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CAD Outsourcing Services

PDF To CAD Conversion
Ways For Ensuring Quality Of PDF To CAD Conversion

In this age of computer aided design process, The AEC Associates PDF to CAD conversion is usually the first step in the design process these days; these drawings provide a starting platform especially in case an extension or addition to an existing building is being planned. Poor quality PDF to CAD conversion produces poor quality drawings, making viewing and modification of the drawings difficult. As a result, the quality of design process also suffers. It is, therefore, imperative to ensure quality of the conversion process in order to get top quality converted drawings.

Man and the machine

There are two factors that influence the quality of PDF to CAD conversion: the skill of the person doing the job, and the quality of the conversion software being used. One, therefore, needs to employ highly skilled and experienced professionals and use the best available conversion software to perform the conversion job. Alternatively, you can think about outsourcing the work to an experienced vendor instead of getting it done by an in-house team. In any case, it’s essential to ensure that conversion is accurate and of excellent quality.

Issues to be handled

A few issues make the conversion job quite complex, affecting the quality of the process, and that of the resultant drawings. These issues must be taken care of to ensure the quality of CAD drawings produced.

  • A vector PDF document contains very elementary objects, not having any CAD entities like CAD arcs or circles. The arcs and circles are produced out of either a number of short lines or out of Bezier curves, both quite complex processes. Even A small error magnifies the problem in the resultant drawings.
  • Text is contained in PDF files as a string of characters, each character having a specific style and positional information. Reconverting the text into CAD files often produces illegible text if everything doesn’t go well.

Construction industry depends a lot on PDF to CAD conversion in this era of computer software; it is essential and prudent for the organizations to ensure that the conversion work is taken seriously. This will make sure that converted drawings are of top quality, and the future design process begins on a solid foundation.

7 Design Considerations For Architectural CAD Services
7 Design Considerations For Architectural CAD Services

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Services need to consider several design elements while planning a primary school building so that the building may perform its assigned task to perfection. A primary school building is the budding ground for small children who would grow up to become our future citizens; the structure created by Architectural CAD services must include every element that is necessary to provide a conducive learning environment to these students. We have so far discussed some design elements to be considered like accessibility to all, aesthetics to connect the building with the community, ensuring health and productivity, cost effectiveness etc; a few more elements are discussed here in this concluding part.

  • Safety and security

It should be a top priority for Architectural CAD services to provide a safe and secure environment to the children and other users of the school premises. Following points have to be considered in this context-

  • Corridors and school grounds must have a visual access from most spaces possible
  • School boundaries must be defined clearly and interior spaces should be made comfortable and ‘homely’ to increase a sense of ownership among the occupants
  • Access to the school building and grounds by individuals and vehicles must be controlled
  • Safe shelters must be provided in case some emergency situations arise
  • Sustainability

Green architecture is no more a buzz word, it has become a necessity. Architectural CAD services must consider all the green elements while designing high performance, green primary school buildings.

Energy, water and other resources should be used efficiently

Renewable energy strategies must be integrated with the planning of a school building. Passive solar design and solar photovoltaic panels should be employed to the maximum extent possible

Efficient mechanical and electrical equipment should be used

Natural day lighting should be provided to minimize the need for artificial lighting

Local materials should be used if possible

Architectural CAD services shoulder a great responsibility while designing primary school buildings as these structures perform the job of nurturing the future generations. We discussed some important design elements to be considered by the designers while designing these buildings in an effort to make our schools better suited to modern-day needs.

Design Principles For CAD Design And Drafting Services
Top 9 Contemporary Design Principles For CAD Design And Drafting Services

The AEC Associates CAD Design and Drafting Services follow certain design principles to come up with fascinating buildings that draw praise from every quarter. However, just like any other discipline, architecture too evolves with time and undergoes many changes; it’s important for CAD design and drafting services to be aware of and adopt these changes to remain upfront. There is nothing wrong in drawing inspiration from other contemporary masterpieces, which often teach a few tricks through their innovations and class. Let us discuss some contemporary design principles that help us produce architecture that is timeless and yet modern in quality and appearance.

Embracing technology

Technology plays a major role in giving a contemporary feeling to just about anything, and architecture is no exception. CAD design and drafting services just cannot undermine the importance of technology and hope to produce modern classics. If we still stuck with brick and stone masonry instead of trying out steel and glass; the contemporary skyscrapers wouldn’t have come into existence. Same is true about so many finishes and green techniques and materials.

