see that ever happening well within a firm, let alone between multiple firms. Different disciplines use different drafting standards. If discipline A is forced to adopt Discipline B's drafting standards then A is no longer in line with industry established practices.

 

Even within one discipline (civil) it is often not possible to show the same plan position on all sheets due to the size of project and the scales required to adequately show a section of the project. Likewise for notes. My notes on every single sheet are usually different as different sheets show different design data and it is a juggling act to fit all the notes, legend, typical/standard details on the page etc.

 

Even if it is all done in-house, the fire engineer might want his plans to be displayed differently to the environmental engineer or the civil engineer. Let alone the architects who draw in millimetres, not metres.

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