CAD Design and Drafting Services

CAD Design & Drafting Services
3 Reasons Colors Are So Important For CAD Design & Drafting Services

The constant endeavor of The AEC Associates CAD design and drafting services is to produce buildings that match the expectations of their clients. Colors, of course, play an important role in enhancing the quality of buildings designed by CAD design and drafting services. While there is no debate about the significance of colors for the designers; professionals often differ in the way they use colors to make their designs more appealing. Some architects prefer somewhat subdued schemes that just compliment the building structure; some others choose bold color schemes that stand out and act as the signature of both the designer and the client.

Let us first understand what color actually is. The technical definition says, color is a visual sensation that helps us distinguish objects. We won’t be able to differentiate things or enjoy life without colors; everything will be dull and lifeless without them. Colors are an integral part of our lives, we associate everything with them; like, the leaves are green, the sky is blue, the earth is brown, the sunflower is yellow and the roses are red, the sun is orange etc. People even remember occasions by the colors of the decorations or the clothes their dear ones wore. In a nutshell, one cannot imagine life without colors.

Buildings and colors

Colors are extremely significant for CAD design and drafting services

. The appearance of a building can be altered instantly by changing the color scheme. You can transform an ordinary looking space or structure into a vibrant one by introducing a bold but imaginative color scheme; an impressive building, on the other hand, may be made to look pretty ordinary by choosing an uninspiring color/ color scheme. Color is a very effective medium, you can instantly change the look and feel of an interior space, a landscape or a building exterior through its use. We shall continue the discussion in our next post by detailing all the reasons that make colors so important for CAD design and drafting services.

Architectural Drawing Services
Architectural Drawing Services For Landscape Projects

The AEC Associates Architectural Drawing Services play an important role in making a landscaping project successful. No matter how well a landscape has been conceptualized, it’s bound to fail to come up to the expectation levels of the clients unless the drawings produced by Architectural drawing services are precise, accurate and of good quality. State of the art technology is now available to enable the designers to produce breathtaking designs, good drawings help converting these designs into reality.

Technology helps:

Making drawings of large or complicated landscape projects was a tedious and tough job in the times of manual drafting process. However, latest CAD and landscaping software enable Architectural drawing services to quickly draw scaled 2D site plans that represent the installation of plantings, hardscapes, different natural features and the irrigation systems etc accurately. In addition, lifelike 3D views may be produced to give a better idea of the design to clients and contractors.

Accurate estimates:

In the earlier days, landscape architects often found it difficult even to give a ball-park figure for the landscape project, keeping the clients guessing about the actual costs they were going to bear. Now they can use the sophisticated computer software to accurately calculate the areas of pavers and other hardscapes and volumes of materials like rocks and mulch even while the drawing process is on.

Complicated projects:

Landscaping is never an easy task for the large projects where land is uneven and one has to work with a lot of levels and contours. Modern-day sophisticated landscape software, however, enable the architectural drawing services to create all the elements of a typical landscape design. This includes drawing contour plans, structures, pavers, various landscape beds, added elements, and the title blocks and plant legend. A customer proposal can be prepared keeping in view the time schedules without compromising with the quality.

Lifelike views:

3D views are just as important as 2D drawings for a perfect execution of a landscape project. 2D drawings often leave a lot of room for confusion, it’s better to explain a few things with 3D views. Architectural drawing services produce lifelike 3D views of the landscape design showing full details of the design elements including decks, flower beds, plants, pavers, existing and proposed structures, walk-throughs, fly-overs, water features and lighting etc. Even the pictures of client’s house or other structures may be included for the most realism possible.

Architectural drawing services can make landscape designing a pleasant experience for both the clients and visitors through their expertise. Modern technology also comes in handy in enabling them to produce top quality drawings and helping in a perfect execution of the project.

Orientation of a building according to the passage of sun across the sky is an important aspect of the building design that holds a great significance for The AEC Associates CAD design and drafting services. A building is a small but integral part of its immediate environment, CAD design and drafting services can ensure through correct building orientation that it derives the maximum out of its natural settings.

Architectural Cad Design & Drafting Services
Architectural Cad Design & Drafting Services : Building orientation

Sun orientation:

The position of sun is peculiar in the sense that it’s never static, it constantly changes with the time of day, time of year, and latitude of any specific site. The knowledge of the sun paths for any site helps the architect to design a building façade that lets the light and solar heat in required amounts. This in turn helps reduce glare and overheating to the building interiors.

Importance of orientation:

Proper orientation of a building is most vital, it saves precious resources. The phenomenon assumes even greater significance today with the energy resources becoming scarcer by the day. If a building is orientated properly, the building facade can maximize day lighting that reduces the need for artificial lighting, saving energy resources and electricity bills at the same time. CAD drafting services can also plan the facades and shades according to sun and wind orientation to reduce heating or cooling requirements of the building.