Keep innovating

You just cannot soar to greater heights if you don’t imagine and innovate. Designing a skyscraper for the first time must have needed so much courage on the designer’s part. Similarly, providing box structures at a time when carvings were a norm would have needed real imagination. Keep experimenting and innovating to remain with the times, and ahead. Innovation is the basic fundamental of a creative discipline like architecture.

Following the basics

It’s never prudent to leave your basics altogether in order to become contemporary. Even a skyscraper needs a solid foundation to reach up to those dizzy heights. There is nothing wrong in sticking to the principles you have always followed, although small changes may be made from time to time to be able to come up with structures that look and feel contemporary.

CAD design and drafting services strive constantly to produce quality buildings for which they follow certain principles. Adapting to the changing times is also necessary not to become outdated or too old. We shall keep discussing the top contemporary design principles in our next post too.

PDF to CAD Conversion
4 Reasons Why PDF Is The Preferred File Format For PDF to CAD Conversion

The AEC Associates PDF to CAD Conversion has become an essential day to day activity for the construction industry in the modern times. A solid starting platform is provided by PDF to CAD conversion for the future design process as architects can start working on the good quality drawings of the existing structure made available through the conversion process. People often wonder why PDF is the preferred file format for the process as hundreds of other file formats are available in this era of computer-aided design. Some of the reasons are discussed below for using PDF files for the purpose.

Easy to access

PDF (Portable Document Format) is developed by Adobe systems. Adobe reader required to read PDF files is usually pre-installed in all the computers worldwide, and this is one of the reasons it’s a favorite for PDF to CAD conversion. Viewing it anywhere is quite convenient, and it can also be viewed on most web browsers.

Accuracy

A PDF file may contain one or more pages; it enables viewing of each page in sequence and gives an exact idea of the document since the viewed pages are exactly as they would look in print.

Light in weight and volume

As we are all aware, CAD programs generally use DWG or DXF file formats for design and drafting purposes. These files are binary files. Architects, engineers and other AEC professionals create heavy two dimensional and three dimensional designs, and this heavy design data is stored in the DWG format very efficiently. These DWG files can sometimes be very heavy and it is difficult to email them to interested parties. PDF files, on the other hand, are quite light and handy, so these files are converted into PDF format and emailed to the desired destinations.

Versatile file format

Portable Document Format files can hold just anything from text, images, pictures and graphics etc. They can hold the data in original format and when these files are reconverted into the original format, they don’t distort the data. So, when PDF to CAD conversion takes place, they can easily be viewed, modified and printed as desired.

CAD Design And Drafting Services
6 Major Challenges Office Design Offers For CAD Design And Drafting Services

Office architecture offers some unique challenges for The AEC Associates CAD design and drafting services as the work culture and requirements of every organization are unique and different. This means that there can hardly be any proto-type designs, thus making office architecture both challenging and exciting for CAD design and drafting services.  In addition, the concept of office design keep changing with the changing times, offering some new challenges for the designers. Some of the major challenges architects face presently while designing office buildings are discussed below.

  • Dealing with human element:

Every organization relies heavily on the human resource. Companies make heavy investments on this element that is the biggest asset for the company management. A company stands to lose its productivity if the employees are not skilled and efficient. CAD design and drafting services, therefore, must focus on making the office environment friendly and congenial for the people working there so that their efficiency may increase.

  • Work environment:

Designers need to provide a healthy work environment to boost the employee morale and increase their productivity. Studies show that the organizations with a congenial and healthy built environment have lower attrition rates and higher employee morale and satisfaction levels. The challenge for the designers is to understand the work culture of the organization to come up with an effective design.

  • Organization culture:

An office building should reflect the ethos and philosophy of that organization. The built form and the work environment are the statements of the organization’s culture. This makes it essential for the architect to first understand the culture and philosophy of the company.

  • Key factors:

CAD design and drafting services need to take into account a number of key factors that make a built environment friendly, congenial and healthy. The fact is that an employee spends more than half of their awake hours in this office environment. Naturally, their entire lives get affected by the working conditions here. It’s essential to make the work environment pleasing, comfortable, friendly, hygienic, ergonomic and easily maintainable to keep the employees happy and productive.

  • Lighting:

The lighting arrangement of an office building is directly related to the satisfaction level and productivity of the employees. Insufficient lighting may result in low productivity and various health issues including vision problems, while over-bright lighting may cause severe headaches and other eyesight related problems.

  • Staying with time:

Internet and fast communication systems have made office architecture truly global. An office building is likely to be compared with the best around the world; the expectations have skyrocketed as a result. CAD design and drafting services must understand the changing concepts and the global nature of the offices and adapt accordingly.

