As-Built Drawings

Introduction and Definitions
The terms record drawings, as-built drawings are often confused or misused. Record drawings should not be mistaken for as-built drawings since their definitions are different as follows:

As-built drawings (see fig.1) are those prepared by the contractor as it constructs the project and upon which it documents all changes made in the original contract documents during the construction process, and show the exact dimensions, geometry, and location of all elements of the work completed under the contract. These drawings are typically turned over to the consultant or client at the completion of the project. Sometimes others named it as “as fitted” or “as installed” drawings.

fig (1): As-Built Drawings

Record drawings are those drawings prepared by the consultant 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. It is the one that shows the final condition of the building


As-built drawings are required to provide a means of schematic verification that the intent of the approved engineering design has been met, thereby substantiating that the health, safety and welfare aspects of the engineering design have been adequately provided by the construction of the project.


The contract requires the Systems Contractor to prepare, maintain and deliver to the consultant a set of redlined, AS-built drawings, which show the actual as-built conditions of the construction phases.


  • The general Contractor shall reserve A copy of complete set of the approved final contract drawings is to be utilized as the base sheets for the as-built & record drawings 
  • From this set, the general Contractor shall detach and furnish, at no charge to the Mechanical and Electrical Subcontractors the drawings of their portion of the Work for the same purpose. 
  • The Contractor will maintain a drawing card file or computer database to log changes (revisions) to the contract drawings. An RFI number, ECP number, Change Order number, letter number, and report number, etc., must be cited. 
  • The Contractor will maintain, throughout the systemization phase, a separate set of redlined, full-size, marked-up drawing set that fully indicates the current status of facilities under construction. (see fig.2)
  • The Contractor will physically update the redlined drawings to incorporate revisions and on a monthly basis submit them and the drawing card or database listing for review by the consultant. 
  • When as-built drawings are approved by the consultant, the entire set is then sent to the Systems Contractor to use during the systemization and operations phases of the contract. 

fig (2): Redline marked-up drawings


  • These redlined drawings then are used to prepare as-built drawings at the completion of each major system within the construction and installation of equipment phases. 
  • The Contractor shall check all As- Built and certify in writing on the title sheet of the drawings that they are complete and correct, prior to submission to the consultant. 

  • Consultant must set in place a process to help ensure that the Contractor is preparing the As-Built Drawings during the course of construction to ensure that important information is not missed from the As-Built Drawings. This requirement is intended to avoid concerns sometime expressed that important information is missed on the As-Built Drawings when the Contractor is not diligent in preparing them on a continuous basis starting from the beginning of construction.
  • “as-built drawings" should not be sealed and signed by the consultant. Seals should be applied only in those cases where the consultant have visited the site, reviewed the project during construction, and have verified every change in detail. 
  • Consultant must Establish whether as-built to be prepared by contractor will be in hard copy or electronic format prior to bidding phases. If an electronic copy is requested it is important to define clearly what format that entails (e.g. PDF vs. AutoCAD). Include the required as–built format, including required software, in the bid documents to avoid disputes in this regard at a later date. 


  • The Original Design Drawing Files Must Not Be Amended In Any Way. 
  • A copy of complete set of the approved final contract drawings is to be utilized as the base sheets for the as-built & record drawings. 
  • The drawing numbers must remain the same as the originals for storage and retrieval purposes. 
  • All works removed during construction shall be deleted from the drawings. All works abandoned shall be marked as such. 
  • The original design information that has been revised should be erased and replaced by the information that represents the as-constructed works. 
  • The Construction Revisions block, must describe in adequate detail what was removed or changed. 
  • “As-Built” drawings must be stand alone documents and contain as much of the original information as possible plus all of the information concerning changes due to construction revisions. 

Legal challenges for the term “AS BUILT” 

  • It is not possible to accurately record all changes (large or small) to a project that occurred during or after construction unless the consultant see every weld, test every cubic foot of backfill for density, watch the contractor's every move during construction, etc. 
  • Since the “As-Built Drawings”, are prepared from site observations, change orders and Contractors notes, the consultant is not required to sign and seal these documents and no liability shall arise for their content or use. 
  • Courts have interpreted "As-Built" literally as certification of the accuracy of the information. When damages have resulted from later use of inaccurate data, courts have held the liability to rest with the preparer of the document. 

In the next topic,we will talk about another type of drawings which is "Record Drawings". so, please Keep following.

1 comment:

  1. Very Very good and usable post. Thank's to share your experience with us. I will try to remember these tips in my blog commenting task.
    As Built Drawings