Plotting sun path:

Earlier the passage of the sun had to be plotted with the available sunpaths for the specific latitudes when computer software’s were not used for the purpose. Now advanced CAD programs are used by 3D CAD design services to set up models in any global locations and simulate sunpath across a building. This helps the architects immensely in determining the ideal orientation for their buildings. The importance of this modeling can be understood from the fact that while the buildings in the northern hemisphere mostly require the light and heat of the sun to be admitted into the building interior, it’s exactly the opposite in the southern hemisphere where it’s vital to block the sun. This means that buildings in the northern hemisphere have maximum openings on the south side, while the south side in the buildings in the southern hemisphere have as little openings as possible.

The extremities of season have to be considered by CAD design and drafting services, be it the high summer or the depth of winter, to ensure that the inhabitants have the best of every season. Building orientation is nothing but the mitigation and protection of sunlight in buildings and manipulating the solar heat according to specific needs of the inhabitants to make living as comfortable as possible. Fast depleting energy resources make it mandatory that designers make the buildings as green as possible to minimize the use of these resources.

Background

CAD Design and Drafting Services are a new age name for a Consultancy firm that wishes to display that it offers both design as well as drafting services.

This development is the result of:

  • CAD
  • Economy
  • Global Offshoring

The dynamics of a design firm outsourcing drafting work to another design firm is discussed in our Blog. This article looks at the prequel to Outsourcing, which is: Insourcing

Functional segregation

Drafting is the route to a design (a thought) being actualized into a real object. Hence a drawing is an implicit extension of design. Industrialization led to Division of labor, and the 20th century saw separate ‘Drafting Departments’ staffed with draftsmen, as they were called in those days, and various levels of hierarchy and supervision.

Participative management in the 80s saw the formation of ‘project groups’, where the drafting department was removed, and drafters (the erstwhile draftsmen) now joined project teams.

The last millennium, with CAD becoming a specialization and Documentation becoming a source of revenue, has seen the emergence of the Drafting Department again, now remained as CAD Department.

Benefits of insourcing

The Economy, the possibility of direct revenue from CAD services and real estate dynamics led to segregation, or what is now known as ‘Insourcing’ of Drafting from the Design firm. Here are the benefits of this segregation or insourcing within a CAD Design and Drafting Services Firm:

  • Accountability
  • Quality Control
  • Cheaper location nearer ‘catchment’ area of drafters
  • Cost efficient infrastructure
  • Profitability
  • New revenue stream ( CAD services to other design firms)

(These are delved in detail in a separate Blog)

Collaboration

The most important point to take care of when any function gets segregated is inter-responsibility. Also, once, as per Murphy’s Law, when something does go wrong, instead of looking for quick remedy, the blame game starts! And the end of which, unfortunately, Trouble shooters realize that neither department can truly be blamed: something slipped between the cracks! To ensure this, the following measures are very important:

  • Process
  • Accountability
  • Documentation
  • Audit
  • Result orientation
  • Quality checks
  • Team building

These aspects are tackled in a separate article.

As times move forward, it will not be long before the pendulum moves either way, and the Design function of a CAD Design and Drafting Services Firm becomes an outsourced function and another source of revenue.

Background

CAD Design and Drafting Services are a comprehensive service provided by either an AEC firm that wishes to limit its direct responsibility to design, or by a CAD Drafting Services firm which has integrated its business forward and added Design as a service.

In either case, a CAD Design and Drafting Services firm is a firm at an advanced level of its existence.

Scope of work

CAD Design and Drafting Services cover:

  • Presentation of concept design
  • Coordination of services
  • Design development per client needs and project restraints
  • Documentation per stage of project – permit sets, tender drawings, construction drawings and as-built set

 Responsibilities

What is the difference (in this context) between the terms ‘Scope of Work’ and ‘Responsibilities’?

‘Scope of work’ covers the activities fixed by the client, or accepted by the Service Provider. It is essentially a contractual term to define stages of payment and liabilities.

‘Responsibilities’, while including ‘Scope of work’, convey a much larger umbrella covering the social, ethical, environmental and moral aspects of the CAD Design and Drafting Services firm.

These are what are widely considered the responsibilities of a CAD Design and Drafting Services firm:

  • Feasibility: Whether hired for feasibility studies or not, the CAD Design and Drafting Services firm should be in a position to point out any aspects of the project that do not appear viable
  • The Brief: The ‘Brief’, a document that accurately records the client wants and needs, and is shared with the client, is known to be the keystone to commercial success of a creative effort. The Brief brings on paper the active and passive expectations of the client. It is the responsibility of the CAD Design and Drafting Services firm to see that the needs stated in the brief correctly convey the thoughts of all stakeholders that the client represents
  • Review: A Design review is the real test of the client’s understanding of the project. It is the responsibility of the CAD Design and Drafting Servicesfirm to use various media to ensure the client has truly understood the project. Some of these media are:
    • Visual: Images, walk-throughs, fly-bys
    • Sensorial: Scale models
    • Spatial: Line markings, site mock-ups
  • Documentation per receiver: Each stage of drawings must be produced as per the needs of the receiver, or, using TQM terminology, as per the ‘customer of the process’. That would be:
    • Permit Set: per the requisite approving authority, highlighting the points they need to look at
    • Bid set: to allow the bidder to correctly price his bid. Also, care must be taken to ensure the drawings, and terms are in sync with the tender/bid document
    • Construction documentation: to ensure the conceived design is correctly conveyed through the language of drawings. It becomes the CAD Design and Drafting Services firm’s moral responsibility to make the occasional site checks to the extent possible, regardless of it being hired for the same.
    • AsBuilt set: An As-Built set is not merely a CD set with final site dimensions represented. It should be prepared with the Facility Manager or the Owner in mind, with a view to make any kind of future maintenance, addition, alteration, valuation or sale easy