Adapting to the changing philosophy and concepts of office architecture is imperative for CAD design and drafting services in providing office buildings that reflect the true culture of the organization. It is also necessary to increase the satisfaction level and productivity of the employees.

Architectural CAD Documentation Services
3 Benefits Of Employing Architectural CAD Documentation Services

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Documentation plays a significant role in ensuring that a building is constructed exactly as conceptualized. The drawings and other documents prepared by Architectural CAD documentation team help both the Architectural organization and their clients alike. Documentation job was very tedious and time consuming in the days of manual design and drafting process, storage was an additional problem as a large space was required to store all the drawings and documents. The use of CAD software has simplified things and also made the process faster, more accurate and more efficient.

Benefits of using CAD documentation:

Using Architectural CAD documentation offers multiple benefits. As mentioned above, both the Architectural firm and the clients stand to gain through its use. Some of these benefits are discussed below.

  • For future projects:

A thorough documentation set can prove beneficial while handling a project of similar nature in future. Be it the design concept, construction details or types and specification of the material; one can consult the existing documentation of some previous project to come up with the solution without wasting much time or effort.

  • Legal safeguard:

An architectural organization may face legal action in future in case of some dispute with the client or any confusion over its responsibilities regarding the building or the community. One can ensure legal safeguard by keeping a thoroughly prepared CAD documentation set with all the contractual details and specifications.

  • Maintenance and operation:

Both the designer and the client can benefit from employing Architectural CAD documentation services during the maintenance and operation stage of a building. All the details of construction along with Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) details and specification of materials used are available in the documentation sets; they come very handy in case a decision is to be taken at a later stage.

 Architectural CAD Drafting
A landscape design presents a different challenge for The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Drafting services since they have to create an art form on a different kind of a canvass. The creation here keeps changing with plants growing, environment conditions changing, and different people using the space. The challenge here for Architectural CAD drafting is to use a design process that considers all aspects of the land, the environment, the growing plants and the need to have a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, functional and ecologically healthy.

Elements of a landscape design:

Architectural CAD drafting have to begin by considering the needs and desires of their clients and the conditions of the site. Plants and hardscape materials are then arranged into a harmonious design, we collectively call these two as features. These features, in turn, can be described physically by the visual quality of the following elements:

  • Line
  • Form
  • Color
  • Texture, and
  • Visual weight

We earlier discussed the importance of color in a landscape design, let us now take up line and form, and their significance for the designers.

Line is perhaps the most common element in a composition. It creates all forms and patterns, and can be used in a number of ways to create pleasing landscapes. In a landscape, lines are created in different ways-

Edge between two materials

Outline (silhouette) of a form

Long linear feature

Lines are like a goldmine for the designers since they can be used to create countless shapes and forms besides controlling the movement of the eye and the body. Architectural CAD drafting can use lines for creating pleasing patterns, developing spaces, generating desired forms, controlling eye and physical movement, and producing a cohesive theme for a beautiful landscape.

Landscaping is a very vast and interesting topic. We shall continue discussing the importance of lines and forms in our future posts as well.

f CAD Documentation Services
Efficiency Of CAD Documentation Services Matters

The AEC Associates CAD Documentation Services must understand the requirements of their clients and realize that each stage of design and documentation has different sets of objectives to meet and different sets of people to cater to. Efficiency and time-bound delivery must always be the first priority of CAD documentation services because their clients invest huge amounts of money in their projects; even a small error or a slight delay could land them in big-time trouble.

Types of documents:

The importance of the job CAD documentation services handle can be gauged just by the sheer number of document types they have to prepare. Take, for example, a permit set that is prepared for authorities to review some particular aspects of a project. Similarly, a bidder would require a bid set to understand and price the project accurately. A contractor needs a precise and accurate CD (Construction documentation) set in order to execute the project as per the design.

Working as per the requirements of the client:

The biggest challenge for CAD documentation services is to understand the requirements of each client and deliver accordingly; only then can they be meticulous and precise in their output. According to different requirements, we can classify these services as follows:

  • PDF, paper to CAD services
  • Preparing site drawings from PDF documents
  • Making SD to DD drawings
  • Preparing permit sets
  • Preparing drawings of existing structures
  • Construction documentation
  • Making bid sets for bidding purposes

Following a process:

It is very important for CAD documentation services to establish and follow a set process, so that no scope is left for any misconceptions or errors. To ensure precision and meticulous execution, it’s essential to give due importance to the ingredients necessary for comprehensive CAD documentation; the process could be as follows:

  • A well thought-out and defined schedule
  • Constant reviews and discussions at various stages of the project
  • Quality check on final PDF documents
  • Preparation of reference sets in CAD format
  • Sample outputs in PDF

Essential qualities of PDF to CAD conversion
Essential qualities of PDF to CAD conversion

The use of computer software has changed the working of AEC industry completely over the past few years; new processes like The AEC Associates PDF to CAD conversion have become an integral part of the design process now. PDF to CAD conversion performs the task of converting PDF files into CAD DWG files as is quite evident; these converted drawings provide a platform for the future design process. Naturally, this process has to be precise, accurate and error-free to ensure that the designers have a hassle-free passage once they have these drawings in their hands.

PDF files: PDF file format is an acceptable way of sharing information when there is no need to edit the information; it is a good way for architects and other industry professionals to protect their financial interests and also their designs. These files can hold text, images, raster images and vector objects and are very versatile. Since these file are not editable, they have to be converted into DWG files in order to view or edit them. This is where PDF to CAD conversion comes into play.

Essential qualities needed for CAD conversion:

As mentioned earlier, CAD conversion provides a platform for future design process so it’s imperative that the converted drawings obtained from the process are fully editable, one hundred percent dimensionally accurate and multi-layer. In order to be able to edit the drawings layer-by-layer, the converted drawings have to be precise, clear and very accurate. The vector quantities like arcs and circles have to be real instead of being formed out of Bezier curves or multiple lines, otherwise you will never get the drawings of desired quality. Similarly, it’s very important that the converted drawings are scalable and do not get pixilated when you zoom into the image. One has to use top-quality conversion software or manual vectorization technique to make PDF to CAD conversion live up to its promise and potential.

Architectural CAD Drafting
5 Design Principles For Architectural CAD Drafting

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Drafting Services constantly strive to create path-breaking, splendid buildings for the present and the future. Architecture, as we all know, is a creative profession and creativity knows no bounds; yet there are certain principles that may help Architectural CAD drafting boost their creativity and produce even better buildings. We will discuss some of these principles that have been used by architects around the world to create breathtaking structures.

  • Don’t underestimate technology:

Many professionals consider technology secondary to creativity. It just helps you convert your imagination into a solid structure according to them. Yet technology can actually help Architectural CAD drafting with their imagination to conceptualize better buildings. If architects in the 19th century did not understand the potential of steel, they wouldn’t have moved over to steel structures from stone and brick masonry. The results are evident in the form of breathtaking structures like Crystal Palace and Eiffel Tower. Without computer software, we wouldn’t be able to create complex systems like bundle-tube system that go a long way in producing the modern high-rise structures.

  • Innovation is the key:

Creativity and innovation go hand in hand. Who says you have to stick to the traditional or the current trend, make your own trend. If architects stuck with the old, you wouldn’t be seeing so many skyscrapers today. Again, some bold architects have now broken the rule once more and created horizontal skyscrapers instead of the traditional vertical ones.

Don’t be too rational:

Yes, architecture is a rational art, yet don’t limit your imagination by being too rational. Sketching your concept is not a bad idea at all and this is the reason why some artists have succeeded in producing path breaking buildings. Take for example, the Belgian Embassy designed by Satish Gujral; it looks like a beautiful sculpture, a unique one indeed. Same is true about Sydney Opera House by Jorn Utzon, a sketch design that won the global competition and had to wait a long time before the puzzle of its structure could be solved. Among the contemporary architects, Zaha Hadid is fond of starting with abstract sketches and later transforms these into designs.

We shall keep discussing these design principles for Architectural CAD drafting in our next post to see how following some principles can actually heighten your creativity.

Architectural CAD Drafting To Design Doors For Disabled
Tips For Architectural CAD Drafting To Design Doors For Disabled

The persons with disabilities are very much an important part of our society and it’s the moral, social and legal responsibility of The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Drafting to design buildings and facilities that could be used by these people without any hazard or discomfort. Designing for disabled is a very vast subject; we will just concentrate on explaining how Architectural CAD drafting can design accessible doors for them in this post. We will first take a look at the problem areas and then provide tips and solutions.

Common problems:

It’s important for Architectural CAD drafting to avoid some common mistakes that make it difficult for the disabled to use the doors of a public or private building. Here are some of these common problems:

  • Narrow doors prohibiting wheelchairs to pass through
  • Doors hinged on the wrong sides hindering accessibility and offering health hazard
  • Doors with thresholds offering a stumbling block to the disabled
  • Doors too heavy or difficult to operate.

Design parameters:

Architectural CAD drafting must take into consideration the following design parameters while designing doors of buildings and facilities so that persons with disabilities may find them convenient to use.