In our subsequent Blog on the same subject, we will deal with Exclusions in scope of services of a CAD Design and Drafting Services firm.

In the concluding part of this series, we finally explore the possibility of:

CAD DESIGN AND DRAFTING SERVICES

In the previous 2 parts of this series we discovered:

  1. CAD does not design
  2. Designers draft and design on CAD to develop their designs

So, is the drafter redundant?

Not redundant, but specialized.

With CAD Design and Drafting, the drafter is no longer a member of the Architect’s fiefdom of 20 drafters who would churn out drawings for different parts of the project.

He is now a specialist, who apart from Speed Drafting holds quite a few responsibilities, like:

  • CAD knowledge, maintenance, upgrades
  • Knowledge of other associated software
  • Expertise on compatibility and conversions from CAD to other platforms
  • File management
  • Expertise on output – PDF, printing
  • CAD standards
  • Training

As in other professions, machines have taken away the menial tasks, and the men doing them are specialist multi-tasking techies.

So has the process of getting a drawing drafted changed?

Yes.

In many offices, the place drafters occupy in an organization has changed. In the days of the Elephantine drawing boards (1960s?) there was a Drafting Pool, where work would be given, through a Drafting Supervisor. The 80s broughtin Management ideas, where drafters were assigned to Project Teams.

Today, technology has turned Architectural organizations the full circle (in some ways at least), and the concept of a Drafters’ Pool is back, with a ‘Production Manager’, Quality personnel, et al. This pool is now a Department, oft named CAD Design and Drafting Services. Work instructions are to be given in a professional manner, with requirements clearly spelt out, and ‘process’ compliances followed.

Do Architectural firms ever Outsource CAD Design and Drafting Services?

Something which was, at a time unthinkable, is happening.

To begin with, the function was Insourced.

The CAD Design and Drafting Services Department moved to a separate location. It could have been a separate enclosure, a separate floor, a separate location, or, even a separate country!

Like any other insourced Operation in a company, these are some of the reasons why:

  • Cost: Do you need the same space and interior standards, with reception, prime city location, parking, etc. for an insourced captive function?
  • Locational needs: An Architect’s office needs to be located near sites or clients. It also needs a lot of parking, since public transport does not connect to far undeveloped sites where construction might be going on. A drafters’ pool needs to be near the ‘catchment’ area, and nearer to public transport, like the Underground, a Bus Terminus, etc.
  • Spatial needs: Space needs are different as functions differ. The main architect’s office would need many meeting spaces for clients and consultants would be lavishly planned to impress clients, and have larger workstations to accommodate large drawings and the ‘creative mess’. CAD Design and Drafting Services Department would have smaller workstations, but perhaps tenfold in numbers. Such large spaces could be difficult to find and afford in prime business locations.
  • Human Resource Management: It is now accepted that every profession carries its behavior traits. Remember how we say, “All Architects are xyz, all Engineers are abc or all Lawyers are omg”? Research shows that these are occupational hazards (now they tell us!). Hence segregation lets Human Resource focus on the specific needs of that Group.
  • Process Management: Back when I worked for Furniture Company days, my job was to design layouts for prospective buyers of our furniture brand. With every salesman wanting his layout first, my relationship with all of them was a roller coaster slam-bam-thank-you-mam (that left me, no time for the aforementioned stuff in real life). Place the Drafting Pool in the same office and people will use every trick up their sleeve to cajole or scare drafters to jump the line and give their layout faster.
  • Quality Management: Process management and the atmosphere of an undisturbed space also make the time and willingness for Quality processes to happen, and better drawings to come out.

Let’s not forget, though, what allowed us to segregate CAD Design and Drafting Services is technology:

  1. CAD software
  2. File transfer: Remember, it took several years after the internet, for those heavy drawing files to be sent over email. First we use to break the drawing in parts. Then ZIP happened. As files got even larger, the day was saved by File Transfer Protocol.
  3. Electronic collaboration: Teleconferencing, Screen share and Video conferencing removed the little need that remained to “go over and explain it. It’s faster than trying to get that corrected again over phone or email”

CAD Design and Drafting Services are here to stay.

Outsourcing CAD Design and Drafting Services, while a product of our study above, is another specialization.It’s an industry in itself, employing millions, and spread across continents.

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