  • A single person should be able to use the door in a single motion without any difficulty.
  • Power-operated doors are best suited. The activator system should either be automatic or easily accessible.
  • An accessible door should be fitted with a sign, a Door handle, an extra pull handle, glazing and a kick plate.
  • Two types of automatic doors may be used for the convenience of disabled persons- swinging and sliding. Sliding doors are better since they pose no threat to the people at the other end.
  • An adequate opening interval should be provided for these doors.
  • The doors should allow the wheelchairs to pass through.
  • The door opening should be minimum 0.90m for main doors when open.
  • Minimum opening for the wash room doors should be 0.76m.
  • The minimum clear width of at least one leaf should be 0.80m when double leaf doors are used.
  • Guard rails should be provided near double swinging doors to prevent them from hitting people.

The cost of construction has risen astronomically in the recent times; it makes the job of The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Drafting firms most challenging. Even the slightest of errors on the part of Architectural CAD drafting Services could prove very costly to their clients in terms of loss of money and time.

 Site Survey For Architectural CAD Drafting
Importance Of Site Survey For Architectural CAD Drafting


Site survey:

Architects and other construction industry professionals cannot afford to undermine the importance of on-site survey for various reasons. Firstly, a proper survey provides so many vital inputs like sun and wind direction, location of trees and slope of the ground etc; inputs that often determine the basis of the building design. Secondly, an accurate site survey helps avoid so many unnecessary errors, errors that might be a cause of embarrassment for the company in future.

The existing drawings:

Many clients provide the existing drawings or site maps to Architectural CAD drafting team that are either prepared by their previous architect or are supplied by the authorities. However, relying solely on these drawings sometimes proves very costly; it is always prudent and safe for the design team to verify the accuracy of these drawings by conducting their own site survey before undertaking the design of any proposed building. This is just as important while undertaking a renovation or addition job. Overlooking this aspect could ruin the whole design or face problems with the building authorities while acquiring sanction letters.

On-site survey gives an exact idea of the topography of the site, various resources available nearby, and the adjacent structures and locations. These inputs can make the design more interesting and better suited to the needs of the client and the surroundings.

On-site survey should be treated as an integral part of the design process by Architectural CAD drafting team. Proper time and effort should be invested on the job to ensure that there are no anomalies in the existing maps and drawings and that an actual and accurate data is provided to the design team.

It is the constant endeavor of The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Services to turn the dreams of their clients into solid structures of bricks, concrete and steel. They strive to satisfy the needs of the clients and produce functionally superior and aesthetically beautiful buildings that bear the mark of the owner’s identity. However, if Architectural CAD Services do not know their clients, it often becomes difficult to remain on the same wavelength and the result is disastrous. We discussed in our previous post the importance of regular meetings between the design team and the client to avoid any possible confusion or misunderstanding. The discussion is continued here.

Architectural CAD Services1

Regular discussions are vital:

Regular discussions become imperative once the design team begins conceptualizing the scheme. Just holding some initial discussions and coming up with a final design is never a good idea, it’s necessary to have regular briefings and consultations with the clients. This serves two important purposes: (1) Clients inputs help designers improve the scheme to their satisfaction and the client also stays with the design team on the progress; this enables the team to make necessary alterations before it’s too late, saving precious time and effort. (2) It gives Architectural CAD services an opportunity to know if the clients have modified their requirements or ideas; they are thus able to readjust their scheme accordingly. Regular discussions ensure that the clients remain satisfied with the progress and Architect is able to make alterations without making major changes to the design.

Lack of communication could prove costly:

Lack of communication could lead to misinterpretations, confusions and misunderstandings resulting in client dissatisfaction and loss of time, labor and finances. Having regular meetings is never a waste of time even when all the requirements are already finalized. The concept of having a meeting only when the design is more or less final, thinking that the necessary alterations can then be made according to the client feedback, might prove very costly for both parties.

Architectural CAD services should always insist on having regular discussions even if the client is reluctant in having these discussions. There could be an unsavory situation and huge monetary losses later if the client insists on scrapping the whole design or asks to make extensive changes to the scheme.

Thousands of Architectural CAD outsourcing services have mushroomed all over the world in the recent years. Fast communication systems enable The AEC Associates Architectural CAD services located in any part of the globe to provide their expertise to their clients situated thousands of kilometers away. Telephones, online chats, emails, fax, Skype- it’s easy to stay in touch 24×7 and transmitting the drawings is nothing more than passing on a paper in person from one table to the next in a small office.

architectural cad outsourcing
Architectural CAD Outsourcing Services

Simple yet difficult:

Running Architectural CAD outsourcing services is quite simple if you can assemble a team of dedicated, skilled professionals with sky-high ambitions. Yet the competition is fierce with so many vendors fighting for their piece of cake, it’s never easy to make a place for yourself in the face of such stiff competition. The outsourcing vendors often face a strange dilemma. Different types of projects are offered in this profession requiring different skill sets and approaches, and this is the cause of this dilemma. The choice is not that easy.

The first approach:

It’s far easier no doubt for a new start doing projects of different types to establish themselves quickly.However, not being able to produce results better than the competitors can have a negative impact on their reputation and morale. Being called jack of all trades and master of none may not be a very pleasant feeling.

The second approach:

If you take only the projects you specialize in, you can certainly succeed in impressing one and all with your dexterity and competence, yet it has its flip side as well. You need work to pay your employees and run your organization and this approach may not give you enough work at the end of the day, at least in the beginning. This way you may find the survival quite difficult. What then is the way out?

Today we have presented the two approaches possible for Architectural CAD outsourcing services. We will discuss in our next post how specializing in limited disciplines may prove more beneficial rather than trying out your hands at everything that comes your way.

Auditing is often considered a dirty word as far as CAD outsourcing services are concerned. It is supposed that the purpose of auditing is to single out some person or persons and make them scapegoats for the error in the process or for the failure of a project for which CAD outsourcing services had to pay dearly. But is that what an auditing team really does?

CAD Outsourcing Services Company India
CAD Outsourcing Services Company India

Contrary to what many professionals think, auditing is not another name for witch hunt. It’s not about looking for errors or faults of a system, or of a person for that matter. Auditing is more about looking for the source of the quality produced by the team. The first step for the auditor is to study the quality reports and project types handled by the CAD outsourcing services over a period of time to define an expected level of quality, also called consistent quality level (CQL). The purpose of auditing is not policing but to determine the source of this quality consistency. The objective is neither to appreciate nor criticize, it’s meant to maintain and improve the efficiency of the system. So the main objective of the whole exercise of auditing is to maintain the practices that help the team deliver the goods and improve upon the ones that cause errors.

It’s always best for the CAD outsourcing services to work in an open, transparent environment as it helps them save time, and thus money; and secondly the computerized drawings hardly give them any chance to wipe out the records before an audit anyway. Today’s well-informed professionals realize that auditing is not meant to find scapegoats but to find the source of errors and help them remove it to improve their functioning.

“Design is an iterative process in which abstract concepts are developed, tested and redeveloped continually with the aim of producing a set of information from which the building can be constructed”

(Stephen Emmit, John Olie& Peter Schmid in ‘Principles of Architectural Detailing’)

This blog continues the discussion on detailing in architectural CAD services, talking about the role of the architectural CAD service in detailing.Architectural CAD Services

Design, the continuum

Taking on a design project, means a 24×7 commitment. For every stakeholder or participant, three things never stop as long as they are a part of the process:

  1. Thinking
  2. Creating
  3. Improving

Architectural CAD Services – share, exchange, develop

Architectural CAD Services
Architectural CAD services come at the ‘service’ end of the design process. So the obvious question would be: “Since when does Service participate in Design?”

Architectural CAD services, while essentially an outsourced process, can never be totally ‘handed over’. Even the apparently simple task like PDF to CAD Conversion, or a CD set of a retail roll out, involve one or two review sets to be exchanged between the architect and the architectural CAD service.

The reason, once again, is that the drafter, being bred in the environment of the ‘design continuum’, will always tend to think, create, and improve.

A senior professional in the industry once spoke out in frustration, “So many questions for a straightforward drawing? Maybe it would have been better to have automated software.” Pat came the reply “Remember how many questions your computer asks even for a simple task like shutting down?”

Where General meets Particular

The oldest conflict in design has always been about whether to design from a broad vision and ‘fit in’ the details, or start from basics and straighten up the looks once the structure evolves. In more familiar terms, the classic war between:
Architectural CAD Services
‘Form follows function’

 

Versus

Architectural CAD Services

Function follows form’

Today’s architect has realized that today’s common man is aware and exposed to the variety of design that imagination and technology produce. And that true ‘class’ shows, in the finer details.

Another change in today’s approach to design is that 3D models are used at the concept stage itself. The most common software in this approach is Google Sketchup® or Revit™. In both, particularly in the latter case, designing some extent of details becomes essential to create the model.

This is one point where the architectural CAD service gets involved in detailing – since most architects outsource their Revit modeling.

Another situation where the architectural CAD service gets involved in detailing is during creation of the CD set. The involvement happens in 3 ways:

  1. A standard ‘detail sheet’ is sent by the architect. The architectural CAD service has to delete or cross out details not relevant to this project
  2. Cross reference and tagging of details with plans, sections and specification sheets has to be checked
  3. An error or incompatibility in detail is spotted by the architectural CAD service, and intimated to the architect

These instances, however, show passive or reactive participation of architectural CAD services. Our ensuing blog covers How to involve your Architectural CAD Service in Designing Architectural Details.

Architectural CAD services

Years ago, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was credited with the famous saying ‘Gott wohnt im Detail (God is in the detail)’.

Perhaps that is why the very thought of detailing divides architects into believers, preachers, atheists and agnostics.This blog opines at the tip of the iceberg, questioning the relevance of detailing in a further specialized offshoot of architecture: architectural CAD services.

Isn’t detailing something that an engineer does, an architect refines and a drafter just drafts?

This statement reflects how the phenomenon of ‘Detailing’ occurs in most architectural offices. As a student, an architect flirts with materials, dates art, marries design, and has little time for anything else. In an office, apart from a few ‘specialists’, nobody really creates detail. Detail is something that comes in the picture after design concepts and design development is done. Thence, detailing is just a necessary evil in the form of a few sheets for the Bid Set and the CD Set. Either a standard detail from the office records is used, or a vendor’s shop drawing is used.

Yes, detailing, in today’s office, is pretty much something that “an engineer does, an architect refines and a drafter just drafts”.

 That’s settled then. So what is blog about again?

The act of design is not sequential in the sense of making a conceptual design for the whole building, then the details, then the specification and finally its construction’.

(From ‘Principles of Architectural Detailing by Stephen Emmit, John Olie and Peter Schmid’)

Design as a process never ends. Being a continuous process of evolution, every drawing is nothing but a new angle to look at the project. This is a new scope for designing.

Architectural CAD services come at this very stage.

So there really is a role in detailing for architectural CAD services?

Architectural CAD services are, essentially an outsourced service. However, unlike most outsourced processes, architectural work can never be ‘given to an agency, forgotten about and received complete as expected.’ In the world of design, three things, though not visible, never stop:

Architectural CAD services1.Thinking

Architectural CAD Services2. Creating

Architectural CAD Services

3.Improving

And these three are also known to be cause of the design world behaving a tad ‘different’ from the normal world. Be it chaos, tardiness, going off the edge, irascibility or moods – blame it on ‘the pressures of creativity’.

And it is at the 3rd of the above three- improving – that lay the role of an architectural CAD service.

And how exactly does an architectural CAD SERVICE do that?

Our ensuing blog How to involve your Architectural CAD Service in Designing Architectural Details looks into just that.

 

Sounds dramatic? In our distraction-a-minute lives, reality does sound dramatic. Especially one that doesn’t touch us.Architectural CAD Drafting Services

So, getting real, this blog looks at the hurdles faced by a Quality Officer when auditing a drawing.

Before cutting to the chase, we will recap 2 relevant points covered in this series on Quality Audits in Architectural CAD Services:

  1. What gets audited:
  • Product
  • Person
  • Process
  • System
  • Organization
  1. Common checks in auditing of the ‘product’, i.e. drawings:
  • Random check
  • Fresh look
  • Brief adherence
  • Checklist reference
  • Case study

Stumbling Block 1: I, me, myself 

Isn’t that always the first stumbling block? At the risk of sounding too philosophical, many organizations fail in preparing the Auditor for what lies ahead. People resistance, in its toughest form: from the Subject Matter Expert. Learn more about this in our Blog Quality in Architectural Drafting Services – Auditing the People.

 There is a time and place for everything. Except audits

Deadline pressure is, perhaps, the best reason (excuse for some) that comes in the way of a successful Quality Audit, Architectural CAD Servicesespecially for short term jobs in architectural CAD services. Planned audits can still be worked into a project by adding them ion the schedule and the process. However, surprise audits and short term jobs crash. At times Quality Inspectors make a compromise by asking for a past project. While retrieving the project and getting the team interested in such an audit can be like pulling teeth  the killer comes in the end. “The client passed it, right? And even paid. So why are we….”

Context & Objective

A Quality officer may make excellent observations and corrections, but unless they are keyed in to the client brief, they become mere ‘academic interest’.

People

In a fast and project based archtiectural CAD services firm, it might be difficult to ensure that the people who worked on a drawing will be available at the time of the audit!

In our ensuing blog we will look at different methods employed by organizations in Overcoming obstacles in Drawing Audits of Architectural CAD Services.

 In our last Blog Quality Audits in Architectural CAD Drafting Services, we had taken a Bird’s Eye View at the developing concept of an Audit in an architectural service.Architectural CAD Drafting Services

From the point of view of the the architect, the management buzzwords that were fun, have now buzzed too close and stung! Yes, for an industry used to the freedom of expressing their designs appears all these left brained aliens like efficiency, quality assurance and now audit reminds them of Orwell’s 1984.

In this Blog we take a look at Drawing Audits in architectural CAD drafting services.

 Before getting started, can we get these tough words into layman English?

The tough word here would be Audit. While of its own, an Audit is not difficult to understand, it is the context of architectural CAD drafting services that creates the question mark.

Audit, as defined by Wikipedia, means “An evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product”.

The key word here is evaluation.

Evaluation– as opposed to checking, verification or authentication.

We attempt to answer this self-introduced puzzle further in this piece.

 Why do we need an Audit? Isn’t that for Accounting?  Architectural CAD Drafting Services

In the AEC world, Audit would mean “checking the checking”.

Yes, it is needed. For various reasons:

  • Certification: An architectural CAD drafting services firm would definitely benefit while marketing its services if it has an OK certificate on an external audit
  • Involvement: Any project is a creation. At some point, even the checkers get distracted from drafting to the actual design. Having a third party evaluate their job serves increases their accountability

OK. Since the Auditor is not checking each drawing, what does he check, then?

A difficult question to answer, simply because ‘surprise’ and ‘fear of the unknown’ are the biggest trumps in the Auditor’s hand. But here are some common checks:

  • Random check: Random sampling is the most common method to supervise volumes. Remember the day you were late at site and the client decided to turn up early just that once? Most likely that random check branded you tardy in his mind. Random checks can be unfair, due to which they must be averaged out. In architectural CAD drafting services, a random check would be one drawing picked out from a project.
  • Fresh look: Many auditors love to check a drawing without being briefed about the task. So they are looking at the drawing as a whole, and, in the process, even correcting some drafting standards of the client. While this approach gives good perspective, most of the effort goes waste since the architectural CAD drafting service is not going to call up its customer and pick holes in his drawing methodology. It also dilutes their accountability. They sweep their mistakes under the client’s carpet
  • Brief adherence: An excellent audit, this strictly and minutely checks if the client’s brief was followed and his requirements were met
  • Checklist reference: Another excellent audit is to take the standard checklist, check the drawing, and compare results
  • Case study: A time consuming method, a team of auditors sits with the project and quality team, and goes through a project threadbare. However, this is where new systems get created

So how often do I have ‘Meet the Auditors Day’at the office?

While the surprise element is still important, but with deadline pressure, long surprises are not possible. Detailed out in another blog, periodicity of a Drawing Audit in architectural CAD drafting services normally could be:

  • Quarterly
  • Project milestone based
  • Event based

Are there any Stumbling Blocks for the person auditing drawings?

An intriguing question, deservedly addressed in a separate blog: Stumbling Blocks for the Drawing Auditor in Architectural CAD Drafting Services.

Quality, a simple meaning word when most of us grew up, imploded with the Quality Movement of the ‘90s, to the extent, even Wikipedia asks you to choose your context first!Architectural CAD Drafting Services

In the now specialized world of architectural CAD drafting services, quality has come to convey

1.       Fitness of purpos 

2.       Minimization of errors   

In today’s AECO world, Quality is essential for the survival of an architectural CAD drafting service. And, therefore, it must be audited.

Architectural CAD Drafting Services

Yes, the erstwhile free architectural service, flying high on the wings of creativity must subject itself to the 2 most feared words in the service industry: Quality Audit.

What will be audited?

Wikipedia calls an audit “An evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product”.

Anyone who has been audited for anything could actually identify with this excellent definition.

That “excellent definition” stuff sounded a tad implicit. Can somebody expand upon that?

In simpler terms, these are the ways a Quality audit may happen in architectural CAD drafting services:

  • Product: Checking the output
  • Person: Checking a person’s integrity with the process
  • Process: Process policing
  • System: Can be easily confused with ‘process’. While this will be expanded upon in future blogs, it will suffice to repeat the words of an operations management expert:

It is the system that creates the process”

  • Organization: When one is auditing output, people, processes and even system, what defines an organizational audit? After all, isn’t an organization a sum of all those?

While our series of blogs and articles on this topic will answer this question and expand the points above, it will also take a look at these points (in the context of quality audits in architectural CAD drafting services):Architectural CAD Drafting Services

  • Conducting quality audits
  • Periodicity, timing and trigger
  • Reporting
  • Feedback – entering the results back into the system
  • Auditing the audit – measures to keep the system up to date

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